At the graduate level, students can earn either a professional or an academic degree in architecture. There are both public and private universities around the country that offer master's and/or doctoral degrees in this field.
10 Architecture Graduate Schools
These schools offer graduate-level master's degree programs in architecture:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016, In-State)*|
|Arizona State University-Tempe||Tempe, AZ||4-year, Public||Master's
|Ohio State University-Main Campus||Columbus, OH||4-year, Public||Master's
|University of Florida||Gainesville, FL||4-year, Public|| Master's
|University of Minnesota-Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, Public|| Master's
|The University of Texas at Austin||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||Master's
|Texas A&M University-College Station||College Station, TX||4-year, Public||Master's
|University of South Florida||Tampa, FL||4-year, Public||Master's||$8,350|
|Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus||University Park, PA||4-year, Public||Master's||$19,328|
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private|| Master's
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Master's
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
When choosing an architecture school, students should consider the following issues:
- Students should make sure that the program provides relevant training for their intended careers; some master's degree programs are intended for those who want to practice as certified architects, while others focus on academic research training.
- Students should make sure that they meet the minimum educational requirements for a program; for instance, some professional programs require students to have completed certain pre-professional courses prior to admission.
- Students who are interested in a specific subfield of architecture, such as landscape design or urban planning, should find out if the school offers a major or concentration in that topic.
- Students who plan to pursue a professional degree should make sure that the program is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
Master of Architecture (MArch) Programs
Most states require certified architects to hold a professional degree, complete a paid internship and pass the Architect Registration Exam. Professional MArch programs are intended for students who have completed a non-professional bachelor's degree and want to pursue this course of education. Most schools offer two tracks within MArch programs; one for students who earned a bachelor's degree in architecture, and one for students who majored in an unrelated subject. The first program takes 2 to 2.5 years to complete, while the second takes 3 to 3.5 years. In these programs, students take career-specific courses and complete a final capstone project.
Master of Science (MS) or Master of Architecture (MA) Programs
Master of Science (MS) and Master of Architecture (MA) programs do not provide professional training. Instead, they allow students to pursue advanced research in architecture and gain teaching experience in the field. Students may have the chance to choose a specific concentration, such as urban design, energy conservation or heritage conservation. Prior to graduation, students must submit a master's thesis. In total, they take 1.5 to two years to complete.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Another academic degree option for architecture graduate students is a PhD in Architecture. In these programs, students take advanced architecture coursework and write a research-based dissertation in a particular interest area within the field. Applicants are expected to have a strong educational background in architecture or a related field, but a professional degree is not necessarily required for admission.
Graduate Certificate Programs
Graduate-level certificates allow trained architects to specialize their skills through advanced studies in a particular topic, such as historic preservation, urban design or design computing. At some schools, it is possible to earn a certificate while also pursuing a master's degree.
Graduate schools around the country offer master's degrees, PhD and certificate programs in architecture. Students should make sure that the school they choose aligns with their future career goals.