Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Bachelor of Science Major in Architecture
(4 years – 120 credits)

Regulations effective September 1, 2017.

Athabasca University and Architecture Canada, Royal Architecture Institute of Canada (RAIC), have formed a partnership dedicated to offering a high quality online architecture program. This is Canada’s first online architecture program and it is a component of the renewal of the RAIC Syllabus which constitutes an alternative path to professional licensure as an architect in Canada. The RAIC Syllabus consists of studio, work experience and academic components taken while working under the supervision of a licensed Canadian architect.

The academic components of the Syllabus program are shared between first, a Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BSc Arch) and second, a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Architecture (PBDA). Together, the studio and work experience (offered by RAIC) and the academic components (offered by Athabasca University) fulfill the requirements of the RAIC Syllabus Professional Diploma in Architecture.

The BSc Arch program, which has a strong focus on environmental and community sustainability, will also be beneficial for public and private careers in urban and construction planning and design, as well as studies of the built environment. Students are strongly encouraged to register in ENGL 255 early in their program.

The BSc Arch program, has open admission, however students who have an approved diploma or credentials in architecture may apply for the Post Diploma route and will be awarded 30 credits towards the BSc Architecture (PD). Students may receive additional credits pending review of course content completed through the diploma program.

Students with a Recognized Degree

Students who hold a recognized first degree, outside of the field of Architecture, and who are interested on the BSc Arch program and/or courses, have two options:

  1. Apply to enter a second undergraduate degree. The second degree must include 60 credits that were not part of the first degree, at least 30 of which must be completed at Athabasca.
  2. Register as a non-program student and take courses of interest to them.

Program Plans

Our online program plans can assist you in selecting the courses needed to fulfill your program requirements.

Counselling Services offers an assessment website, "Mapping Your Future: Your Career and Athabasca University." Athabasca University has also developed program learning outcomes that describe the career options that may be available to you upon graduating.

Students complete the program regulations in effect at the time of their admission.

Program Structure

Total credits in the program 120
Minimum Senior level (300/400) credits required 75
Science and Arts breadth and senior-level requirements are fulfilled by a combination of specific Science, Arts, and Architecture courses (many of which are disciplinary in nature and cover both requirements). As a result, the BSc Arch requirements replace the breadth and depth of the BSc requirement.  
Residency Requirement. A minimum of 30 credits at the senior (300/400) level must be obtained through AU. 30
Graduation with Distinction or Great Distinction. At least 24 credits must be obtained through AU in order to be considered. 24
Maximum Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) credits 30

Core Course Requirements (39 credits)

Note: To better meet Architecture needs, a few requirements vary from the general BSc requirements and are replaced with similar, discipline-related courses.

Students in the BSc Architecture degree major must complete the following core course requirements as they are specific to this major.

1. A total of 18 credits from:

APST 230 Materials, Properties and Applications (3)
PHYS 200 Introductory Physics I (3)
PHYS 201 Introductory Physics II  
PHYS 202 Introductory Physics III (3)
APST 240 Introduction to Structures (3)
APST 340 Advanced Structures (3)
APST 350 Applied Architectural Sciences (3)

2. 6 credits in Mathematics from:

MATH 209 Finite Math (3)
MATH 215 Introduction to Statistics  
MATH 216 Computer-Orientated Approach to Statistics (3)

3. Computing course

COMP 210 Introduction to Information Systems and Computer Applications (3)

4. The following courses:

PHIL 252 Critical Thinking (3)
PHIL 333 Professional Ethics  
PHIL 371 Ethics: Science, Technology and the Environment (3)
PSYC 432 Psychology and the Built Environment (3)
ENGL 255 Introductory Composition
(see English Writing Skills Requirement below)

Architectural Major Courses (75 credits)

Design Workshop Courses (36 credits):

Note: The courses below with "RAIC" course codes are offered to Syllabus students through RAIC.

ADST 200 Foundations of Design I (3)
ADST 205 Foundations of Design II (3)
RAIC 200 Foundations of Design (6 credit course)  
ADST 300 Foundations of Architectural Design: Elements (6)
RAIC 300 Foundations of Architectural Design – Elements  
ADST 350 Foundations of Architectural Design: Simple Habitat (6)
RAIC 350 Foundations of Architectural Design – Simple Habitat  
ADST 400 Foundations of Architectural Design – Collective Habitat (6)
RAIC 400 Foundations of Architectural Design – Collective Habitat  
ADST 450 Architectural Design: Cultural, Recreational and Institutional (6)
RAIC 450 Architectural Design – Cultural, Recreational and Institutional  
ADST 490 Architectural Design, Workplace (6)
RAIC 490 Architectural Design, Workplace  

Applied Communication Courses (9 credits):

APST 215 Introduction to Graphic Representation (3)
APST 220 3D Modelling, Digital Representation and Presentation (3)
APST 255 Computer Aided Design (3)

Architectural Theory (15 credits):

ARCH 330 Architectural Design Theory Fundamentals (3)
ARCH 340 History and Theory of Modernism (3)
ARCH 350 Landscape (3)
ARCH 400 Urbanism (3)
ARCH 420 Contemporary Architectural Theory and Research (3)

Architectural History (9 credits):

ARCH 200 History of Ideas in Architecture I (3)
ARCH 300 History of Ideas in Architecture II (3)
ARCH 320 History of Canadian Architecture (3)

Advanced Architectural Technologies (6 credits):

APST 470 Building Envelope and Assemblies (3)
APST 480 Mechanical Equipment of Buildings (3)

Architectural Elective Courses (6 credits):

Any 300 or 400 level Science courses (3)
Any 300 or 400 level courses in Organizational Behavior (3)

Specific Architectural Program Regulations

Given the professional nature of the BSc Architecture program, some of the following regulations supersede some of the general policies governing academic studies at Athabasca University:

  1. Athabasca University will not grant transfer credit for science courses that were completed more than 10 years ago. Computer Science (COMP) and Computer Management Information Systems (CMIS) courses older than 5 years will be stale dated if students are not currently working in the field of Architecture.
  2. To be awarded a BSc Architecture degree, a minimum grade-point average of 2.3 is required in all Athabasca University courses used towards the degree.
  3. Upon graduation in the BSc Architecture degree students may subsequently complete the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Architecture in order to apply for the RAIC Professional Diploma in Architecture.

English Writing Skills Requirement

The English Writing Skills Requirement (ENGL 255) will be waived (students must replace the three credits to satisfy the credit requirement) if you satisfy one of the following:

  • have a grade of B- (70 per cent) or better in an AU English course above the preparatory (100) level;
  • or received transfer credit for a university-level English course in which a grade of B- or better was achieved.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018.

Updated September 21 2017 by laurab

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.