2+Year Accredited Master of Architecture

Master of Architecture candidates holding a pre-professional Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in architecture or environmental design from an NAAB-accredited institution are eligible for admission to the 2+year professional Master of Architecture (M Arch) degree program. Students admitted to the program enter at Year 1.

The Master of Architecture is a professional degree program that educates students already grounded in the liberal arts to become registered, licensed architects who assume responsible and imaginative roles in society. The curriculum emphasizes integrated architectural design and its relationship to urban issues and tectonics, as well as the technical knowledge necessary for the professional practice of architecture. Courses in architectural history and theory, building science, graphics, materials and assemblies, design/build, and international studies provide further professional training and opportunities to develop areas of specialization.

The 2+ and 3+year M Arch programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Since most state registration boards in the United States require any applicant for licensure to have graduated from a NAAB-accredited program, obtaining such a degree is an essential aspect of preparing for the professional practice of architecture in the United States. (The one-year M Arch is not an accredited degree.)

Prerequisites for entering the 2+ Year M Arch Program:
Courses Quarter Credits Semester Credits
Architectural Design Studio (in addition to "basic design" courses) 36 24
Structural Design Principles (statics, strength of materials, gravity and lateral load tracing, design in timber and steel) 9 6
Building Materials and Assembly (light construction) 3 2
Environmental Forces (heat, light, sound, human comfort) 3 2
Architectural Graphics (both technical and freehand) 9 6
Architectural History (ancient through modern) 9 6
Architectural Theory 3 2
Design Computing 3 2

For application requirements and materials, see M Arch Admissions.


YEAR ONE          
Autumn   Winter   Spring  
500 Arch Design Studio I
(urban context)
6 501 Arch Design Studio II
6 502 Arch Design Studio III
590 Urb & Pres Issues in Design 3 570 Design Development 3 591 Arch and Landscape 3
532 Const Matls & Assemblies II 3 531 Active Control Systems  3 533 Advanced Env Systems  3
521 Struct. Planning and Design 3 Elective 3 History/Theory Selective 3
  15   15   15
YEAR TWO          
Autumn   Winter   Spring  
503 Arch Design Studio IV
6 504 Arch Design Studio V
6 595/599 Thesis Research Prep 4
571 Professional Practice 4 Professional Practice Selective 3 Architecture Elective 3
Architecture Elective 3 Architecture Elective 3 Elective*** 3
        Elective*** 3
  13   12   13
YEAR TWO+          
700 Master's Thesis 9        
Elective 3        

Courses in plain text are taught only in the quarter indicated; courses in italics are offered in more than one quarter per year. Check annual course listings for the specific quarters in which these courses are offered.

* Arch 503 designates the comprehensive design studio; which is offered only autumn and winter quarters. Students participating in the autumn quarter Architecture in Rome program or the autumn quarter Gehl studio receive credit for Arch 504 and must take Arch 503 winter quarter.

** Arch 504 is offered autumn and winter quarters. It covers: advanced building design (housing, transportation, institutions), craft (furniture, fabrication), global/local: (Rome (fall), India (winter), Mexico (winter)), interdisciplinary (urbanism, ecology, BE studios, Gehl studio). Arch 506 is offered spring and summer quarters; it can also fulfill the Arch 504 requirement, but not Arch 503.

*** In Spring quarter of Year 2, students can take the Arch 506 design studio in place of two 3-credit electives. Elective studios (Arch 506) are also offered most summers.

Download a PDF of the Master of Architecture Curriculum.


Degree options provide M Arch students with an opportunity to concentrate their studies in one of three areas:

  • History, Theory and Criticism
  • Materials and Fabrication
  • Sustainable Systems and Design

Students indicate their preference for the degree option by the beginning of ARCH 502 studio using the department’s online Degree Option Survey. The degree option will appear on the student’s final transcript.

Each degree option requires 25 credits; these credits also fulfill general M Arch requirements and do not add credits to the M Arch degree or increase time to degree. In addition to completing courses already required for the degree (indicated with • below), students must replace the three ARCH Electives with courses from the approved Elective lists and complete research in ARCH 595/599 appropriate to the area of concentration. Students may not pursue more than one degree option. Students may also choose to complete the M Arch degree without designating an area of concentration.

History, Theory and Criticism Courses

  • ARCH 500: Arch Design Studio I (Urban Context)
  • ARCH 590: Urban and Preservation Issues in Design
  • History and Theory selective
    3 ARCH Electives in History, Theory and Criticism
    ARCH 595 or ARCH 599: Thesis Research and Prep

Materials and Fabrication Courses

  • ARCH 501: Arch Design Studio II (Tectonics)
  • ARCH 532: Construction Materials and Assemblies
  • ARCH 570: Design Development
    3 ARCH Electives in Materials and Fabrication
    ARCH 595 or ARCH 599: Thesis Research and Prep

Sustainable Systems and Design Courses

  • ARCH 502: Arch Design Studio III (Sustainability)
  • ARCH 533: Advanced Environmental Systems
  • ARCH 591: Architecture and Landscape
    3 ARCH Electives in Sustainable Systems and Design
    ARCH 595 or ARCH 599: Thesis Research and Prep