MArch Program Structure

Foundations for Success

The MArch program structure and curriculum prepares students for rewarding, fulfilling careers as designers and fulfills the educational requirements for licensure as an architect. Throughout the course of the program, you’ll learn to navigate contexts, think from multiple perspectives and develop innovative solutions to the world’s design challenges.

At the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, we offer students two paths towards a Master of Architecture degree. The three-year program is designed for students entering the program without an architecture bachelor’s degree, or for those with architecture degrees that have not been accredited in North America. Our two-year curriculum is suited for students entering the program with a North American-accredited bachelor’s degree in architecture or those who completed the Minor of Architectural Studies at the University of Calgary. To ensure all students who graduate from our program are able to meet the same standards required by our national accrediting bodies, we are asking almost all international applicants whose Bachelor of Architecture degrees are not accredited in North America to enroll in the three-year program, starting with the Foundation Year.

Degree Requirements

  • Completion of all core required courses;
  • Completion (normally in M1 year) of either (i) the Gillmor Theory Seminar, (ii) the Somerville Design Charrette or (iii) the Taylor Workshop;
  • Completion of either (i) Urban Systems, or (ii) Urban Design Theory;
  • Completion (normally in M2 year) of at least 12.00 units of elective credits

MArch Program Requirements:

a) Core required courses:

Foundation Year

Environmental Design Architecture 511 Building Science and Technology I (3 units)
Environmental Design 523 Sustainability in the Built Environment (3 units)
Environmental Design Architecture 523.01 Premodern Traditions of the World (3 units)
Environmental Design Architecture 523.02 The Rise of Modernity, 1750 to Present (3 units)
Environmental Design Architecture 541 Graphics Workshop I (3 units)
Environmental Design Architecture 543 Graphics Workshop II (3 units)
Environmental Design Architecture 580 Studio I – Design Thinking (3 units)
Environmental Design Architecture 582 Studio II in Architecture (3 units)

M1 and M2 Years

Architecture 600 Structures for Architects I (3 units)
Architecture 602 Introduction to Design Theories (3 units)
Architecture 604 Leadership in Architecture (1.5 units)
Architecture 606 Intermediate Architectural Design Studio (6 units)
Architecture 608 Architectural Lighting Design (1.5 units)
Architecture 610 Structures for Architects II (3 units)
Architecture 612 Building Science and Technology II (3 units)
Architecture 614 Environmental Control Systems (3 units)
Architecture 616 Comprehensive Architectural Design Studio (6 units)
Architecture 618 Architectural Professional Practice (3 units)
Architecture 688 Special Studio Topics in Architecture (6 units)
Architecture 700 Senior Research Studio in Architecture I (6 units)
Architecture 702 Senior Research Studio in Architecture II (6 units)

b) 3 units from: 

Architecture 692 Gillmor Theory Seminar (3 units)
Architecture 696 Somerville Design Charrette (3 units)
Architecture 698 Taylor Workshop (3 units)

c) 3 units from: 

Planning 626 Urban Design Theory (3 units)
Architecture 675 Urban Systems (3 units)

d) 9 units from: 

Architecture 680 Special Topics in Architecture (3 units)
Architecture 682 Special Topics in Architecture (1.5 units)
Architecture 684 Special Topics in Architecture 1.5 units)
Architecture 686 Special Topics in Architecture (3 units)

e) 3 units from:

Architecture 694 Studio Research Selective (1.5 units)

f) 4.5 units from: 

Architecture 670 Experiential Learning in Architecture (3 units)
Architecture 672 Experiential Learning in Architecture (1.5 units)
Architecture 674 Experiential Learning in Architecture (1.5 units)
Architecture 676 Experiential Learning in Architecture (3 units)

g) 3 units of open elective credit

Total Credits: 106.5 units

Visit the University’s Grad Calendar for a list of the required courses. 


MArch Foundation Year

The following sample course sequence is typical of the three-year curriculum leading to a Master of Architecture degree.

Fall Term
EVDS 523 Sustainability in the Built Environment
EVDA 523.01 Premodern Traditions of the World
EVDA 541 Graphics Workshop I
EVDA 580 Studio I – Design Thinking

SAPL Fall Block Week
Experiential Learning in Architecture (Multiple and Various Course Topics)

UCalgary January Block Week
No Classes

Winter Term
EVDA 511 Building Science and Technology I
EVDA 523.02 The Rise of Modernity, 1750 to Present
EVDA 543 Graphics Workshop II
EVDA 582 Studio II in Architecture

SAPL Winter Block Week
Experiential Learning in Architecture (Multiple and Various Course Topics)

Spring/Summer Intersessions *
ARCH 688 Special Studio Topics in Architecture
ARCH 675 Urban Systems

* Choose to complete after Foundation Year or M1


Fall Term
ARCH 600 Structures for Architects I
ARCH 602 Introduction to Design Theories
ARCH 606 Intermediate Architectural Design Studio
ARCH 680 Special Topics in Architecture (Multiple and Various Course Topics)

SAPL Fall Block Week
ARCH 604 Leadership in Architecture

UCalgary January Block Week
ARCH 608 Architectural Lighting Design

Winter Term
ARCH 610 Structures for Architects II
ARCH 612 Building Science and Technology II
ARCH 614 Environmental Control Systems
ARCH 616 Comprehensive Architectural Design Studio

SAPL Winter Block Week
Experiential Learning in Architecture (Multiple and Various Course Topics)


Fall Term
ARCH 700 Senior Research Studio in Architecture I
ARCH 680 Special Topics in Architecture (Multiple and Various Course Topics)
ARCH 694 Studio Research Selective (Multiple and Various Course Topics)

SAPL Fall Block Week
Experiential Learning in Architecture (Multiple and Various Course Topics)

UCalgary January Block Week
ARCH 618 Architectural Professional Practice

Winter Regular Term
ARCH 702 Senior Research Studio in Architecture II
ARCH 680 Special Topics in Architecture (Multiple and Various Course Topics)
ARCH 694 Studio Research Selective (Multiple and Various Course Topics)
Open Elective in SAPL

SAPL Winter Block Week

Lectureships in Architecture:
ARCH 692 Gillmor Theory Seminar
ARCH 696 Somerville Design Charrette
ARCH 698 Taylor Workshop

Meridiem, installation led by Laboratory of Integrative Design for the Edmonton Zoo's Festival of Light.

Hamel studio work

Studio work

MArch Curriculum Update

The School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape has recently changed the curriculum and course load for the Master of Architecture. The changes apply to all students admitted to the MArch for the Fall 2020 term. The new curriculum is focused on moving towards a program that prepares students to engage in some of the really big design challenges that we believe will confront architects in the decades to come. These include responses to a changing climate, designing for social equity and inclusion and looking for ways that objects, buildings and public spaces can be designed to encourage more sustainable and healthy environments. The changes include the following:

  • The addition of block week courses offering experiential learning opportunities in which students engage with design experts in intense one-week master class settings.
  • The addition of a new studio course. This course creates an opportunity for students to engage in a studio that is focused on work integrated learning through the lens of critical practice. Students engage in blended work/study environments that provide hands on directed learning and work experience that is increasingly valuable in design-based disciplines.
  • We have added studio enhancement courses buttressing existing senior year research studios with expertise provided by faculty members and outside experts in the areas of technical expertise and critical thinking/theory. They are a response to the growing need for architects to be able to integrate highly specific aspects of these broader categories into their design proposals.

These courses will differentiate our graduates from those of other programs across Canada by leveraging the project-based learning of the design studio as a space of inquiry and application for these specialized sets of knowledge. Designers are increasingly being asked to adapt to emerging situations made evident through globalization, urbanization and complex resource networks. The new curriculum tackles those issues head on to create the design leaders needed to engage these challenges.

Course enrolment opens June 1.

View the calendar for more information

Should you have any questions please email Jonas at

Studio work

Studio work

Studio 2019, CBDLab

Studio 2019, CBDLab

Final Project by Youness Yousefi 2018

Laboratory of Integrative Design

Senior Studio 2018

Senior Studio 2018