Master's Degree in Architectural History

Sep 24, 2019

A master's degree in architectural history can open the door to some interesting careers! While there are a few graduate degree programs related specifically to architectural history, a master's in architecture with an emphasis on history may also be a good option.

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A master's in architectural history will prepare graduates for careers in a museum, school or public relations field. This article provides an overview of the courses that are generally included in master's programs in architectural history. If a suitable graduate program in architectural history is not available, then a master's degree in architecture with a specific focus on history is generally considered just as suitable for the career choices set out below.

Overview of Courses in Architectural History and Architecture Master's Degree Programs

A Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts in Architectural History will have some common courses as those studied as part of a Master of Architecture or a Master of Science in Architecture.

Approaches Used in Architecture

This course will form the basis of most graduate degree programs in architecture or architectural history and is an important basis for future learning. Students will explore the history of architecture, with emphasis on the approaches and materials used. This is generally a required course.

Research Methods

Students will learn about standard research practices, and the basics of research when applied to architecture. By completing these courses, students will be able to identify different types of research methods as well as their limits in the field of architecture. Research forms a big part of a graduate degree in architectural history, or similar.

Design-related Courses

Design is a key element of architecture related studies and this course will focus on areas such as design methods and the systems that are often used to aid in design. Students may be exposed to different types of design software and modeling methods. These courses will also teach students how to effectively communicate information that is relevant to the design process.

Construction-related Courses

Another key element to the field of architecture is construction and this course will guide students on the key principles of constructing a building of high quality. These courses will also cover topics such as sustainability and the use of equipment in construction. Through this course, students will explore different construction methods and materials.

Fieldwork Courses

Fieldwork courses are an important element of study, giving students hands-on experience and allowing them to apply principles learned, to real-life scenarios. Students will need to learn how to carry out fieldwork exercises and complete the appropriate documents. These courses may cover topics such as architecture and urban design. Once the fieldwork portion is complete, students must submit a report.

General Admission Requirements for Architectural History and Architecture Master's Degree Programs

In order to be enrolled in an architectural history or architecture master's program, prospective students must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with a GPA of at least 3.0. Most programs require the undergraduate degree to be in a field related to art, design or architecture but that is not always the case if the candidate has work experience that meets the relevant requirements. Along with college transcripts, candidates may be required to submit additional documents such as letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, test scores for the GRE exam, scores for an English proficiency exam for non-native English speakers and a resume of achievements. For some programs, candidates will need to submit a portfolio or a writing sample.

Career Options With a Master's Degree in Architectural History

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018 - 2028)*
Professor $78,470 11%
Museum Curator $48,400 9%
Museum Archivist $48,400 9%
Administrative Manager $96,180 7%
Public Relations Specialist $60,000 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

If students are unable to find a specific graduate degree in architectural history, then a master's degree in architecture will likely have an emphasis on history as well. With a master's in architectural history, careers as museum curators or archivists are attainable, in addition to teaching the next generation of architect enthusiasts.

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