Minor in Architectural Studies

Minor in Architectural Studies (ARST)

Applications are accepted from October 1 to February 1

Turn your minor into a major advantage

The Minor in Architectural Studies (ARST) is an opportunity for University of Calgary undergraduates to get a one-year jump start on the Master of Architecture (MArch) program. The Minor program is equivalent to the Foundation Year of the three-year MArch. When you complete the ARST minor, you can apply directly into the two-year MArch program. 

Undergraduates study with graduate students in a blended learning environment. The program includes architectural design studios, workshops in 2D and 3D graphics, and digital fabrication. Students also take courses in history, building science, and sustainability theory.

Applying for the Minor

The Minor can be added to all undergraduate degrees. For those in programs with prescriptive requirements like Engineering, it can be challenging to complete both programs in the typical four years, and additional study time might be needed.

Admission is competitive. When you apply, you'll need a minimum GPA of 3.2 on the most recent 10 courses or 30 units from your UCalgary transcript and a design portfolio.

Planning for the MArch

Students planning to apply for the MArch should use their undergraduate studies to develop a broad knowledge base that supplements the discipline-specific training in architecture. This means you'll want to consider taking courses in the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, biological and physical sciences, computer science, commerce and management.

Creative courses that develop skills in 2D graphics and 3D modeling or fabrication are particularly beneficial, as are collaborative experiential learning experiences. The following are highly recommended:

  • ARCH 201 - Architecture and the Future of Cities
  • ARCH 406 - Design Thinking in the Built Environment Studio I 
  • ARCH 408 - Design Thinking in the Built Environment Studio II
  • SUST 201 - Exploring Sustainability
  • ARCH 400 - Introduction to Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture
  • Art history and courses that develop skills in art and design


Questions? Contact the recruitment and admissions team at admissions@sapl.ucalgary.ca

Meet fellow students at FDAP, an undergraduate-focused architecture/planning/landscape architecture club at the University of Calgary

From high school to practicing architect

Karan Sharma, MArch'20 - MediHubs

Can I become an architect with a Bachelor's degree? 

To practice in Canada, architects must complete the professional degree, the Master of Architecture (MArch).

What is the best undergraduate degree to prepare for the MArch?

Study what you love.

Students enter the MArch program with diverse academic backgrounds. If you enjoy your studies, you will likely earn better grades. Strong academic performance is important when applying to the Minor in Architectural Studies (ARST Minor) and the MArch program. 

What is the best undergraduate degree at UCalgary to combine with the ARST Minor?

Again: the one you love.

The most common ones we see are BA in Urban Studies, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Studies, as well as business, science and other arts degrees. Please note that you cannot take the ARST Minor in combination with the Bachelor of Design in City Innovation. 

Program Structure

Students can complete their ARST Minor courses over one or two years, depending on timing related to their major/degree, or other scheduling conflicts. Upon completion of the ARST Minor requirements, students can apply for admission into the two-year Master of Architecture program. You can take the ARST in your third and/or fourth year of undergraduate studies. Admission is competitive, based on GPA, a design portfolio and space availability. 


  • ARCH500 - Sustainability in the Built Environment 
  • ARCH502 - History of Architecture and Human Settlements I - Premodern Traditions of the World 
  • ARCH504 - Graphics Workshop I 
  • ARCH506 - Studio I in Architecture 
  • ARCH508 - Building Science and Technology I 
  • ARCH510 - History of Architecture and Human Settlements II - The Rise of Modernity, 1750 to Present 
  • ARCH512 - Graphics Workshop II 
  • ARCH514 - Studio II in Architecture 

Note: The Faculty of Graduate Studies no longer accepts a three-year Bachelor of Communication and Culture with a one-year minor in ARST for entry into graduate programs. For information about undergraduate programs and courses, view the University of Calgary Undergraduate Calendar.

Glossary of Terms

Bachelor degree: undergraduate degree

Major: main program in your undergraduate degree, with a required number of courses

Minor: a smaller specialization, with a minimum required number of courses and normally completed within the number of units required for a bachelor’s degree 

Master’s degree: A degree requiring advanced study beyond a bachelor’s degree

Minor in Architectural Studies (ARST Minor): undergraduate specialization that counts as the Foundation Year in a three-year MArch degree

Master of Architecture (MArch): two or three-year professional degree