United States Master of Architecture Programs | M.Arch Degree

Graduate students who have a passion for the design and construction process of physical structures and spaces might find that enrolling in an architecture masters program may prepare them to pursue a variety of career paths, including that as a professional architect. Employment of architects is projected to increase 7% from 2014 to 2024, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Earning a master of architecture( degree M.Arch.) can take from 1 to 5 years to complete, depending on the extent of the student’s previous education base in architecture[ii].

EXPERT INSIGHT
We asked Architecture Director Gregory Kessler about the significance of architectural design in societies:

"“The nature of buildings, spaces, landscapes and construction methods play a critical role in how people feel, behave, interact and communicate."

~Gregory Kessler, Director of the School of Architecture and Construction Management-Washington State UniversityClick to Tweet

What is Architecture?

The term “architecture” can mean several things[iii], including, but not limited to describing buildings and other physical structures. It can also refer to the art and science of designing buildings, the style of design and method of construction, the knowledge of art, science and technology, and humanity as well as the practice of the architect.

Master of Architecture

How do I find a Master of Architecture Program?

GradSchools.com has some helpful search tools for finding Master of Architecture programs and architecture grad schools. You can start with a simple location search; use the tabs to enter a city, state or country where you might enjoy studying, then browse the results. You can refine this search by choosing a program format. Would you prefer to study on a college campus or are you a busy adult or working professional who would find the convenience of an online masters easier on your schedule? If so, you can search for Master of Architecture online program or opt for the hybrid format, a combination of on-campus and online course work.

Some of the choices you may find include an MS in Sustainable design, MS Architecture, Architecture M.Arch., MS in Design and Urban Ecologies, or a Master of Architecture/Interior Architecture. For those students who have a clear direction in terms of what career path they want to pursue, concentrating might be helpful.

Potential Curriculum For Architecture Masters Program

The curriculum in Master of Architecture programs may vary between schools, program formats and concentration of the degree. In general, some of the subjects students may be exposed to might include[iv]:

  • Design: Techniques, tools and principles involved in the production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings and models
  • Building and Construction: Materials, methods and mechanisms involved in the construction process and repair of houses, highways, buildings and other structures
  • Customer Care: How to provide service to clients, such as assessment of their needs.
  • Administration and Management: Business principles involved in strategic planning and production methods
  • Customer Service: Principles and processes of providing customer satisfaction, and making assessments of client’s needs.

Some of the technology used by Architects includes computer aided design CAD software, database user interface and query software, document management software, graphics or photo imaging software and project management software[iv].

Some of the courses in a typical architectural program include courses in architectural history and theory, building design with an emphasis on computer aided design and drafting (CADD), structures, technology, construction methods, professional practices, physical sciences, mathematics and liberal arts[ii].

Potential Career Paths For Graduates of Master of Architecture Programs

Earning a professional degree in architecture is the typical path to becoming an architect in all states[ii]. Architects plan and design different kinds of structures such as buildings, theatres, factories, private residences and office buildings. According to the BLS, there are generally three main steps to pursuing a career as a licensed architect: completing a professional degree in architecture, gaining relevant experience through a paid internship and passing the Architect Registration exam[ii].

FUN FACT: About 1 in 5 architects was self-employed in 2014[vi].

Some of the industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation, according to BLS data include[iv]:

  • Architectural, engineering and related services
  • Federal Executive branch
  • Residential building construction
  • State government
  • Nonresidential building construction

Some of the duties of architects include[xi]:

  • Meeting with clients to determine objectives and requirements for structures
  • Estimating the required materials, equipment and construction time of projects
  • Preparing structure specifications
  • Directing workers
  • Preparing scale drawings
  • Preparing contract documents for building contractors, and managing these contracts
  • Visiting work sites
  • Business development through marketing and giving presentations

Other potential career paths for graduates of master of architecture programs might pursue include construction managers, architectural and engineering managers, civil engineers, architecture teachers - postsecondary and interior designers[iv].

Ready to pursue a Master of Architecture?

If you are someone who wants to learn the craft of planning and designing buildings, sustainable homes, or even high rise office buildings, earning a masters of architecture might help prepare you to jumpstart an exciting professional career. Why not review options for master of architecture programs on GradSchools.com to find the program that might address your unique goals!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/architects.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/architects.htm#tab-4 | [iii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architecture | [iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/17-1011.00 | [v] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/architects.htm#tab-3 | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/architects.htm#tab-2

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