Master's Degrees in Building Science

Building science is a specialized architectural field analyzing and designing human-built structures. Learn about master degree requirements, course topics, program prerequisites and professional licensing. Schools offering Construction Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Building Science Master's Degrees Can I Earn?

Master's degree programs in building science aren't very common. However, some colleges and universities offer these degrees in a number of different, though closely related, forms. These include a Master of Building Science, Master of Science (M.S.) in Building Science and Master of Science (M.S.) in Architecture with a concentration in building science. Despite their slightly varying titles, the coursework in these programs is often very similar. Due to the hands-on nature of the field and the required lab work, you generally need to complete an on-campus program to earn a building science master's degree.

Degree Specializations Master's degrees in building science and architecture
Key Topics Energy systems, architecture, air ventilation, air quality, sonic forces
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree in a related field; may require a portfolio to be sent in addition to the standard application materials
Licensure Information Architects may become licensed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)

What Courses Will I Take?

While earning a master's degree in building science, you'll study the technology and science behind different types of construction. This includes the study of design and innovation within the architecture and construction industries. Your may learn to understand the latest research and thinking on how environmental factors affect building science; for example, you may study the effects of air ventilation, energy systems or local air quality.

You'll also take coursework in the development of building structural systems, which includes designing systems, choosing materials and maximizing structural integrity. You'll learn in a classroom environment, but you'll also work in a laboratory, where you can test building materials under different conditions. You may experiment with different factors that affect structures, such as sonic forces. In most cases, your program will culminate with a master's thesis or project.

Are There Any Prerequisites?

You'll commonly need a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as architecture or engineering, in order to apply to a master's degree program in building science. If you've completed a 5-year architecture program, you may be admitted with advanced standing; this will allow you to bypass coursework on topics with which you should already be familiar. Some programs require you to submit a portfolio of your design work or previously completed projects. These samples provide evidence of your professional and creative readiness for graduate study in building science.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

A master's degree in building science can prepare you for a career in architecture, whether you focus on engineering, design or numerous other phases of building construction. A building science degree isn't considered a professional architecture degree. Before entering the career field, you'll need to earn a degree from a program that has been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). You'll then need to earn a state license, which typically requires completing a training period and passing an exam, which is regulated by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). This degree can also prepare you for admission into an architecture Ph.D.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Cornell University

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Ithaca
  • Texas Tech University

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Lubbock
  • Western Michigan University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Kalamazoo
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Boston
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: San Antonio
  • The University of Texas at El Paso

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: El Paso
  • Stevens Institute of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • New Jersey: Hoboken
  • Southern Polytechnic State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Marietta
  • Southern Methodist University

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Dallas
  • South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • South Dakota: Rapid City