Information for

Architecture at Waterloo

At a glance

  • Available as a co-op program only
  • Starts in first year so apply directly to this program on your application
  • Earn a Bachelor of Architectural Studies
  • Offered by the Faculty of Engineering
  • Waterloo's Architecture program is ranked in the top 100 worldwide (QS World University Rankings 2016)

About the program

Architects are largely responsible for designing the buildings and spaces that enhance the quality and beauty of our world.

Recognized as one of the best in North America, Waterloo's School of Architecture provides you with a creative, international education. It's the only school of architecture in the world that gives all students access to paid co-op work experience with top design firms starting in second year.

Right from the first day of classes, you'll be taking design courses and have your own space in our bright studios. You'll enjoy a small community with a vibrant intellectual atmosphere.

Our cultural history courses, which examine the close relationship between architecture and society, and our technical and environmental courses add depth to core courses in design. You'll spend the fall of fourth year at our studio in Rome, one of the world's great cities for culture and architecture.

The School of Architecture is located in the city of Cambridge, about 30 minutes south of the main Waterloo campus. The location provides wonderful spaces for design studios, labs, and classrooms. It also includes a superb design library and exhibition galleries.

Admission requirements

  • Ontario students: 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
    • English (ENG4U) (A minimum final grade of 75% is required)
    • Advanced Functions (A minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Calculus and Vectors (A minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Physics (A minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Recommended courses: Grade 11 or 12 M Art courses, independent art studies, creative and cultural studies such as visual arts and history
  • Admission averages: Individual selection from the mid-80s
  • An Admission Information Form is required
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements database.

First-year courses

September to December

ARCH 192 - Design Studio
ARCH 100 - Introduction to Architecture
ARCH 110 – Visual and Digital Media 1
ARCH 125 – Principles of Environmental Design
ARCH 142 – Introduction to Cultural History
ARCH 172 - Building Construction 1

January to April

ARCH 193 - Design Studio
ARCH 113 – Visual and Digital Media 2
ARCH 126 – Environmental Building Design
ARCH 143 – The Ancient World and Foundations of Europe
ARCH 173 - Building Construction 2

What other courses will you take?


By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op positions

  • Architectural Assistant, Arquitectonica International Corporation
  • Green Designer, Whiting Design
  • Intern, Lett Architects Inc
  • Architectural Student, AODBT Architecture & Interior Design
  • Intern Architect, Tampold Architects

Co-op work/study sequences

  Fall Winter Spring
First year School School Off
Second year School Co-op School
Third year Co-op School Co-op
Fourth year School Co-op Co-op
Final year School Co-op School

Fall = September to December, Winter = January to April, Spring = May to August
School = 4-month school term
Co-op = 4-month co-op work term
Off = You can make your own plans for that term (work, travel, vacation, etc.)

Recent graduates

  • Intern Architect, Paul Raff Studio Incorporated Architect
  • Intern Architect, Levitt Goodman Architects
  • Junior Architect, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
  • Associate, Garwood-Jones and Hanham Architects
  • Intern Architect, James K.M. Cheng Architects Inc.
  • Project Manager, Designstor.Com Inc.
  • Design Associate, Fisher Weisman Interior Design & Decoration
  • Intern Architect, Parkin Architects Limited
  • Intern Architect, CS&P Architects
  • Architectural Assistant, Sara Wigglesworth Architects

Learn more about Architecture