The duration of the RIT Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program spans 3.5 years and includes 105 semester credit hours. The program has been designed as a full-time program, and courses are offered on the RIT campus, throughout the day and evening. Below is a sample course matrix that shows the typical course load per semester.

Typical Course Sequence

Course IDCourseCredits
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-641 Fundamentals of Building Systems  3
Second Year
ARCH-731 Architectural Studio I: Site 6
ARCH-741 Integrated Building Systems I 3
ARCH-751 Architectural Theory 3
ARCH-734 Architectural Studio II: Urban 6
ARCH-742 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-743 Integrated Building Systems III 3
ARCH-753 Research Seminar/Thesis Preparation 3
ARCH-763 Sustainable Building Metrics 3
ARCH-735 Architectural Studio IV: Integrative 6
ARCH-744 Integrated Building Systems IV 3
ARCH-771 Professional Practice   3
  Graduate Elective 3
Fourth Year
ARCH-790 Thesis Studio 6
  Sustainability Elective 3
  Graduate Electives 6
ARCH-699 Cooperative Education 0
  Global Experience 0
 Total Semester Credit Hours105

Studio Culture Overview

Studio culture is an integral part of the RIT Architecture experience.

Enrollment in the Master of Architecture Program and studio environment is a privilege granted to students majoring in Architecture at RIT. As such, each student is bound to uphold this standard, through personnel performance as well as in concert with others. The term “studio” refers to a series of specific, uniquely structured courses as well as a physical place founded on the educational ideals and the belief in an environment that fosters critical thinking, explorative forming and testing of ideas, and professional development. Overall, the Architecture program at RIT is grounded in the following essential values*:

  • A Culture of Optimism – Hopeful that architecture will make a difference to society, and confident that success within the profession or related discipline is possible.
  • A Culture of Respect – Respect for the individual, the community, ideas, diversity and the physical space.
  • A Culture of Sharing – Collaboration, interdisciplinary connections and successful oral and written communication are embraced.
  • A Culture of Engagement – Promoting leadership to foster engagement within communities, among clients and users, and around social issues.
  • A Culture of Innovation – Encouraging critical thinking, fostering risk taking, and promoting creativity.

The ideal studio goes much further than merely to establish a place of inspiration and collegiality. It upholds a mutual attitude of respect and tolerance among faculty and students, understanding that cooperation between, and discourse among diverse perspectives within the stakeholders in our program is our greatest asset. Our working model asserts a culture of respect and innovation within the RIT Architecture program by allowing ideas, processes, and products to develop freely in a supportive, diverse, and inclusive environment. Find Out More.

*As referenced from AIAS “Toward an Evolution of Studio Culture: A Report of the Second AIAS Task Force on Studio Culture.”