4+2 BFA/Master of Architecture Pathway

RIT offers an accelerated 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway for outstanding students who are interested in earning a bachelor of fine arts degree and a master of architecture degree in as little as six years.

Students interested in the College of Art and Design’s BFA programs in industrial design or interior design may apply to the accelerated 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway directly. Successful applicants who are offered admission into the BFA in industrial design or the BFA in interior design may also be offered conditional acceptance into the master of architecture program in RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability.

The 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway

A BFA degree takes four years to complete and an M.Arch. degree typically takes an additional three to four years. In RIT’s 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway, you’ll complete a BFA in industrial design or interior design and then enter the second year of RIT’s NAAB-accredited master of architecture degree with advanced standing. This accelerated pathway enables you to earn a BFA and an M.Arch. degree in as little as six years if you include summer study, saving you both time and money.

RIT’s Master of Architecture Program

At RIT, we are shaping the next generation of architects to lead the future of sustainable architecture, which is a vital component in planning the communities of tomorrow. The M.Arch. program focuses on:

A 3D architecture model of a campus.

Exploring subjects such as integrated building systems, urban planning, and industrial ecology. Evokes students’ creativity and equips them with skills to design the sustainable buildings and communities of tomorrow.

An RIT Architecture student looking at their 3d model in the heliodon.

Learning to transform environmentally smart concepts into high-performance designs.

A closeup of a person pointing to blueprints.

Integrating design, technology, and research with sustainability to prepare you to enter the field of architecture.

RIT’s M.Arch. program is NAAB-accredited and fulfills the education requirements needed to pursue a career in architecture. The M.Arch. program page includes in-depth information on curriculum requirements, cooperative education, a global experience, accreditation, and more.

Academic Preparation

It is critical that you collaborate with your BFA advisor and your M.Arch. faculty advisor to develop a plan of study for the BFA/M.Arch. Pathway. Students who successfully complete the required courses in the industrial design or interior design BFA program will be considered for advanced standing in the M.Arch. program. You will enter the M.Arch. in the second year of the program and be able to complete both degrees in approximately six years.

BFA in Industrial Design

Begin your studies in RIT’s highly ranked BFA in Industrial Design, and develop the aesthetic sensitivity, technical competence, and the analytical thought needed to improve the user’s experience and meet the challenge of designing products for human needs. Collaborate with award-winning faculty who are creatives, critical thinkers, and innovative problem-solvers, and learn to use technological and theoretical approaches to find solutions to design problems.

Courses required to complete the BFA Industrial Design degree may also be used to waive foundation courses and allow you to enroll in the Master of Architecture with advanced standing.

The chart below lists graduate-level architecture courses that may be waived for industrial design students who complete the related undergraduate courses with a final course grade of B or above.

Industrial Design Courses Cr Waived Architecture Courses Cr
ENVR-101 Concepts of Environmental Science 3 ARCH-761 Understanding Sustainability 3
General Education-Perspective 7 (Math)   Math Prerequisite in M.Arch. degree  
IDDE-102 Design Drawing 3 ARCH-611 Architectural Representation I 3
INDE-202 or IDDE-212 3 ARCH-612 Architectural Representation II 3
ARTH-135 Survey of Western Art 3 ARCH-621 Architectural History I 3
IDDE 221 History of Industrial Design 3
ARTH-136 Survey of Western Art 3 ARCH-622 Architectural History II 3
ARTH-563 Modern Architecture 3
IDDE-301 Junior ID Studio I 3 ARCH-631 Architectural Design I 6
IDDE-302 Junior ID Studio II 3
IDDE-501 Senior ID Studio I 3 ARCH-632 Architectural Design II 6
IDDE-502 Senior ID Studio II 3
INDE-304 Building Systems 3 ARCH-641 Fund. of Building Systems 3
Potential Credit Waivers 30

BFA in Interior Design

Start your educational journey with a professional interior design BFA program within a design college, in a technical university. RIT’s BFA in Interior Design is accredited through the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), and positions you to become an innovative, licensed Interior Design professional through the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ). You’ll engage with professionally certified and experienced faculty who will mentor you through project-based learning to enhance the human experience with consideration for the health, safety, and welfare of people.

Courses required to complete the BFA Interior Design degree may also be used to waive foundation courses and allow you to enroll in the Master of Architecture with advanced standing.

The chart below lists graduate-level architecture courses that may be waived for interior design students who complete the related undergraduate courses with a final course grade of B or above.

Interior Design Courses Cr Waived Architecture Courses Cr
ENVS-101 Concepts of Environmental Science 3 ARCH-761 Understanding Sustainability 3
General Education Perspective 7 (Math)   Math Prerequisite in M.Arch. degree  
INDE-201 Design Drawing I 3 ARCH-611 Architectural Representation I 3
INDE-202 Design Drawing II 3 ARCH-612 Architectural Representation II 3
ARTH-135 Survey of Western Art Part I 3 ARCH-621 Architectural History I 3
INDE-345 History of Architecture, Interiors I 3
ARTH-136 Survey of Western Art Part II 3 ARCH-622 Architectural History II 3
INDE-346 History of Architecture, Interiors II 3
INDE-301 Office Design 3 ARCH-631 Architectural Design I 6
INDE-401 Multi-Story/Purpose Design 3
INDE-411 Capstone I 3 ARCH-632 Architectural Design II 6
INDE-402 Capstone II 3
INDE-304 Building Systems 3 ARCH-641 Fund. of Building Systems 3
Potential Credit Waivers 30

4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Timetable

Apply for the 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway

Early Acceptance Option: When applying to the BFA in industrial design or the BFA in interior design on the Common Application, indicate your interest in the master of architecture pathway. Your application will be reviewed by RIT Admissions for both the BFA degree of your choice and the 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway.

  • If eligible, you will be offered admission to the BFA in industrial design or the BFA in interior design and you will be given conditional admission into the M.Arch. program. Follow up with RIT Admissions to declare your intent to enroll in the BFA program and participate in the BFA/M.Arch. Pathway.

Enrolling After Your Acceptance to RIT: If you did not opt for Early Acceptance to the 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway, or you have decided later that you’d like to enroll in the pathway, you may still do so. After you accept your RIT offer of admission, please declare your interest in the M.Arch. program. You will work in collaboration with your BFA advisor and an M.Arch. faculty advisor to develop a plan of study, and you may officially apply for admission to the M.Arch. after your third year of study.

BFA Program

  • You will work with your BFA advisor and an M.Arch. faculty advisor to develop a plan of study and select the required courses for your degree program as well as the undergraduate courses required to obtain advanced standing (second-year admission) in the M.Arch. program.
  • Students must meet the following criteria throughout the undergraduate program in order to gain full acceptance to the master of architecture program:
    • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 in your bachelor’s degree program.
    • Collaborate with your BFA advisor to develop a plan of study.
    • Make adequate progress towards graduation, as evidenced by no incidents of academic misconduct, no unresolved D’s or F’s, and no excessive course withdrawals.
    • Complete requirements for bachelor’s degree prior to enrolling in M.Arch. program.
    • Approval of the department head of the BFA program and approval of the faculty advisors of the master’s program.

M.Arch. Program

  • Following the successful completion of your BFA degree in industrial design or interior design (including the required courses necessary to obtain advanced standing/second-year admission in the M.Arch. program), you will enter the second year of the master of architecture program.
  • Continue to complete your required graduate-level architecture courses, your required cooperative education experience, and your global experience.
  • You will be required to enroll and take coursework in summer semesters in order to complete the requirements for the M.Arch. degree in two calendar years.
  • Graduate with your M.Arch. degree.

Extracurricular Activities

Clubs and Student Organizations: Getting involved in activities outside the classroom allows you to connect with other RIT students who share your interests and hone the skills necessary to succeed as a professional in the worlds of art, design, and architecture. We encourage you to explore RIT’s many clubs and organizations, but several that may be of particular interest to you as an art, design, or architecture student include:

  • Industrial Designers Society of America
  • ACM Siggraph
  • Society of Environmental Graphic Designers
  • American Society of Interior Designers
  • American Institute of Architects
  • American Institute of Architecture Students
  • ICOGRADA (International Council of Design)
  • American Institute of Graphic Arts
  • International Interior Design Association
  • Net Impact RIT

Frequently Asked Questions

Incoming freshmen should select the BFA in industrial design or the BFA in interior design on the Common Application and should submit a statement indicating their interest in the BFA/M.Arch. option. Qualified students will be offered admission to the BFA in industrial design or interior design along with conditional acceptance to the master of architecture degree.

Students who are currently enrolled in the BFA in industrial design or the BFA in interior design should contact their BFA advisor and the M.Arch. advisor to express their interest in the 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway. Both advisors will assist you in developing a plan of study. Students may apply for admission to the M.Arch. program after the third year of study in their BFA program.

The BFA in industrial design and the BFA in interior design are the only two programs eligible for the 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway. Students in other undergraduate programs may be considered on an individual basis. Contact the director of the M.Arch. program for more information.

Students who are offered conditional admission to the 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway as incoming freshmen will receive a 40% tuition scholarship annually for the M.Arch. portion of their degree, provided they remain in good academic standing.

Your undergraduate financial aid package will not be affected while you are enrolled as an undergraduate student in the BFA program. Once you are enrolled in the M.Arch. program, you will be awarded a scholarship of 40% off graduate tuition. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may also file the FAFSA and be considered for graduate student financial aid (student loans).

As a student in the 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway, you’ll have a BFA advisor and an M.Arch. advisor who will coordinate on your academic schedule to ensure you are enrolled in the course work needed to both complete your BFA degree and allow you to qualify for advanced standing in architecture.

Yes. If you are offered admission to the BFA in industrial design or the BFA in interior design as an incoming freshman, but you are not granted conditional acceptance into the M.Arch. degree at that time, you may apply for admission to the M.Arch. degree in your third year of your BFA program.

If your career goals change, you may withdraw your admission to the 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway. You would simply complete your BFA degree.

Contact RIT Admissions and/or your RIT admissions counselor for more information or to express your interest in the 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway.

Students who are offered conditional admission to the 4+2 BFA/M.Arch. Pathway as freshmen will receive a 40% tuition scholarship for the M.Arch. degree program, provided they remain in good standing.