Master of Architecture Sample Program Plans

M.Arch Program Overview

Our award-winning M.Arch curriculum was designed to rapidly respond to the opportunities and demands of a dynamic and constantly changing world and profession. The curriculum is guided by three primary values: building on tradition, embracing challenges, and expecting change.

The curriculum is structured to facilitate two very different modes of working: “slow burn” and “agile/nimble." Fall semester is “slow," taught in semester-long coordinated courses, while spring semester is “agile," containing combinations of 7-week modules. Placed between the modules are four-day “catalyst” workshops that encourage high-risk work with visiting design professionals and faculty. Shifting between different modes of work, you will develop agility and alternate between working with known peers and mixed groups from different year levels and other disciplines. Shifting between different modes of work prompts you to develop mental agility and critical thinking skills and prepares you to engage with the expanded and unfamiliar ways that architecture design is responding to 21st-century problems.

Three-Year Program

Our three-year professional program requires 90 credits and is oriented toward students who do not have an undergraduate degree in architecture or environmental design. We value the breadth of a liberal arts education and strongly encourage students with a broad range of academic backgrounds to apply to the three-year program.

Two-Year Program (Advanced Standing)

Applicants to the two-year program must have a pre-professional B.S. major in architecture, or its equivalent, and have completed at least one course in structures, materials & methods, and environmental technologies, as well as at least four semesters of architecture design studios. Your portfolio must exhibit a proficiency of design equal to students having completed the first year of our three-year program.

Dual Degree

Students who enter the M.Arch program may also apply to one of the M.S. in Architecture programs (Sustainable Design, Research Practices, or Metropolitan Design). The dual degree enables M.Arch students to overlap up to 24 credits from the 90-credit M.Arch program. Students in the dual degree program can complete both degrees in a minimum of 3 1/2 years (seven semesters). Learn more about the dual degree.

Curriculum Sequence

M.Arch Three-Year Curriculum Sequence

This 90-credit sequence applies to students in the three-year M.Arch program.


  • ARCH 5412: Architecture: A Global and Cultural History (3 cr)
  • ARCH 5562: Intro to Building Technology (3 cr)
  • ARCH 8251: Graduate Architectural Design (9 cr)


  • ARCH 5250: [First Half Semester Studio] Advanced Topics in Design (3 cr)
  • ARCH 5110: Catalyst (1 cr)
  • ARCH 5250: [Second Half Semester Studio] Advanced Topics in Design (3 cr)
  • ARCH 5518: Environmental Technology: Integrative Ecological Design for Responsive Architecture (3 cr)
  • ARCH 5561: Structures for Building (3 cr)
  • ARCH 54xx: History/Theory Elective (3 cr)


  • ARCH 5563: Advanced Building Technology — Integrated Building Systems (3 cr)
  • ARCH 5564: Building Structural Systems (3 cr)
  • ARCH 5621: Professional Practice in Architecture (3 cr)
  • ARCH 8253: Graduate Architectural Design (6 cr)
  • ARCH 5250: [First Half Semester Studio / Net Positive Studio] Advanced Topics in Design (3 cr)
  • ARCH 5110: Catalyst (1 cr)
  • ARCH 8254: [Second Half Semester Studio / Integrative Design] Technical Applications in Design (3 cr)
  • ARCH 5xxx: Elective (3 cr)
  • ARCH 5xxx: Elective (3 cr)
  • ARCH 5413: Modern and Contemporary Global Architecture (3 cr)


  • ARCH 5411: Principles of Design Theory (3 cr)
  • ARCH 5xxx: Elective (3 cr)
  • ARCH 5xxx: Elective (3 cr)
  • ARCH 8255: Graduate Architectural Design (6 cr)
  • ARCH 8299: Master’s Final Project (10 cr)
  • ARCH 5xxx: Elective (3 cr)