Three- or Four-Year Master of Architecture Programs
Students who have earned four-year undergraduate degrees in fields unrelated to architecture but later decide to become architects can pursue a three- or four-year Master of Architecture degree in a program accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB). Although there are architecture schools that offer non-accredited master’s degree programs, students who ultimately wish to become licensed as architects must earn a professional master’s degree from an NAAB-accredited program.
Coursework is usually similar to the two-year master’s program, covering topics such as theory, design, architectural history, building science, structural engineering, and elective courses. However, additional courses in such subjects as drafting, physics, calculus, computers, building materials, construction methods, environmental control systems, and studio work are usually required in the longer master’s degree programs, as students typically have no prior knowledge of them.
The wide variety of knowledge and experience that students from different undergraduate backgrounds bring to a three- or four-year Master of Architecture program is often considered an advantage in their study. However, such students will spend a longer total amount of time in school (seven to eight years) and will also have a relatively shorter period of time (when compared to two-year master’s students who have already earned pre-professional degrees) to thoroughly master the extensive range of subjects in which an architect must be proficient. However, professional work experience in an internship or other practical employment in the field can usually help graduates of these programs gain all the knowledge required of an architect.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013