The Master of Architecture I (M.Arch I) is a NAAB-accredited, 3-year (7 semesters), 105 credits program intended for students holding undergraduate degrees in non-design fields. This STEM-designated professional degree program provides a well-grounded understanding of architecture as students immerse in contemporary challenges to address a variety of social, cultural, technological and programmatic contexts.
At the heart of the M.Arch I curriculum are Core Studios that introduce students to critical topics, imbue necessary skills, inspire critical thinking, examine the production of meaning in architecture, and foster an understanding of architecture as an integrative discipline. The Core Studios are carefully synchronized with core courses in drawing and visualization, history and theory, technology and systems, and practice.
The first year begins with an examination of the relationship between nature, landscape, and the built environment, and how architectural form is informed by a careful reading of place. Summer in the School’s Rome studio is configured to provide an intensive, on-site experience balancing design, history, theory, and analysis through drawing. In order to make travel to Rome more accessible, the School covers the cost of travel and lodging for this trip.
During the second year, students engage design-based critical inquiry into more complex issues including technology, structural systems, environmental stewardship, building envelope systems, and social human-centered aspects of architecture. In the Integrative Studio, which systematically incorporates professionals into the studio environment, students emulate modes of practice by organizing a complex architectural project combining design considerations with complex building systems, while also demonstrating proficiency in technical documentation.
In their final year, graduate M.Arch students are expected to pursue a final degree project. Final degree projects comprise one of two tracks:
- Design Thesis, an opportunity for each student, working with a faculty advisor, to conduct independent scholarly research and define an individual position with regard to the discipline of architecture
- Graduate Design Research Studio, led by a faculty member, which investigates relevant or thematic issues of architecture.
Beyond the Core Studios, students are able to develop individual focus areas, for instance in advanced technology, design-build, and building construction, sustainability and resilience, urban design, historic preservation, and adaptive-use, healthcare, or hospitality. Students direct their trajectory following their interests, develop areas of professional concentration through certificates, and engage in critical research.
U-SoA faculty are joined each year by internationally-recognized visiting scholars and fellows. The diversity of faculty interests and experience offers opportunities for students in the selection of Advanced Elective Design Studios. The School is home to innovative research units, including RAD-UM, a lab dedicated to emergent embedded technology, the Laboratory of Littoral Urbanism, an acclaimed design/build program, and the Center for Urban and Community Design.
The M.Arch degree can also be combined efficiently with on-site post-professional degree programs, such as the Master of Science in Architecture, Master of Urban Design, Master of Real Estate Development and Urbanism, and Master of Construction Management.
A strong sense of community, collaboration, and responsibility among U-SoA students and faculty contribute to the international stature of our Graduate programs.