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30 Most Affordable Master’s in Architecture for 2020

Great Value Colleges - Most Affordable

A master’s in Architecture degree offers rigorous professional training in design, planning, history, and technology – all designed to help students excel in their future careers as architects. While one can get into entry-level roles and internships with a Bachelor of Architecture degree, it is the master’s degree that will ensure their growth and success in the field. Master’s in Architecture programs are for aspiring professionals who wish to get an advanced degree. Graduates go on to work as architects, landscape architects, urban designers, or structural engineers.

Master’s in architecture degree programs cover areas like aesthetics, design, and sustainable environmental concerns along with options for students to customize their studies by their career goals. Students develop critical strategic thinking and communication skills to tackle a range of issues, from sustainability and urbanism to historic preservation. The programs teach design and architecture by combining the principles of beauty, durability, functionality, and sustainability. Design studios form an integral part of the study; they offer hands-on learning opportunities for students.

We have researched and studied the on-campus programs offered and shortlisted the top-rated and affordable options for you. Leading schools focus on the design and development of the built environment. They encompass broad topics of sites, materiality, program, structural systems, human interconnectedness, modern technologies, and social interaction. These M.Arch programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NAAB accreditation is a standard required for U.S. licensure.

Some of the graduate degrees in architecture and related fields mentioned here are:

  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Advanced Architectural Design
  • Master of Architecture
  • Master of Science in Interior Architecture & Design
  • Professional Master of Architecture
  • Master of Science in Architecture
  • Master of Science in Architectural Studies
  • Master’s in Landscape Architecture

Some topics covered in the Master’s in Architecture curriculum includes global history of architecture, contemporary architectural theory, structural design and analysis, design foundation, building mechanical systems, building systems integration, graduate architecture design electrical systems, plumbing, and construction, computer transformations, descriptive and computational architectural geometry along with studio courses on design and aesthetic theory. Students use their drawings and renderings through computer-aided design or drafting by hand to build physical models and create presentation boards for illustrations and graphics.

Methodology

The most significant factors to determine which college is a good fit, students need to look at the cost, quality of the program, return on investment, and accreditation. Our research was based on each school’s website and other reputable college ranking sites (like U.S. News, The Princeton Review, Niche.

In this ranking, we have gone through the schools that offer a master’s in Architecture degree and shortlisted 30 for the most affordable programs. Schools were then independently analyzed and awarded points based on the following factors:

Tuition (as reported by the NCES)

  • Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Net Price Below $20,000: 2 points
  • Net Price Below $25,000: 1 point

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

  • Less than 20:1: 1 point
  • Less than 15: 1: 2 points
  • Less than 10: 1: 3 points

Return on Investment (ROI) According to Payscale.com

  • Top 500: 1 point
  • Top 300: 2 points
  • Top 150: 3 points

School and Program Quality

Student Support Network: 1 point per item

Concentrations/Specializations: 1 point per item

Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific): 1 point per item

Campus Diversity Support Network: 1 point per item

Wow Factor: 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

#30 University of Miami School of Architecture

Coral Gables, Florida

Master of Architecture

Website
Points: 6

University of Miami School of Architecture offers a Master of Architecture that enables graduates to take the NCARB’s mandatory Architectural Experience Program (AXP) and Architecture Registration Exam (ARE). The NAAB-accredited degree enables eligibility for professional registration. It also prepares graduates to live and thrive in the world of architecture. The M.Arch 1 is available to students who have a pre-professional degree in architecture or whose first degree is not in architecture. The 105-credit curriculum takes a multidisciplinary approach. This helps students cultivate the right understanding and knowledge to handle challenging urban development projects.
Average tuition per credit: $2100
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
ROI (College Factual): 6.8%

#29 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts

Master of Architecture

Website
Points: 6

The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a Master of Architecture program. It’s for students who are looking to develop innovative skills and work on multifaceted architectural projects. The NAAB-accredited program involves three principal components, the core requirements, the diverse areas of knowledge, and their exploration as well as a final Master’s Thesis. Topics covered in this interdisciplinary curriculum include architecture, art history, studio art, public history, building construction and wood technology, landscape architecture and regional planning, environmental engineering, computer science, environmental sciences, and management. It requires 87 credits for completion.
Average tuition per credit: $2,081.50
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
ROI (College Factual): 8%

#28 Thomas Jefferson University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Master of Architecture

Website
Points: 6

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Philadelphia, PA

Thomas Jefferson University offers a Master of Architecture Program that helps aspiring architects gain the skills they need to excel in their architectural practice. The 100 credit program can be completed in three years and covers essential areas like project administration, functional architectural design, and technology. Topics covered include Intro to Design, Intro to Visualization, History, Structures, Technology, Principals and Methods of Sustainable Design, Sustainable Design Studio, Research Methods, a Thesis Project, and Professional Management, among others. The program blends Hands-on learning with theory in an interdisciplinary environment to offer comprehensive education and training in the field.
Average tuition per credit: $1,399
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
ROI (College Factual): 7.2%

#27 Portland State University

Portland, Oregon

Master of Architecture

Website
Points: 6

portland-state-university

Portland State University, one of the premier educational institutions for architecture education, offers a two-year master’s degree in architecture. The 74 quarter credits program is intensive and designed to help architects contribute to urban development. The curriculum covers topics like Contemporary Architectural Theory, Professional Practice, Advanced Architectural Technology, and Architectural Design Studio, among others. The school also offers a range of other programs for students who are keen to learn all about the design and practical considerations that students of architecture must master. These programs are NAAB-accredited and include a three-year program on Master of Architecture, a Graduate Certificate program in Urban Design as well as a Graduate Certificate program in the field of Public Interest Design.
Average tuition per quarter credit: $1846.5
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
ROI: N/A

#26 Cornell University

Ithaca, New York

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Website
Points: 7

Cornell University offers a wide range of graduate architecture programs that can help students cultivate vital skills. The professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program covers not only architecture and computer graphics but also the history and evolution of architecture, which help then become socially responsible and aesthetically innovative architects specializing in all facets of urban development. The 114-credit program blends the foundation in making and conceptual thinking with global practices. The fully accredited program helps students develop in-depth knowledge, which can help them to teach as well as practice architecture.
Average tuition per year: $56,550
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9:1
ROI (College Factual): 7.7%

#25 Washington University in St. Louis

St. Louis, Missouri

M.S. in Advanced Architectural Design

Website
Points: 7

Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis offers an M.S. in Advanced Architectural Design via its Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. It leads to a post-professional Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design (MSAAD). The 36-credit, three-semester program covers the various aspects of Architectural Design in thorough detail along with general electives. It is an excellent fit for individuals already holding NAAB-accredited professional degrees in architecture. The individual focus and flexibility of schedule attracts architectural professionals who wish to pursue advanced design studies, and also prepare for research and teaching. Each semester includes an advanced design studio that offers a hands-on practical learning experience.
Average tuition per semester: $26,350
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 7:1
ROI (College Factual): 6.98%

#24 Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, Rhode Island

Master of Architecture (M. Arch.)

Website
Points: 7

The Rhode Island School of Design offers a Master of Architecture program for students who are looking to establish and excel in the field of architecture. The department of Architecture at RISD focuses on getting students acquainted with artistic concepts and sensibilities along with ethical and social responsibilities. Students learn to draw, sketch, and define different kinds of architectural concepts and help develop large scale and complex projects. The program aims to empower students to blend their knowledge of architecture with creative design so that they can innovate with confidence and succeed in the client-based practice of architecture. They graduate well-equipped with the knowledge and expertise to excel in their careers.
Average tuition per year: $51,800
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
ROI: N/A

#23 Rice University

Houston, Texas

Master of Architecture (MArch)

Website
Points: 7

rice-university

Rice University offers a Master of Architecture program for students looking to grow in architecture careers and help them develop advanced skills. Students gain in-depth knowledge about all facets of architecture that they can use in constructive ways. The 133-credit hours’ program combines critical thinking abilities, research abilities, innovation, and experimentation to educate students. Accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), it helps them to become successful architects capable of undertaking large scale and complex architectural projects. Graduates are qualified to take the state professional licensing exams once they have completed their internship in an architectural office.
Average tuition per year: $48,330
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 6:1
ROI (College Factual): 7.8%

#22 Pratt Institute

Brooklyn, New York

Master of Architecture

Website
Points: 7


Pratt Institute offers a Master of Architecture program, which is a first-professional degree that can be completed in 3 years with 84 credits or in 2 years with 56 credits on a 2-year advanced studying. The goal of this program is to help students grow skills that can help them undertake advanced architectural projects with ease. They learn all about design research, design methods, design thinking, as well as professional practice. They can also make use of advanced technology and design precision that can help them to deal with complex challenges efficiently. Students engage in theoretical, editorial, and writing activities to explore the relationships between theory and practice.
Average tuition per year: $44,328.00
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9:1
ROI (College Factual): 6.5%

#21 Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Master of Science-Interior Architecture & Design

Website
Points: 8

drexel-university

The Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers a graduate program in Interior Architecture & Design that delivers one of the finest career and education prospects for young and enterprising students. The 69-credit program stands out for its excellent curriculum and world-class facilities. Students can learn a lot from their gifted peers, brilliant faculty, and resources. It is a CIDA-accredited program which is built to help students develop skills and understanding in the field of interior architecture and design that will boost their chances of professional success. Rigorous professional training and exploration of innovative design concepts make it a popular choice.
Average tuition per credit: $1000
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
ROI (College Factual): 6.6%

#20 Temple University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Master of Architecture (M. Arch.)

Website
Points: 8

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Philadelphia, PA

Temple University in Philadelphia offers a Master’s in Architecture program, a first specialized degree via its Tyler School of Art & Architecture. The 60-credit degree program is designed for students who hold a Bachelor of Science in Architecture (B.S. Arch) degree from Temple University and can be completed in two years. Students who have completed other four-year pre-professional degree programs with similar course content may also apply. The rigorous curriculum engages them with urgent urban, architectural, and environmental issues along with the socio-cultural issues that form the backdrop of architectural studies.
Average tuition per credit: $1,138
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
ROI (College Factual): 7.5%

#19 Penn State College of Arts and Architecture

University Park, Pennsylvania

Professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Website
Points: 8

Penn State College of Arts and Architecture offers a Professional Master of Architecture program that is designed for students who hold undergraduate baccalaureate degrees in various programs other than architecture. It is also suitable for students having non-professional baccalaureate degrees in architecture. It is a three-year program with seven semesters that helps students become highly skilled leaders in every sphere of architecture. Accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), the 97-credit curriculum enables them to get acquainted with histories, theories, principles, techniques, and technologies that are associated with architecture. They are also required to work on a thesis project in their final years.
Average tuition per 9 credits: $29,700
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
ROI (College Factual): 7.2%

#18 University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Master of Science in Architecture

Website
Points: 9

The University of Pennsylvania offers a Master of Science in Architecture via the Weitzman School of Design. Students holding an undergraduate degree in architecture and a digital portfolio showcasing their work may apply for this program. The curriculum includes Architectural Theory along with individually directed electives from the Master of Architecture academic program. Though it requires just ten units of coursework, the comprehensive curriculum is a self-directed program for students prepared for advanced levels of study. At the end of the one year program, students gain a better understanding of the relationship between the academic discipline and the actual profession. Students are also needed to attend a qualifying exam.
Average tuition: $53,466
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 6:1
ROI (College Factual): 7.7%

#17 University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas

Master of Science in Architectural Studies

Website
Points: 9

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The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture offers a Master of Science in Architectural Studies program that helps students cultivate the essential skills to become qualified architects. Students who have pre-architecture and architecture degrees may apply for this program, which requires 30 semester hours of credit for completion. A faculty that is well versed regarding the various facets of design practices teach advanced lessons on architectural design and practice. They help their students develop innovative problem-solving skills and give shape to their creative aspirations. The program covers topics like vertical studios, advanced studios, professional foundation. Building systems, along with history and theory.
Average tuition per credit: $1,412
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
ROI (College Factual): 7.8%

#16 Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia

Master of Architecture

Website
Points: 9

The Virginia Tech Graduate School offers a Master of Architecture, which is a STEM Designated program in Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology. The graduate curriculum is flexible and interdisciplinary, offering a combination of choices of studies to help students tailor the degree per their interest. Accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, the 54-credit curriculum combines theory with practice with the design laboratory. Students cultivate a foundation for design, environmental awareness and aesthetic judgment, master technical knowledge of the processes of fabrication and construction along with fostering mastery of the design process.
Average tuition per credit: $761.25
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
ROI (College Factual): 8.3%

#15 New School of Architecture & Design

San Diego, California

Master of Architecture

Website
Points: 10

The New School of Architecture & Design offers a Master of Architecture program that is designed for students who wish to develop skills of qualified architects. Students who hold an undergraduate degree in architecture or equivalent program from an accredited university may apply to this program. Recognized by NAAB and NCARB, the program offers a range of courses that can train aspiring architects to excel in their future careers. The 150-credit curriculum is a first professional degree that prepares students for the eventual architectural license. Students not only gain an in-depth knowledge of the field but are career-ready and poised for growth by the time they graduate.
Average tuition per quarter: $9886
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 8:1
ROI (PayScale): 4%

#14 University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Master of Architecture (M. Arch.)

Website
Points: 10

The University of South Florida offers a Master of Architecture program via its School of Architecture & Community Design. Accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, the program is designed for students looking to develop advanced knowledge and understanding of architecture and associated disciplines. The 108 credit hours of coursework combines theory, professional practice, history, and technology with a focus on urban architecture. Students holding a non-architectural degree, an associate’s degree, a pre-professional degree, or a professional degree in the field of architecture can apply for this program. Design studio sessions offer hands-on practical learning experiences as well.
Average tuition per credit: $347.91
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
ROI (College Factual): 8.6%

#13 University of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Website
Points: 10

university-of-georgia

University of Georgia Graduate School offers a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture (MLA) via its College of Environment and Design. The program is designed to help students develop a strong understanding of the various aspects of landscape architecture and design. Students learn about the various historical, social, and ecological factors associated with urban design. They gain an in-depth knowledge of cultural landscapes, resilient landscapes, and eco-restoration of structures. The 78-credit program is accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board sponsored by the American Society of Landscape Architects. The curriculum is broad and adaptable to the interests of individual students and covers areas like sustainable agriculture, garden maintenance, and storm-water management.
Average tuition per credit: $436
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
ROI (College Factual): 8%

#12 Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

Master of Architecture

Website
Points: 11

Texas Tech University offers a Master’s in Architecture program that helps students sharpen their skills as architects and come up with innovative solutions to design challenges in real-time projects. Students who hold a bachelor’s degree in architecture may apply to this program. The 60 hours of graduate coursework includes foundational principles and history of architecture; fabrication techniques and tools; relationships between form, space, and inhabitation; and issues in architecture. The 4 + 2-year program prepares graduates for the ARE architect licensing exam, which is necessary to become a professional architect.
Average tuition per year: $14,580
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
ROI (College Factual): 8.8%

#11 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

Master of Architecture

Website
Points: 11

university-of-illinois-urbana-champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a Master’s in Architecture program that is designed for students who hold a four-year baccalaureate in architectural studies or equivalent. The 62-credit program builds on the undergraduate foundations and enables students to develop in-depth technical and theoretical knowledge of architectural concepts. Students have the option to tailor their degrees with a variety of thematic studio options and 16 elective hours of coursework each semester to pursue individual interests. Accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB), it covers topics like Modern Architectural History, Architectural Practice, Planning and Design of Structural Systems, Environmental Control Systems, and Theories of Architecture, among others.
Average tuition per year: $12,688
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
ROI (College Factual): 8.1%

#10 Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Master in Architecture, M.Arch

Website
Points: 11

Arizona State University offers the Master’s in Architecture program that is designed for students who have completed their Bachelor’s program in architectural studies or an equivalent degree. The two-year program provides students with extensive knowledge and understanding of the various facets of architectural design. The 78 credit hours curriculum covers topics like Architectural Technology, Advanced Architectural Studio, Foundation Theory Seminar, and Current Issues and Topics, among others. Graduates go on to contribute to the development of contemporary architecture and improve the built environment around us.
Average tuition per year: $11,820
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
ROI (College Factual): 8%

#9 California Polytechnic State University

San Luis Obispo, California

Master of Science in Architecture

Website
Points: 11

The California Polytechnic State University offers a Master of Science in Architecture for students who are looking to develop progressive skills required by professionally practicing architects. The 45-unit program is meant to help students solve different kinds of architectural problems and challenges. At the California Polytechnic State University, students can benefit immensely by interacting with an experienced and invested faculty. They work and learn with interdisciplinary teams while designing and constructing different kinds of proposed buildings. At the end of the program, students are required to come up with a design project that can help them to cultivate their skills in an area of their interest.
Average tuition per year: $11,376
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
ROI (College Factual): 8.6%

#8 University of Idaho

Moscow, Idaho

Masters in Architecture

Website
Points: 12

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The University of Idaho offers a Master’s in Architecture that is accredited by NAAB or National Architecture Accrediting Board. The program provides comprehensive training and guidance to students who are looking to become skilled and licensed architects. They learn about advanced architecture methods from an expert faculty, enjoy state of the art facilities, and get design studio experience that ensures a thorough and comprehensive learning experience. The 62-credit two-year program is designed for students who hold a B.S. Arch or B.A. Arch Degree. Topics covered include Vertical Studio, Urban Theory & Issues, Global History of Architecture, Integrated Architectural Design, Technical Integration in Design along with Architecture Seminar.
All full-time students (10-20 credits) – $675.00 per semester
Average tuition per year: $9,876
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
ROI (College Factual): 8.5%

#7 University of Houston

Houston, Texas

Master of Science in Architecture

Website
Points: 12

The University of Houston offers a Master of Science in Architecture via its Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture & Design department. The 36-unit program involves in-depth research in the segment of architectural design coupled with a detailed experimental inquiry. The flexibility of choosing specific electives allows for enhanced individualization. This enables students to work on areas they are interested in and contribute to better architectural projects. It is a post-professional degree that is known to bring high-end research and experimentation and prepares graduates to excel in their fields. They go on to transform the cultural and technological aspects of modern architectural landscapes.
Average tuition per semester hour: $531.33
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
ROI (College Factual): 8.2%

#6 University of Texas at San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas

Master of Science in Architecture

Website
Points: 13

The University of Texas at San Antonio offers a Master of Science in Architecture or M.S. Arch. program that helps students develop a complete understanding of urban architecture and its history. It is a “non-studio research program” meant for students who want to develop their careers in the fields of research, consulting, and training. Students who wish to pursue advanced study in Doctorate and Ph.D. may also apply. The 33-credit program offers the choice of focus areas like Architectural History & Theory and Urban Studies. There are two concentration options as well – Historic Preservation and Sustainable Architecture. The program stands out in its use of research methods and the in-depth knowledge it provides.
Average tuition per year: $8,436
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 25:1
ROI (PayScale): 5.6%

#5 Florida International University

Miami, Florida

Master of Architecture (M. Arch)

Website
Points: 13

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Miami, FL

Florida International University offers a Master’s in Architecture program that is designed to help students to learn skills that can help them to become highly creative designers. The Department of Architecture is dedicated to assisting students to become highly skilled architects in their own right. Students benefit greatly by learning from an experienced faculty and make use of state-of-the-art academic facilities. Accredited by NAAB, the 105-credit program is meant for students who hold B.A. or B.S. degree or equivalent from an accredited institution. It includes professional degree tracks and can be completed in three years. Students learn about architectural design in various scales and gain a better understanding of architectural design.
Average tuition per Semester: $4,101
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 24:1
ROI (College Factual): 7.9%

#4 University of Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

MA/MS in Architectural Studies

Website
Points: 14

university-of-missouri-columbia

The University of Missouri Graduate School offers a Master of Arts and a Master of Science in Architectural Studies with emphasis areas in Design with Digital Media and Environment & Behavior. 30-credit coursework helps students develop practical and artistic skills that they can use as professional architects. They learn advanced concepts of design and researching techniques for the design and implementation of varied architectural projects. The interdisciplinary, scholarly climate builds on Architectural Studies coursework and a core of courses in design theory, research methods, graduate seminars, research, and readings in environment and behavior.
Average tuition per credit: $8,078
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
ROI (College Factual): 7.7%

#3 Texas A&M University

College Station, Texas

Master of Landscape Architecture

Website
Points: 14

Texas A&M University offers a Master of Landscape Architecture program that helps students develop the essential skills for entry-level landscape architect roles. The 69 credit curriculum covers areas like landscape development, landscape design, and management, along with various human and environmental factors that can change a landscape. Students learn ways to protect, maintain, and enhance constructed and natural environments by making use of innovative technology, systematic strategies, and decision making. They also undertake an approved professional study project that has the committee chair’s prior approval, as the terminal requirement for graduation where they prepare a record of study summarizing procedure, rationale, and results of the completed activity.
Average tuition per credit: $1,205.20
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 21:1
ROI: N/A

#2 Texas A&M University

College Station, Texas

Master of Architecture

Website
Points: 14

Texas A&M University offers a Master of Architecture program for students looking to develop the skills for an artistic and innovative architectural career. Accredited by the NAAB or National Architectural Accrediting Board, the program encompasses the history and practice of architecture and its evolutions in the modern world. The 55 credit hours curriculum is built on the undergraduate foundation of a pre-professional degree in architecture. It examines the processes of design, relationships to the environment, systems of construction, social, historical, and geographical context, along with an understanding of the behavior and use of symbols in architecture. Students learn from experienced faculty and use the most excellent academic infrastructure.
Average tuition per year: $7,874
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 21:1
ROI: N/A

#1 Prairie View A&M University

Prairie View, Texas

Master of Architecture

Website
Points: 15

The Prairie View A&M University offers a Master’s in Architecture program that provides students with an advanced technical and theoretical understanding of design concepts required to be a professional architect. The 117 semester credit hours curriculum is designed for students entering with a bachelor’s degree in some field other than architecture and combines undergraduate and graduate-level courses. It offers focused and detailed advanced studies encompassing diverse subjects relating to architecture design and practice. Particular emphasis is given on urban development and how the students can make use of theoretical knowledge and technology to work on complex projects. Graduates are ready to embark on a successful and satisfying career path.
Average tuition per year: $7,629
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
ROI (College Factual): 8.9%

More about On-Campus Master of Architecture programs

What will you learn?

A Master’s in Architecture program degree blends the study of architecture, design, technology, theory, coding, architecture history and theory, law, and economics. The interdisciplinary nature of the subject broadens students’ comprehension of the subject, helps them become experts and prepare them for professional accreditation. Graduates of most schools are qualified for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) certification.

Most programs have the option to choose a subdiscipline so that students can tailor their degree per their career goals. These include environmental design, landscape architecture, interior design, and regional and urban planning. A master’s degree prepares them to excel with their creative designs, stay ahead of the competition.

As they deepen their foundational knowledge, students also strengthen their soft skills like communication skills and critical thinking skills through an in-depth analysis of architectural problems. The design studio is an integral part of the curriculum; they offer a hands-on practical experience which students can use in the real world.

What does a typical curriculum entail?

The curriculum varies from one school to the other. Typically, they cover topics like the history of architecture, contemporary architectural theory, structural design and analysis, design foundation, building mechanical systems, building systems integration, graduate architecture design electrical systems, plumbing, and construction, computer transformations, descriptive and computational architectural geometry along with studio courses on design and aesthetic theory. Methods of assessment and instructional practices to determine learning outcomes differ from school to school.

Licensing and Restoration Information

Architect professionals must be registered in the United States. Graduate students can appear for their licensing exams, which vary from state to state. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards is the professional licensing association for architects in America.

Who can apply?

Most schools prefer students who already have a Bachelor’s degree in architecture. However, some also accept others with certain conditions. For students who do not have a background in architecture, they need a bachelor’s degree in any field (completed or in progress) with some pre-requisite courses. These vary from one school to the other—for example, Calculus, Art History or Architecture History from an accredited institution. Students who have an undergraduate major or some coursework in architecture may request for transfer credits.
In some cases, promising applicants may be admitted to the program with the recommendation, even if they have no background in architecture.

Is a portfolio important?

Yes, especially for design studio-based programs. The portfolio demonstrates a student’s creative abilities and helps reviewers determine his or her potential to perform successfully in the field. Students who do not have one are encouraged to take a design course in the summer and prepare a portfolio for architectural studies.

Are these programs accredited?

All master’s in architecture programs are accredited by the NAAB (National Architecture Accrediting Board). Most applications, though not all, look for students who hold a bachelor’s degree from a NAAB accredited school.

What are the Career Options for a Master’s Degree in Architecture?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that architecture jobs are set to grow at a pace of 8 % through 2028.

Jobs for master’s degree holders include:

  • Architect
  • Architectural Designer
  • 3D Architectural Designer
  • Construction manager
  • Architectural Manager
  • Structural Engineers
  • Urban Designers
  • Landscape Architect
  • Municipal and Counting Planner
  • Urban and regional planner
  • Lead Designer
  • Project Engineer
  • Design Consultant
  • Postsecondary Architecture Teacher

List of professional organizations for architects:

  • American Design Drafting Association (ADDA)
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the
  • American Institute of Architectural Students (AIAS)
  • American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
  • Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO)
  • Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)
  • Association of Licensed Architects (ALA)
  • Society of American Registered Architects (SARA).
  • Society of Architectural Historians (SAH)
  • Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA)
  • The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)
  • The Council for Interior Design Qualifications (CIDQ)
  • The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB)
  • Federation of Associations of Regulatory Boards (FARB)
  • International Code Council (ICC)
  • The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
  • The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)
  • Society for Design Administration (SDA)

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