Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 


Program Overview

RIT’s innovative Master of Architecture Program is geared toward preparation for the practice of architecture in an increasingly inter-disciplinary and inter-professional world. This program is founded upon the principle that the adjective “sustainable” is an integral part of the practice of architecture.
The program emphasizes application and collaboration. Students will both learn and practice the skills and methods of architecture through the lens of sustainability, graduating with the ability to contribute meaningfully to the construction of a sustainably built environment. These goals are achieved by emphasizing the four interrelated areas of sustainability, urbanism, integration, and technology.

Degrees Awarded

  • Master of Architecture (3.5 years)


  • 35 students at full enrollment currently

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • Students are required to complete one semester of co-op (usually summer) for a minimum of 350 hours

Salary Information

Co-op:                   $16.97                     $12.00 - $20.50 per hour
Graduates:           ID

Student Skills & Capabilities

Critical thinking and representation (NAAB Realm A)
Building practices, technical skills and knowledge (NAAB Realm B)
Integrated Architectural Solutions (NAAB Realm C)

Professional practice (NAAB Realm D)

Software application skills

  • Adobe suite
  • Microsoft suite
  • Autodesk suite
  • Various energy modeling and evaluation applications


The program was granted “candidacy” status by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in 2011 and will undergo its “accreditation” visit in 2017.

Equipment & Facilities

Aside from its generous studio spaces including scanners and output devices, the program has a Sustainable Building Materials Lab in the LEED® Platinum Golisano Sustainability Hall featuring an environmental chamber, 3D printer, wind tunnel, laser cutter, heliodon, and a variety of hand-held electronic measuring devices.

Nature of Work

People need places to live, work, play, learn, shop, and eat. Architects are responsible for designing these places. They work on public or private projects and design both indoor and outdoor spaces. Architects can be commissioned to design anything from a single room to an entire complex of buildings.
Architects discuss the objectives, requirements, and budget of a project with clients. In some cases, architects provide various predesign services, such as feasibility and environmental impact studies, site selection, cost analyses, and design requirements.
After discussing and agreeing on the initial proposal with clients, architects develop final construction plans that show the building’s appearance and details for its construction. Accompanying these plans are drawings of the structural system; air-conditioning, heating, and ventilating systems; electrical systems; communications systems; plumbing; and, possibly, site and landscape plans. In developing designs, architects must follow state and local building codes, zoning laws, fire regulations, and other ordinances.
Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and building information modeling (BIM) have replaced traditional drafting paper and pencil as the most common methods for creating designs and construction drawings. However, hand-drawing skills are still used, especially during the conceptual stages of a project.
As construction proceeds, architects may visit building sites to ensure that contractors follow the design, keep to the schedule, use the specified materials, and meet work-quality standards. The job is not complete until all construction is finished, required tests are conducted, and construction costs are paid. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Training / Qualifications

There are typically three main steps to becoming a licensed architect: completing a professional degree in architecture, gaining relevant experience through a paid internship, and passing the Architect Registration Exam.
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Job Outlook

Employment of architects is projected to grow 17 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.  With a growing number of students graduating with architectural degrees, strong competition for internships and jobs in the field is expected. Competition for jobs will be especially strong at the most prestigious architectural firms. Those with up-to-date technical skills and training in sustainable design could have an advantage.
Employment of architects is strongly tied to the activity of the construction industry. Therefore, these workers may experience periods of unemployment when there is a slowdown in requests for new projects or when the overall level of construction falls.   (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)


Architects held about 107,400 jobs in 2012, with two-thirds employed in the architectural, engineering, and related services industry. About 1 in 5 were self-employed.     (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in hiring RIT co-op, graduating students or alumni. We will make every effort to make your recruiting endeavor a success. Call our office and ask to speak with Maureen Arquette, the career services coordinator who works with the Architecture program. For your convenience, you can access information and services through our web site at

Maureen Arquette, Assistant Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 585.475.5081
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center
57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 Posted in Sustainability