Architecture Master's Degree Programs

Read about Master of Architecture and Master of Science in Architecture programs and find out what careers each option can prepare you for. Check the admission requirements for graduate architecture programs, as well as the availability of online learning options. Explore the coursework in M.Arch. and M.S. programs.

What Architecture Master's Degree Programs Are Available to Me?

Generally, there are two types of master's degree programs in architecture. A professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program is usually accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and can qualify you for licensure or certification as an architect in your state of residence.

If you already have a professional architecture degree, such as a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) or M.Arch., you can earn a Master of Science (M.S.) in Architecture. These programs are non-professional degree programs for architects who want additional training in an architectural subfield, such as design theory, architectural history, interior design or sustainable building science.

Degree LevelsBachelor's degrees, master's degrees
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree; portfolio submission
Common CoursesArchitectural Design Research, Sustainability, Architectural History
Online AvailabilityFull and partial available for accredited schools
Median Salary (2018)*$79,380 (for architects)
Job Outlook (2016-26)*4% (for all architects except landscape and naval)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Admissions Requirements?

To be accepted into an M.Arch. or M.S. in Architecture program, most schools will require you to have earned a bachelor's degree, often in architecture or a related field. Some programs also require you to submit a portfolio of your work.

If your undergraduate degree isn't in architecture, it may take you longer to earn a master's degree. You may need to take introductory design studios and architectural theory courses.

What Courses Can I Take?

Professional Master of Architecture degree programs include lecture courses on topics such as lighting methods, temperature controls, power systems and building foundations. You will also have to participate in design studios, where you create scale models of floor plans and structures. These programs may culminate in a final design project.

Coursework for an M.S. in Architecture will allow you to pursue your area of interest. Course topics could include sustainable building technology, design theory, research tools, Japanese architecture, urban design, architectural history and energy efficient design. Often, you must complete a thesis.

Will I Be Able to Find Any Online Programs?

Online NAAB-accredited M.Arch. programs are available. Usually, you can complete coursework from home and studio sessions on campus. Online M.S. in Architecture programs are also available, although these programs may be limited to those with specialties in interior design.