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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 



  • 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).