Master of Architecture: Frequently Asked Questions


How long is the program?
The MArch program is three years. It can be condensed to two years if you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited architecture school, in which case you can request to be waived from the Foundation Year.

What options are available for combining studies about environmental issues with architectural studies?

Environmental issues (e.g. sustainability) are addressed in various core and elective courses in the MArch curriculum. Students interested in advanced research on environmental issues are encouraged to apply to the Master of Environmental Design program during their final year as architecture students.

I have a diploma in architectural technology. Am I admissible to the MArch?

Prospective students with a diploma are eligible for up to five full course equivalent credits toward an undergraduate degree. Applicants to the professional program require a 4-year bachelor’s degree from a recognized post-secondary institution. For further information, see the sections on Admissions and on Pre-professional Studies in these web pages.

LINK Link to tuition and fees page

I have a Bachelor of Environmental Design or of Architectural Studies. Do I have to complete the Foundation Year of the MArch?

If you have a pre-professional architecture degree from another institution or you’ve completed the Minor in Architectural Studies at the University of Calgary, you are eligible to be admitted directly into the two-year MArch program without taking the Foundation Year.

I have a different design degree (Interior Design, Industrial Design, etc.). Can I be waived from the Foundation Year?
No. You must have taken architecture courses from an accredited architecture school. There is a chance you could be waived from one or more courses, but this is determined on a case-by-case basis. If you are waived from a course, this does not reduce the tuition charged, however, as it is a flat-fee tuition structure. LINK

I am a mature student without a degree. Am I admissible to the MArch program?

In some circumstances, mature students (generally someone at least 35 years old) can be admitted to the MArch program as probationary students if they provide evidence of exceptional ability.

I have an architecture degree from outside Canada. How long will it take me to complete the MArch program?

Students with a professional degree will normally apply directly to the first year of the MArch program and can complete the program in two years if they are admitted.

Many professional architecture degrees from outside Canada are accepted by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB). In some cases, one or two additional courses may be required. Completing the MArch program for purposes of achieving certification isn’t necessary in these cases. It is usually more appropriate for people with these degrees to pursue post-professional studies (such as our MEDes degree LINK) if they wish to continue their education. If you have a Bachelor of Architecture, or equivalent degree, from outside of Canada and want to inquire about certification, contact the CACB office in Ottawa.

In addition, if you have an architecture degree from outside of Canada plus at least seven years of experience as an architect in a foreign country, you may be eligible for certification under the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) program.

I have continuing obligations. Can the MArch program be taken on a part-time basis?

Virtually all courses of the program are offered during working hours on weekdays in the Fall and Winter terms. Because of this and the intensity of studio courses, it is difficult to complete the degree part-time. However, students in the program requiring a reduction in their course loads due to personal circumstances can normally do so.

Please note that the flat-fee tuition structure for the March program means that students who take a reduced course load not only take longer to complete their degrees, they also pay more in total tuition. Furthermore, many of the MArch courses are sequential, especially the design studio courses. Taking a semester off will typically mean waiting an entire year before a missed course is offered again.

Is the MArch program a co-op program?

The MArch program at the University of Calgary does not offer co-op work terms. However, there are many networking opportunities during the program to meet prospective employers. We have several practicing architects and designers who teach in our faculty as sessional instructors, there are many firms that sponsor student scholarships, and the EVDSSA (student association) holds networking events each year.

Additionally, students who wish to obtain degree-related work experience may do so during the two summer breaks. Graduates of the MArch program have not had difficulty securing employment – they are working in the private and public sectors across Alberta, Canada, the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

Is the University of Calgary's MArch recognized in the United States?

This Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB)-accredited degree given by the program at the University of Calgary is recognized in both Canada and the United States.


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