FAQ ‑ Application

How can I obtain an Architecture admission package?

Two admission brochures are available as PDFs on the Undergraduate Admission page. Please contact the Architecture office at arch.office@dal.ca if you would prefer to receive a printed copy of the brochures.

Must one of my reference letters be from an academic instructor?

Because you are applying to an academic program, a reference from an academic instructor is most useful, preferably at university level. In case this is not possible, a reference from an employer or supervisor is also acceptable.

Should my referees' letters be sent directly to the School of Architecture?

Reference letters are intended to be confidential and must be signed. Whether your referees are using the School's Word form (undergraduate_reference_form.doc) or PDF form (undergraduate_reference_form.pdf), or sending their own letter, they can submit it to the School of Architecture by mail, courier, fax (902-423-6672), or scanned and e-mailed to arch.office@dal.ca. Alternately, they can place it in a sealed envelope, endorse it across the back seal, and return it to you, to include with your application.

What should I include in my design portfolio?

The most common items in a portfolio are graphic images (freehand drawings, paintings, etc.) and photographs of material constructions you have made (furniture, sculpture, etc.). The admissions committee can recognize creativity and artistic skill in a wide range of work; however, travel photos, computer drawings, and technical drafting usually are not good indicators of creativity. Please format your portfolio as prints and/or photographs, bound into a booklet or binder with your name on the front. There is no minimum or maximum size. 35mm slides, CDs, and DVDs are discouraged. Your portfolio will not be returned, so please do not submit originals or an expensive portfolio case.

Can my application be considered if I haven't submitted all of the required items?


When is the BEDS application deadline?

Items for a BEDS application can be submitted any time in January or February. All items must be received by March 1.

I have never studied architecture before. Can I apply directly to the MArch program?

No, you should apply to the BEDS program. For students with an undergraduate degree, Dalhousie's two-year BEDS + two-year MArch program is equivalent to the four-year MArch programs at some other Canadian architecture schools.

I have a pre-professional architecture degree from another university. Am I eligible for admission directly to the MArch program?

Probably not. Most transfer architecture students with a pre-professional architecture degree (BAS, BED, BES, BSc[Arch], BArchSci, etc.) will need to take one or more senior undergraduate courses during the winter term before applying to begin the MArch program in May. These courses are determined by comparing your previous architectural courses to those in the BEDS program. There are three deadlines each year for transfer applications: February 1, June 1, and October 1. October 1 is the application deadline for admission in the winter term.

When does the MArch program begin?

The MArch program starts in the summer term, which begins in early May.

How can I confirm that all of the required items have been received?

You are responsible for checking that the items sent to the Registrar's Office were received; phone 902 494 2450 or e-mail the Registrar's Office at admissions@dal.ca. The Architecture office will send you an e-mail confirmation only when all required items have been received, indicating that your application is complete. If you have not received confirmation two weeks after submitting the final item, please e-mail the Architecture office at arch.office@dal.ca or phone 902 494 3971. (Please disregard the Registrar's online record of items received.)

How does the admission process work?

When the items required by the Registrar's Office are received, your file is forwarded to the School of Architecture and combined with the additional items you send there. Your application is then processed and joins several hundred other applications for review by the admissions committee. The admission process includes several stages and is completed in early May. You will then receive an e-mail message from the School of Architecture. Later you will receive an official letter from the Registrar's Office. Please contact the Architecture office if you change your address or e-mail address.

When will I be notified of the result of my BEDS application?

Admission results are sent by e-mail to applicants in early May.

Should I contact the Architecture office to find out if I have been accepted?

No. You will be notified of the admission result as soon as the decision has been made. In the meantime, your status will not have changed, so there will be nothing more to tell you.

What happens if my application is placed on a wait list?

Admission offers are made to 65 students. Additional applicants are placed on a wait list. If some of the initial offers are declined, offers will be made in sequence to waiting applicants. If and when a place becomes available, the Architecture office will contact you. Until then, there will be nothing more to tell you. The wait list remains open until the end of July.

I have completed more than two full years of university. Must I start in the first term (B1)?

Yes. Because each term of the BEDS program includes required architecture courses, entry to a term higher than B1 is possible only if you have completed equivalent architecture courses at another university.

I have completed architectural courses at another university. Can I be admitted to an advanced level in the program?

The admissions committee will review your transcript and your architectural portfolio to consider you for BEDS/MArch admission and for entry to a term higher than B1. Admission and level of entry depend on several factors, including the completion of all BEDS prerequisites (including two years of general studies) and the completion of courses that are equivalent to those in the BEDS program. Please include evidence of course content with your application. Course outlines are preferred but calendar descriptions may be sufficient.

I have been offered a place in the BEDS program. How soon must I accept the offer?

The Registrar's Office requires a $200 deposit to reserve a place in the program. This should be done promptly to ensure that your place is not given to an applicant on the wait list.

My application was not accepted. Can you tell me why?

With hundreds of applications to review, the School does not keep detailed records on admission decisions. The two most important parts of an application are the academic record and the design portfolio. The School cannot provide evaluation or advice on design portfolios. For this, you should consult a third party.