The Master of Architecture is a professional graduate degree, leading to certification with the Canadian Architectural Certification Board. The three-year program is highly demanding, with a large proportion of the curriculum dedicated to required coursework. You’ll take design studios alongside courses in history and theory, technical and material systems, and design media. However, you will graduate with the disciplinary knowledge and technical skills required to succeed in a career in architecture.
You’ll have opportunities to pursue individualized research through the selection of special topic design studios, thoughtful engagement with electives, and your graduate project. You can also participate in a number of enriched experiences within the M.Arch program. These include co-op, design-build, study abroad, and exchanges.
Why study architecture here?
Our MArch program is shaped by our situation in Vancouver, and the strength of our faculty. Community engagement and collaborative leadership are core elements of our program and are applied throughout students' time at SALA. Our low student-faculty ratio means we know our students by name, and we're proud of our small studios, intimate seminars, and personalized learning opportunities.
We take full advantage of Vancouver's position as a locus for innovative sustainable design. In addition to our internationally-renowned faculty, we routinely bring in local practitioners to lead studios and courses, as well as offer insight into the contemporary profession. Study topics often require our students to deeply engage with the diverse communities in our city, as well as those further afield.
Our architecture and landscape architecture programs are closely connected, and share many core courses and electives, including design-build and study abroad opportunities. Architecture students are also able to register for a landscape architecture studio. This cross-pollination of ideas fosters a holistic design culture within the school; one increasingly reflected in the profession.
Outside the classroom, students have a number of opportunities to develop their leadership skills. We offer well over 100-course support positions every year, from teaching assistantships to researching in faculty-led labs. Frequent professional development workshops cover networking, interviews, and portfolio development. ARCHUS, the architecture student group, is very active in the life of the school with a mission of encouraging connections between students, faculty, and industry through hosting social, wellness, and academic events.
What can I do with my degree?
Our Master of Architecture program prepares you to enter the world of practicing architects. Your degree is certified by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board, which is recognized in Canada, the US, and several other countries under the Canberra Accord. Each province has its own regulatory body for the architectural profession. In British Columbia, you must complete the Intern Architect Program to become eligible to register as a licensed architect with the AIBC.
How you practice architecture is up to you. Today’s firms range from small, one- or two-person teams to large multinational groups. The public and private sectors alike need architects to lead building projects with their creativity and technical knowledge. The Government of Canada predicts fair to strong growth across the country for the profession, with low levels of unemployment.
While the majority of our graduates have gone on to careers directly in architecture, that path is by no means the only one. Over the course of your studies here, you’ll gain invaluable skills in:
Design and visualization
A variety of digital media tools
Communication and presentations
Project management and organization
There are a number of positions that benefit from an education in architecture. Some of our alumni have pursued:
Sustainable building consulting
Temporary infrastructure planning for sporting events
You can also pursue further education through a post-professional degree program. Our Master of Urban Design and Master of Advanced Studies in Architecture programs are geared towards those who already have degrees in architecture and want to continue exploring the academic side of the field.
The three-year Master of Architecture degree requires the completion of 119 credits, which includes your graduate project. If you already have a design degree or advanced design education, you may receive advanced placement, subject to faculty approval.
A typical course of study
ARCH 502 Introductory Workshop
ARCH 500 Architectural Design Studio I
Architectural Technology I
ARCH 515 Design Media I
ARCH 501 Architectural Design Studio II
ARCH 505 Architectural History
ARCH 511 Architectural Structures I
ARCH 517 Design Media II
ARCH 551 Communicating Construction
ARCH 543 Contemporary Practice
ARCH 520 Architectural Design Studio III
ARCH 513 Environmental Systems and Controls I
ARCH 532 Architectural Structures II
ARCH 505 or 504 Architectural History
ARCH 521 Architectural Design Studio IV
ARCH 523 Contemporary Theories in Architecture
ARCH 531 Architectural Technology II
ARCH 533 Environmental Systems and Controls II
ARCH 540 Architectural Design Studio V
ARCH 548 Graduate Project Part I
ARCH 561 Seminar: History and Theory
ARCH 541 Professional Practice
ARCH 549 Graduate Project Part II
You must meet all the admissions requirements in order to be considered for entry into the program.
You must hold a degree that is academically equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree at UBC. There is no requirement for the discipline of your previous degree. We accept students from a wide variety of academic fields.
If you have completed your degree at a Canadian or American university, you must have a B+ average in your third- and fourth-year-level coursework. If you completed your degree at an international university, you must have a B+ average in all coursework.
English language proficiency
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
The minimum scores are:
TOEFL - 100 iBT or 600 paper based
IELTS - overall band score of 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component of the academic (not general) test.
Graduate record examination (optional)
While not required, you may submit GRE results as additional evidence of scholastic promise and aptitude.
All application materials should be submitted through the online application.
Online application form
Statement of intent