Create the blueprints for a great career.

In one of North America’s top schools of architecture, you’ll get a broad education that covers everything from building materials and construction techniques to cultural history, social context, green architecture, and more.

However, the core of pre-professional program is design courses, starting right in year one. You’ll get your own dedicated space in our studio where you’ll develop your ideas and skills through a series of hands-on projects.

Learn about society and culture, the principles of physics, materials and techniques of construction, human interaction with the natural and built environment, critical thought, and the diverse forms of creative expression.

It all happens in a beautiful historic building in the city of Cambridge, about 30 kilometres south of the main Waterloo campus, complete with labs, exhibition galleries, and a world-class design library.

Study in Rome

The Coliseum is calling! You’ll spend the fall of your fourth year at our studio in Rome, one of the world's great cities for culture and architecture.

Kick start your career as an architect

This is the only school of architecture in the world where you’ll get 2 years of paid co-op work experience in Canada and abroad.


How does Architecture relate to Architectural Engineering?

If you're strong in artistic and creative abilities and have a background in math and science, Architecture is for you. You'll focus on design that applies social and cultural aspects as well as science and engineering to construction projects, ranging from accessible public space to environmental approaches to sustainable building and landscape and urban design.

Architectural Engineering is closer to Civil Engineering than it is to Architecture. Students will cover mechanics, structural analysis, structural design, and in the first 2 years, a lot of math. You'll learn about the science and engineering behind good building design – not just the structural aspects, but also energy efficiency, sustainable building design, and smart/green building design.

About the Architecture program

briefcaseGain 2 years of experience in the co-op program

mouseApply directly to Architecture on your application

grad capEarn a Bachelor of Architectural Studies degree


98%Co-op employment rate

GearsOffered by the Faculty of Engineering

#1Engineering school in Canada (US News & World Report 2018)


Architecture 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

First-year Architecture courses

September to December

ARCH 192 - Design Studio
ARCH 110 – Visual and Digital Media 1
ARCH 120 - An Introduction to Architectural Ideas and Communications
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 – Ancient Worlds and Foundations of Europe
ARCH 173 - Building Construction 2


After first year

See the range of all Architecture courses at Waterloo or view the courses required to earn your degree.

Sample upper-year Architecture courses

ARCH 246 – Pre-Renaissance to Reformation
ARCH 327 – Architecture of the Urban Environment

ARCH 313 – Advanced Visualization and Analysis
ARCH 465 – Advanced Structures: Design and Analysis


Gain relevant work experience through co-op

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 job titles

  • Architectural assistant
  • Architectural student
  • Intern architect
  • Architectural designer
  • 3D architectural visualization artist

Sample co-op employers

  • Arquitectonica International
  • Whiting Design
  • AODBT Architecture & Interior Design
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.
  • Bryden Wood Ltd.

Careers in architecture

  • Intern Architect, Levitt Goodman Architects
  • Junior Architect, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
  • Associate, Garwood-Jones and Hanham Architects
  • Intern Architect, James K.M. Cheng Architects 
  • Project Manager, 
  • Design Associate, Fisher Weisman Interior Design & Decoration
  • Intern Architect, Parkin Architects 
  • Intern Architect, CS&P Architects

Learn more about Architecture