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Master of Architecture (professional)


The professional Master of Architecture is a rigorous and comprehensive program, preparing graduates for the full range of activities in architecture. It provides a thorough base of knowledge in history, theory, technology, ecology, society, and professional practice, while developing skills in design through an intensive sequence of design studio courses. There are five streams: Design (8 courses), Visual Communication (2 courses), History & Theory (2 courses), Technics & Planning (7 courses), and Professional Practice (2 courses). Studios are supported by courses in visual communication, architectural representation, and new media. Students are encouraged to use their electives to explore a specialization in preparation for their design thesis. The program aims to develop critical, creative, and independent thinking and research that responds to current design issues and societal change. The greater Toronto region is used as an urban laboratory for the pursuit of new knowledge and new forms of practice.

The professional MArch is intended for those who do not already hold a professional degree in architecture. Individuals already holding a professional degree are encouraged to consider the post-professional Master of Architecture option or the Master of Urban Design program. Those wishing to verify the status in Canada of a professional architecture degree earned abroad should contact the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB): If the CACB recognizes your degree as equivalent to a Canadian degree, you will not be eligible to apply for our professional MArch program.

More information on admissions is available on our Graduate Admissions webpage.


Design (9.5 credits)
The required design studio curriculum is organized as a series of semester-core units in a five-stage sequence.

[1] Two foundational studios in the first year of the program, complemented by courses in visual communication. A second-year course provides a comprehensive overview of 2D and 4D computer modelling for architectural design.

[2] A foundation in project work including a comprehensive building project that addresses the design of a complex building.

[3] An exploration of the relationship between architecture and the complex conditions of metropolitan culture.

[4] Two terms of option studios, offering choices of subject, scale, method, and studio instructor. One studio may be taken with study abroad in the fall term of the third year.

[5] The independent design thesis will be undertaken in the final term, but is contingent on having completed the thesis research and preparation course and having a thesis proposal accepted by the program director. Students in the design thesis studio work independently under the supervision of an assigned faculty advisor.

History and Theory (1.0 credits)
A two-semester sequence of required courses, followed by a minimum of 1.0 credits of electives in the history, theory and criticism of architecture in courses offered by the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, the Department of Art History, and other units of the University.

Technics and Planning (3.5 credits)
The required technical curriculum comprises a one-term introduction to the technical conditions and ecological contexts of architectural production (ARC 1041), a sequence of three courses in building science, two terms of structures and a course on site engineering and ecology.

Professional Practice (1.0 credit)
There is one course in architectural practice, management and economics.

Electives (2.5 credits)
The elective component of the program provides an essential academic and cultural complement to the core professional curriculum. Within the elective requirements, 1.0 credit must be in the History and Theory stream. Selection of electives must be approved by the program director. Students are encouraged to use their electives to develop a focused concentration that will inform their design thesis, entail linkage with other disciplines, and lead to professional expertise and postgraduate studies.


Term 1

ARC 1011Y: Architectural Design Studio 1
ARC 1021H: Visual Communication 1
ARC 1031H: Historical Perspectives on Topics in Architecture 1
ARC 1041H: Architecture in its Technological-Ecological Context

Term 2

ARC 1012Y: Architectural Design Studio 2
ARC 1022H: Visual Communication 2
ARC 1032H: Historical Perspectives on Topics in Architecture 2
ARC 1042H: Site Engineering and Ecology

Term 3

ARC 2013Y: Architectural Design Studio 3
ARC 2023H: Intermediate Computer Applications
ARC 2043H: Building Science, Materials, and Construction 1
ARC 2044H: Structures 1

Term 4

ARC 2014Y: Architectural Design Studio 4
ARC 2046H: Structures 2
ARC 2045H: Building Science, Materials, and Construction 2
ARC 2047H: Building Science, Illumination, and Acoustics

Term 5

ARC 3015Y: Architectural Design Studio 5
ARC 3052Y: Professional Practice

Term 6

ARC 3016Y: Architectural Design Studio 6
ARC 3017H: Thesis Research and Preparation

Term 7

ARC 4018Y: Architectural Design Studio 7: Thesis

Elective Requirements

The curriculum for the first two years is comprised only of required courses. The courses will be automatically entered through the ACORN system. Elective requirements will begin in Year 2. Five courses are required for graduation. Of the five, two must be in the History & Theory stream.

Elective requirements:
Year 3: 1 course in the Fall Term and 2 courses in the Spring Term
Year 4: 2 courses in the Fall Term

The first two digits in the four-digit course number indicate the general course level. The third digit identifies a course topic stream as follows:

1 Design
2 Visual Communication and Computer Applications
3 History and Theory
4 Environment, Technology, Technics and Planning
5 Professional Practice

The last digit indicates the position of the course in a year-long or multi-year course sequence.

Full courses are designated 'Y'. Courses offered over two terms are designated 'H'. Course weights are 0.5 credits/12 units, unless otherwise noted.


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 the Master of Architecture. A program may be granted a five-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on its 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.

In 2012 the Daniels professional program (Master of Architecture) was reviewed by the CACB and granted a five-year term of accreditation. Our professional Master of Architecture program will be undergoing its next review in 2018.

The CACB and its counterpart in the United States, the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), have a reciprocal agreement whereby professional architecture degree programs accredited in one country are recognized in the other. Thus the University of Toronto’s accredited professional architecture degree is recognized in the United States.