Master of Architecture

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The Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) is a professional degree in architecture, qualifying the graduate to move through the various stages of professional accreditation (internship, exams) that result in receiving a license.


The degree is earned through several possible paths of study, depending on both a particular program's construction, and the candidate's previous academic experience and degrees. M.Arch. degrees vary in kind, so they are frequently given names such as "M.Arch. I" and "M.Arch. II" to distinguish them. All M.Arch. degrees are professional degrees in architecture. There are, however, other master's degrees offered by architecture schools that are not accredited in any way.

Many schools offer several possible tracks of architectural education. Including study at the bachelor's and master's level, these tracks range up to 7.5 years in duration.

It is worth noting that there is another route to becoming an architect: the continuous 5-year professional degree program. In such a program, after five years of study, students are awarded with a professional degree in architecture. Depending on the school and course of study, this could be either a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) or an M.Arch. In the U.S., it is typically a 5-year B.Arch. Either degree qualifies those who complete it to sit for the ARE (the Architectural Registration Exam, the architecture equivalent of the bar exam), which leads to an architect's license in the U.S.. One disadvantage of the B.Arch. degree is that it is rarely considered as sufficient qualification for teaching architecture at the university/college level in the U.S. (though there are many exceptions). Many architects who wish to teach and have only received a B.Arch. choose to pursue a 3-semester master's degree (not an M.Arch.) to obtain further academic qualification.

Graduate-level architecture programs consist of course work in design, building science, structural engineering, architectural history, theory, professional practice, and elective courses. For those without any prior knowledge of the field, coursework in calculus, physics, computers, statics and strengths of materials, architectural history, studio, and building science is usually required. Some architecture programs allow students to specialize in a specific aspect of architecture, such as architectural technologies or digital media. A thesis or final project is usually required to graduate.

Important to consider in choosing the school(s) for an architectural education is their overall "focus". Architectural schools usually, by virtue of the history of the school and the interests of the faculty, will approach the instruction of architecture from a technical, historical, or artistic bent—or a combination thereof. This is not something that will be spelled out in the school's literature, but will be more or less apparent in the lists of classes offered and the study areas of the faculty. While it may not seem important at first, in retrospect it will probably be a major factor.

An architectural thesis is the culmination of a student's research. Submission of the thesis represents the completion of the final requirement for the degree and may be presented as graphic representations, a written work, or physical forms. According to Architectural Research Methods[3] by Linda N. Groat and David Wang, the scope of the research inquiry must not be too broad or too narrow. A good topic will clearly and simply identify a body of literature to which the topical question can be referred. Additionally, a thesis question must have significance to not only the student, but his or her peers, and to the field of architecture.

In the United States, The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is the sole agency authorized to accredit US professional degree programs in architecture. Since most state registration boards in the United States require any applicant for licensure to have graduated from a NAAB-accredited program, obtaining such a degree is an essential aspect of preparing for the professional practice of architecture.

Again, first time students matriculating with a 5-year B.Arch. degree can also qualify for registration, without obtaining a master's degree. Some programs offer a concurrent learning model, allowing students the opportunity to work in the profession while they are earning their degree, so that they can test for licensure immediately upon graduation.

In Canada, Master of Architecture degrees may be accredited by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB), allowing the recipient to qualify for both the ARE and the Examination for Architects in Canada (ExAC).

As of March 2006, there were eighty-four accredited Master of Architecture programs in the United States, including Puerto Rico. In Canada, there were ten accredited programs.

Master's degree programs

United States

Colleges and universities in the United States with accredited Master of Architecture degree programs are listed below.

Note: Schools where a Bachelor of Architecture can also be earned are marked with *


Colleges and universities in Canada with accredited Master of Architecture degree programs are listed below:

Australia and New Zealand

Universities in Australia and New Zealand with accredited Master of Architecture degree programs are listed below [50]:

Hong Kong

The only 2 universities offering HKIA (Hong Kong Institute of Architects)[51],[4] CAA (Commonwealth Association of Architects)[52][5] & RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)[53][6] accredited Master of Architecture for architect professional registration.




In Mexico, an officially recognized Bachelor of Architecture is sufficient for practice.


Federal University of Technology, Minna. Nigeria.


Some universities in India with accredited Master of Architecture degree programs are listed below: School of Architecture, Bharath University


Some universities in Iran with accredited Master of Architecture degree programs are listed below:


Four United States schools are candidates for accreditation, meaning that their newly created programs may be accredited to offer the M.Arch. degree upon proof of meeting NAAB standards. This usually occurs after the school has graduated its first class of students.

School Location B.Arch. M.Arch. Expected
Cornell University Ithaca, NY Yes 2008
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY No 2016

Schools and universities in Europe

Schools and universities in the Middle East

King Saud University, college of architecture and planning ( Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) B.arch main major:

And there's master's degree and PHD

Language: English, Arabic

Rank ( according to NAAB 2012) #1 architecture school in middle east

See also


  1. ^ For instance see: Cornell. "Post-Professional Master of Architecture Program".
  2. ^ Harvard. "Programs".
  3. ^ Architectural Research Methods. Linda N. Groat, David Wang. John Wiley and Sons, 2002. ISBN 0-471-33365-4
  4. ^ http://www.hkia.net/en/doc/PA/School_Lists.doc
  5. ^ http://www.comarchitect.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/CAA-list-of-Qualifications-Recommended-for-recognition2.pdf
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2015-12-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ http://www.arch.cuhk.edu.hk
  8. ^ http://www.arch.hku.hk