Architecture MS: Sustainable Design

Landscape architecture cardboard model closeup

The Master of Science in Architecture Sustainable Design Track (MS-SD) focuses on regenerative design concepts and strives to improve the environment by addressing social issues and promoting human wellbeing.

Program Details

We believe that sustainable development must be redefined using a regenerative system approach, which connects food, water, and energy use to the carrying capacity of a local ecosystem. Our core curriculum unpacks this belief with foundational courses in sustainable design theory and history, energy and environmental equality, site and water, and material performance. 

We aim to balance inquiry with application. Each course involves a project, where you will practice research to demonstrate theory. We challenge you to uncover how bettering peoples’ lives can act as a driver for addressing environmental issues in local and global settings. Through each project and your electives, you will develop a personal area of focus. Topics can address small or large-scale issues, from designing cities on water to examining healthier materials for wall systems. Once you have chosen a special topic, the remainder of your degree is devoted to self-driven research. 

CSBR

Our program also offers students the benefit of direct access to the Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR). The center provides numerous opportunities for you to collaborate on a diverse range of influential projects that determine sustainable building policy, energy codes, affordable housing, and more in the state of Minnesota. Many directors of sustainable firms in Minneapolis and St. Paul are graduates of our architecture programs, and your research will directly tie into industry or career-oriented aspirations. Regardless of your field, sustainable design skills will set you apart and prepare you to work alongside architects in the future.

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Degree Options

Master of Science in Architecture: Sustainable Design Track Degree Options

Students pursuing this degree have two separate degree plans to choose from. Plan A is more thesis-focused and is considered preparatory for pursuing a PhD. Plan B is project-based and aimed at career advancement.

Plan A Plan B
  • 34 total credits
    • 18 major credits
    • 6 elective/minor credits
    • 10 thesis credits
  • 2 years (full-time)
  • Final oral examination
  • 34 total credits
    • 27–28 major credits
    • 6 elective/minor credits
  • Required project
  • 2 years (full-time)
  • Final oral examination
Full Requirements & Course Descriptions
Questions?

Learn more about the Architecture MS and its degree tracks by contacting Terence Rafferty, the Director of Graduate Admissions for Architecture. 

Concurrent Degrees

As an Architecture MS student, it is possible to concurrently pursue our fully accredited Master of Architecture degree. This program requires a separate application and students must be admitted to both programs.

Learn more about how to pursue dual masters degrees

Questions?

Learn more about the concurrent degrees by contacting Terence Rafferty, the Director of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment for Architecture.