Masters in Architecture in Canada: A Course Guide for International Students

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    Sonal Vaid

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    Masters in Architecture in Canada is a 1-3 yeards professional degree program for students interested in gaining in-depth knowledge about the construction of buildings and cities around the world. The average tuition fees of this program at top universities in Canada range between 10,000 CAD to 50,000 CAD per annum. Indian students pursuing M.Arch program within the home country will have to pay 1254 CAD to 5377 CAD. 

    The cost of pursuing masters in architecture in Canadian Universities may seem higher than its cost in India. The advantage of choosing to study in Canada is the returns offered. The average annual salary for architects in Canada is 102,000 ( On average graduates with masters in architecture in Canada can earn anywhere between 60,000 CAD to 200,000 CAD annually. The salaries will highly depend on your firm, experience, and job roles. 

    Why Study Masters in Architecture in Canada?

    • According to reports by Statistica, architecture, engineering and related technologies was the second most popular postsecondary program among international students in 2018. There were 49,785 international students enrolled in the program.
    • According to reports by Job Bank Canada, there is an expected projection of 7,800 new architecture jobs in Canada in 2017-26.
    • Some of the best Canadian cities such as Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Winnipeg, and Saskatchewan have a higher demand for architecture graduates. 
    • Some of the popular companies hiring masters in architecture graduates are IBI Group Inc., Diamond & Schmitt Architects, Perkins & Will, etc.
    Companies Hiring Architecture Graduates in Canada

    Top Universities for Masters in Architecture in Canada

    According to QS Rankings, there are eight Canadian universities among top 200 architecture institutions in the world. Given below is a table of the top architecture colleges in Canada that offer a masters in architecture based on QS Architecture Rankings 2020:

    QS Ranking 2020 University Program Duration (in years) Annual Tuition Fees (in CAD)
    32 University of British Columbia (UBC) Master of Architecture (M.Arch) 3 43,604
    38 University of Toronto (U of T) Master of Architecture (M.Arch) 1-3.5 48,440
    Master of Science (M.Sc) Planning
    41 McGill University Master of Architecture (M.Arch) Design Studio 1.5 20,860
    Master of Architecture (M.Arch) Design Studio- Directed Research
    Master of Architecture (M.Arch) Architectural History and Theory
    Master of Architecture (M.Arch) Urban Design and Housing
    101 – 150 Universite de Montreal Master of Applied Science (M.Asc) Planning 1.5 20,719
    Master of Architecture (M.Arch)
    Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A)
    Master of Urban Planning (M.U.P)
    101 – 150 University of Waterloo Master of Architecture (M.Arch) 2 15,172
    151 – 200 Ryerson University Master of Architecture (M.Arch) 2 24,878
    -- University of Calgary Master of Architecture (M.Arch) 2 11,726

    Graduate Architecture Courses in Canada

    There are different types of courses for an Architecture degree which are structured to provide one specialization in a specific aspect of the discipline. The programs include:-

    • Master of Science in Architecture and Urbanism
    • M.Arch in Architecture and Urbanism
    • Master of Sciences in Architecture
    • Masters in Collective Housing
    • Master of Science Degree in Advanced Architectural Design
    • M.Arch Architectural Design

    Masters in Architecture in Canada Admissions

    Generally, the graduate admission process at universities in Canada is divided into two parts, eligibility criteria, and admission requirements. International applicants must fulfill the basic as well as program-specific requirements to be eligible for the selection process.

    Where to Apply? Prospective candidates can apply through the official website of the respective university.

    Eligibility for Masters in Architecture in Canada

    In this section, students can find relevant information about various aspects of the admission process in Canadian universities.

    • Academic Qualification: International students must hold a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college. Most universities in Canada accept students from a wide range of academic fields.
    • Minimum Grade: Students who have completed their undergraduate study at an international university must have a minimum average grade of B+ in all coursework.
    • Standardized Tests to Study in CanadaMost universities in Canada do not require the scores of standardized tests to apply for masters in architecture. While not required, students may still submit GRE scores as additional evidence of their scholastic aptitude and skills.
    • English Proficiency Tests: International candidates who are non-native English speakers must provide results of an English language proficiency exam as part of their applications. These tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of applying.
    University Minimum Required Scores for TOEFL (iBT) Minimum Required Scores for IELTS
    University of Toronto 93 7.0
    McGill University 86 6.5
    University of British Columbia 100 7.0
    University of Waterloo 90 6.5
    Ryerson University 93 7.0
    University of Calgary 105


    For admissions in Masters of Architecture at Universite de Montreal, students are required to provide proof of French proficiency through the International French Test (TFI) with a minimum score of 550/990 or should have passed the Uniform Test of French Language and Literature of the Quebec Ministry of Education. 

    Required Documents for Masters in Architecture in Canada Admission

    The admission requirements for the Masters in Architecture vary from university to university. However, few of the common documents that a student must submit include: 

    • Scanned copies of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions previously attended. If the academic records are in a language other than English or French, official translations are required.
    • A two-pages long resume containing a summary of their experiences in education, work, volunteering, and other relevant aspects.
    • Applicants’ portfolios should be submitted digitally through the online application. The purpose is to showcase students’ design potential by highlighting their interests and accomplishments.
    • A minimum of two-to-three letters of reference are required, two academic references and speak of students’ past performance and their ability to succeed in a postgraduate study.
    • Few of the universities in Canada also require its prospective students to submit a Statement of Intent as a part of the application process. It should be a two-page long document outlining the student’s interests in the program.

    Cost for Studying Masters in Architecture in Canada

    Mainly, there are three types of costs an international student must bear to study abroad in Canada and pursue a Masters in Architecture. These include pre-arrival costs, tuition fees and living costs in Canada.

    Pre-Arrival Costs

    These are the one-time expenses that are to be paid along with the admission application of the program. The important elements of pre-arrival costs are tabulated below:-

    Expense Cost (in CAD)
    Application Fee 70-150
    Canadian Study Permit  150
    Air Travel 1,045- 1,437
    TOEFL Application fee 235
    IELTS Application fee 244
    GMAT Application fee 250
    GRE Application fee 205-230

    Tuition Fees for Masters in Architecture in Canada

    The basic overview of tuition fees for international students who plan to pursue a Masters in Architecture at the top Canadian universities is discussed below.

    Tuition Fee for Masters in Architecture in Canada

    Cost of Living in Canada

    Like many countries, the cost of living in Canada varies across different parts of the country. The table below shows the estimated annual living expenses that are to be paid by an international student:

    Expenses Annual Costs (in CAD)
    Housing  4,800- 36,000
    Food and Beverages 3,267- 4,574
    Books & Supplies 1,960- 2,631
    Other Related Expenses 6,534- 9,800

    Scholarships for Masters in Architecture in Canada

    Various kinds of international scholarships to study in Canada are offered to masters in architecture students. Few of the scholarships offered by different universities for Master in architecture are given below:-

    • Teaching/ Research Assistantships:- The University of Waterloo offers various positions to graduate students who are in good standing in the Master of Architecture. An announcement related to the amount of TA positions available will be released before the start of each academic term.
    • Ontario Graduate Scholarships:- The OGS is a merit-based scholarship where students in all disciplines of academic study are eligible to apply. For more information, students are encouraged to visit the Graduate Studies Office Ontario Graduate Scholarship webpage.
    • Ontario Association of Landscape Architects Scholarship:- The University of Guelph offers an award of 1,000 CAD to students who have completed semester three of the master of landscape architecture program. Students will be selected on the basis of academic achievements and overall performance.

    Master in Architecture in Canada Salary

    Earning a Masters in Architecture in Canada offers a large number of unique opportunities for students. While the majority of graduates go on to pursue careers directly related to the field of architecture, there are various jobs for Masters in Architecture in Canada for students such as:

    • Architect: The main job responsibility of an architect is to design new buildings, plan new extensions to existing structures and provide professional advice on the restoration of old properties. Architects have an option to work on individual projects or large redevelopment schemes.
    • Urban Designer: Students with a creative bent of mind can choose to make their careers in urban designing where they will create practical and aesthetically pleasing places, including buildings, landscapes and open spaces. As a relatively new profession, urban design has grown considerably as a career prospect over the past 20 years.
    • Interior Designer: Interior designers are involved in the renovation and design of internal spaces in a wide range of commercial and domestic settings. The main task is to efficiently utilize the physical space of surroundings with a basic understanding of style and appearance.
    • Town Planner: A town planner is concerned with the management and development of villages, towns, cities and the countryside. The primary role of this job is to appropriately balance the demands of housing, industrial development, agriculture, transportation and the environment to allow necessary development to take place.
    • Construction Manager: Students who want to pursue this profession will be responsible for managing and supervising the practical aspect of every stage of the build. Their job would also include a range of operations on a construction site and working together with contractors and tradesmen.

    The table below shows masters in architecture in Canada salaries earned by graduates:

    Job Profile Annual Salary (in CAD)
    Architect 116,200
    Urban Designer 58,806
    Interior Designer 124,000
    Landscape Architect 113,000
    Construction Manager 91,039
    Architectural Manager 145,600
    Design and Decoration Assistant 98,800

    With an increment of 10% in annual salaries, experiences architects in Canada can earn 32% more. Therefore, with high demand of architects, Masters in Architecture in Canada appears to be a rewarding degree for students looking for a career in architecture and planning. 


    Ques. What are some of the top universities for masters in architecture in Canada?

    Ans. University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Waterloo, UBC are some of the top-ranking universities offering masters in architecture in Canada.

    Ques. What is the duration of Masters in Architecture in Canada?

    Ans. Masters in Architecture in Canada usually takes 1.5- 2 years to complete. However,a few universities in Canada also offer a master degree for a duration of 3 years. 

    Ques. What are the Masters in Architecture in Canada requirements for admissions?

    Ans. International students are required to hold a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college to be eligible for a masters in architecture in Canada. Apart from this, international students must also submit proof of English language proficiency through one of the standardized exams such as TOEFL or IELTS. 

    Ques. Is there a demand for architects in Canada?

    Ans. According to the report of Job Bank of Canada, 7,800 new jobs are expected to be created in Canada between 2017- 2026.

    Ques. How much does an architect earn in Canada?

    Ans. The average salary of an architect in Canada is 65,000 CAD per annum. You can work as Interior Designer, Landscape Architect, Town Planner etc. after completion of Masters in Architecture in Canada.