Master of Architecture Degree Requirements
Students who have completed or are completing a bachelor's degree and who wish to pursue professional careers as licensed architects may apply for admission to this program. In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformity with established educational standards.
Master’s degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
This Master of Architecture degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Students who have completed previous course work in an approved NAAB architecture curriculum or a pre-professional architectural degree program may achieve advanced standing. All requests for advanced standing are evaluated using the minimum qualifications for graduate study at KU, the student performance criteria established by NAAB, and procedures approved by the architecture graduate studies committee. This degree requires a sequence of 6 semesters and 2 summers of architectural design studio/synthesis experiences, each of which is accompanied by associated professional graduate courses, constituting a total of 118 credit hours. The program also has a required study abroad component, planned to occur during a student’s second summer.
There are 4 typical entry points to this curriculum:
- Students without backgrounds in architecture who hold bachelor’s degrees in non-design-oriented disciplines enter the first year of the curriculum, which begins in the summer session. The first year of the curriculum is 2 academic semesters and 2 summer sessions. The total number of credit hours required for graduation is 118.
- Students without backgrounds in architecture who hold bachelor’s degrees in a design discipline usually begin course work with the fall semester of the first year. Other curricular requirements may potentially be waived after a careful vetting of the student’s educational background. The total number of credit hours required for graduation is likely to be approximately 109.
- Students with a pre-professional degree in architecture, such as a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, are likely to be placed in the second year of the curriculum. This is commonly referred to as the 4+2 option. Students interested in being placed in this way should make this clear in their statements. These students normally are asked to complete four studios (synthesis experiences), a study abroad summer experience, and architecture support courses whose number and content are determined on a case-by-case basis. The total number of credit hours required for graduation depends on the student’s previous preparation and is highly variable, but is likely to be approximately 75 hours.
- Students who already possess an accredited professional Bachelor of Architecture degree generally enter a three-semester program that requires a study abroad experience during a summer session as well as the final year of the curriculum. The total number of credit hours required for graduation depends on the student’s previous preparation and is highly variable, but a minimum of 36 hours is required.