Graduate Diploma in Architectural Conservation (GDAC)

The Graduate Diploma in Architectural Conservation (GDAC) program is taught by a multidisciplinary team of experts. The partnership between the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism, and the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, in running this program allows students to gain perspectives in conservation from both a theoretical and technical framework. Students become well-versed in the global discourse of heritage conservation while developing the skills to assess and document heritage sites.

Canada has close to 25,000 properties designated as sites of architectural heritage. In addition, over 200,000 sites are listed in heritage inventories, with an average of 2,000 properties being added each year. There is a growing demand for qualified specialists to shepherd these valuable cultural resources. Carleton University already has an established international reputation for excellence in the field of heritage conservation. The GDAC diploma program builds on this foundation by augmenting our existing professional degree with a focus on architectural conservation.


The program consists of four credits dealing specifically with the theory and practice of architectural and heritage conservation, including in these areas:


• Challenges in adaptive reuse
• Advanced digital technology and condition assessment
• Evaluation of heritage properties
• Tangible and intangible heritage
• Indigenous rights and heritage
• Historic urban landscape conservation
• Heritage conservation and sustainability
• Repairing historical structures


Diploma students will have access to resources such as the NSERC CREATE Heritage Engineering Annual Forum and workshops and participate in relevant projects at the Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS). CIMS is currently involved in the SSHRC New Paradigm / New Tools for Architectural Heritage in Canada Partnership Grant, assisting the Parliamentary Precinct Rehabilitation effort, and developing a building information model for the project. Students will also participate in organizing the Annual Heritage Conservation Symposium in collaboration with colleagues from the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies.

Carleton’s location in the National Capital Region make this diploma unique in Ontario. Partnerships with key government agencies, including Parks Canada and National Trust Canada, as well as other departments within Carleton University, provide important opportunities for scholarly exchange and material support for students.

Graduate FAQs

Once you’ve chosen your program, you will need to request an application account through Carleton University. Instructions can be found at

January 15 – guarantees your application will be reviewed for consideration of admission and funding, if applicable.
July 15 – your application file will be reviewed if funds and space remain.

No – our admission is to the fall semester only.

M.Arch 8 credit:
Successful completion of a four-year undergraduate degree in architecture or its equivalent with a minimum academic average of B minus


M.Arch 15.5 credit:
an honours degree in another discipline with a minimum academic average of B+


Successful completion of Carleton’s Bachelor of Architectural Studies (Urbanism, Conservation & Sustainability) degree with a minimum academic average of B+


Successful completion of a degree in architectural studies with a minimum academic average of B-


PhD in Architecture:
Master of Architecture or a recognized equivalent in a discipline related to the strengths of the program with a minimum GPA of A-


Graduate Diploma in Architectural Conservation:
BAS or equivalent degree in architecture with an average of B+ or higher 

Required Courses (fall and winter)

GDAC Course Descriptions


CDNS 5401 Heritage Conservation I: History, Principles, and Concepts
ARCC 5401 Workshop: Technical Studies in Heritage Conservation
ARCU 5402 Workshop: Urban Studies in Heritage Conservation / CDNS 5403 Heritage Conservation and Sustainability
ARCH 4200 Architectural Conservation Philosophy and Ethics
CDNS 5402 Heritage Conservation II: Theory in Practice
ARCN 5100 Representation and Documentation in Architectural Conservation
ARCH 5402 Evaluation of Heritage Properties
ARCH 4002 Canadian Architecture

Application Information

There are two ways to apply for the Graduate Diploma in Architectural Conservation:


(1) The Direct entry (DIP-AC) is for students with a professional degree in architecture or related discipline.

• Full time study: 8 months (September to April)
• Part time: up to 3 years to complete

(2) For students currently enrolled in Carleton’s Master of Architecture (DAC 31).

Students may apply to the Graduate Diploma in Architectural Conservation during the first year of study.


Online application deadline: February 1


Admission Requirements for all applicants:


• Bachelor degree with an average of B+ or higher
• Statement of Intent outlining why you wish to pursue a diploma in conservation
• Short Curriculum Vitae or Résumé
• Two confidential letters of reference
• Transcripts (international students must submit transcripts for evaluation by World Education Services). The process could take several months
• Portfolio (showing personal and/or professional work)
• English language proficiency if your first language is not English


Admission is offered on a rolling basis. The deadline for application is February 1. International students are strongly encouraged to apply early so that visas and WES transcripts are received before the term starts.

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