M.Arch Calgary or Carleton


Hello everyone, I have a Bachelor or Architectural Studies from Carleton

I have been accepted to the 2 year M.Arch at the University of Calgary and Carleton University. I am having trouble deciding where I want to go.

Carleton Pros:
Great financial package including a scholarship and TA position (almost covers the whole tuition)
Familiar with all the great professors that teach there.

Very far away from home (Vancouver) 
I have been living in cold and boring Ottawa for 4 years already.
As much as I love the building, another 2 years in it under constant stress and seeing the same people might make me a bit depressed.

Calgary Pros:
It is a whole new experience, I'd love to move to a new city and experience new things. Could make weekend trips to home. Close to beautiful scenery (I love snowboarding).

I am afraid their faculty is not as good as Carleton. At the end, I want to produce the strongest possible portfolio to get a great job after graduating.
No scholarship? (not a big issue, I am lucky enough to get private funding)

Portfolio: in case you are curious (feedback is welcome)

Mar 23, 19 12:54 pm

Your Curriculum Vitae page looks like a well designed restaurant menu. It's making me hungry. 

I really like your portfolio and I think both Calgary and Carlton options are selling yourself short. Architects are like urban rats. Big ones will be in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal. I was very dissatisfied with my last 2 years at Waterloo. Just too far from the action of actual practicing architects who can provide advanced lessons. 

That said, academia is a stepping stone that becomes irrelevant deeper you go into your career. Go to Calgary for potential of self discovery alone. No one ever regrets not staying in one place back in their youth. 

Mar 23, 19 1:26 pm
Non Sequitur

Good point with the self-discovery. That's why I turned down a full ride at carleton and choose waterloo for m.arch... eventhough cambridge is hole.


Cambridge move happened soon after I was done with my own degree. In hindsight I should have gone somewhere else for the last part, but at the time I picked the absolutely cheapest option available. Can't beat $300 rent. I don't think that exists anymore at all. I really feel bad for all grads coming out with fix figure student loan debt (still distinctly a US problem).


UofC is great if you are into computational and parametric design. The workshop is great and have plenty of machines (CNC, 3D printers, plaster printers, wood shop etc.) to build your models from. However, the faculty is a bit lacking in terms of "prestige". If your main goal is to get a job after graduation, it doesn't really matter what school you attend. What matters the most in general is relevant work experience, drafting software skills (e.g. AutoCAD, Revit, Vectorworks etc.), personality, and adaptability. The job market (as of right now) in Calgary and Alberta in general is not that good - keep that in mind.

Apr 18, 19 5:47 pm

Dear G.Bourget: your portfolio is the best endorsement of Carleton's undergraduate program I have seen. Elsewhere in this forum, I posed a Waterloo or Carleton question: looking at your work, I can see that-no matter who your prof is- you have made the best of every design challenge. Did you find your teachers consistently helpful and strong or were there some duds that you powered through?

P.S. On the subject of the Calgary program- because I live in Alberta- is now gripped (crippled) by a SJW agenda.

Apr 30, 19 9:59 am
Non Sequitur

What's wrong with promoting positive social and civil justice? If that bothers you, you won't last a week in architecture school.


Just curious, do you mean the general political climate in the province or within UofC's program/faculty?

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