Master's Degrees

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Master's Degrees | Dual Degrees

The Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design's degree programs include a range of curricula for students with a variety of educational backgrounds, professional degree needs and career ambitions.

Most states require that an individual intending to become an architect hold an accredited professional degree. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredits two types of degrees: (1) the Bachelor of Architecture (not offered by this College of Architecture), which requires a minimum of five years of study; and (2) the Master of Architecture, which requires a minimum of three years of study following an unrelated bachelor's degree or two years of study following a related pre-professional bachelor's degree. These professional degrees are structured to educate those who aspire to registration/licensure as architects.

The graduate school's Master of Architecture degree (MArch 3 and MArch 2 programs) is an NAAB-accredited professional degree. The school's NAAB accreditation status was evaluated and confirmed in the spring of 2018. All MArch programs at Washington University are STEM-designated.

Master's Degrees

Students holding bachelor's degrees in fields other than architecture are invited to apply to the graduate school's accredited professional MArch 3 degree program. Calculus and physics are required as prerequisites for enrollment. This full six-semester professional curriculum begins with a series of core studios and courses before students progress into the advanced studio sequence.

Students with the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in architecture, including studios at both the 300 and 400 levels (or the equivalent), are placed within the MArch 3 curriculum on the basis of their previous design studio experience and overall academic record.

The Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design welcomes graduates of other schools with an undergraduate degree in architecture (Bachelor of Science in Architecture) or the equivalent as candidates for the accredited professional Master of Architecture degree program (MArch 2). This curriculum typically spans four semesters. The MArch 2 sequence begins with the final comprehensive core studio (A46 419) and concludes with the Degree Project.

We offer the following programs:

Fundamental to the graduate curriculum is the architectural design studio sequence. Each semester, students select from a range of vertical studio options organized around projects and topics offered by different design instructors. These studios emphasize the development of strong conceptual abilities, thoughtful integration of technical information, and convincing representations of architectural ideas in two- and three-dimensional forms and through a variety of media. The ultimate goal is for each student to develop clear design principles, strong technical resources, and an independent critical position on the making of architecture in the world. The independent character of a student’s abilities is demonstrated and tested during the final semester through the Degree Project.

Informing and enriching the studio experience for students in the MArch program are courses in architectural history and theory, building technology and structural principles, urban design, professional practice, landscape design, and representational and digital media studies. Great emphasis is placed on a student's ability to integrate and synthesize the information in these courses into appropriate architectural forms in the design studio. Although these topics have consistently been a part of the graduate curriculum, their specific content, sequence and method of instruction are under constant review and development.

Dual Degrees

For graduate students who want to broaden their education at the graduate and post-professional levels, the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design offers several dual degree programs in conjunction with other divisions of Washington University in St. Louis. To apply for a dual degree program, students must submit separate applications to both programs. Each program makes admission decisions independently. The dual degree programs currently available are as follows: