Graduate Program in Architecture (M.Arch)

Posted By: 

Forrest Meggers, Director of Graduate Studies, M. Arch Professional Program

Paul Lewis, Director of Graduate Studies, M. Arch. Post-Professional Program


Professional Master's Degree

The Master of Architecture degree (M.Arch.), accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), is intended for students who plan to practice architecture professionally. It qualifies them to take the state professional licensing examination after completing the required internship. 

Post-Professional Master’s Degree

A post-professional M.Arch. degree is available to those who hold the degree of Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) or its equivalent from an international institution. These are students who have successfully completed a professional program in architecture and have fulfilled the educational requirements for professional licensing in the state or country in which the degree was granted. Students typically complete this program in two years. This degree is not accredited by the NAAB.

Programs of Study

The master's degree program is structured around a rigorous sequence of design studios. Studio work is complemented by courses in technology, history, theory, and analysis and representation. Each student constructs an individual program of study to meet course and distribution requirements. Students are also eligible to take elective courses in the School and in other departments of the University.

Students in the professional M.Arch. program must take a minimum of 25 courses, typically four per term, including one design studio each term and the independent design thesis in the final term. The studio sequence, required technology and professional practice courses, and basic courses in history/theory and urbanism constitute a core that represents the basic knowledge of the discipline. In addition to these required courses, each student must complete distribution requirements within the areas of history and theory, and building technology. In order to encourage the development of an individual program of study, each student may select up to three elective courses that can be taken throughout the University with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Arc 501 - Architecture Design Studio, fall
Arc 502 - Architecture Design Studio, spring
Arc 503 or 504: Integrated Building Studio, fall or spring
Two (2) vertical studios (Arc 505a-c and/or Arc 506a-c)
Arc 508: M.Arch Thesis Studio, spring
Arc 547: Introduction to Formal Analysis
One (1) design seminar elective

One (1) course with a focus in 18th/19th century architecture
One (1) course with a focus in 20th century architectural history
One (1) course with a focus in urbanism and landscape architecture
Three (3) additional history and theory courses (any level)

Arc 509: Integrated Building Systems
Arc 510: Structural Analysis for Architecture
Arc 511: Structural Design
Arc 514: Environmental Engineering of Buildings, Part I
Arc 515: Environmental Engineering of Buildings, Part II
One (1) additional Building Technology course (any level)

Arc 562: The Professional Practice of Architecture

Arc 530, fall of final year

Three (3) courses (any level)

Students with extensive and sophisticated undergraduate architectural education may be granted advanced standing in the Professional M.Arch. Program at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. Because of the differences in the educational backgrounds of students entering with advanced standing, the required number of courses in the areas of distribution is determined by the Director of Graduate Studies after reviewing each student’s transcript and experience.

The post-professional program curriculum has recently been updated and changed to a two year program.  Students will be required to take a minimum of 14 courses from the areas of design studio, history and theory, building technology, and elective courses that can be taken throughout the University with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Two studios (503, 504, 505A-C and/or 506A-C)
ARC 507, 508 (year-long thesis)

ARC 531, taken in first semester

ARC 532

Eight (8) courses, throughout the university with approval

The Thesis

Each semester, the thesis students are challenged to make an architectural response to a general thematic question. The theme is explored in workshops, stated as a written proposition and elaborated as a design proposal during the students’ final semester.  Thesis topics are one word themes, agreed upon by the faculty, that serve as a hinge point between architecture and questions of politics, culture, technology or society.  The thematic organization of the final semester’s independent design research creates a shared point of departure for students, faculty and visiting critics.