University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Master of Architecture (MArch) Admissions


A four-year undergraduate degree from a recognized university is required for admission. Applicants who do not possess a background in architecture normally enter the program at the foundation year level, which could require up to one full year of study prior to beginning the first year of MArch.

Degrees and grades from foreign institutions are evaluated for their equivalency to those of the University of Calgary. There are no required high school or undergraduate courses, or degree program prerequisites; however, prospective applicants are advised to use opportunities within their baccalaureate studies to develop knowledge in design, the humanities, social sciences, arts, biological and physical sciences, and studio/fine arts related skills (drawing, painting, design, graphics, etc.) including, wherever possible, collaborative learning experiences.

Applicants to the degree program will possess a four-year baccalaureate degree with a grade point average (GPA) in the final two years of study of at least 3.00 (based on a four-point grading system). This will consist of a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents, and adequate senior level courses to ensure preparation for graduate work. Any graduate work is also considered.

There is only one admissions cycle per year, with a Fall semester (September) entrance. All applications must be submitted through the online system. A Faculty Admissions Committee reviews all applications and, in special circumstances, may invite applicants to attend an interview. The committee admits the most qualified applicants with demonstrated potential to work in an interdisciplinary program. New admissions to the Faculty are limited in number on an annual basis. The application deadline is January 15 - ALL supporting documents must be received by this date. Applicants will be notified of their status by late March.

Digital Portfolio Requirements

Candidates for the MArch Program must provide evidence of original visual creative work in any field or medium, and provide brief written descriptions of the work, in a portfolio. The portfolio is to be a digital document (PDF file no greater than 30 MB), no more than 25 pages in length that demonstrates an applicant’s creative abilities in any visual media (Fine Arts and Design) in either 2D or 3D formats. The portfolio is a very important element of the application, the Admissions committee that reviews the portfolios is looking for strong evidence of creative ability and/or potential. The graphic organization of the portfolio, including typography and layout, is also an important factor in the assessment.

The work in the portfolio should be simply and clearly presented with an emphasis placed on legibility (ie. high-quality images). The portfolio may include drawing, painting, sculpture, photography and/or design (objects, furniture, interiors, buildings, landscapes, fashion, graphics, etc.). Students are encouraged, although not required, to take one or more courses in introductory Fine Arts or Design courses (e.g. basic drawing is a fundamental skill for designers) in order to develop material for a portfolio, these may be high school classes, continuing education courses, instruction with a private instructor, or courses for credit at the postsecondary level. Technical work may be included, however, assessing this kind of material is not the primary objective of the portfolio. The involvement of the applicant must be clearly identified in any group work that is submitted. Applicants are encouraged to carefully edit their portfolios and to seek advice and feedback from experienced designers or artists. Written material (including essays, stories, poetry, etc.) is not to be included, nor is music, video, or the like.

The applicant’s first and last name must appear on the cover and in the footer of each page. The file name format is: Lastname_Firstname_MArch_2017porfolio.pdf

Examples of Successful Portfolios

Foundation Year
Example 1

Foundation Year
Example 2

M1 Year
Example 1

M1 Year
Example 2




Components of the Application Package

  1. Online application form: The online application system will open on September 1. Click here to access the Faculty of Graduate Studies's online application system. You will be prompted to create or have your eID ready to access the on-line application.
  2. Non-refundable application fee: CDN $125 for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, or CDN $145 for international students who will be attending on a Study Permit.
  3. One official transcript from all post-secondary institutions attended (transcripts can either be sent directly to EVDS from the institution, or applicants can receive them and then send them to EVDS - envelopes must be received by EVDS sealed and signed). University of Calgary transcripts must be official. (If you attend University in another country, please check our international admissions requirements.)
  4. Three appropriate letters of reference (at least two should be academic) dated within 12 months of the date of application. Referees will be notified by email (once the applicant's online form has been submitted) and provided a link to complete an online reference. Only if the online form cannot be completed, referees may use this form.
  5. Proof of English Proficiency, if required
  6. Statement of Interest - maximum of 2 pages, uploaded to online Student Center after online application is submitted. Your statement of interest could include: why you wish to study architecture at the University of Calgary, what you would hope to gain from an architectural education, and/or how your experiences and/or interests have motivated you to pursue architectural education. You could refer to favourite architects, buildings, books, places, and/or mentors. Your statement is an opportunity to provide information not found elsewhere in your application, and is a compliment to your portfolio; the statement should be written in your voice. Aim to highlight something that might make you stand out in comparison to other applicants, something that makes you different or interesting.
  7. Digital Portfolio (see above)
  8. Departmental Information Form (If applicable): If you are seeking exemption from the MArch Foundation Year because you hold an architectural undergraduate degree, please complete this form, listing your equivalent university course titles, calendar descriptions and grades received for those courses, and upload it to your online Student Center after you submit your online application. Along with this please submit course outlines/syllabi for each course, either via email to or by mail. The outlines are due by February 15th. If you apply to the three year program you do not need to submit this form.

Laptop Requirement
The Architecture Program at The Faculty of Environmental Design has a required laptop computer program for all incoming Architecture students. This policy affords students the best possible design education. The advanced software used by architecture students requires more powerful laptops than those that are used by other students. Sucessful applicants will be sent more computer and software information, once the offer of admission is accepted.

Architecture Portfolio Review and Information Sessions

Information sessions for the Master of Architecture program provide prospective students with course overviews, application and portfolio information, and a quick tour of the facilities. Individuals interested in both the Master of Architecture and / or Architecture Studies Minor are welcome. Please send your RSVP for info sessions to Jennifer Taillefer at with the subject line MArch info session - insert the date. All information sessions will be the in Professional Faculties building, room 2160. For the portfolio review sessions, click link below to sign up.

  • Info Session (Part of "EVDS Day"): Thursday, November 17th 12:30 - 2pm (Register here:
  • Info Session: Friday, December 9th 1 - 2pm