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Getting Your Master’s Degree in Architecture

Master’s Degree in Architecture

Master’s Degree in Architecture

Architecture is all about the way buildings and structures look, as well as how they function and how safe they are. Those who are creative, have good listening skills as well as problem-solving and critical thinking skills can do well in this field.

The exact origin of architecture could be said to date back to the Neolithic period, which is around 10,000 BC, about the time humans moved from living in caves. From the end of the stone age to the modern world, architecture is a big part of how we live, where we live, and can be a great career path to pursue. 

The overall job outlook for architecture and engineering according to BLS is projected to grow from 2020-2030, which is about average for all occupations. 

Online or In-person Master’s in Architecture

When it comes to getting your master’s degree in architecture, you can find an in-person program or an online program. The benefits of an online program may appeal to working professionals or those looking for a career transition. In-person programs may appeal more to those coming from undergraduate programs or those who simply want that in-person experience. Some online programs could have an in-person element to them. 

A Master’s in Architecture

Going to get your master’s in architecture is a good idea if you would like to pursue this career path. Having a master’s degree can be a stepping stone to going on to get your Ph.D. or can give you an advantage when looking for a career after you graduate. Many positions require a master’s in architecture. 

Within the world of architecture, you have a couple of options for getting your master’s in architecture. The first is to get your M.Arch for students with a non-architecture bachelor’s degree. This would take you between 3-4 years. The other option is to get your M.Arch for students with a pre-professional bachelor’s degree in architecture or architecture history. This program would take you two years. 

Concentrations in Architecture

Different concentrations will have different types of coursework. Here are some concentrations that you might find in a master’s of architecture program:

Sustainable Design

Students will study design when it comes to environmental, social, and economic impacts on society.

Urban Design

Students will study the design of urban areas, what should be built, and how outdoor areas are used.

Building Performance

Students study how to integrate structures and enclosures into the environment as well as related building systems.

History and Theory

Students analyze how buildings and structures have been built throughout time and across the world.

Landscape Architecture

Students study the design of outdoor areas, landmarks, and structures.

Classes in Architecture

The classes you take in a master’s of architecture program will depend on your concentration. Here are a few examples of classes you might take while getting your master’s degree. 

  • Environmental Systems– this class is about the aspects of the physical environment that directly affect people as well as buildings. 
  • Structural Design– this class is about the different design systems as well as comparing traditional design approaches and new methods. 
  • Cases in Contemporary Construction – this class is about the design and construction of buildings and examples of different construction techniques. 

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements differ based on the school and program, however, most will require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, to complete an application essay, and submit letters of recommendation. Students can have a bachelor’s degree in architecture or in another field. The difference would be when it came to which M.Arch program you would be in. 

Some schools might also require professional experience, but even if the school doesn’t, it can help to have that work experience to put on the application. Schools usually also want students to have a 3.0 GPA or higher. 

How to Choose a Program

There are many different factors when choosing the right architecture M.Arch program. Students should look at the length of each program, the course format, available concentrations, and final project requirements. Programs can be between two to four years long. It also might depend on if the student goes full or part-time. Students should also consider the curriculum and the cost. 

It is important that you find a program that is accredited by the NAAB, the National Architectural Accrediting Board. In most states, you will need to have a degree from one of these programs in order to get licensed. 

Top Master’s in Architecture Programs

There are many different master’s in architecture programs, some are in-person, and some are online. 

Here are 10 of the top master’s in architecture programs: 

  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Yale University
  • Cornell University
  • Princeton University
  • Rice University
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of California, Berkeley

Top Online Master’s in Architecture Programs

Here are 10 of the top online master’s in architecture programs: 

  • Boston Architectural College
  • University of Missouri
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Lawrence Technological University
  • Academy of Art University
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • University of Florida
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • University of Washington
  • Chatham University

Jobs With a Master’s Degree in Architecture

Architectural Technologist

Annual Median Pay: $65,521

Architectural Technologists use their science and engineering skills and knowledge to create resilient and sustainable constructions as well as refurbishments. 

Town Planner

Annual Median Pay: $61,510

Town Planners manage and develop countryside, towns, cities, and villages to balance the needs of the local environment, population, and economy. 

Historic Buildings Inspector

Annual Median Pay: $57,638

Historic Buildings Inspectors work to promote the conservation of the historic environment as well as helping to protect and enhance buildings that have a historical, architectural, or cultural significance.  

CAD Specialist

Annual Median Pay: $53,126

CAD Specialists use CAD software to develop technical drawings, blueprints, or other schematics. 

Structural Engineers

Annual Median Pay: $70,456

Structural engineers use math and science to plan, design, and oversee structures. 

Scholarships for Students Getting a Master’s in Architecture

Here are a few scholarships for those getting their master’s in architecture. You can also find other scholarships for military and veterans on College Recon. 

AIA Chicago Foundation Diversity Scholarship

This scholarship is to aid incoming or currently enrolled graduate students attending a Chicago-based college of architecture. The recipients will also be assigned a mentor from AIA Chicago for their scholarship years. Students must be enrolled in a NAAB accredited master’s degree program and show proof of financial aid. They also need to fulfill diversity requirements. The scholarship is for $10,000. 

Architects League of Northern New Jersey Scholarships 

This scholarship is awarded to undergraduate and graduate students for scholastic excellence in Architectural design. College students must have permanent residence in the geographic territory of the AIA/Architects League of Northern New Jersey. The territory is Bergen County, Hudson County, Passaic County, and Sussex County and the scholarship is for $6,000. 

Allwork Scholarship

This scholarship is a merit-based scholarship that supports architecture students with demonstrated financial need. Students must be nominated by the dean or chair of the school of architecture. Students need to be seeking their first degree in architecture in the state of New York. A graduate student is eligible if his or her professional undergraduate degree is in a field other than architecture. Awards are between $7,500 and $10,000. 

Soprema Scholarship Program 

This scholarship assists undergraduate and graduate students that are pursuing degrees in architecture, engineering, construction management, or a similar field. Students must be at an accredited 4-year college or university. High school seniors or graduates, as well as current post-secondary undergraduate or graduate students, qualify. The award is for $5,000.

 

Find Scholarships for Architecture and more with our Scholarship Finder

 

Architecture Related Majors

 

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About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.