High school students who are planning to study architecture at university are advised to develop a well-rounded academic foundation by taking courses in three areas: art/music, mathematics/science, and history/literature. Grade 12 math is a prerequisite for subsequent university courses in mathematics or science. Travel to other countries also broadens one's outlook.
For university students, many different subjects provide an effective stepping stone to architecture, so the School simply recommends that you work toward a degree in a discipline in which you are liable to do well. Although only two years of university are required for admission, most Dalhousie architecture students enter with an undergraduate degree. To prepare for studio work, all applicants are advised to take a course in freehand drawing and a course in a material-based subject (e.g., wood, metal, or ceramics).
The School seeks applicants with a good academic record and creative ability. The minimum requirements for admission are:
- a printed portfolio of design work that demonstrates creativity and/or artistic skill; it may include freehand drawings, paintings, furniture, sculpture, craft objects, creative photography, construction projects, etc.
- two years in a university degree program (ten full-year courses, twenty half-year courses, or a combination), with a minimum 2.5 grade point average (B- average), including the following courses:
- a full-year course (or two half-year courses), at 1000-level or higher, in a mathematics or science subject: biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, physics, or statistics (but not economics, environment, geography, management, planning, or psychology; and not history of mathematics) [Note: This is a change from previous years; these university courses no longer need Grade 12 math as a prerequisite.]
- a full-year course (or two half-year courses) in a humanities or social science subject: e.g., anthropology, art history, classics, literature, music history, philosophy, political science, psychology, or sociology (but not geography, planning, language instruction, or music instruction)
- a half-year course that emphasizes English writing skills (often designated by a university as "writing requirement" or "writing intensive")
One year of university equivalence may be granted to an applicant who has attended a post-secondary institution that is not considered a university. Two or more years at a college or an institute of technology plus one year at a university normally is acceptable.
Students who have studied architectural technology for two or more years at an institution that is not considered a university (even if it awards degrees) must also complete one full year of non-architectural courses at a university.
Professional architectural accreditation in Canada requires four years of architectural subjects, plus two years of non-architectural subjects (general studies) to broaden one's education. Students who went straight from high school into a university architecture program, without studying other university subjects, must complete at least one full year of non-architecture courses at a university to be eligible for BEDS admission. Some courses in a student's previous architecture program may count toward this two-year general studies requirement or may be accepted for transfer credit in the BEDS program. The Architecture office cannot provide a detailed assessment of previous architectural courses and how they compare to the BEDS program. This can be done only by the BEDS Admission Committee after a complete application has been submitted.
Applications will be considered from mature students who will be at least 25 years old at the time of registration in the BEDS program and do not meet all of the academic admission requirements (two years of university, 2.5 GPA, math or science course, humanities or social science course, course emphasizing written composition). Eligibility would depend on alternate qualifications, not just age. All mature students must have completed at least one full year (ten half-year courses) at a university; two years at a college is not sufficient.