Master of Science In Architecture in Design Computing

Design Computing: An Emerging Field

The Master of Science in Architecture Program in Design Computing at the University of Washington offers an opportunity to pursue graduate study in design computing – an emerging field concerned with the development of a new generation of design software, application of simulation, analysis, and fabrication in the design process, and utilization of digital technologies to create smart environments. Students from many disciplinary backgrounds (including applicants without a previous design degree) join together to pursue education and research in areas that include design methods, augmented and virtual reality, simulation and analysis, collaboration and community, digital fabrication, human computer interfaces for design, smart environments and other related topics.

The DMG: A Research Community

The Program in Design Computing is usually completed in 4 to 6 quarters. Students in the program work collaboratively in the Design Machine Group, a “research studio” environment dedicated to fostering the future of design and information technology. The projects at this research lab focus on design, computing and the built environment. (Visit the DMG web site for additional information.)

Curriculum: Preparation & Opportunity

The program involves a minimum of 45 credits of required course work, taken at the UW’s Seattle campus. Eighteen credits (Theory of Design Computing, Research Practice, Design, Thesis Proposal, and Thesis) are required as part of the core. Eighteen credits are “selectives” drawn from a variety of courses, including 3D Modeling & Rendering, Advanced Rendering, Web Weaving, Simulation-based Design, Programming, Building Information Modeling, Parametric Modeling and Fabrication. Nine elective credits complete the program. These are selected in consultation with their advisor from relevant courses available across campus, or students may design their own independent study. Students are encouraged to develop projects to the point of publication and travel support is available for students to present papers at appropriate conferences.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 45 quarter credits will be required for the completion of the program. The program requirements will be structured to fit the individual areas of specialization; however, certain common course requirements will be required of all M.S. Design Computing stream students. The core curriculum of 24 credits is comprised of a series of  three courses that combine discipline specific knowledge building with a focus on applied research skills, the thesis research proposal and masters thesis. The final 21 credits of course work involve a series of design computing seminars that are determined in consultation with a faculty advisor. 

Course Schedule

24 credits core curriculum courses:

Arch 587 Design Computing Theory, 3 credits
Arch 588 Research Practice, 3 credits
Arch 597 Research Practicum, 5 credits
Arch 599 Thesis Research Preparation, 4 credits
Arch 700 Master's Thesis, 9 credits

21 credits selectives

For application requirements and materials, see MS Admissions.