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Architecture, MArch

Architecture, MArch

Academic programs / Graduate degrees / Architecture, MArch

Architecture, Construction, Environment, Innovation, Sustainable, approved for STEM-OPT extension, building, design, interior, landscape

This accredited professional degree program has been educating aspiring architects and other built environment professionals since the 1950s. Customize your educational journey and achieve excellence through this inclusive and accessible program.

Program description
Degree awarded: MArch  Architecture

Architecture and the building industry are rapidly changing, and professionals need to be more effectively prepared to innovate and challenge a workforce that is far more dynamic, complex and diverse than it was 20 years ago. Professional architecture firms and offices no longer specialize in building design only; they have expanded into related fields that compel architecture education to become more comprehensive and advanced than ever.

Students can both complete the accredited architecture degree content and gain additional credentials for another master's degree or certificate that supports their individual interests. This enables students to pursue concurrent options in related areas, such as construction management, sustainability, real estate development, urban planning, landscape architecture, interior architecture, business and other subject areas. Students also may simultaneously join other programs across ASU such as health, education or fine arts.

Each semester of the program includes a design studio and two other courses, such as technology, representation, history, theory, research and practice. Students craft the design and plan the construction of economically and ecologically sustainable built environments and communities. They are rigorously trained on advanced design and digital prototyping, innovative building systems and new technologies, as well as in the research and advocacy of the expansive public role of architects within a broader civic dialogue and social justice aspirations.

The program is offered in two distinct learning modalities --- in-person and online --- providing further opportunities for students to earn the same National Architectural Accrediting Board-accredited professional degree.

Students who successfully complete the requirements for Master of Architecture program and their chosen electives for their certificate can choose to continue for an additional year in their added field and turn their certificate into the second master's degree. Students pursuing concurrent degrees earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas, allowing them to pursue their own personal or professional interests effectively.

The mission of The Design School is to prepare students for professional success, while continuing to innovate and advance the discipline of architecture through an emphasis on place, context and contemporary culture; this emphasis recognizes the school's responsibility and commitment to social and environmental justice within Arizona, the region, nation and the world.

The Design School in the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts offers the following NAAB-accredited degree program:

  • Master of Architecture, two-year track (preprofessional degree + 48 graduate credit hours)
  • Master of Architecture, three-year track (non-preprofessional degree + 72 credit hours)

Next accreditation visit: 2023
Accredited since: 1985

STEM-OPT for international students on F-1 visas

This program may be eligible for an Optional Practical Training extension for up to 36 months. This OPT work authorization term may help international students gain skills and experience in the U.S. Those interested in an OPT extension should review ASU degrees that qualify for the STEM-OPT extension at ASU's International Students and Scholars Center website.

The OPT extension only applies to students on an F-1 visa and does not apply to students completing the degree through ASU Online.

At a glance
Concurrent program options

Students can choose to create their own concurrent degree combination to match their interests by working with their academic advisor during or after their first semester of study. Some concurrent combinations are not possible due to high levels of overlap in curriculum; students should speak with their academic advisor for more details.

This degree is also offered as a concurrent program with the following:

Degree requirements

48 credit hours including the required capstone course (ARC 602)

Required Core (42 credit hours)
ARC 501 Advanced Architecture Studio I (6)
ARC 502 Advanced Architecture Studio II (6)
ARC 522 Advanced Architecture Technology I (3)
ARC 531 Advanced Architecture History (3)
ARC 532 Architectural Theory I (3)
ARC 541 Advanced Architecture Representation (3)
ARC 601 Advanced Architecture Studio III (6)
ARC 622 Advanced Architecture Technology II (3)
ARC 631 Architectural Theory II (3)
ARC 651 Architecture Research (3)
ARC 662 Architectural Practice (3)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
ARC 602 Advanced Architectural Studio IV (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
The culminating experience course is a final design studio with a written component, taken under guidance of studio faculty and industry professionals.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or they must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. a portfolio, letter of intent and contact information for two references submitted via SlideRoom (
  4. proof of English proficiency

Additional Admission Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

Admission Requirements for the Two-Year Pathway:
Applicants must have completed a four-year Bachelor of Science degree with a major in architectural studies or similar preprofessional degree in architecture. The undergraduate degree must be granted by an institution that is recognized by ASU and offers a National Architectural Accreditation Board-accredited degree program in architecture.

Admission Requirements for the Three-Year Pathway:
Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate or graduate degree in any field other than architectural studies.

Deficiency Coursework:
If a student is assigned any deficiency coursework by the academic unit upon admission, depending on the undergraduate background, they must complete those courses with a grade of "B" or higher before completing the master's program required coursework.

Tuition information
When it comes to paying for higher education, everyone’s situation is different. Students can learn about ASU tuition and financial aid options to find out which will work best for them.
Attend online
ASU Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program’s ASU Online page for program descriptions and to request more information.

Application deadlines
Session A/CIn Person 05/01Final
Session A/CIn Person 01/15Priority
Program learning outcomes

Program learning outcomes identify what a student will learn or be able to do upon completion of their program. This program has the following program outcomes:

  • Perform professional-level tasks during their internship, including drafting, collaboration, and technical proficiency appropriate for design practice, as identified by the National Architectural Accreditation Board.
  • Distinguish the basic context and framework of diverse cultural and social contexts as they relate to The Design School Imperatives (history, context, program, technology, construction, representation).
  • Design a response to social issues, cultural representation, and sustainability concerns through their proficiency in analyzing, discussing, and applying their findings in a professional design and/or presentation.
Career opportunities

Graduates of the architecture program often pursue careers as:

  • architects
  • building information modeling managers
  • contractors
  • developers
  • energy modelers
  • facilities managers
  • film and media producers
  • politicians or public servants
  • professors
Professional licensure

ASU programs that may lead to professional licensure or certification are intended to prepare students for potential licensure or certification in Arizona. Completion of an ASU program may not meet educational requirements for licensure or certification in another state. For more information, students should visit the ASU professional licensure webpage.

In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure.

Contact information

The Design School | CDN 162

What are accelerated programs?
Accelerated programs allow students the opportunity to expedite the completion of their degree.

3 year programs

These programs allow students to fast-track their studies after admission and earn a bachelor's degree in three years or fewer while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students should talk to their academic advisor to get started.

Accelerated master's

These programs allow students to accelerate their studies to earn a bachelor's plus a master's degree in as few as five years (for some programs).

Each program has requirements students must meet to be eligible for consideration. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. Students typically receive approval to pursue the accelerated master’s during the junior year of their bachelor's degree program. Interested students can learn about eligibility requirements and how to apply.
What are concurrent programs?
Concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests, earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor.
What are joint programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a new program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are online programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See for more information.
What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information:

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