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M.Arch ‑ Year 5

These notes are for students entering the MArch program. They describe the basic intent and structure of the program and summarize the requirements during Year 5.

Program Registration

As soon as you have been admitted to the MArch program you will be given instructions to approve your graduate program requirements in the Graduate Studies Information System (GSIS) on Dal Online.

Academic Advising

If you need academic advice on Architecture courses, instructors, regulations, studio arrangements, accommodation, medical extensions, counselling referrals, etc., check with the graduate coordinator. University-level advising is also available from Student Services.

Program Intent

The undergraduate BEDS program provides a foundation of architectural knowledge in Design, Humanities, Technology, Professional Practice, and Representation. It is a mandatory curriculum for all students. The subsequent two-year MArch program advances knowledge in the same architectural streams and completes the remaining requirements for professional accreditation. The MArch program consists largely of course options and electives that are based on the research and expertise of individual faculty members. Each MArch student is encouraged to develop a longer-term academic plan and a personal position within the broader discipline of architecture. These ambitions can be pursued through course selection, work term placement, and the design thesis.

Year 5 Terms and Courses

The MArch program is divided into Year 5 (M1-M4 terms) and Year 6 (M5-M6 terms). Year 5 consists of six core courses (ARCH 5xxx), two electives (ARCH 5xxx, ARCH 6xxx, or equivalent), and two work term courses. Core courses are offered only in the summer and fall terms; electives are offered in all three terms. The standard Year 5 sequence is:

Summer Fall Winter Summer
M1 M2 M3 M4
ARCH 50xx: Design ARCH 50xx: Design ARCH 5308: Work Term ARCH 5309: Work Term
ARCH 51xx: Humanities ARCH 51xx: Humanities
ARCH 52xx: Technology ARCH 52xx: Technology
elective elective

A request to depart from this sequence of terms must be justified by your longer-term academic plan and must be approved in advance by the School's Program Committee and Professional Practice Group. All Year 5 requirements must be completed before you can register for Thesis courses or the Professional Practice course in Year 6.

Core Courses

The MArch core courses (ARCH 5xxx) extend your central architectural studies. You cannot register directly for a core course. To ensure that the selection of courses is informed and equitable, the School uses an intermediate process in which course outlines are issued, students nominate their top three choices for Design, Humanities, and Technology core courses, and the School approves each student to register for particular courses. All core courses have a maximum enrolment. Some core courses may have a co-requisite: for example, a particular Design course may require you to take a particular Technology course at the same time.

Comprehensive Design

During M1 or M2, each student must complete one Design course (and perhaps a co-requisite course) that is designated by the School's Design Group as "comprehensive." A student who plans to go away on an exchange in M2 must complete this requirement during M1.

Electives

The electives in the MArch program are intended to complement and diversify your central architectural studies. You can register directly for a Dalhousie ARCH elective after the course outlines have been issued and online registration opens. All electives have a maximum enrolment and faster students have priority. An elective can be an ARCH 6xxx course, an ARCH 5xxx course in which places are still available, or a graduate-level course (or elevated undergraduate-level course) from Dalhousie or another university.

Seminar Courses

An MArch student can take no more than two "Seminar" courses (Design Seminar, Humanities Seminar, Technology Seminar, or Representation Seminar) during the whole program. These courses are considered "special topics" by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, as described in FGS Regulation 7.6.5. To maximize options for students, the School avoids offering courses as "Seminar" courses whenever possible.

Work Term

The MArch co-op work term is integral to your graduate studies in architecture. Your selection of an architectural office and/or its location should be aligned with your academic plan and thesis interests. The two parts of the work term (ARCH 5308 and 5309) are completed consecutively to encourage sustained and responsible professional experience. While registered for ARCH 5308 and ARCH 5309, the university considers you a full-time student. You must be working full-time in an office, working full-time on supervised research, or actively looking for work. The work term is not primarily for taking courses, working in another field, traveling, or taking time off. Work placements, supervised research, or any departure from the standard work term sequence must be approved in advance by the School's Professional Practice Group.

Work Term Continuation

If you wish to extend your work term for an extra year, please submit a brief written request to the School's Graduate Coordinator (SP) by July 15. It should describe your work plans for the next year and how you would benefit from continuing your work term. This request will be considered by the Professional Practice Group. If it's approved, you must register for ARCH 5310: Co-op Work Term Continuation during the next three terms. Please note that your student status changes to part-time while registered in ARCH 5310; this may have implications for student loan repayments. If you are receiving government student loans, check on the maximum number of terms for which you are eligible. The MArch program is nominally two years long (including all academic terms and work terms), so the maximum loan period may be six or seven terms.