University of Calgary : 4. Program Descriptions

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University of Calgary Calendar 2014-2015 Faculty of Environmental Design 4. Program Descriptions
4. Program Descriptions
Master of Architecture

The professional Architecture program offers a three year curriculum, based on a two year MArch program, plus a Foundation Year when appropriate, leading to the professional Master of Architecture degree accredited by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) that prepares students for practice as a registered architect in North America. After its last review in 2011, the University of Calgary Master of Architecture professional program in architecture was accredited for another six years by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB). This is the maximum period for which programs can be accredited between reviews. Under the North American Free Trade Act, this means that accredited Canadian degrees are fully recognized in the United States and vice versa. In Canada, all provincial associations recommend a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The Canadian Architectural Certification Board (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 Master of Architecture. A program may be granted a six-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the 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.

The MArch degree provides a foundation for a range of career opportunities in design, construction and management of the built environment as well as a basis for subsequent advanced design and scholarly research. The MArch curriculum offers an integrated base for developing skills and knowledge in design, communication, technology, history, and theory, cultivated within the program's teaching and research expertise in sustainable design, digital design and fabrication, architecture and the contemporary city, critical practice, and architectural history and theory. In the interdisciplinary design milieu of the Faculty of Environmental Design, architecture students explore innovation and creativity side-by-side with students interested in a wide variety of environmental design disciplines focused on a comprehensive understanding of the built and natural environments.

Architectural design studios provide structured opportunities for advanced design studies and projects in both an individual and collaborative context. Enrichment opportunities include a distinguished lecture series, distinguished international guests delivering seminar and design charrette experiences, publications, and the award-winning Barcelona Studies Abroad (where students are immersed in Catalan design culture for one term).

Master of Planning

The Master of Planning is a two-year, course-based program leading to accreditation as a professional planner. There are three planning streams: (A) Regional and Environmental Planning; (B) City and Community Planning; and (C) Urban Design and Development. Students are required to take one course from across the three streams to gain exposure to the breadth of planning, and to take all of the courses listed under one of the streams, including the corresponding final project studio section, to gain some depth of knowledge in one planning sub-field. The emphasis in the program is on sustainability, interdisciplinarity and design. The Master of Planning degree prepares students for a wide variety of planning and design positions in the fields of community, urban and regional planning, environmental planning and development.

Minor Field of Specialization in Architectural Studies

The courses required for the Minor are equivalent to the courses in the MArch Foundation Year, and constitute the prerequisites for the University of Calgary’s two-year MArch degree. Completion of this Minor does not guarantee admission to the MArch or to other degree programs in the Faculty of Environmental Design, but it may reduce the number of courses that are required for an MArch. Students completing the Minor must apply for admission to the MArch degree.

Students interested in pursuing a MArch at the University of Calgary should note that only those students who have completed a four-year degree are considered for admission. A three-year Bachelor of Communication and Culture coupled with the Minor is not sufficient.

Field of Architectural Studies

The Field of Architectural Studies consists of the following courses:

Architectural Studies 423, 444, 449, 451, 453, 457.01, 457.02, 483, 484.


The following 5.0 full-course equivalents must be completed successfully to achieve the Minor:


The following course in Environmental Design is strongly recommended to students in the Minor who are considering applying for admission into MArch:

The following optional elective courses in Environmental Design are also available to students in the Minor:

  • Environmental Design Block 697.33 Field Trip (block week course)
  • Architectural Studies 483 Interdisciplinary Seminar
  • Other electives with approval of the Associate Dean, Academic – Architecture

Other undergraduate courses in Environmental Design available to all students include: