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Master of Architecture: Architecture Degree Overview

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) programs are meant for students whose undergraduate degree is in an area other than architecture or those who completed a pre-professional program in architecture. These graduate programs may focus on issues like design, technology and architecture history.

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Essential Information

Students in a Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program explore and identify the significance of architecture in relation to culture and society during an M.Arch. program. This involves gaining an understanding of theory, design, technology and history related to architecture. For admission, students must have an architecture-related bachelor's degree. Some programs also require students to submit portfolios of previous work related to architecture. Master's programs in architecture generally require 1-2 years of study. Some M.Arch. programs allow students to specialize in such areas as sustainability and green design. Students may have the opportunity to participate in internships and study abroad semesters during an architecture program.


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  • Architectural History
  • Architectural Technology
  • Environmental Design
  • Interior Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Urban and Regional Planning

Master of Architecture Degree

The Master of Architecture degree prepares students to become licensed architects in their state. Students may take courses related to these and other areas:

  • Architectural design
  • Spatial dialects
  • Computer-aided design
  • Technology for architects
  • Environmental engineering
  • Structural design

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Individuals who obtain an M.Arch. may go on to work as architects, environmental designers, museum curators or real-estate developers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), architects were expected to see a 7% increase in jobs in the decade spanning 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Architects earned a median annual salary of $76,100 in May 2015.

Licensure and Continuing Education Information

In the United States, most state boards of architecture registration require that students graduate from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes two types of professional degrees: the 5-year Bachelor of Architecture and the Master of Architecture.

Architects must be licensed in all U.S. states. In addition to graduation from a professional architecture program, eligibility requirements generally include completion of an internship or formal training, as well as passage of the Architect Registration Examination. In most states, architects must complete continuing education requirements to maintain licensure.

A Master's in Architecture program will help students who did not study architecture as undergrads transition into the architecture field. These programs will provide one to two years of comprehensive study in architecture, and many allow students to specialize in key architectural areas.

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