Architecture, Landscape, and Design

Program Overview

This program will start on September 1, 2020.

This new four-year doctoral program, the PhD in Architecture, Landscape, and Design, will address a need for advanced specialized research within the design disciplines and produce students who will become traditional academics as well as consultants and leaders in diverse fields and sectors, such as museums and other cultural institutions, non-profit organizations, government, finance, and the consumer market.

This is a research-based PhD program with the aim of advancing scholarship and research beyond the boundaries of the individual design disciplines that are currently the focus of the Faculty’s accredited professional master’s programs. Graduates will be grounded in a research-informed practice that will transcend current disciplinary boundaries and will be positioned to lead the emerging, broader discussion, outside and between the specific design disciplines.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline PhD:

5-Jan-2021

PhD:

5-Jan-2021

Supporting documents deadline PhD:

12-Jan-2021

PhD:

12-Jan-2021

Minimum admission average PhD:

A-minus average in Master’s

PhD:

A-minus average in Master’s

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? PhD:

No

PhD:

No

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? PhD:

After

PhD:

After

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? PhD:

Department

PhD:

Department

Program length (full-time only) PhD:

4 years

PhD:

4 years


Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

The PhD program in Architecture, Landscape, and Design engages students in advanced research from an intra-disciplinary approach to architecture, landscape, and urban design. The program addresses cultural, social, environmental, historical, and technological questions of the art and design disciplines and the built environment. The program is intended for students entering careers that demand a syncretic approach to research in design and related disciplines.

This full-time program normally begins in September.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate master's degree with an average grade of at least A–. A professional degree in a design discipline is highly desirable, but applicants with a master’s degree in a related discipline in the humanities and social sciences may be considered. An additional specialized program of study may be proposed for successful applicants without professional training.

  • A writing sample in the form of a substantial research paper or publication.

  • Recommendation from three referees.

  • A two-page proposal that indicates a topic of research within a design discipline, possible sub-field(s) (if desired), and potential supervisors. Although letters of commitment from faculty members are not required, the proposed topic must be congruent with the interests and expertise of at least one member of the PhD standing committee. The admissions committee will obtain commitment from the potential supervisor before admitting an applicant, and the applicant will be informed of this in the letter of offer.

  • A portfolio of creative work may also be requested where it is relevant to the applicant’s proposed area of research and the degree to which it may require technical skills typically gained in a professional degree program. For example, this could pertain to an applicant whose proposal includes producing renderings. Questions about whether to include a portfolio in an application should be directed to the Program Director or the applicant’s prospective supervisor prior to the application deadline.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete a total of 6.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) including:

    • ALD 4030H Doctoral Research Colloquium (0.5 FCE).

    • ALD 4040H Theories and Methods (0.5 FCE).

    • ALD 4050H Research Practicum (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit).

    • ALD 4060H Preparation for Thesis (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit).

    • 4.0 elective FCEs chosen from advanced (3000 and 4000 series) graduate-level courses offered by the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. Depending on their field of study, students may also take advanced graduate courses in cognate disciplines across the University, pending the approval of the Faculty and in consultation with their supervisors.

    • In order to complete the chosen thesis topic, students may be required to take additional courses or acquire other skills. This will be determined by the supervisor and the Director of Graduate Studies and may include competence in another language.

  • Comprehensive examinations. All PhD students must complete a two-part comprehensive examination normally before their second Summer session. Successful completion of the examinations is required in order to achieve PhD candidacy. The exam's specific nature and scope are to be determined in consultation with the student's supervisor.

    • The first part, normally to be completed in the Summer session of Year 1, is to achieve breadth in the primary area of study so that the student can teach and conduct research within a larger chosen area within the design disciplines. This will usually involve preparing an annotated bibliography in consultation with the supervisor in the early Summer and writing the exam at the end of the Summer. The first part of the exam will consist of a written response to three questions, to be answered during a three-hour writing session that takes place on-site at the J. H. Daniels Faculty.

    • The second part, normally to be completed during the second session of Year 2, is to achieve depth in a secondary area of study, within the Faculty or beyond, so that the student can master the context for the advanced research they plan to undertake for their thesis. For the secondary area of study, most students are expected to specialize in one area of study of the design disciplines (for example, architectural history). Alternatively, for this requirement students may focus on a secondary area of study. (For example, computational technologies.) This exam may be administered by a faculty member other than the supervisor, to be determined by the student in consultation with their supervisor. This second part can take one of two formats:

      • a second annotated bibliography to achieve depth in a sub-section of the primary area of study;

      • a course syllabus with readings and outlines of lectures, themes for tutorial discussions, as well as a minimum of three lectures drawn from across the syllabus.

    • Both parts of the examination are marked on a pass/fail basis. An oral examination will follow the completion of the second part of the exam. The oral examination will last no more than 90 minutes.

    • A second attempt of the comprehensive examinations will be allowed within six months, only on the recommendation of the student’s supervisor. If the student fails again, their registration will be terminated. The student must pass both parts of the comprehensive examinations before permission to submit a thesis proposal will be granted.

  • Thesis. Following completion of the comprehensive exam, the student’s supervisory committee will be formed. This will take place no later than the Summer of Year 2 in order to allow the committee to advise on the development of the student’s thesis proposal.

    • No later than the beginning of Year 3, the student must submit to the PhD program director a thesis proposal that has been approved by the student’s supervisory committee. Once the thesis proposal has been approved, the student will achieve candidacy.

    • The doctoral candidate will then proceed to researching and writing the thesis. The student must meet with their thesis supervisory committee within three months of submitting the thesis proposal; thereafter, the candidate is required to meet at least once a year with the supervisory committee.

    • By the end of Year 4, the candidate should complete a thesis based on original research and the thesis should make a significant contribution to the area of study. The supervisory committee must approve the completed thesis before it is submitted for examination.

    • The candidate will defend the thesis at the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

Program Length

4 years full-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time

Dina Sabie

“It's okay sometimes to feel lost. This is part of research.”

Dina Sabie
PhD Student, Computer Science
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