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Architecture

Programs | Application Procedures and Deadlines

The History and Theory option will not be offered in 2014-2015 due to the sabbatical leave of Prof. Alberto Pérez-Gómez (pending confirmation), but it will be offered as usual in 2015-2016  

Architecture

Location

  • School of Architecture
  • Macdonald-Harrington Building
  • 815 Sherbrooke Street West
  • Montreal, QC H3A 2K6
  • Canada

About Architecture

M.Arch. (Professional) (Non-Thesis), M.Arch. (Post-professional) (Non-Thesis), Ph.D.

The School of Architecture at McGill University offers a professional Master of Architecture program, a post-professional Master of Architecture program, and a Ph.D. program. The M.Arch. (Professional) requires the equivalency of the B.Sc. (Architecture) degree for admittance. There are two options for the completion of this Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB)-accredited degree: Design Studio (45 credits) and Design Studio Directed Research (60 credits). The M.Arch. (Post-professional) and the Ph.D. programs are for study beyond the professional degree in architecture. These programs have been conceived to respond to the needs of graduates with some professional experience who wish to acquire more specialized knowledge in architecture. The M.Arch. (Post-professional) program reflects a McGill tradition of academic inquiry and research, and provides an opportunity for a select number of students and staff to work together. The program is organized in such a way as to meet the needs of the professional practitioner and the researcher, and is intended to extend traditional architectural education as well as address new issues.

The M.Arch. (Professional) program is accredited by the CACB and is recognized as accredited by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) in the U.S.

There are three areas of study in the M.Arch. (Post-professional) and Ph.D. programs: Architectural History and Theory; Cultural Mediations and Technology; and Urban Design and Housing.

Information concerning the duration of programs, documents required of applicants, etc., may be obtained at www.mcgill.ca/architecture.

Architectural Certification in Canada

In Canada, all provincial associations recommend a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The CACB, which is the sole agency authorized to accredit Canadian professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes two types of accredited degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture and the Master of Architecture. A program may be granted a five-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on its degree of conformance with established educational standards.

Master’s degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree, which, when earned sequentially, comprise an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Since all provincial associations in Canada recommend any applicant for licensure to have graduated from a CACB-accredited program, obtaining such a degree is an essential aspect of preparing for the professional practice of architecture. While graduation from a CACB-accredited program does not assure registration, the accrediting process is intended to verify that each accredited program substantially meets those standards that, as a whole, comprise an appropriate education for an architect.

Please note that the M.Arch. (Post-professional) degree is not a professional degree and does not satisfy the requirements for certification with the CACB.

Professional Programs

There are two options for the completion of this CACB-accredited degree: Design Studio (45 credits) and Design Studio Directed Research (60 credits).

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.); Professional (Non-Thesis) — Design Studio (45 credits)
The Master of Architecture (Professional) Non-Thesis – Design Studio concentration requires a minimum of three terms (45 credits) for completion according to an intensive design studio-based curriculum. This option is a three-term consecutive degree (Fall, Winter, Summer) requiring full-time residence for one calendar year. For further information regarding admission eligibility and requirements, please see: www.mcgill.ca/architecture/programs/professional.
Master of Architecture (M.Arch.); Professional (Non-Thesis) — Design Studio-Directed Research (60 credits)
The Master of Architecture (Professional) Non-Thesis – Design Studio Directed Research concentration is a four-term (60-credit) option, which, as a modified version of the regular three-term (45-credit) stream, remains a project-based investigation with an intensive research component. Candidates within this concentration option are assigned a faculty adviser and engage in project-based directed research through an approved curriculum. It concludes with a two-term final project that includes a written component to the project-based investigation. Areas of research interest must be specified as indicated in the application form. Complementary and elective courses are approved in consultation with the adviser. For further information regarding admission eligibility and requirements, please see: www.mcgill.ca/architecture/programs/professional.

Post-Professional Programs

The Post-professional master’s programs are open to applicants who have a professional degree in architecture. Students holding the McGill B.Arch. (former) or M.Arch. (Professional) (current) degree, or an equivalent professional qualification, with a CGPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0-point scale, are eligible for admission to the post-professional programs. In special cases, applicants with a degree in a related field may be considered. The primary requirement for the M.Arch. (Post-professional) degree is 30 credits of coursework, to be completed in the first two terms, and a 15-credit research report (Cultural Mediations and Technology, Urban Design, and Housing) or 15-credit project (Architectural History and Theory) that is completed in the Summer term. The residence requirement for the M.Arch. (Post-professional) degree is three academic terms, making it possible for students to obtain their degree after 12 calendar months in the program.

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.); Post-professional (Non-Thesis) — Architectural History and Theory (45 credits)
Teaching and research in the History and Theory of Architecture program concentrates on the exploration and understanding of the complex connections between history, theory, design, and interdisciplinary concerns, particularly in the areas of philosophy and epistemology. This option is concerned with the reconciliation of ethics and poetics in architectural practice. The master’s curriculum, which in most cases is also a required foundation year for a Ph.D. in the field, is simple in terms of course requirements, but demanding in terms of personal commitment to reading and writing. It is particularly suited to students with a professional background in architecture who want to explore and understand the complex connections between history, theory, and design. A thorough understanding of architecture as a cultural phenomenon, leading to a more serious definition of its true essence as it appears in history, is now regarded as crucial by practitioners and teachers who wish to come to terms with the present predicaments of architecture vis-à-vis the contradictions of the contemporary world.
Master of Architecture (M.Arch.); Post-professional (Non-Thesis) — Cultural Mediations and Technology (45 credits)
The Cultural Mediations and Technology concentration explores the way in which architectural practices are mediated by the broader contexts in which they are rooted and how they in turn shape our understanding of built, cultural, social, technological, and political environments. Studies focus on contemporary theory and cultural practices in an interdisciplinary context of architectural, artistic, vernacular, and community-based activities. This concentration also investigates the impact of technology on our way of creating architectural models that subsequently shape and form the world. It capitalizes on the expertise of the architect-researcher to move freely between art and science, between content-based and empirical research, and to facilitate robust interdisciplinary teams of engineers, technologists, media artists, and social scientists to understand, explain, and create today’s built environment. It is suited for those with a professional trajectory interested in understanding the impact of technologies on creative processes, as well as for those candidates who aim to pursue Ph.D.-level studies and research. The concentration offers a unique intertwining of intense theoretical and historical investigation with empirically based project research that culminates in a Project Report.
Master of Architecture (M.Arch.); Post-professional (Non-Thesis) — Urban Design and Housing (45 credits)
Urban Design and Housing at McGill is comprised of Urban Design, Affordables Homes, and Minimum Cost Housing. Urban Design emphasizes the acquisition of skills pertaining to the analysis and design of the built environment, whether in existing urban districts or in newly built areas. Our Urban Design component has a strong commitment to reflexive practice, to conducting research that can inform and improve design quality, to involving those who are affected by city design decisions, and to promoting a long-range perspective on the consequences of actions that shape the urban environment. The Housing component is comprised, historically, of two streams: Affordable Homes and Minimum Cost Housing. Affordable Homes focuses on the knowledge and design skills necessary to understand the relationship between the architect and the external forces that influence the production of affordable housing in North America. Minimum Cost Housing addresses problems and devises philosophies of shelter in developing countries. The general aim is to provide professionals with the knowledge and imagination that they will need to engage individuals and the community in meaningful debates on the nature of housing and urban space and generate creative and sustainable solutions for cities. This option is particularly attractive to students who wish to pursue careers in public agencies and private consulting firms where a credential in Urban Design is important.

Ph.D. in Architecture

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Architecture

Our Ph.D. is a research-based degree, with a primary requirement of an original thesis that makes a substantial contribution to knowledge in the field of architecture. The minimum residence requirement is three years. Every year only a few students are accepted into the Ph.D. program, which means that all incoming Ph.D. candidates compete for a place as Ph.D. 2 students. The most qualified students enter into their first research seminar in September.

Doctoral candidates must have their thesis proposal (ARCH 700) approved by their adviser before embarking on their research. A Thesis Advisory Committee is then struck and is responsible for monitoring the student’s research. For course ARCH 701, a comprehensive research proposal is required, as well as a demonstration of broad knowledge in the field. Candidates will submit two further reports in formal meetings with the Advisory Committee, who will review the work in progress (ARCH 702 and ARCH 703). The final meeting takes place after the Committee has reviewed the full draft of the dissertation. If approved, the dissertation will then be submitted in its final form to the Thesis Office. Acceptance of the thesis by the examiners is followed by an oral defence.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 14, 2013).

Please note that the application procedures for the School of Architecture has changed slightly for the 2014-15 admissions cycle. Applicants are asked to refer to the School’s Professional (http://www.mcgill.ca/architecture/programs/professional/) and Post-professional (http://www.mcgill.ca/architecture/programs/postprofessional) webpages for application instructions.

Architecture Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

M.Arch. (Professional) Program (Non-Thesis)

Applicants holding the McGill B.Sc.(Arch.) degree, or equivalent, with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0, are eligible to apply for admission.

M.Arch. (Post-professional) (Non-Thesis)

Applicants holding an accredited professional degree in architecture, or equivalent, with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0, are eligible to apply for admission. In special cases, candidates with a degree in a related field may be considered.

Ph.D.

Candidates with high standing in McGill’s M.Arch. (Post-professional), or who hold an equivalent degree from another university, are eligible to apply to this program. Those who do not have an appropriate background in the chosen research area may be recommended for the M.Arch. (Post-professional) program. Candidates who have an adequate background at the post-professional master’s level in the proposed area of research will be admitted to Ph.D. 2 with the stipulation of additional courses from the M.Arch. (Post-professional) curriculum, if necessary.

A working knowledge of a language or languages relevant to the area of research is required.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:

Professional Master of Architecture:

  • Summary of work experience (please use the following): Work Experience Form [.pdf]*
    Note: Your employer's signature is required along with the company business card. We do NOT require the Director's signature.
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Provide an indication of preference for either the Design Studio option (three-term, 45-credit) or the Design Studio Directed Research option (four-term, 60-credit);
  • Applicants to the M.Arch. (Professional) Design Studio Directed Research option will need to provide a two-page (maximum) Research Statement indicating their general area of interest, their understanding of this area of study, faculty expertise, and research intention in terms of topic and project-based investigation. Specific references to expertise within the School are encouraged (e.g., History and Theory of Architecture; Cultural Landscape Studies; Affordable and Sustainable Housing; Computation and Fabrication; High-performance Visualization; Minimum Cost Housing; Gender, Sexuality and Space; Design and Health; Urban Design; Landscape Urbanism; Architectural Representation; Urban Agriculture; Vernacular Architecture; Reurbanization).
  • Applicants to the M.Arch. (Professional) Design Studio option will need to provide a one-page (maximum) statement on the reasons for selecting this option.

Additional Requirements for McGill B.Sc.(Arch.) Graduates:

  • A comprehensive portfolio (PDF format, max. 5 MB, due no later than January 15) that may include the following:
    • selected work from all previous design studios (please complete using one of the following): Studio Project Description Form [.pdf]* or Studio Project Description Form [.doc]*;
    • examples of project work from other courses;
    • examples of freehand drawing and sketching (from the Freehand Drawing courses, Sketching School, Summer courses, and independent travel and study);
    • examples of professional work: sketches, drawings, images of models, photographs of built work (professional work includes work carried out while employed in architects’ offices, as well as personal projects; please identify the architect(s) and your own roles in each project illustrated).

Additional Requirements for Graduates of Programs Other than McGill B.Sc.(Arch.):

  • One set of official transcripts sent directly by the registrars of all universities attended;
  • Reference Letters – two confidential letters of reference sent directly by the referees. Once you have identified the referees on your application form, McGill will contact your referees and ask them to upload their reference in support of your application. Please ask your referee to use one of the following: Confidential Report on Applicant Form [.pdf]* or Renseignements confidentiels sur le candidat [.pdf]*.
  • Course calendar descriptions of previous college and/or university studies;
  • Completed Program Comparison Chart*;
  • A comprehensive portfolio (PDF format, max. 5 MB, due no later than January 15) that may include the following:
    • selected work from all previous design studios (please complete using one of the following): Studio Project Description Form [.pdf]* or Studio Project Description Form [.doc]*;
    • examples of project work from other courses;
    • examples of freehand drawing and sketching;
    • examples of professional work: sketches, drawings, images of models, photographs of built work (professional work includes work carried out while employed in architects’ offices, as well as personal projects; please identify the architect(s) and your own roles in each project illustrated).

Post-professional programs:

M.Arch. (Post-professional) and Ph.D.
  • Reference Letters – two confidential letters of reference must be sent directly by the referees. Once you have identified the referees on your application form, McGill will contact them to ask that they upload their reference in support of your application. Referees will be prompted electronically to use one of the following: Confidential Report on Applicant Form [.pdf]* or Renseignements confidentiels sur le candidat [.pdf]*.
    Note: Any additional uploaded letters must be on university or company/business stationery.
  • Master’s applicants: a one-page statement of research objectives indicating the option chosen and the reasons for that choice. Applicants should include a clear description of their research topic, as well as a detailed explanation of why they wish to study at McGill University’s School of Architecture.

    Ph.D. applicants: a four-page Research Proposal, as well as a detailed explanation of why and with whom they wish to study at McGill University’s School of Architecture.

  • A digital portfolio (PDF format, max. 5 MB) containing at least five examples of the applicant’s work. Doctoral applicants may submit evidence of research interests when a portfolio is not available.
  • Written work (published articles, academic papers, research report, etc.)

* These documents are available in PDF or DOC format on the School of Architecture website.

Application Deadlines

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: May 1 (M.Arch. (Professional) only)
Winter: N/A Winter: N/A Winter: Oct. 15 (M.Arch. (Professional) only)
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A
Note: Applications for Summer term admission will not be considered.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 14, 2013).

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