Faculty of Architecture and Planning

School of Architecture

Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies (BEDS)

Admission Criteria

The Admissions Committee gives priority to applicants with a combination of academic performance and creative ability. Well-rounded personal and academic experience is beneficial, as well as experience in drawing, craft, and computer applications.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The minimum requirements for admission are:

  • a portfolio of design work that demonstrates creativity and/or artistic skill;
  • two years in a university degree program (10 full-year courses, 20 half-year courses, or a combination), with a 2.5 grade point average (B- average), including the following courses:
    • a full-year course (or two half-year courses), at 1000 level or higher, in a mathematics or science subject: biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, physics, or statistics;
    • a full-year course (or two half-year courses) in humanities or social sciences: e.g. art history, classics, history, literature, music history, philosophy, anthropology, political science, psychology, sociology;
    • a half-year course that emphasizes written composition (often designated by a university as “writing requirement” or “writing intensive”)

Post-Secondary Institutions

The Admissions Committee may grant up to one year of university credit for an applicant who has attended a post-secondary institution that is not considered a university. Two or more years at a college or an institute of technology plus one year of university is normally acceptable.

Mature Students

An application will be considered from a Mature Student – an individual who will be at least 25 years old at the time of registration in the BEDS program and does not meet the minimum academic requirements for admission (two years of university, required courses, 2.5 GPA). All mature students must have completed at least one full year at a university. In the application, a Mature Student should describe related work experience and any other pursuits and skills that may serve as grounds for admission.

Transfer Students

The School of Architecture welcomes applications from transfer students from other architecture schools in Canada and abroad. Admission and level of entry are based on courses completed elsewhere that are equivalent to required courses at Dalhousie; the level of achievement in the design portfolio; and the applicant’s total years of university. To meet professional accreditation standards, the School cannot offer a level of entry that would permit a student to obtain the MArch degree with less than six full years of university, including two years of general studies.


A BEDS applicant must submit all of the following items before the application can be reviewed:

  1. To be submitted to the Registrar’s Office:
    Admissions, Registrar’s Office
    PO Box 15000
    Dalhousie University
    Halifax, NS   B3H 4R2

    - Undergraduate application form
    - Undergraduate application fee (see University Fees in this Calendar)

    To confirm receipt of the items above, please contact the Registrar’s Office: (902) 494-2450.
  1. To be submitted to the School of Architecture:
    Admissions, School of Architecture
    Dalhousie University
    5410 Spring Garden Road
    PO Box 15000
    Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

    - An official academic transcript (two copies) from all previous post-secondary institutions;
    - A portfolio of design work (about 10-15 items) that demonstrates creativity and/or artistic skill;
    - A letter written by the applicant, describing their background and interest in architecture and in the BEDS program; and a résumé;
    - Two letters of recommendation, including at least one from an academic instructor;
    - Evidence of competency in English for applicants whose native language is not English (see General University Admission Requirements in this Calendar). For School of Architecture admission, the TOEFL minimum is 92 and the IELTS minimum is 7.0.

    To confirm receipt of the items above, please contact the Architecture Office: arch.office@dal.ca or (902) 494-3971. For additional application instructions, please visit http://tinyurl.com/undergrad-application.
Application Deadline

The deadline for undergraduate applications from Canada and all other countries is March 1. Transfer applications are reviewed three times each year: in February, June, and October. For an application to be considered, all items must be received by February 1, June 1 or October 1.

School of Planning

Bachelor of Community Design

Admission to the Bachelor of Community Design program is limited. Not all applicants who meet the minimum requirements can be accepted.

Admission to the program is based on academic performance.

High School Applicants
  • Satisfactory completion of grade 12 or equivalent with at least five academic university preparatory courses including:
    • English
    • Academic Math
    • One science
    • Two additional university preparatory courses

Biology, geology or geography are recommended courses for students interested in this field. Only applicants with a minimum average of 70% will be considered.

Applicants with Previous Post-Secondary Experience
  • Satisfactory completion of the required academic grade 12 subjects as outlined or university level courses in these subject areas.
  • Applicants must have a minimum GPA of at least 2.0.
  • All applicants, both high school and transfer, are admitted to the first year of the program. Following admission, a limited number of transfer students may be considered for registration in second year planning courses based on availability of space and level of academic preparedness (including number and subject area of course credits transferring from previous post-secondary study).