ARCH 400

Introduction to Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture

This wide-ranging online course will introduce you to the many exciting disciplines that come under the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape. By reading, viewing video lectures by experts, and doing regular assignments you will learn about Urban Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, as well as related disciplines such as Industrial Design and Lifecycle Analysis.

The course is delivered online.

This course may not be repeated for credit.




A great avenue to explore ideas. I've always considered myself someone who knows a little bit about a lot of things. This course gave me the chance, almost forced me, to investigate things further to my own delight.

Student, 2012

Course details

This pioneering course was designed to provide an of the disciplines addressed in the Faculty of Environmental Design, now the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL).

As one of the University of Calgary’s first fully online, asynchronous offerings, it provides a fast-paced overview of topics including:

  • Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Urban Planning
  • Intelligent Communities
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Technology and Visualization
  • And many more related subjects 

Students receive a custom-designed package for each topic, containing a video produced especially for the course, collateral readings, and an assignment. Some are short written papers, others are visually oriented. Students complete them individually, incorporating their own personal experiences and interests. Students also  participate in online discussions on each topic.

There are no exams. Instead, students are evaluated on their 12 topical projects (7.5% of final grade each) plus participation in the discussion groups (10% of final grade).

Since the course is fully asynchronous, you can take it from anywhere in the world as long as you have Internet access and are able to watch the videos.

Many students have found this course inspiring and gone on to apply to the professional programs offered by SAPL including Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Planning, as well as research-oriented Master’s and Doctoral degrees.

No previous background is required, and the course is open to any University of Calgary student.

For further information, please feel free to email the instructor Dr. Tom Keenan.

Note: This course often fills up with a full waiting list, so you are encouraged to apply early.

I know this is going to sound cheesy, but this was legit one of the most interesting classes I've ever had (in the area of diversity and knowledge).

Student, 2012