PhD in Architecture

Carleton University’s PhD in Architecture is an innovative, comprehensive doctoral program that fuses research with critical practice in architecture. Talented and thoughtful individuals are invited to undertake original, speculative, and experimental research in a broad range of fields. Doctoral projects at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism (ASAU) draw on the interrelated performative and reflective aspects of architecture, design, and material processes. Students are encouraged to engage in a number of related academic and research units on campus (many housed within ASAU) as well as major institutions in Ottawa.


The PhD is distinguished by exploring individual research questions through diverse media that combine visual and textual research methods of scholarship and design. In addition to a written dissertation, students develop an “epistemic object” (a project of architecture) that becomes an integral part of the doctoral dissertation. Students are encouraged to create links to other units on campus. Current and past students have engaged several of the Departments and Faculty at Carleton as well as other institutions nationally and internationally. The program requires continuous enrolment in the Fall/Winter/Summer term.


The program is enriched by research opportunities in the ASAU’s research labs and by extracurricular activities such as a biennial Open Colloquium, where PhD candidates present their research in a school-wide setting with invited critical respondents, as well as a biennial Agora Symposium.


The Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS), a centre dedicated to state-of-the-art and hybrid forms of representation, provides an important base for doctoral projects, along with the Carleton Research | Practice of Teaching | Collaborative (CRIPTIC), the Carleton Sensory Architecture and Liminal Technologies Laboratory (CSALT), and the Carleton Urban Research Lab (CURL).


PhD projects draw on a range of faculty research interests and expertise, with attention to the ways in which these aesthetic, multicultural, cross-cultural and professional forces have engaged the world at large through a diverse range of geographical conditions, political systems, and technological traditions.


PhD students are supported by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs (FGPA) and ASAU scholarships based on academic excellence. PhD students receive Teaching Assistant positions and can be considered for up to 2.0 credits of teaching at the Instructor level typically after becoming PhD Candidates. Scholarships and teaching assistantships are guaranteed for the years of the program, as per individual admission offers.


Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism and to discuss their proposed research, as well as admissions requirements, with Dr. Stephen Fai, and Dr. Federica Goffi, program co-chairs. Additionally, the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism does not pre-assign advisors for incoming doctoral students. A PhD student’s advisory committee is established in the second year of the program. This gives students time to develop a more in-depth research proposal and an opportunity to meet a broader group of faculty at the school.

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 (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+

List of PhD Supervisors

Research Labs at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism

• Research in the Architecture Action Lab (AAL), an abolitionist collective that explores design as activism, ranges from research and advocacy to community-serving Design-Build. 


• Research in the Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS) explores and develops innovative symbiotic relationships between the digital and fabricated 2D and 3D modes of representation.

• The Carleton Research | Practice of Teaching | Collaborative (CRIPTIC) pursues research in the humanities with a diverse agenda reflecting the interests of the collaborators through publications, exhibitions, and symposia.

• Research in the Carleton Sensory Architecture and Liminal Technologies Laboratory (C-SALT) focuses on the understanding, application, and invention of the material nature of architecture, construction, and design.

• Research at the Carleton Urban Research Lab (CURL) supports design-based thinking and collaborative projects centred on the entwined issues of water, cities, and equity.

The National Capital Advantage

Doctoral students benefit from the proximity of organizations situated in the National Capital Region such as the National Gallery of Canada (which includes the National Photography Institute) and the Canadian Museums of History, Nature, Aviation, Science and Technology. Ottawa is also home to Library and Archives Canada, the National Research Council Canada, the National Capital Commission, the National Arts Center, and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Program Information

PhD Course Sequencing:

Rev. June 2024

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Length: 5 years
Entry Terms: Fall
Fall Application Deadline: January 15

Tuition Calculator


For deadline information:

Contact: PhD and MAS Programs Co-chairs
Steve Fai: OR
Federica Goffi:
Pathway Options: Coursework and Dissertation

Learn More on Application Information