So you want to be an architect…

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Architecture is a key area of interest for many young adults considering a professional career path in a growing field.  In order to train to be an architect in Canada, you will first need to complete an undergraduate degree and then apply to a Master of Architecture program. Following completion of the Masters degree (1-3 years depending on program), you will do a minimum three year internship followed by board examinations.

For the undergraduate degree, your options are virtually limitless, in theory. If you have the skill to create the necessary visual portfolio, and have some university level math and physics coursework, you can apply to the Masters degree with the undergraduate degree of your choice.  For example, you might choose an undergraduate degree in fields as diverse as physics, psychology, landscape architecture, or art history.

There are, however, undergraduate programs that are specifically designed to lead into the Masters of Architecture program. These programs contain coursework which would be helpful both in preparing for the rigour of the Masters program and in providing foundational studies in the field. You could, for example, complete a degree in City Studies (U of T), Urban & Regional Planning (Ryerson), Landscape & Environmental Design (UBC, Dalhousie), Visual Arts (Windsor), or Architectural Studies (U of T, McGill). In this document, UBC program notes , are some other suggested pathways and hints on applying offered up by the UBC School of Architecture.

One aspect of both the study and the work of architecture that is evolving is the emphasis on environment and green technology. You will see this as a focus in most of the programs that lead to the Masters of Architecture. For more detailed information about the field, follow this link to find out why architecture matters and explore the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada web pages.

See Architecture Program Comparisons for information about entry to architecture-related studies at the following universities:

Carleton University

Concordia University

Dalhousie University

McGill University

Ryerson University

University of British Columbia

University of Guelph

University of Manitoba

University of Toronto

University of Waterloo

University of Windsor

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Alison McCallum
Alison McCallum is Head of University Counselling at SMUS and one of the Academic Advisors.

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