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Master of Architecture (M. Arch)

Program Director: James Doerfler, Director of Architecture Programs
Associate Director, Master of Architecture: Donald Dunham


The Master of Architecture Program is a first-professional graduate degree program designed to prepare students for the new challenges of professional architectural practice in the 21st century through the development of high-level sustainable design and technology skills, knowledge of project management and innovative delivery methods, and collaborative experiences in an interdisciplinary environment. The M.Arch. program is designed for students with undergraduate degrees in any field of study and offers advanced standing for students with undergraduate degrees in pre-professional architecture or related design programs, such as interior design, historic preservation or industrial design. This graduate program complements the already proven NAAB-accredited Jefferson 5-year Bachelor of Architecture program.

Program Learning Goals

Graduates of the Master of Architecture program will be able to:

  • Address social and cultural issues through informed design solutions.
  • Research, analyze, and compare design options in a global environment.
  • Function collaboratively to connect beyond the expertise of architects.
  • Organize and direct heterogeneous teams.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply design history and theory, sustainable practices, and technology in design projects.
  • Demonstrate familiarity of diverse needs, values, behavioral norms, physical abilities, and social and spatial patterns of different cultures and individuals.
  • Exhibit the implication of this familiarity on the role and responsibilities of the architect.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the sustainable practice of building.
  • Integrate professional practice with issues of public health, safety, and welfare regulations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of dealing with clients and consultants, and integrating community service.
  • Exhibit an awareness of structural, environmental, and other building systems that support a healthy environment.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with current research and best practices.

Program Description

The Master of Architecture program is a graduate program with a professional bias and outcome. The general profile of students are post-graduates, with many having had some professional working experience. It is the intention of the program to prepare students for a career in architecture as a registered professional architect. Balancing current sustainable design practices and high-performance building systems along with architectural history and theory, the Master of Architecture program culminates with a final thesis project. Students employ traditional drawing and fabrication tools and techniques as well as use current digital technologies in representation, fabrication and architectural production. Underlying this program is a real-time response to the needs of the industry and the individual student. Courses are structured to support integrated and experiential learning combined with the students’ academic and professional experience. The Master of Architecture program benefits from Nexus Learning, the interdisciplinary academic model at the University.

Curriculum Design

The 48 to 100 credit curricula can be completed in two to three academic years. Advanced placement is determined by the program director and is based on previous education and experience. Elective courses come from curricula in other master’s programs: Geospatial Technology for Geodesign, Interior Architecture, Sustainable Design, Real Estate Development, and Construction Management, as well as cross-listed Bachelor of Architecture courses. Additional courses may be selected from other programs such as Engineering, Health, and Business. Below is a typical curriculum sequence for the full 100 credits.

Summer Semester
ARCH-601: Introduction to Design....... 3 credits
MARCH-602: Introduction to Visualization....... 3 credits


Fall Semester

MARCH-611: Design 1....... 6 credits
MARCH-621: Visualization 1....... 3 credits
MARCH-631: History 1....... 3 credits
MARCH-641: Technology 1....... 3 credits

Spring Semester
MARCH-612: Design 2....... 6 credits
MARCH-632: History 2.......  3 credits
MARCH-651: Structures 1....... 3 credits
MARCH-642: Technology 2.......  3 credits


Fall Semester

SDN-622: Sustainable Design Studio.......   4 credits
SDN-601:  Principles and Methods of Sustainable Design.......  3 credits
MARCH-633: History 3.......  3 credits
MARCH-652: Structures 2....... 3 credits
MARCH-643: Technology 3....... 3 credits

Spring Semester
MARCH-614:  Design 4.......  6 credits
MARCH-622: Visualization 2....... 3 credits
MARCH-634: History 4....... 3 credits
MARCH-644: Technology 4.......  3 credits
Elective.......  3 credits


Fall Semester

MARCH-615: Design 5.......  6 credits
MSARC-631: Research Methods....... 3 credits
MARCH-645: Technology 5.......  3 credits
Elective....... 3 credits

Spring Semester
MARCH-616: Design 6.......  6 credits
MARCH-661: Professional Management.......  3 credits
Elective.......  3 credits
Elective.......   3 credits