Thoughts on UBC Dual Masters program????


Hey all, 

I'm a recent graduate from Environmental Design (ED) from OCADU in Toronto, and considering applying to UBC for my Masters. I loved the ED program as it allowed me to explore architecture, landscape architecture and urban design... but this led me to my current dilemma... What to pursue after in graduate school? However, coming across UBC's Dual masters, MLA and MArch combined, made my decision extreme easy as i would love to pursue both(within 4 year time frame). I've read about the school itself and M.Arch program and they all seem really positive, but i could not find much about the dual masters other then the program site itself, which states that it is a EXTREMELY Competitive (Like i was not already nervous about getting accepted in the first place) After spending two weeks in Vancouver last summer, I'm pretty well sold on UBC and rather excited about the idea of going there.

I wanted to take this opportunity to start a new thread about masters programs, M.Arch, MLA, Dual masters. It would be great to hear your thoughts, experience, and even tips on the application process from everyone, especially from students and applicants who applied before or are doing it now. That said, my undergraduate in ED does qualify me for advance placement, which i was not planning to do so to better my chances of acceptance, however, upon contacting the faculty, i was told that i must apply for Advanced Placement(AP). This leads me to ask, if i were to apply for AP, how does an ED undergraduate stack up against a legit Architecture undergraduate? I must say, it is a little discouraging, but i would love to hear your thoughts on this!  I'd particularly love hear more about from students about the studios (and hear more about the projects) or providing your firsthand opinions, I'd like to talk to you! Just let me know.

Cheers, - Saqib

Nov 29, 18 9:00 pm
Non Sequitur

I've interviewed plenty of OCAD grads back in the day when I participated in Waterloo entrance interviews... and from my observations, those with a true arch background always come out ahead.  Not to say the design discipline at OCAD is not there, it's just... different. This was back when someone, perhaps a director at OCAD kept making a fuss at the OAA about the school being superior at architecture.  It was not then, and certainly is not now.

UBC's program, like many M.arch in Canada is a balance of design, prof-practice, and technical (construction methods & details).  All are treated equally so you need to ask yourself what you really love about architecture.  Is it the broad top-down design ideas, or is it figuring out how shit gets built?  I actually find design-strong, but not specifically technical design, backgrounds to be a good base for an M.Arch.  Just need to make that connection between the fun and fluffy and the real world.  Take the AP option and save yourself a year of tuition.


Nov 29, 18 9:24 pm

Thanks for feedback, i actually forgyto mention
have completed Architectural Technology program from Humber College, an Advanced Architecture ceriticate from ryerson and have 3 years of professional experience.


But i agree, OCAD ED definitely lacks the technical skills of a reall architecture programs, haha.

Non Sequitur

Ah, you'll do just fine then.


Well with a fair bit of confidence I can say I was the very first to do the dual degree of Landscape Architecture and Architecture at UBC.  It was before they became a bit more joined at the hip and so I completed my landscape degree first then entered the architecture program.  Lots of cross over in courses which was helpful but it was a very much a sequential process rather than completing two degrees in parallel.

Having gone through it I don't know why more don't go that route. It has afforded my a great skill set that allowed me to be gainfully employed for 30 years without ever being fired or let go.  Ie even when things got slow I was the "keeper" as I could always prove out that my skill set could make the firm money.  Although it's two different degrees I have never differentiated between disciplines its all design to me from urban design through to interiors etc. and never been seen as the architect who "has a strong indoor outdoor connection" or the "landscape designer who like to build stuff"... not that anything is wrong with that!

Nov 30, 18 5:23 pm

I could not agree more, I love design, regardless of whether if it was architecture, landscape, UB or even ID. This is the reason why I decided to take Environmental Design, rather then Architecture as it allowed me to be explore design as whole with main focus on architecture. UBC's dual degree seems appealing but UBC being the only university in Canada that offers the dual degree option, makes it a little scary to apply to as it seems highly competitive. When did you complete the degree?


Landscape 1986


Architecture 1989


Oh, Well, UBC recent introduced a new dual master degree, in which I believe you alternate between architecture and landscape. I quickly looked over the curriculum, it noticed that students take architecture studio in the first semester and then followed by a semester of landscape studio and back to architecture and so on. I found this to be very interesting, as it would give opportunity to really intermingle the two.


hi. do you guys have idea for UBC MSc in Urban design. I've been accepted for that. But considering the fact that it is a 12 month course, should i consider opting for it ? Especially in Canada where it is highly competitive?

Feb 15, 19 9:12 am

MSc in Urban Design? I'm sorry, I could not find that program on UBC website... Unless you mean Master of Urban Design program. Anyways, the important question for you would to be ask yourself if you are interested in urban design or not. Again, since I could not find any information Master of Science program, I cannot say much. But during my time at OCAD, I was able to go into the realm of urban design and I loved It and may even consider doing my Urban Design Master. However, time is another major factor... how much time are you willing to spend in academia? Initially, I wanted to pursue the 4 year dual masters program at UBC but since I have started this post, I leaning more towards doing only my Masters in Architecture (2 years) and be done with school.

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