Architecture Schools in Phoenix, AZ with Degree Descriptions

Sep 21, 2018

Research architecture schools in the Phoenix area, which currently has two colleges offering programs within 20 miles of downtown. Read an overview of degree options, admission info and program requirements for these Phoenix-area colleges to decide which program is right for you.

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Phoenix Architecture Programs

Aspiring architects must often have a professional degree accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in order to gain licensure. Those interested in entering this field have educational options within 20 miles of central Phoenix. This article focuses on the learning experiences and coursework at two of these institutions. Use the table below to find key facts and figures for each school, then read on to find out about the specific programs offered at each location.

  • Located about 8 miles from downtown Phoenix, Arizona State University- Tempe has bachelor's and master's degree programs that prepare students to become professional architects. The school also offers a built environment master's degree and a doctoral program in environmental design.
  • Taliesin - The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, located around 18 miles from Phoenix's downtown area, offers a master's-level professional architecture program.

Comparison of Schools

Take a look at this table to compare acceptance rates, costs, campus settings and other stats. These facts and figures could help you make a choice on where to pursue training in architecture.

Arizona State University Taliesin - The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 51,164* 17*
Campus Setting Midsize city Rural
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $10,792, in-state;
$27,372 out-of-state*
$35,025*
% of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2017) 91%, first-year students* N/A*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 84%* N/A - Not reported
Retention Rate (2017) 87% for full-time students* N/A - Not reported
Graduation Rate (Students who began their studies in 2011) 63%* N/A - Not reported

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Arizona State University

Arizona State University (ASU) is located just outside of Phoenix in Tempe, AZ, and has degree programs in architecture at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. The professional master's degree program in architecture at ASU is accredited by NAAB. The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts boasts an architecture library, design gallery and computer labs. The school also offers other architecture-related programs such as interior architecture, urban design and landscape architecture.

Bachelor of Science in Design (Architectural Studies)

The Bachelor of Science in Design (BSD) program includes a major in architectural studies and is aimed at students who are planning to pursue a professional architecture master's degree. Students who earn the BSD degree can apply directly to the ASU professional master's degree program in architecture. Entry to the BSD architecture program is highly competitive, and students must pass a degree milestone before continuing on to the program's second-year. Studies cover computer modeling, environmental design, design fundamentals and architectural technology.

Master of Architecture

Students with a BSD degree in architectural studies from ASU can enter the 2-year Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program, which is a professional degree that prepares graduates for licensure. Those with a bachelor's degree in another field may enter the 3-year M.Arch. program. Some of the M.Arch. coursework includes green building and practices, principles of collaboration in design and advanced architectural studio courses. Students must also complete an architectural internship. The M.Arch. and Master of Business Administration degrees are also available in a dual degree program, which can be completed in about 3 years.

Master of Science in the Built Environment

Students who have a NAAB-accredited professional degree can enter the Master of Science in the Built Environment program. This research program offers concentrations in energy performance and climate-responsive architecture. This degree requires 30 credit hours and a thesis or applied project course.

Doctor of Philosophy in Design, Environment and the Arts

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Environment, Design and the Arts program gives architecture students the opportunity to develop an individualized curriculum that explores various aspects of the built environment. Coursework concentrations in this Ph.D. program include daylighting, creative environment and collaborative leadership and methods in visual communication. The multidisciplinary program provides research experience for students wishing to teach design, planning or architecture.

Taliesin - The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture

Taliesin - The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture (Taliesin) is a very small architecture school with a professional master's degree program. The school was created in Wisconsin by famed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, in 1932; classes are still held at the Spring Green, WI, campus during summer terms. The main campus is located in Scottsdale, AZ. Both campuses were designed by Wright and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Students at Taliesin also participate in non-architecture activities, such as reflection, theater arts, campus maintenance and self-discovery.

Master of Architecture

The professional M.Arch. program is NAAB-accredited and provides the education necessary to become a licensed architect. Coursework is based on the three phases of Taliesin curriculum. Some specific classes include architectural history, communication design, visual literacy and applied sustainability. Students are required to complete an architectural internship. A shelter thesis is included in the third year.

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