Master of Architecture

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The Master of Architecture (M.Arch, or MArch) 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.

  • One possible route is what is commonly referred to as the "4+2" course. This path entails completing a four-year, accredited, pre-professional Bachelor of Arts in architecture or a Bachelor of Science in architecture. This degree is not 3-year, depending on the nature and quality of your undergraduate study performance, and the evaluation of your master's degree program school of your undergraduate study) Master of Architecture program. This route offers several advantages: your first four years are a bit more loose, allowing the inclusion of some liberal arts study; you can attend two different institutions for your undergraduate and graduate study, which is helpful in that it allows you to have a more varied architectural education, and you can pick the best place for you to complete your thesis (because chances are, you might not pick the program that has the exact focus that you will want when it becomes time for your thesis study); and you will finish the 4+2 course of study with a master's degree that will provide you the career option of teaching architecture at the collegiate level.
  • The second route to obtaining an accredited master's degree begins in graduate school, with a 3 or 3.5-year master's degree (commonly called an "M.Arch. I"). The advantage to this route is that the student can study something else he or she is interested in his/her undergraduate study (anything else). Because students come from different undergraduate backgrounds, the breadth of knowledge and experience in the student body of an M.Arch. I program is often considered an advantage. One possible disadvantage is that the total time in school is longer (7 or 7.5 years with an undergraduate degree). Another disadvantage is that the student has a very short time to cover the extremely broad scope of subject areas of which architects are expected to have a working knowledge. Nevertheless, major schools of architecture including MIT and Harvard often offer a 3.5-year program to students already with strong architectural background, fostering a competitive and productive academic environment.
  • A third possible route is what schools are calling a "post-professional" master's degree. It is research-based and often a stepping-stone to a Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture. Schools include Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, MIT, and RISD.[1][2]

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[edit]

United States[edit]

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[edit]

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

Hong Kong[edit]

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:

Schools and Universities in Europe[edit]











(M.Arch. language: English) (Poland)





  • Jointmaster of Architecture in Berne, Fribourg and Geneva, (languages: English and French) [62] (Switzerland)
  • Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio (Switzerland)
  • Academie van Bouwkunst Tilburg (the Netherlands)

United Kingdom[edit]

All M.Arch courses listed below comply with RIBA and ARB accreditation,[9] complying to RIBA's Part 2 stage before Part 3 and Architect registry.


  • University of Bath, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Bath, as MArch
  • Birmingham City University, Birmingham School of Architecture, Birmingham, as MArch
  • Arts University Bournemouth, Bournemouth, as MArch
  • University of Brighton, Brighton, as MArch
  • University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), Bristol, as MArch
  • University of Cambridge, Department of Architecture, Cambridge as MPhil
  • The University of Creative Arts, Canterbury School of Architecture, as MArch
  • The University of Kent (Canterbury), Kent School of Architecture, as MArch
  • The University of Huddersfield, School of Art, Design and Architecture. as M.Arch or M.Arch (International)
  • Leeds Beckett University, School of Arts, as MArch or Level 7 Architecture Apprenticeship.
  • De Montfort University, The Leicester School of Architecture, Leicester, as March or Level 7 Architecture Apprenticeship.
  • University of Lincoln, The Lincoln School of Architecture, Lincoln, as MArch
  • University of Liverpool, Liverpool School of Architecture, Liverpool, as MArch
  • Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, as MArch
  • Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, as Final Examination
  • The London School of Architecture as MArch
  • The University College of London, The Bartlett School of Architecture, as MArch
  • The University of Arts, London, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, as MArch
  • The University of East London, School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, as March
  • The University of Greenwich London, School of Architecture, Design and Construction, London, as MArch
  • Kingston University London, Kingston School of Art, London, as MArch
  • London Metropolitan University, Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, as MArch or Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship
  • Royal College of Art, School of Architecture, as MA
  • London South Bank University, Engineering, Science and the Built Environment, as MArch or Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship
  • The University of Westminster, Department of Architecture, as M.Arch
  • University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, The Manchester School of Architecture, as MArch or Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship
  • The University of Newcastle upon Tyne, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle, as M.Arch
  • Northumbria University, Architecture Department, School of the Built Environment, Newcastle upon Tyne, as MArch orLevel 7 Architect Apprenticeship
  • The University of Nottingham, Architecture and Built Environment, Nottingham, as MArch
  • Nottingham Trent University, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment. as M.Arch
  • Oxford Brookes University, School of Architecture, Oxford, as M.ARchD
  • University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), (Preston) The Grenfell-Baines School of Architecture, Construction and Environment, as MArch
  • RIBA Studio, as Diploma
  • The University of Plymouth, Plymouth School of Architecture, Design and Environment, Plymouth, as M.Arch
  • The University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth School of Architecture, Portsmouth, as MArch
  • The University of Sheffield, Sheffield School of Architecture, Sheffield, as MArch
  • Sheffield Hallam University, Department of Architecture and Planning, Sheffield, as M.Arch

Northern Ireland



Schools and Universities in the Middle East[edit]

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

  • 1- Science of building
  • 2- Urban design

And there's master's degree and PHD

Language: English, Arabic

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

See also[edit]


  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. ^[bare URL DOX/DOCX file]
  5. ^[bare URL PDF]
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2015-12-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "School of Architecture, CUHK".
  8. ^ "HKU Faculty of Architecture | HKURBANLABS".
  9. ^ "RIBA Validated schools".
  10. ^ "Architecture RIBA Part 2 MArch (Hons) | University of Dundee".
  11. ^ "Architecture with Urban Planning RIBA Part 2 MArch (Hons) | University of Dundee".