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.

The program is suited to people with backgrounds in architecture, engineering, planning, urban studies, history and theory of architecture, history, landscape, trades, and more. This includes professionals wanting more specialized training or to change careers; master’s students seeking to focus on architectural conservation; students pursuing a first job or applying for further graduate studies

Read a graduate profile here.

See the testimonials below. 

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.


“Would not be able to work so comfortably in heritage without GDAC

The GDAC ended up being a good addition to my previous architecture studies. It was a good balance of theoretical and practical classes that I still reference every day with the work that I’m doing. I don’t think I would be able to work so comfortably in heritage with just my normal architecture studies without having done the GDAC.

Architectural Intern, Ottawa, Canada
Master of Architecture, University of Laval

“I use what I learned on a weekly basis”

I’m very pleased to say that I am working in a field directly related to GDAC. I work as a heritage consultant in an architectural firm that specializes in heritage and adaptive reuse projects. I really do use an awful lot of what I learned — especially the classes I found challenging in BIM and engineering —on a weekly basis in my job.

Heritage consultant, Melbourne, Australia
PhD in History, Monash University

“Opportunity to switch career paths”

GDAC gave me the opportunity to switch career paths to a field that reflects who I am and what I am passionate about; for that, I will always be grateful. After returning home to Trinidad, there was still the desire to have the capacity to design. I wanted the opportunity to fully understand structures, hence, my venture into civil engineering. I am pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Structural Engineering at the University of Trinidad and Tobago part-time. I also work full time at the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago in the facilities and maintenance department. We and the construction department are responsible for the restoration and maintenance of our heritage sites, among other commercial buildings.  

Facilities Project Coordinator, Trinidad and Tobago
Bachelor of Arts in History and Theory of Architecture, Carleton University

Graduate FAQs

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

February 1, 2023

International students are strongly encouraged to apply early so that visas and WES transcripts are received before the term starts.

No – our admission is to the fall semester only.

M.Arch (15.0 Credits)

Successful completion of an honours degree in any discipline with a minimum academic average of B+


Successful completion of Carleton’s Bachelor of Architectural Studies Urbanism or Conservation & Sustainability degrees with a minimum academic average of B+

M.Arch with Advanced Standing (8.0 Credits):
Successful completion of a four-year, pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture, or its equivalent, with significant and specific studio experience in architectural design and a minimum academic average of B-


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


PhD in Architecture:
Successful completion of a Master of Architecture, or a recognized equivalent in a discipline related to the strengths of the program, with a minimum academic average of A-


Graduate Diploma in Architectural Conservation:
Successful completion of a Bachelor of Architectural Studies, or a equivalent degree in architecture, with a minimum academic average of B+

Required Courses (fall and winter)

GDAC Course Descriptions


GDAC Course Sequencing:

Rev. August 2023
  1. GDIP (DIP-AC) is the standalone program.
  2. GDAC (DAC-31) is the concurrent program for MArch students.

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: January 15 to July 15.

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. International students are strongly encouraged to apply early so that visas and WES transcripts are received before the term starts.

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