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Architecture M.Arch.

Program overview

At a time of significant transition in the profession, the architecture program allows for full incorporation of the skills and knowledge critical to the 21st century architect. The program’s purpose is to produce broad-thinking architects well grounded in the principles and practices of sustainability who can apply their knowledge and talents to the architectural problems posed by the modern city.

The program is designed for students with a broad range of interests and backgrounds who are interested in studying architecture at the graduate level, but whose undergraduate degrees were obtained in fields outside of architecture. The curriculum has been shaped by the global emphasis of sustainability, factors that impact urbanism, and the application of the principles of design and craft; along with a focus around building technology, materials, construction, and systems.


With a global need for a more sustainable world, including buildings and their impact on energy consumption and carbon footprints, the focus of many courses reflect the conditions of sustainable design and practice.


Design exploration is enhanced through the understanding of the implication of technology on both design process and product. The program enables students to focus and collaborate in many specialized areas of technology, including engineering, computer science, imaging science, materials and construction, and products and remanufacturing.


Because a degraded urban environment has grave implications for social, economic, cultural, and environmental health, the program pays particular attention to urban settings and urban principles. The complexity of the urban environment requires an interdisciplinary approach to architecture education – one that references economics, public policy, sociology, and regional culture. The program focuses on the practices and principles of preservation and adaptive reuse. The city of Rochester, New York, serves as an active learning environment for students.

Integrated learning/Integrated practice

Like all strong design programs, the program’s core education will take place in the studio. However, our studio curriculum integrates construction technologies, material science, and mechanics into design. From the outset, students will approach design problems within teams, learning to value and leverage collective intelligence. The integrated learning model prepares students for the increasingly integrated practice of architecture, where integrated project delivery is fast becoming the dominant model, and architects are orchestrating teams of professionals from a variety of fields, including engineering, management, science, and computer science.


Students are required to complete 105 credit hours. Designed as a full-time program, courses are offered on campus, primarily during the day. Much course work is studio-based, and includes technical courses and some elective and sustainability courses. In addition to three required sustainability courses, students will take one sustainability elective. All students will prepare a thesis, during their final year of study. Students will take four graduate electives, drawn from courses offered by the colleges of Applied Science and Technology, Business, Engineering, Imaging Arts and Sciences, and Liberal Arts.

Architecture, M.Arch. degree, typical course sequence

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ARCH-611 Architectural Representation I 3
ARCH-621 Architectural History I 3
ARCH-631 Architectural Design I 6
ARCH-761 Understanding Sustainability 3
ARCH-612 Architectural Representation II 3
ARCH-622 Architectural History II 3
ARCH-632 Architectural Design II 6
ARCH-741 Fundamentals of Building Systems 3
Second Year
ARCH-731 Architectural Studio I: Site 6
ARCH-742 Integrated Building Systems I 3
ARCH-751 Architectural Theory 3
ARCH-732 Architectural Studio II: Tectonic 6
ARCH-743 Integrated Building Systems II 3
ARCH-752 Urban and Regional Planning 3
ARCH-762 Industrial Ecology Fundamentals 3
  Graduate Elective 3
Third Year
ARCH-733 Architectural Studio III: Adaptive 6
ARCH-744 Integrated Building Systems III 3
ARCH-753 Research Seminar/Thesis Prep 3
ARCH-763 Sustainable Building Metrics 3
ARCH-734 Architectural Studio IV: Urban 6
ARCH-745 Integrated Building Systems IV 3
ARCH-771 Professional Practice 3
  Graduate Elective 3
Fourth Year (Fall Only)
ARCH-790 Thesis Studio 6
  Sustainability Elective 3
  Graduate Electives 6
ARCH-699 Cooperative Education Co-op
  Global Experience 0
Total Semester Credit Hours 105

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the M.Arch. program in architecture, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

Applicants who exceed the general admission requirements may be considered for conditional acceptance before GRE scores are available.

Portfolio Guidelines

All applications must be accompanied by a PDF digital portfolio. Print or bound portfolios or digital portfolios in formats other than PDF will not be accepted or reviewed. Please note, all PDF portfolios should be less than 6.0mb. Files larger than this will not be accepted or reviewed. In the event the review committee requires additional information or higher resolution images, the applicant will be notified.

Guidelines for portfolio preparation:

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