BEnvD UofM vs. BEDS Dal ?


I am a working health care professional looking at architecture programs to go back to school in a few years. I am looking more at Carleton, UofM and Dal. 

I would more specifically like feedback on both BenvD and BEDS, pros and cons as well as the likelyhood of getting into M.Arch after.

Thanks in advance, 


Oct 25, 20 10:49 pm

BEDS fast tracks you into their Masters. No idea on U of M, believe similar. Haven't you already looked into all this last year, judging from your comment history?

Oct 26, 20 12:23 pm  · 

Yes, I was mostly asking about 3 year M.Arch like Carleton or Calgary.

Oct 26, 20 2:23 pm  · 

Hey, not sure where you're thinking of doing your Masters, but it's definitely something to consider when looking into Bachelor programs. I went to Dal and graduated with a BEDS degree. You're pretty much guarantied to be accepted to the Dal Master's, but if you're planning on studying elsewhere, it's not that simple. For example, McGill is not a fan of Dal students, and the fact that BEDS is not a 'bachelor of architecture' makes things a little more complicated at some other schools as well. Some schools might accept you with a 'catch up year' though. 

Hope this helps a little!

Oct 26, 20 12:39 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

there are no bachelor of architecture in canada anymore... even at the top schools. Some are just closer to the classic B.Arch than others hence the picky selectiveness from the top dogs (Loo, McGill).

Oct 26, 20 12:45 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Jean, do you already have a bachelor's degree?  If so, even if it's in an unrelated field, you could try your hand at a M.arch directly.  Some schools take non-architecture students.

Oct 26, 20 12:46 pm  · 

Yes, I have a B.Sc + M.Sc in occupational therapy.. Though as it is a professional health science program, My grades were not top, B+ for B.Sc and M.Sc as well. My first choice would be Carleton.. I heard it is competitive, but less than UofT and UBC. But I was also looking at alternatives, such as the BEnvD and BEDS which lead to an M.Arch afterwards. I live in Montreal, but universities in Quebec only offer M.Arch with a BScArch as an admission requirement... So 5+ years of studies would be less interesting.. As I still have considerable student debt, I am trying to weigh to pros and cons of each. Also, are you aware of work opportunities with a BEDS or BEnvD? As Im also considering the option of taking a break between degrees.

Oct 26, 20 2:31 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Why are you looking to make the switch to architecture when you're still paying off current student loans? (side note, if you did your uni in quebec... you should have graduated with zero loans since tuition is so ridiculously cheap for locals, but that's besides the point). How much do you know about architecture education and working in architecture?

Oct 26, 20 2:56 pm  · 

I am originally from an other province... So, considered as a Canadian (so I payed Canadian tuition + moved to a new city at 17 for uni... so .. Quick maths, adds up to a lot). And if I wait until everything is payed off.. I will wait for ever. Mostly looking to know as asked above, if there are working possibilities with BEnvD or BEDS, before doing M. Arch.

Oct 26, 20 3:20 pm  · 

And also just curious as to the quality of the education in those programs.

Oct 26, 20 3:21 pm  · 

I followed a roughly similar path - went back to school to get my M.Arch while still paying off my other student debt. Not ideal but if I can do it, you likely can too. My M.Arch (UofMB) took four years as that's what's required when admitted from a non-architecture undergrad. I can't speak to quality of any schools except by reputation, but when I applied, I didn't care and it hasn't ever mattered at all.

Oct 26, 20 10:21 pm  · 

IMO work prospects aren't great for finding work with only a BEnvD/BEDS degree. HOWEVER, the fourth semester (out of 5 total) of the BEDS degree at Dal is a co-op work term. It is possible to extend this ~4 month work term to 16 months and re-enter into the 5th semester the following year if you want more experience and/or to make over a year of salary (pending your specific employer's ability to keep you working at the time). A few people do this every year. The school has a huge network of firms that hire their students for co-ops. I believe every student currently on the B4 work term (which runs Sept - Dec) was able to secure a co-op position this year despite COVID.

Worth mentioning that since you have previous degrees, Dal's BEDS to MArch track will take you 4 years total as the school operates on a trimester system (no summer breaks) and you end up with a full year of co-op experience. Worth comparing this timeline to other MArch routes which may be 3 years for just an MArch degree.

Year 1

B1 (Fall)

B2 (Winter)

B3 (Summer)

Year 2

B4 (Fall work term)

B5 (Winter)

M1 (Summer)

Year 3

M2 (Fall)

M3 + M4 (Winter + Summer work term)

Year 4

M5 (Fall thesis prep)

M6 (Winter thesis)

Oct 28, 20 8:48 am  · 

Thanks for the complete response. It actually helps a lot to know the possibilities as for as work terms go. Since researching programs, Dal has been in the top for that reason and their program seems solid.

Oct 29, 20 5:12 pm  · 

It's hard to make an informed comparison between the programs - I won't try. Dal is a good program unless you're specifically interested in cutting edge digital stuff featured at schools like UofT and UofC. Not that the profs dislike that sort of thing; it just isn't a big part of the overall pedagogy. Every school has at least one faculty member who likes that stuff, though.

I did BEDS, got into the Masters, but tried working for a while. Then I went somewhere else for the M.Arch for geographic reasons. It's not straightforward getting work with just the BEDS. But extending your workterm while still in the program is pretty easy. 

As another poster mentioned, it's likely you'll get more work experience going the Dal route than with a 3 year M.Arch. Dal has a network. Dal does workterms at different times of year (you aren't competing with everyone for a 4-month summer gig). In a 3-year M.Arch at a school like UofT, you might not have a very developed portfolio after year one. So you can't bank on landing a decent gig til second year.

I would view the Dal degree as a complete M.Arch with an option to leave partway through... If you're enthusiastic, and you do the work, you'll have zero problem getting into the Masters. The students who don't get in neglect to submit the required stuff, or regularly submit their projects several months late, or show active disdain for the program...

Oct 28, 20 10:33 am  · 

Thanks for the insight, it really helps. How was the process to get into an other M.Arch after completing the BEDS?

Oct 29, 20 5:17 pm  · 

It was no problem getting in, just had to play up the speculative/theoretical work to be more in line with the schools I was applying to... Be warned that some schools won't let you skip the first year, though. The message I got from other Dal grads was: UBC pretty easy to get advanced placement, UofT not so much. I took a lot of redundant courses in my Masters, as Dal pushes the practical stuff from the beginning whereas other programs lump it at the end.

Oct 29, 20 7:04 pm  · 

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: