McGill vs Waterloo (As an international student)


Hello, I've already posted a question before about the best architecture undergraduate school in Canada (

A month passed, and I was lucky enough to be admitted from both McGill and Waterloo. I know many people think Waterloo is relatively a better school for architecture because of its well-structured co-op program and experiential learning. However, here comes the problem.

I found out that McGill's architecture program is much cheaper for international students. While I have to pay $22000 (CAD) for McGill, it is about $45000 (CAD) for Waterloo.


Pro for Waterloo

-Co-op (The biggest factor in my opinion)

-Maybe relatively higher reputation?

-4th year in Rome.

Con for Waterloo

-Expensive tuition ($45000. Co-op might help me paying the tuition, but to what extent?)

-Located in a small city called Cambridge (It is isolated from the main campus of Waterloo. This means that the school of architecture is a very small community).

Pro for McGill

-Beautiful and big city environment (Montreal).

-Cheap tuition ($22000).

-Higher reputation outside of Canada.

-From what I've heard, McGill has a better graduate school.

Con for McGill

-I have to start from year 0 (No architecture curriculum for the first year).

-Possibly a French-speaking environment (I cannot speak French).

In terms of the quality of education, I am not sure since I haven't been to both schools. Anyway, please share your opinions so that I can make my decision by May 27th. Thank you.

May 13, 19 11:07 pm

It seems like you've laid it out for yourself, based on what you value. What else could anybody add? We can't make your decision for you.

Personally, I applied to one school only (neither of the above) because I didn't overthink the whole thing.

I don't know how relevant this is to other countries, but if you intend to stay in Canada to work, it matters 0% which school you go to. Seriously. By the end of a year or two in practice, you'll be on a level playing field with every other recent graduate in the country. Don't sweat it. 

May 13, 19 11:30 pm
Non Sequitur

I’d love to be as optimistic as you regarding recent grads. I just don’t see it.


NS, I'm not saying every grad is equally capable, I'm saying that no matter what school a student attends, they'll end up where their hard work takes them.

Non Sequitur

A, a better and more accurate description. I agree.


Thank you for your opinion. I see your point. However, I must decide one from the six universities that I am admitted to. For now, I probably have to find a good place to start my career.

Non Sequitur

45k and 22k? Take the cheapest. 

That is way too much for a March. 

May 14, 19 5:44 am
Non Sequitur

Oh wait, not March, but for BAS. Read that too quickly. Still loads of money compared to what your peers will pay.


Is Mcgill's program as good as Waterloo's in your opinion?

Non Sequitur

It's a close 2nd and has the added bonus of being in a livable area of the country. Waterloo is far more stringent of a program and has a great mandatory coop tho. But what really matters is your M.Arch since you require one in order to become a licensed arch in canada.  Your undergrad serves only as a portfolio builder.


I spent a semester at McGill. I barely passed because I did fuck all in terms of work. Montreal is far too fun of a place to spend weeks tied to your studio desk. No such problem in Waterloo.


Where did you end up?


It depends on what you value more - your educational/ co-op experience vs. budget friendly/fun city? However, as a recent Graduate, $45k sounds like a lot of money for a Undergrad degree. I'm not convinced with the return on investment given the increasingly saturated labour market across Canada especially in metropolitan areas. We are in the late innings of an unprecedented bull economy and I'm not optimistic about the job prospects in the next few years. Unless of course you plan on working abroad, name recognition of the school does indeed play a bigger role, but within Canada/America not so much.

May 14, 19 12:26 pm

Take the cheapest option, never heard anything about either school. Besides its only your undergrad, your M.arch matters the most.

May 17, 19 5:56 am

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