University of Waterloo


Cambridge, Ontario

Architecture degrees

Undergraduate / pre-professional:
Graduate / Professional:
MArch (Co-op)
MArch (Water)


School of Architecture

Class size ratio
Studio 15:1

Number of full time students: 350

Application deadlines (How to Apply)

Mission & values

Waterloo’s School of Architecture supports an inclusive and collaborative community of students, scholars, professors, staff, professionals and designers to nurture creative expression and innovation in the arts and technology of Architecture as a critical cultural act, fostering students’ ability to engage complex social and ecological issues by combining design, cultural and technological expertise. We are committed to strengthen our broader local community while developing the necessary pathways to support globally situated, diverse responses to the continuously evolving contexts for architectural education, practice and research.  With an integrated approach to design education that values design skills, projective practice, critical thinking, cultural foundations and technological expertise, our students are uniquely equipped to take on urgent challenges.

University setting

The School of Architecture is a source of design inspiration. It is housed in the carefully restored 1920s Riverside Silk Mill, and beautifully set on the Grand River in Cambridge, Ontario, located on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. It houses an award-winning library and is surrounded by a host of historic buildings and structures. It is the only Canadian school of architecture to have a permanent international facility, which has operated since 1979 in Rome, Italy. 

School philosophy

Waterloo Architecture offers the opportunity to learn in a creative field that brings together art, culture, society, and technology. Our students will explore the newest materials, technologies, and media while integrating the knowledge of cultural, architectural, and urban history that together form our world. We are committed to furthering the goals of equity, diversity and inclusivity, cultivating cultural literacy and environmental advocacy, and nurturing creativity to challenge technological and disciplinary boundaries. Offering local and global opportunities as students move between academic and work terms, Waterloo Architecture offers a uniquely integrated design education.

School programs

The Honours Bachelor of Architectural Studies degree provides the foundation of skills, knowledge, judgment and practical experience required for subsequent professional studies in architecture. The core of pre-professional program is design courses, starting right in year one. Students have their own dedicated space in our studio where they develop ideas and skills through a series of hands-on projects.

Students gain invaluable architectural professional experience through the co-op program which integrates two years of alternating paid work terms into the pre-professional course of study. Through co-op, Waterloo Architecture students expand their professional education and opportunities as they apply their knowledge and skills within architectural firms all over the world. 

The professional MArch degree prepares graduate students for entry into the profession of architecture. Combining elements of a professional master’s program and a research-oriented master’s program, the Waterloo Master of Architecture offers a unique opportunity to engage in self-directed research and develop a minimum three term independent research and design thesis while completing the required coursework for professional preparation.

The University of Waterloo offers a unique research-based Masters and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) collaborative program in Water. This program, jointly offered by ten departments across the Faculties of Arts, Engineering, Environment, Mathematics and Science, is intended to promote multi- and inter-disciplinary perspectives related to water. Students graduating from the collaborative program will be better equipped to work in multidisciplinary teams to solve increasingly complex water issues.

Areas of Focus

Art and Design
Building Technologies
Digital Design
Digital fabrication
Ecological Design
Energy modeling
History, theory and criticsim

Student opportunities

Collaborative Community Projects
Design-Build with Indigenous Communities
Exchange programs

Interdisciplinary courses
Lecture series
Study abroad


Architecture library
CNC milling
Laser cutter
Robotic arms
Computer lab
Fabrication lab
Photo Studio
Supply store
3D printing + 3D clay printing