M.Arch. (Post-professional), Ph.D.
- History and Theory of Architecture
- Urban Design and Housing
- PhD (Architecture)
- Fellowships and Financial Aid (also see Scholarships, Prizes and Fees)
The School of Architecture at McGill University offers a post-professional Master of Architecture program and a Ph.D. program 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) programs reflect a McGill tradition of academic inquiry and research, and provide an opportunity for a select number of students and staff to work together. The programs are organized in such a way as to meet the needs of the professional practitioner and the researcher, and are intended to extend traditional architectural education as well as address new issues. Students with academic backgrounds other than architecture but with relevant experience or training are occasionally admitted to our post-professional programs.
Programs: M.Arch. (Post-professional) and Ph.D.
The School of Architecture offers post-professional graduate programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Architecture (Post-professional) degrees. Each of the post-professional programs reflects McGill's tradition of advanced academic inquiry and research, and is structured to meet the needs of both the practicing professional and the researcher.
The main areas of study are the History and Theory of Architecture, and Urban Design and Housing.
- History and Theory of Architecture: Teaching and research 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.
- Urban Design and 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: conducting research that can inform and improve design quality, involving those who are affected by city design decisions, and 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 philosophies of shelter in relatively poor areas and in developing countries. Students in Urban Design and Housing also have the opportunity to study architecture using concepts and theories from the history of architecture, cultural landscapes, vernacular architecture, and from other fields, including the social sciences, material culture, visual culture, and media and technology studies.
Requirements for the Master of Architecture (Post-professional)
The Post-professional Master's program is open to applicants who have a professional degree in architecture. Students holding a B.Arch. or the M.Arch. (Professional) 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 graduate programs. In special cases, applicants with a degree in a related field may be considered. The primary requirement for the M.Arch. Post-professional program is 30 credits of course work, completed in the first two terms, and a 15-credit research report (depending on particular area of study requirements) that is completed during the summer. The residence requirement for the M.Arch. (Post-professional) degree is three consecutive academic semesters (September to December; January to April; May to August) leading to a degree in twelve months.
The statement of research interest is a key component of the application. Applicants should include a clear description of their research interest, as well as a detailed explanation of why they wish to study at McGill University’s School of Architecture.
Applicants to the Post-professional M.Arch. program are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the research interests of the faculty before submitting an application and may indicate a preference for an advisor. If no preference is indicated, an advisor will be assigned prior to Fall registration.
Requirements for the Ph.D. in Architecture
Candidates with high standing in McGill's M.Arch. (Post-professional) options, or those who hold an equivalent degree from another university, are eligible to apply to the doctoral program. The primary requirement for the Ph.D. is an original thesis that makes a substantial contribution to knowledge in the field of architecture; the minimum residence requirement is three years.
The research proposal is a key component of the application. Ph.D. applicants should include a clear, four-page description of their research topics, as well as a detailed explanation of why they wish to study at McGill University’s School of Architecture. Ideally, the proposal should also name the potential advisor and articulate the relationship between the proposed dissertation research and the scholarship of the faculty member.
History and Theory of Architecture
Faculty: Annmarie Adams, Martin Bressani, Ricardo Castro, Alberto Pérez-Gómez, David Theodore
The History and Theory 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.
The course of studies consists of four seminar courses in architectural history and theory, a seminar course in critical writing, a project preparation course, one elective course, and a final project. Proficiency in spoken English and written English or French are requirements for admission.
Architectural theory is viewed not as methodology but as philosophical orientation. Crucial issues of contemporary culture are explored through readings of phenomenology and continental European philosophy. Key notions in architecture, such as technology, perception, theory and practice, meaning and symbolization, and the nature of history, are discussed through the presentation of carefully selected readings. One of the seminars is dedicated to the exploration of nineteenth-century architectural theory and practice in Europe and North America.
History and Theory examines architectural intentions, particularly through primary sources in the form of treatises, starting with pre-classical Greece and finishing in the nineteenth century. The questions addressed are always placed in the context of a worldview through a “hermeneutical” method, and are, therefore, related to the clarification of real problems facing architecture in the modern world. History is not seen as an independent or gratuitous discipline conveying neutral or specialized information, but understood as the only authentic ground for theory and practical reason in the making of architecture. Students are expected to make oral presentations to the seminar group and to produce a scholarly paper based on personally selected topics.
All graduate students entering the program must audit two lecture courses coordinated with ARCH 651 and ARCH 654: Architectural Intentions from Vitruvius to the Renaissance and Origins of Modern Architecture.
The Project Preparation and Summer Project courses are run on an individual basis with an assigned advisor from the faculty members in the History and Theory option.
McGill University’s History and Theory of Architecture option has a long-standing international reputation. Students are able to draw from the wide-ranging expertise of the faculty of the School and the University. McGill’s Blackader-Lauterman Library of Architecture and Art which includes the John Bland Canadian Architecture Collection is one of the best in Canada for this specialty. The course of studies is further enriched by the presence of distinguished visitors, which have included architects, theoreticians, historians and philosophers such as Juhani Pallasmaa, Dalibor Vesely, George Hersey, Karsten Harries, David Levin, Edward Casey and Richard Kearney, among others. The program is greatly enhanced by the proximity of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, a unique institution that attracts internationally recognized scholars and with which the program works in close collaboration. The multiple resources of the Centre’s library and archival collections are available for students doing thesis research.
PROGRAM REQUIREMENT / COURSES:
Urban Design and Housing
Faculty: Vikram Bhatt, Avi Friedman, Nik Luka, Robert Mellin, Ipek Türeli
The UDH program enables students to develop specialized skills for contemporary practice in housing, urban design, the interpretation of cultural landscapes, 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. Twelve 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 report (ARCH 632, Urban Design and Housing Research Report) to be completed in the summer term. Students interested in architecture studies leading to professional registration should apply to the Professional M.Arch. program.
PROGRAM REQUIREMENT / COURSES:
Ph.D. in Architecture
Candidates with high standing in McGill's M.Arch. (Post-professional), or those who hold an equivalent degree from another university, are eligible to apply to this program. The primary requirement for the Ph.D. is an original thesis that makes a substantial contribution to knowledge in the field of architecture. The research proposal is a key component of the application. Ph.D. applicants should include a clear, four-page description of their research topics, as well as a detailed explanation of why they wish to study at McGill University’s School of Architecture. Ideally, the proposal should also name the potential advisor and articulate the relationship between the proposed dissertation research and the scholarship of the faculty member.
The minimum residence requirement is three years (six full-time terms: fall and winter each year). For students who hold a McGill M.Arch. (Post-professional) degree, this requirement is reduced to two years (four full-time terms: fall and winter each year).
Each Ph.D. candidate works with a specially selected advisory committee. The Committee has three members: the research director, an internal member (from within the School of Architecture) and an external member (from outside the School, but not necessarily outside the University) who is a specialist in the area of research. The research director will chair the Committee. Its function is to indicate additional courses (where required), evaluate the student’s final dissertation proposal and detailed Literature Review, and periodically to review the student's progress in the program. The Committee is appointed when the thesis advisor has approved the dissertation proposal (ARCH 700).
In addition, an elective Ph.D. seminar is usually offered. This seminar is designed around students' research topics, and provides enriching feedback by professors, other advanced students and distinguished guests.
There is no specific second language requirement. However, students are expected to study and possess a reading knowledge of the language(s) appropriate to their area of research before presenting their final dissertation proposal and detailed Literature Review (ARCH 701). In certain cases, the research director may recommend that the student fulfill a language examination requirement.
PROGRAM REQUIREMENT / COURSES:
Revised requirements for our Ph.D. courses (update expected by Spring 2018):
As a Ph.D. 2 student you are required to register in the first term of study for ARCH 700 Dissertation Proposal and ARCH 711 Doctoral Research Seminar 1; these are the first two of the four required courses. You will normally register in your Ph.D. 3 year for the other two required courses in the program, ARCH 701 Comprehensive Examination and ARCH 712 Doctoral Research Seminar. ARCH 701 must be successfully completed within 24 months of registration. In consultation with your supervisor, you may also be asked to take or audit other courses in the university once your program begins. Success in these courses is a requirement for continuation in the Ph.D. program.
Please note that the structure of the Doctoral Program in Architecture has been revised this academic year; final approvals by the University are expected by the spring, and thus the program structure is subject to change.
You can find information on McGill University’s policy for comprehensive examinations HERE.
When forming the doctoral advisory committee, supervisors submit a list of committee members for the approval of the Graduate Program Director (GPD) with full contact information and a brief description of the reasons for selecting individuals for this committee- their particular areas of expertise or research interests. This is especially important for external committee members.
After the doctoral advisory committee is formed, before any changes to the composition of the doctoral advisory committee are made, a written request explaining the reasons for these changes must be submitted to the GPD for approval. If there are changes in areas of expertise occasioned by changing committee members, or changes in the Ph.D. candidate’s research focus that formed the basis of the final dissertation proposal and Literature Review, a written rationale must be provided.
Annual progress tracking forms (found here) must be signed by all doctoral advisory committee members to discuss the student’s progress. This provides a formal written confirmation that the evaluation shown on the progress tracking form has been reviewed and agreed to by all concerned. If there are any dissenting opinions, or if there is not enough room on the form, there is the opportunity to provide a supplementary document for the Ph.D. Program's files. Note that in McGill University's Graduate Studies regulations, an annual meeting of all concerned is required for the completion of the progress tracking form.
For new Ph.D. students, the student and supervisor will meet early in the student’s first term of study to review topics listed on the form Student-Supervisor Expectations Summary. A copy of this form, signed and dated by the student, will be retained in the Ph.D. Program's files.
An internal examiner and an external examiner must both accept the dissertation before the student may defend his or her work at a formal oral examination. Every doctoral dissertation at McGill must represent an original contribution to the field of research.
Doctoral Oral Defence
Once the dissertation is accepted, the student must submit to an oral defence before a committee. The committee is usually composed of two faculty members of the School of Architecture including the research director, an external expert other than the external examiner, the director of the School, and others who may be appointed by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.
Fellowships and financial aid
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Fellowships and Awards
Students accepted to the Post-professional Masters and Ph.D. programs will automatically be considered by the School of Architecture Fellowships Committee for any awards available in that admission year. Registered Ph.D. and Masters students who are planning to pursue doctoral studies and meet the university’s eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply for a SSHRC Fellowship. Information on SSHRC funding can be found at: www.mcgill.ca/gps/students/fellowships/sshrc.
Differential Fee Waivers are no longer offered to Masters students.
School of Architecture Awards and Teaching Assistantships
The School of Architecture offers a small number of awards to both entering and registered graduate students. Entrance awards are based on academic merit. There are no application forms, as all applicants are automatically considered.
A number of teaching assistantships are also offered by the School to students enrolled in the Masters or Ph.D. programs. Positions are posted on the bulletin board opposite the reception desk in the main office (Room 201) in late August (for the Fall term) and in November (for the Winter term). The appointment process is handled by the Administrative Officer of the School, in Room 204.
Since sources of funding are limited, applicants are strongly urged to seek support from aid agencies and foreign governments.
For a full listing of fellowships and awards, please click here.
The deadline for Post-Professional M.Arch. and Ph.D. applicants is JANUARY 15.
For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents on McGill’s online application system (uApply), please see: https://mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare.
The Post-professional Masters program begins in September and is 12 months (three semesters) in duration (September – December; January – April; and May – August). Because of the sequence of courses, it is impossible to admit students in our programs during the Winter term.
To apply, the following items are required:
1. Application (Online)
Please complete and submit an online web application at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/ready.
2. Application fee
A non-refundable application fee of CAD$117.35 is required, payable by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) after completing the online application.
3. Curriculum Vitae
Applicants are required to upload unofficial transcripts from 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: https://mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare/checklist/documents and https://mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/ready/submit/upload
5. Electronic letters of reference
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 or Yahoo 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: https://mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare/checklist/documents.
6. Statement of research interest (Post-professional M.Arch.) or Research proposal (Ph.D.)
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. Applicants to the Post-professional M.Arch. program are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the research interests of the faculty before submitting an application and may indicate a preference for an advisor. This information is available on our faculty webpages and through the faculty's publications. If no preference is indicated, an advisor will be assigned prior to Fall registration for Urban Design and Housing students and during the Fall term for History and Theory students.
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.
8. Writing sample (Post-professional M.Arch.) or Written work (Ph.D.)
Writing sample / Post-professional M.Arch. applicants: a pdf file of two recent samples of the applicant’s written academic or research work, on any topic (not necessarily within the desired field of graduate study) and not necessarily previously submitted for evaluation or publication. The writing samples are a very important component of the application process, typically 15-20 pages in length or longer, double spaced, in English, with references (author/date with reference list or footnotes with bibliography), using a standardized academic style (for example, APA or Chicago).
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.
9. Proof of English language proficiency
Applicants to graduate studies whose mother tongue is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction or from a recognized Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone), must submit documented proof of competency in oral and written English. Before acceptance, appropriate exam results must be submitted directly from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) Office. An institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable. Applications will not be considered if a TOEFL or IELTS test result is not available. For the TOEFL, a minimum score of 567 is required on the paper-based test (PBT), or a minimum overall score of 86 with each component score (i.e. reading, writing, speaking, listening) not less than 20 is required on the internet-based test (iBT). (The TOEFL Institution Code for McGill University is 0935.) For the IELTS, a minimum overall band score of 6.5 is required (Academic Module). Please refer to the webpage: www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare/requirements/proficiency.
The deadline for submission of your online application and all supporting documents (curriculum vitae, statement of research interest or research proposal, letters of reference, unofficial transcripts, e-portfolio, writing sample or written work, and a TOEFL/IELTS score [if required]) is January 15.
Recommended applicants will be notified by Enrolment Services to provide official documents. For information on sending official documents: https://mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/ready/submit/send.
TO APPLY, CLICK HERE.
Questions should be addressed to:
Ms. Marcia King, Graduate Secretary
Tel. 514 398 6700
Fax 514 398 7372
postprofmaster.architecture [at] mcgill.ca (Email)
Ms. Luciana Adoyo, Ph.D. Program Administrator
Tel. 514 398 6716
Fax 514 398 7372
phd.architecture [at] mcgill.ca (Email)