For Architecture Employers
The primary aim of the professional architecture program is to educate individuals who intend to become professional architects. The program includes two co-op work terms in which students work in an approved professional office (or another relevant place of work) to gain practical experience in architectural design and responsible professional practice. The work terms rely on a co-operative effort involving the school, students, and employers. In addition to working in an office, students are expected to learn how it operates and to complete a professional practice assignment that will be evaluated later by a faculty member. Work terms also enable students to live and work in a new location, and salaries help pay for their academic studies.
The co-op program in the School of Architecture has been operating since 1970 (previously with the Technical University of Nova Scotia). Joanne Firth, Director of Career Services, helps students find suitable employment. Dalhousie architecture students are employed regularly in every province and territory in Canada and in many countries around the world. During the past two years (2017–2019) their work term locations have included Australia, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, and Zambia.
What can our students do for you?
BEDS work term (between August 1 and December 31):
Students are expected to complete 500 hours of work in no less than 12 weeks. Salaries vary widely, depending on the cost of living in the particular city and country; the salary range in Canada is $15 to $20 per hour. Students may do research, as-found surveys, design, presentation graphics, model building, contract documents, drafting, CAD, and field services. At this stage, BEDS students have completed three terms of architecture plus two or more years of other university studies.
MArch work term (between January 1 and August 31):
Students are expected to complete 1000 hours of work in no less than 24 weeks. Salaries vary widely, depending on the cost of living in the particular city and country; the salary range in Canada is $15 to $24 per hour. Students may do similar work as in the BEDS work term, but with greater responsibility and contact with clients, consultants and contractors. At this stage, MArch students have completed six terms of architecture and one work term, plus two or more years of other university studies.
To see a list of the courses that our students have already completed in the professional architecture program, please refer to BEDS/MArch courses.
How well do our students perform?
"In a short while this student has contributed in large measure to this office. We have enjoyed her inquisitive nature, and an unfailing enthusiasm to help in all areas of practice. She has demonstrated an exemplary attitude and commitment to learn that enabled us to leave her relatively unattended in her work, knowing it would be completed thoroughly. Above all, she has become a welcome colleague and friend of everyone in the office and we have no hesitation in inviting her to return." -- Barry Johns Architects Ltd.
How to Proceed
If you wish to employ an undergraduate architecture student between August and December, please submit an undergraduate employment form to Career Services. If you wish to employ a graduate architecture student between January and August, please submit a graduate employment form to the Career Services office.
At the end of a student's work term, an employer is asked to report on the student's activities and performance by submitting an employer's evaluation form to the Career Services office.
To understand the work term from a student's standpoint, refer to the Co-op Work Terms page.