Graduate Program

Master of Science in Architecture

The Master of Science in Architecture (MS ARCH) degree has a research focus that provides an opportunity for specialization. The MS ARCH Program prepares graduates for specialist and consultation positions in the broad field of Environmental Design within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. Graduates with a Bachelor of Architecture degree are welcomed to apply to focus on a post professional area of specialization. Graduates who hold a degree outside of architecture are also welcome to apply. 

The MS ARCH Degree is not a professional degree in architecture. If you need more information on the educational requirements for licensure for the field of architecture see: NCARB.orgNAAB.org and ACSA-arch.org.

University and Program Application and Deadlines

Please find information about the application process here: 
MS Architecture Application Process and Deadlines

For more information, contact the MS ARCH office at msarch@calpoly.edu.

Graduate Study Areas

Each of these areas listed below encompasses a wide range of potential study topics that may be selected for in-depth research subject to the interests and desires of the individual graduate student. However, regardless of the selected research topic students are expected to be knowledgeable of fundamental building science principles, and advanced information technology concepts. Graduate students are encouraged to build on the knowledge that they have gained from their previous academic studies and/or professional experience, as they acquire and contribute new knowledge in their chosen research specialization within one of the following broadly defined research areas. 

Innovating Material Practice: The material practice specialization focuses on design integration through innovations in materials and material assemblies enabled by contemporary modes of digital fabrication and their impact on design and the construction process. Associated with the Digital Fabrication Laboratory, physical prototyping and material testing are integrated into the course of study and research. In addition, sustainable practices in digital fabrication from material economies to cradle-to-cradle methodologies as well as responsive envelopes are of particular interest. This study area promotes interdisciplinary work as an essential key to innovation in design and construction with connections to other disciplines including: Architectural Engineering, Construction Management, Material Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Study and research areas include but are not limited to: parametric design and fabrication of material systems, prefabrication, responsive envelopes, and material performance. 

Sustainable Architecture: Study of the built environment as a low impact necessary enhancement of the natural environment in the service of man, including: renewable energy
systems; waste recycling; energy conservation concepts and practices; self-contained biospheres; materials of construction and embodied energy considerations; green buildings; and, unhealthy building environment.

Graduate Program Curriculum

MS ARCH Flow Chart

Curriculum Overview

The MS ARCH is a degree with a master’s project as the principal component.  45 total units are required for completion of the degree. A master’s project proposal is prepared by each student, based upon their research interests formulated during the first year of the program.

Curriculum Details

  • The Core Curriculum Consists of (19 Units Total): ARCH 551 (5): Architectural Design Fall, Winter & Spring Quarters and CRP 513 (4): Planning Research and Analysis.
  • The Master’s (delete “thesis") Project Consists of (9 Units Total): ARCH 598: Design Project, Fall (first year), Fall and Winter (second year).
  • The Directed Research (to support master's Project) consists of (9 Units Total): ARCH 561: Advanced Design, Winter (first year), Fall and Winter (second year).
  • The Electives (that support directed research and thesis project) Consists of (9-12 Units Total):  Electives 3-4 Spring (first year), Fall and Winter (second year).

PLEASE NOTE: The spring of the second year is left open so students can chose how they want to complete their requirements.

Graduate Scholarships

For information on scholarships available to MS ARCH graduate students, see Architecture Department Scholarships & Awards.

Resources

 

updated 12.08.16

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