Preparing for admission to Carleton M. Arch


So I am a practicing occupational therapist with a B.Sc and M.Sc in O.T. I am planning my application to the 3 year M.Arch at Carleton in 2021. 

I am wondering, in your experience, how rigid is the B+ requirement, quieten which is met, but only just. Do they also take into consideration the nature of the studies (area/grad-undergrad). In your experience. I am also wondering if the portfolio plays a bigger part in the application.  

I would also like to know what the curriculum looks like and if students feel prepared afterwards for their internships. 

Thanks in advance 


Nov 21, 19 1:29 pm
Non Sequitur

Former Carleton undergrad here (circa 2007... fuck, now I feel old. thanks)

Anyways, grades are used first to weed out those that just don't make the minimum cut.  If you're above that line, then you should not worry too much.  If there is low applicants for a certain year, they may dip into those on the fence, so a B+ is the gatekeeper. If you meet the minimum grade cut-off limit, then your portfolio and reference letters will hold all the power.  How is your portfolio looking?  What types of pieces/work are you including?  

As for the curriculum, Carleton's M.arch (3y) will balance both technical courses and design courses + professional development courses in the 2nd year. The first year is reserved more for a very thorough and intensive (think full-time job + weekends type commitment) design.  The last year is thesis and more professional development.  This last part can be open-ended and some students extend their thesis work beyond their last term as required.

Student preparation for the real world varies.  An M.arch is still more academic than practical and plenty of folks have a hard time managing design ambitions with the realities of working in an architecture office.  What you need to keep in mind is that your first gig in an office (there are no "internships" in Canada) will likely revolve more around assembling construction details than making grand poetic design gestures.  Knowing this while in school is will allow you to absorb more practical knowledge.   

We  have another, more recent M.Arch grad from Carleton active in the forum.  I expect Bench to expand and or correct on the above since I know I may be a little outdated. 

Nov 21, 19 1:52 pm

Thanks for your complete answer. I am a bit worried as I did my undergrad in a competitive health program, so I had between B and B+, but did a graduate degree with B+ average, which I wonder if they take into consideration.


As for as the portfolio goes, I did a lot of art during high school, drawing, painting, graphic design, etc., which I stopped doing when I started university. This is mainly the reason why I am planning to apply for 2021, to get back into the groove of doing creative things. Any advice as to what I should focus on to build my portfolio? This is something I have wanted for years, but finally convinced myself to move forward with.

Non Sequitur

They may. If you're in Ottawa, try and see if any of the faculty is available for a quick meeting. Most are pretty open to those that make the effort. Another option is to wait for a open house event. I think graduate school grades will be used over undergrad tho so perhaps your old B grades are a non-issue. They may consider academic history if there is a tie for applicants (ie. 2 or 3 similar portfolios but only one spot available).

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