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Master of Advanced Studies in History and Theory of Architecture (MAS ETH GTA) in ETH of Zurich

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH of Zurich
Department of Architecture
History, Theory & Preservation

The Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in History and Theory of Architecture is a two-year, part-time, post-professional programme established in 1993 as a key component of the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta).




The course has three main goals: first, to convey the basics of the history and theory of architecture; second, to address contemporary disciplinary questions in architectural practice and debates in architectural and urban theory and the history of science; third, to introduce students to the methods of critical scholarly work as a key tool for independent research, writing and practice.




Thematically, the programme is focused on current issues regarding the future of urban development. These include the financialisation of the built environment, climate change, social polarisation and digitalisation. Methodically, we examine these questions by analysing architecture’s embeddedness within social processes and power relations, and by interrogating relevant and specific historical constellations ranging from 1500 to the present.




Students attend core seminars, workshops and a yearly study trip open to MAS students only. In addition, they enroll in the institute’s lectures and seminars and contribute to the gta’s ongoing research, publication and exhibition projects as an integral part of their study. Currently, the MAS student develop a research station Research Station for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2020: How Will We Live Together? . Further highlights of this collaborative work include the book Städtebau als politische Kultur: Der Architekt und Theoretiker Hans Bernoulli (Claus/Zurfluh, eds.) and the exhibition Phantom Theorie. Further information regarding the structure of the programme can be found here.




MAS students come from a range of disciplinary backgrounds at various stages in their professional lives. MAS graduates have gone on to successful careers in academia, private practice, journalism and historic preservation, among others, and maintain a strong alumni network.




We are accepting applications for the 2021–2023 cycle between January 1st and April 30th, 2021. For further details on how to apply, please look here. For further question, please contact us.





The seminars and workshops of the MAS in History and Theory of Architecture (MAS GTA) take place on Thursdays and Fridays. We recommend working 60 percent of full time.



The seminar series “Architecture and the City” is at the core of the four-semester program. Two semesters are dedicated to selected topics in the history of architecture and urbanism; a third semester addresses architectural criticism in relation to urban issues; a fourth is the MAS GTA research seminar. Here, students contribute to a larger research project, often organized in cooperation with the gta Archive and/or gta Exhibitions.



As part of the MAS GTA research seminar, students conduct research (archival research, field research) which they synthesize in written and graphic form. In the spring semester of 2020, this research project is Cooperative Conditions: A Primer on Architecture, Finance, and Regulation , on view as part of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2020: How Will We Live Together?



Each spring semester there is a study trip open to MAS GTA students only.



In addition to the seminars, students take part in a weekly workshop on writing, research, and methods. In their second year, they enroll in the methods seminar of the GTA doctoral program.



Students also enroll in at least two courses offered by the GTA Institute or the Department of Architecture. These can be lectures, seminars or seminar weeks, according to academic and professional interests.



In parallel to the seminars and workshops, the program’s second focus is on students’ individual research. In the course of the program, students write two papers and a master’s thesis on topics of their choice, as well as one paper related to the research project. These are individually tutored by the lecturers. (For further information, please see Didactics and Method.)

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Admission Requirements



1 January to 30 April. Late applications may be accepted upon request, if places are available.




ETH Zurich, School for Continuing Education, HG E 18.1, Rämistrasse 101, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland, Tel. +41 44 632 56 59,
Online Application




Master’s degree acknowledged by ETH or equivalent educational qualifications; knowledge of foreign languages, i.e. for foreign students, mastery of spoken and written German; students must be willing to attend courses regularly for a period of four semesters, as well as to individually prepare and actively participate in lectures and seminars.

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General information
24 months (part-time)
German / English
Anne Kockelkorn / Susanne Schindler
16.400 CFH
Email /
+41 (0) 44 633 24 97
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5 8093 Zurich
Type of Master
Master of Advanced Studies (MAS)
Campus Location
The information of this Master's Degree was extracted from the Official Website of the program.
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