The Master of Architecture I curriculum provides a disciplined approach to the fundamentals of architecture in a setting that ensures the flexibility and latitude necessary for students to develop their individual talents and skills.
The School believes that the educational experience of its program is enriched by students who have diverse educational backgrounds and, therefore, embraces students who in their undergraduate education have majored in a wide spectrum of disciplines, from architecture to any of the arts, sciences, or humanities. This program, leading to a degree of Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), is for students holding undergraduate liberal arts degrees, such as a B.A. or B.S., who seek their first professional architectural degree. It typically requires three years of full-time residency to complete the degree requirements.
Entering students, with a sound liberal arts background assumed, are required to follow a curriculum in which their creative powers are stimulated through a sequence of problem-solving exercises involving basic and architectural design, building technology, freehand and computer-assisted drawing, and an introduction to design methodologies, as well as courses in architectural theory and the planning, design, and development of the urban landscape. Architectural design problems in the first year start in the fall term at limited scale and by the spring term progress to an investigation of dwelling. During the spring term of first year and until mid-June, a community building project is undertaken, which provides an opportunity for the design of an affordable house as well as the experience of carrying the design through the building process when the class builds a final design. The fall term of second year undertakes the design of a public building, and the spring term of second year is devoted to urbanism. During the fall and spring terms of third year, students, through a lottery system, are at liberty to choose from a variety of advanced design studios, many of which are led by the profession’s leading practitioners and theoreticians. Students may, if they wish, continue their work for an additional term by taking an advanced studio and/or elective courses. A number of support courses are required during the three-year curriculum. Required courses in design and visualization, technology and practice, history and theory, urban studies, and visual studies support the studios.
Within the limits of certain required credit distributions, students are encouraged to explore elective course options. Courses—falling into the broad categories of design and visualization, technology and practice, history and theory, and urbanism and landscape—support and augment the pivotal studio offerings. Courses offered by other schools and departments within the University may be taken for credit. Emphasis throughout the program is on architectural design and decision-making.