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Architecture

Programs | Application Procedures and Deadlines

It is important to note that the Cultural Mediations and Technology M.Arch. option will not be offered 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 Design Studio concentration is a 45-credit three-term (Fall, Winter, and Fall) program based on a design-intensive professional curriculum and centred on the traditional design studio. Students work in a traditional studio format for the first two terms and with individual advisers in the 9-credit terminal design project course in the third term. Complementary and elective course offerings are organized to provide flexibility in individual program design and provide opportunities for students to both explore the discipline and develop concentrations in subject areas related to research and design interests. 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 Design Studio Directed Research concentration is a 60-credit four-term (Fall, Winter, Summer, Fall) program that complements the regular 45-credit three-term concentration with a two-term project-based investigation divided into two parts. The first part is a supervised 12-credit individual research project that leads to a comprehensive research report, and the second is a 9-credit research and design exercise that forms the basis of the terminal design studio in the fourth term. Students registered in this concentration are assigned a faculty adviser in the second term and follow a research-intensive curriculum shaped by complementary and elective courses chosen in consultation with, and approved by, 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)
Culture + Media is a platform for inquiry into architecture as a mode of cultural production and media environment. Students in this option study architecture using concepts and theories from the history of architecture and from other fields, including social sciences, material culture, visual culture, and media and technology studies. It encourages transdisciplinary research methods for investigations into spatial practices. The option takes a broad view of what counts as architecture, with attention to the varied roles of the architect within such an expanded field.
Master of Architecture (M.Arch.); Post-professional (Non-Thesis) — Urban Design and Housing (45 credits)
The UDH program enables students who have already completed a professional degree in Architecture to develop specialised skills for contemporary practice in housing, urban design, and the management of human settlements. The 12-month program comprises three consecutive terms of coursework. Intensive seminars held during the first two terms focus on contemporary theory and research methods in urban design and housing. Students take ARCH 603 (Urban Design + Housing Studio) as an applied synthesis of the material discussed in the two core seminars. Nine credits of complementary coursework round out the fall and winter terms along with ARCH 623 (Project Preparation), in which students develop the strategy for a major independent project (ARCH 632, Urban Design and Housing Research Report) to be completed in the summer term.

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 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 22, 2014).

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. A minimum of six (6) months of work experience is required. Further information and guidelines are provided here: www.mcgill.ca/architecture/bboard/bscmai/workexperience. 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
  • Applicants are required to upload unofficial transcripts of all universities previously attended (including summer term, exchange term, or study-away term). If you are recommended for admission, you will later be required to supply official transcripts. Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript or by a certified translator. Please refer to the following webpages: www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/ready/uapply/submit/upload and www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare/checklist/documents
  • A total of three (3) confidential letters of reference are required for your application: two (2) from academics and one (1) from a recent employer. Once you have identified your referees (you must provide a valid institutional email address for each referee), McGill will send them an email asking for a reference in support of your application (Gmail, Yahoo, etc. domains cannot be accepted). Additionally, uploaded letters must be on university or company/business stationery and the referee must indicate his/her position and full contact information at the institution. Please refer to the following webpage: www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare/checklist/documents
    Note: Letters of reference are optional for B.Sc.(Arch.) graduates from McGill University.
  • 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; Reurbanisation)
    Note: Applicants to the M.Arch.(Professional) Design Studio option do not need to provide a research statement.
  • Completed Program Comparison Chart*
    Note: Not required by B.Sc.(Arch.) graduates from McGill University.
  • Course calendar descriptions of previous college and/or university studies must be submitted in addition to the Program Comparison Chart
    Note: Not required by B.Sc.(Arch.) graduates from McGill University.
  • A comprehensive e-portfolio (pdf format, max. 15 MB, due no later than January 15) that may include the following: selected work from all previous design studios; 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)
    Note: Please indicate, where applicable, if a project is an individual or group project.

Post-professional programs:

M.Arch. (Post-professional) and Ph.D.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Applicants are required to upload unofficial transcripts of all universities previously attended. If you are recommended for admission you will later be required to supply official transcripts. Transcripts in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation provided by the institution issuing the transcript or by a certified translator. Please refer to the following webpages: www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/ready/uapply/submit/upload and www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare/checklist/documents
  • Two confidential letters of reference are required for your application. Once you have identified your referees (you must provide a valid institutional e-mail address for each referee), McGill will send them an e-mail asking for a reference in support of your application (Gmail, Yahoo, etc. domains cannot be accepted). Additionally, uploaded letters must be on university or company/business stationery and the referee must indicate his/her position and full contact information at the institution. Please refer to the following webpage:
  • Statement of research interest / Post-professional M.Arch. 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 interest, as well as a brief explanation of why they wish to study at McGill University’s School of Architecture. OR: Research proposal / 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) of not more than 15 MB must be submitted containing at least five examples of the applicant's work. Doctoral applicants should submit evidence of research accomplishments, which could, in some cases, replace the portfolio requirement.
  • Writing sample / Post-professional M.Arch. applicants: a recent sample of the applicant’s written work, on any topic (not necessarily within the desired field of graduate study) and not necessarily previously submitted for evaluation or publication. OR: Written work / Ph.D. applicants: a sample of the applicant’s written work, drawn from essays, papers, or other work previously submitted for academic evaluation or publication, and falling within the desired field of graduate study

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

Application Deadlines

The application deadlines listed here are set by the School of Architecture and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

Canadian International Special Exchange/Visiting
Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: May 1 (M.Arch. (Professional) only) Fall: March 1 (M.Arch. (Professional) only)
Winter: N/A Winter: N/A Winter: Oct. 15 (M.Arch. (Professional) only) Winter: Sept. 15 (M.Arch. (Professional) only)
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Note: Applications for Summer term admission will not be considered.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 22, 2014).

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