Carleton or U of Mtl??? - please help me make a decision!

I haven’t really found enough info about both these schools compared, side by side in the forums so I’m posting a new topic.

I am a McGill graduate (BACC of architecture) and am switching into I.D.

I got accepted to both Carleton and University of Montreal. I have some questions regarding both schoools! I hope you can help!

I compared things like housing (pricing is about the same), choice of classes are similar, and the facilities are similar (except Carleton has 2 rapid prototyping machines and U of M only has a removal prototyping machine or something) and of course the milling machine.

I looked at co-op, it seems useful and from what I gather, Carleton incorporates competitions into the studio classes and U of M does not. Carleton has some affiliations with companies (through co-op) and U of M does not although they sad the end of the year exhibition for graduates invite companies and you can network there. Like Carleton, you can take an optional stage where you have to find a job on your own, and get it credited.

Carleton however accepts high school students while U of M accepts CEGEP students meaning U of M doesn’t “waste” the first year on math and physics so I feel they have a more full curriculum, but they don’t see to prepare you as much for the real world as Carleton.

I am extremely torn between both, U of M has a better ranking as an overall school than Carleton (12 vs 37) in Canada.

I like U de M cuz it’s close to home and it’s in French and would force me to practice my French and seems very complete as a school.
I like Carleton cuz it has co-op (that I at least have the possibility of using) as well as a slightly better facility.

What is your opinion on both???

For the program itself, the facilities, the staff, the people, the reputation, the “readyness” to jump into a career with the right tools, the quality of the education??? (I have called the schools etc. all week) I need feedback from students!! And I don’t have the time to go visit both schools.



there have been numerous views… but no comments??

Ok here’s my 0.02$ worth as a Carleton grad. I can really only comment on Carleton as I know nothing about UM.

  1. Overall ranking of schools means nothing. You need to compare program to program. As far as I know Carleton is the top rated and recognized ID program in Canada. As well, Carleton is also very well regarded for engineering and architecture which are the faculties most related to design (ID is in fact in the Engineering dept.). General rating for liberal arts courses has no relevance.

  2. The first year math, physics, etc. courses I don’t think are a waste. The way the Carleton program is structured (at least when I was there), is that there is a much more heavy focus on these things (in addition engineering courses, business, marketing, psychology, etc.) than in most schools. These courses are taken in the appropriate faculty (ie. it’s not a design prof teaching physics) so you get a good foundation of practical knowledge and understanding of the mindset and content of people you may need to work with in real life (ie. marketing people, engineers, etc.).

  3. The co-op and industry participation (ie. competitions, working with Black and Decker, etc.) are great for getting real world perspective and feedback on projects. This is certainly a strength of Carleton, though again I’m not sure how other schools work.

  4. Overall the program is very real world and engineering based. It’s certainly not all artsy or conceptual as a Art Center or perhaps OCAD program might be. To me this is good. It prepares you well for the majority of ID jobs, yet has enough flexibility so that you can still do what you are interested in (ie. my major project was more of a conceptual one, and I got a bit of pushback, but still worked out in the end and did well).

hope this helps.


Thanks for the reply.

I realize overall ranking of the schools mean nothing for small programs like design programs, but I searched for days and could not find the rankings for design or ID programs in Canada, only the schools themselves. People keep saying Carleton is ranked on top, I was wondering where this information was coming from since I have not been able to find this anywhere…

What I meant as a “waste” was for my particular case. I have went through CEGEP and have already done cal I and cal II as well as physics classes. Not only that but in architecture, I have taken civil engineering classes so for my situation, it is not useful and so I felt there were less electives to choose from.

As for co-op, another student I spoke to (from Carleton) said that co-op was not useful (and not well developed for ID) and if I was considering Carleton based on co-op, I should reconsider my options. Seems most people in co-op find jobs on their own anyways meaning… the institution wasn’t much help.

(I have spoken to staff and the co-op department, so I know the facts, I just needed student opinions).

Please feel free to comment more!!

not a student nor graduate of either. Know some people at both, hired and worked with graduates.

It is true that no Canadian schools have an effective coop program hunting for meaningful industry networks. My advice is to ignore the coop aspect completely in your decision making.

Interestingly, regarding Carleton, I know a professor there, got on their coop department contact list, was contacted immediately after, then nothing for 3 years, then a looooooong email explaining internal Carleton coop department politics, then contacted, then not following year.

Working across Canada, I have never met a graduate of UdeM, numerous Carleton’s and Humber Collegites. I assume UdeM attracts Quebecers who then stay within the province or otherwise don’t pursue the field. That’s not a critique, just an observance.

The facilities and costs seem reasonably comparable from your description. Therefore, I suggest you make a decision based on convenience and lifestyle.

I repeat this mantra so often: For me at hiring time the fact you graduated is more important than what school you graduated from. Plus a good portfolio.

Let me be the first one you meet then. :wink:

It’s true that most of us stay in Quebec for companies like Bombardier, Mega Bloks, etc. A bunch go work in Europe to. That’s probably why you haven’t met UdeM graduates. With out being perfect, I’m very satisfied of the education I received.


what were your major complaints about the education/school out of curiosity?

Same goes for any Carleton students out there.

No one has spent 4 years at both schools.

All views are skewed, though some insightful and informative (RK’s for example here)

You can not compare colleges to one another.

Don’t let strangers decide your future and your fate.

The most important thing for you to do is;
visit both schools and decide for yourself.