School of Architecture
Location: Ralph M. Medjuck Building
5410 Spring Garden Road
Main floor
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-3971
Fax: (902) 423-6672
Website: dal.ca/architecture
Email: arch.office@dal.ca

Introduction

The School of Architecture, which is part of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at Dalhousie University, was established in 1961 to serve the Atlantic region. While it continues to fulfill its original mandate, the School also contributes nationally and internationally to architecture through its dynamic faculty and committed student body. Its primary aim is to educate individuals who intend to become a professional architect. The School’s professional degree program includes the two-year Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies degree and the two-year Master of Architecture degree. Most of the program is conducted within the School of Architecture by full-time faculty members. It also includes two co-op work terms in which students gain practical experience in an architectural office. The curriculum enables architectural education and practice to develop in parallel.

Design

The central activity of the professional degree program is architectural design: the creative study of buildings and cities. In the School’s design studios, students examine historical and contemporary buildings in Canada and abroad, and respond through the design of new architectural projects. From the core studies of the undergraduate program to the elective studies and design thesis of the graduate program, students learn to rely on their artistic skill, their knowledge of history and technology, their social and cultural awareness, and their critical imagination. Architecture is a multi-disciplinary profession, with alliances to the fine arts, the humanities and technologies. Many undergraduate disciplines provide an effective entry into architecture. Conversely, architectural studies provide an excellent foundation for careers in a variety of design-related fields.

Facilities

The School is located in the original home of the Nova Scotia Technical College, built in 1909 and renamed the Ralph M. Medjuck Building in 2005. Corresponding to the School’s emphasis on architectural design, one-third of the building is devoted to studio spaces that are open to students 24 hours a day. The building also has several computer labs with a wide array of equipment, a fully-equipped woodworking shop, an advanced building lab, a digital modeling shop, photographic and GIS facilities, and a large exhibition hall. The University Library's architecture collection is located nearby and a student resource centre is housed within the Faculty.

Co-op Work Terms

The School’s professional degree program includes two work terms that provide students with practical experience in building design and responsible professional practice. The School’s Co-op Program has been operating since 1970, and the Faculty of Architecture and Planning’s Co-op Office assists students in finding suitable work term placements. In recent years, Architecture students have been employed in every province and territory in Canada, and approximately one-third have chosen to work abroad - most recently, in Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Iran, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States.

Accreditation

The School’s Master of Architecture program is fully accredited by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB). The entire six-year program consists of two years of general studies at a recognized university, followed by two years of undergraduate study at the School of Architecture (BEDS) and two years of graduate study at the School of Architecture (MArch).

The following is a statement from the Canadian Architectural Certification Board: "In Canada, all provincial/territorial associations/institutes/orders 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 Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) and the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.). A program may be granted a six-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."

Professional Registration

After receiving the professional degree, a graduate may fulfill additional requirements for professional registration, including a period of post-graduate practical experience and the completion of registration examinations. In Canada, these additional requirements are determined by provincial organizations that are empowered to register an individual for professional practice. An American citizen who graduates from the School’s MArch program is qualified to become an architectural intern in the United States and to complete the examination for professional registration there. Applicants from other countries are advised to contact their national architectural organization about requirements for professional registration.