The M.S.AUD (formerly M.Arch.II) is a one-year post-professional degree program that leads to a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design degree.
This unique program offers students with a professional degree in architecture the opportunity to specialize their skills and apply architectural design thinking and capabilities to real-world challenges outside the field. The program is eligible for the STEM OPT Extension for F-1 visa holders.*
The program is located at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design’s IDEAS Campus, a state-of-the-art incubator for collaborative, cross-disciplinary design research. Led by professors who are experts in their respective fields, students join a team of educators and industry partners to question, challenge, and expand the current conventions of architectural practice.
Each year, the program offers concurrent studios that explore four research topics: Entertainment, Mobility, Technology, and Urban Strategy. Within these broad topics, students have the opportunity to investigate architectural design and its cultural and social context, often drawing from real-world examples in Los Angeles. For example, recent research immersed students in the concept of mobility within and around buildings, first, with a focus on rethinking shopping and the market and, second, rethinking workspace. In the entertainment area, students reenvisioned static event buildings, employing temporary staging, pop-up installations, robotized movements, media, and light. Previous urban strategy research focused on critical analyses of the modern city including history, politics, planning infrastructure, and social issues. Recent technology projects have investigated the intersection of the digital and physical worlds, examining life in mixed realities. These interactive environments challenge traditional fabrication techniques and spatial assemblies with virtual and augmented realities and robotics.
Past research studios have catalyzed design, technology, and research breakthroughs in high-profile projects with partners such as Hyperloop and SpaceX, high-performance architecture with Boeing and Cirque du Soleil, 3D-printing design and technology with Autodesk and RedBull, and urgent issues of sustainability with UNICEF in Haiti. By engaging with experts from other fields, we expand architecture’s field of influence and leverage design to propose alternative, more intelligent futures.
The one-year program is divided into two periods of study.
The program kicks off each year in August with the IDEAS Summer Studio, a six-week preparatory course. Through weekly workshops, students are introduced to software, tools, and techniques available to design students. This technical foundation provides a common platform for the remainder of the one-year program and equips students to work collaboratively with faculty to explore research topics.
In the Fall, Winter and Spring quarters, students break off into concurrent studios that explore the four research topics: Entertainment, Mobility, Technology, and Urban Strategy. The three-quarter studio comprises a first quarter of research, a second quarter of hypothesis definition and development, and a final quarter of design resolution. Alongside their main studio, students also complete Technology Seminars and Critical Studies courses that explore complementary topics. Through intensive research and experimentation, students investigate contemporary technological interventions, capture opportunities for interdisciplinary growth, and create new methodologies for architectural design.