PhD in Architecture: Degree Program Information

Students in architecture can pursue Ph.D. programs that prepare graduates for positions in teaching and research. Some possible concentration areas include design theory and practice, the history of architecture, environmental design and sustainable building practices.

Essential Information

A Ph.D. in Architecture is different from a Doctor of Architecture (D.Arch). An architecture Ph.D. is a research-based degree program that prepares graduates for teaching and research positions in the field, while a D.Arch, which is similar in structure to existing Master of Architecture programs, prepares graduates for advanced architecture positions.

Students enrolled in a Ph.D. in Architecture program can complete the degree in four or more years of full-time study. A professional degree in architecture or in a related field is all that is required to be admitted into a PhD program. Students will also have to complete and defend a dissertation at the end of their program.


Ph.D. in Architecture

The Ph.D. in Architecture curriculum requires the completion of core research and architecture courses and at least one foreign language. After these core courses are completed, students enroll in elective classes and begin work on their dissertation. Some possible courses include:

  • Building science & research methods
  • Methods of historical research in architecture
  • Criticism in architecture
  • Design and social & cultural factors
  • Developing countries & urbanization
  • Research foundations

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a Ph.D. in Architecture do not enter into the architecture profession and instead apply for teaching and research positions with various organizations and universities. Besides universities, some common employers include building research centers, consulting firms and architectural publications. Some possible career outcomes include:

  • Architectural consultant
  • University professor
  • Architectural researcher

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Some graduates of architectural Ph.D. programs may choose to pursue work in postsecondary teaching. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that postsecondary teachers were projected to see a 13% increase in employment opportunities from 2014-2024. The median annual wage for a postsecondary teacher in architecture was $73,920 in May 2015.

A Ph.D. in architecture program allows students to enhance their research skills and deepen their knowledge of architectural history and methodologies. Many of these students go on to become postsecondary teachers or architectural researchers.

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