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Master of Architecture

The Master of Architecture graduate program brings together the foundations and professional issues of architecture in a challenging, rigorous, and collaborative environment. With opportunities to design both collaboratively and independently, you’ll achieve an understanding of yourself as an emerging professional.

In the Master of Architecture program at UL Lafayette, we have an intense focus on community outreach and topic-based studios. Our faculty are devoted to your professional preparation, and that means bringing great design to the Acadiana community and beyond.

In our Master of Architecture studios, you’ll have the option to:

  • Gain hands-on experience helping cities, small towns, and neighborhoods visualize their potential as communities;
  • Design and build sustainable, market-rate homes; and
  • Work in the Louisiana coastal territory to reduce environmental vulnerability, enhance ecosystem resilience, and promote cultural sustainability.

Learn more about our community outreach and research >>

Accreditation

In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year term, an eight-year term with conditions, or a two-year term of continuing accreditation, or a three-year term of initial accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established education standards. Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a non-accredited undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the nonaccredited degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette School of Architecture and Design offers the following NAAB-accredited professional degree:

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) Degree which consists of a minimum of 123 semester credit hours of undergraduate coursework combined with 45 semester credit hours of graduate coursework for a total of 168 semester credit hours.

The next accreditation visit for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette School of Architecture and Design is Spring 2023.

Learn More about Accreditation, Access NAAB Conditions and view Accreditation Reports >>

Application & Admissions Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements of the Graduate School, application and admission requirements for the Master of Architecture degree program require submission of a portfolio of architectural design work for applicants with previous architectural education or experience and, if applying for a graduate assistantship, satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Official GRE scores must be sent directly from the test administrator to the Graduate School.

Portfolio of Architectural Design Work

Applicants with previous architectural or design education are expected to submit a portfolio of work with a minimum of 4 projects, including at least 3 buildings, that shows evidence of the following:

  • Purposefulness
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Advanced communication
  • Exemplifies traits of good writing
  • Representation/graphics: process, 2D, 3D, and models
  • Design Synthesis
  • Demonstrates clear decision making in the synthesis of user requirements, regulatory requirements, site conditions, and accessible design, and consideration of the measurable environmental impacts of their design decisions.
  • Building Integration

Demonstrates clear decision making in the integration of building envelope systems and assemblies, structural systems, environmental control systems, life safety systems, and the measurable outcomes of building performance.

The portfolio should provide clear identification of academic or professional product, collaborations, and role.

Master of Architecture Degree Requirements

Requirements for the Master of Architecture degree consist of 45 credit hours. These degree requirements may increase to 87 credit hours depending upon the undergraduate degree previously completed.

Students who enter the program with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies degree from an institution with a NAAB accredited professional degree must complete 45 credit hours. Undergraduate transcripts will be reviewed to ensure students have completed coursework that meets the NAAB Student Performance Criteria. It may be necessary to complete preparatory coursework to ensure these criteria have been met.

Students who enter the program with a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than architecture, a degree from a non-accredited (NAAB) institution, or have coursework that does not meet NAAB Student Performance Criteria must complete a minimum of 87 credit hours. Advanced Standing* may be awarded to students with a bachelor's degree in a related discipline from a regionally accredited institution.

All students must complete either a one-semester Master's Project track or a two-semester Thesis track. Master's Project track students are required to complete an architectural design with a written component. Thesis track students are required to complete an architectural design and a written Thesis. Thesis track students must submit a Thesis Proposal to the Graduate Coordinator for approval during ARCH 565 - Architectural Research and Programming.

Curriculum, Students who have completed a Pre-Professional Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies (NAAB accredited)

45 Total Credit Hours

  • ARCH 501 - Advanced Architectural Design 6 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 502 - Advanced Architectural Design II 6 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 521 - Architectural History and Theory 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 530 - Urban Theory 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 532 - Advanced Building Systems 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 540 - Architectural Practice 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 563 - Diversity and Social Equity Issues in Design 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 565 - Architectural Research and Programming 3 Credit Hour(s) - This course must be completed with a grade of B or better to be applicable to the degree.
  • ARCH 580 - Advanced Topics in Architecture 3 Credit Hour(s)

Master's Project Track or Thesis Track

  • ARCH 509 - Master's Project 6 Credit Hour(s) - This course must be completed with a grade of B or better to be applicable to the degree.

OR

  • ARCH 599 - ARCH 599 - Thesis Research and Thesis 6 Credit Hour(s)

ARCH Electives

Choose 6 additional graduate credit hours (two courses at 3 credit hours each) in consultation with the graduate coordinator.

Curriculum, Students who have completed a Bachelor of Science degree not accredited by NAAB *

87 Total Credit Hours

  • CIVE 335 - Structural Engineering I 3 Credit Hour(s) **
  • CIVE 336 - Structural Engineering II 3 Credit Hour(s) **
  • ARCH 403G - Principles of Design 6 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 404G - Principles of Building Components 6 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 405G - Principles of Building Design 6 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 409G - Architectural Design V 6 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 410G - Architectural Design VI 6 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 435G - Building Systems III 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 464G - Professional Practice and Contract Documents 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 501 - Advanced Architectural Design 6 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 502 - Advanced Architectural Design II 6 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 521 - Architectural History and Theory 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 530 - Urban Theory 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 531 - Building Systems 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 532 - Advanced Building Systems 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 534 - Systems of Construction II 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 540 - Architectural Practice 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 563 - Diversity and Social Equity Issues in Design 3 Credit Hour(s)
  • ARCH 565 - Architectural Research and Programming 3 Credit Hour(s) - This course must be completed with a grade of B or better to be applicable to the degree.
  • ARCH 580 - Advanced Topics in Architecture 3 Credit Hour(s)

** CIVE 335 and CIVE 336 are undergraduate preparatory courses that do not count toward the graduate degree but rather are prerequisites to required graduate coursework.

Master's Project Track or Thesis Track

  • ARCH 509 - Master's Project 6 Credit Hour(s) - This course must be completed with a grade of B or better to be applicable to the degree.

OR

  • ARCH 599 - ARCH 599 - Thesis Research and Thesis 6 Credit Hour(s)

ARCH Electives

Choose 6 additional graduate credit hours (two courses at 3 credit hours each) in consultation with the graduate coordinator.

* Advanced Standing Evaluation Process

Students transferring into the M. Arch. degree program and those entering the program with a non-accredited (NAAB) undergraduate degree may be granted Advanced Standing upon evaluation of prior academic coursework for satisfactory completion of NAAB Student Performance Criteria.

Evaluation of Preparatory Education

To ensure a thorough and equitable evaluation, students will be required to provide, to the Graduate Coordinator, course descriptions and supporting course documents for all coursework under review. Once all documents are received, the Graduate Coordinator will call a meeting of the Master
of Architecture Evaluation of Preparatory Education Review Committee, which includes the Director of the School of Architecture and Design, the Graduate Coordinator for the program, and Graduate Faculty members from the program. The Committee will determine if NAAB Student Performance Criteria have been met for courses under review. In doing so, the Committee will develop knowledge of, and may contact, the credit granting institution prior to the evaluation of credits. For design studio courses, Committee members will review the student's portfolio of work, transcript, and the credit granting institution's course descriptions. For architecture elective courses, the Committee, with the assistance of architecture faculty who teach those courses, will review the student's transcript and the credit-granting institution's course descriptions.

For non-architecture elective courses, the Committee, with the assistance of faculty who teach those courses, will review the student's transcript and the credit granting institution's course descriptions. A grade of B or better must have been earned in all coursework for approval of Advanced Standing, transfer of graduate credit, and/or a request to the Graduate School to approve lessening curriculum requirements. Following the Advanced Standing evaluation process, the Graduate Coordinator will notify the student of the need to formally apply for transfer of graduate credits and/or which individual course requirements in the curriculum will no longer be required.

Master of Architecture Program Curriculum 2020-2021 >>

Master of Architecture Program Curriculum 2019-2020 >>

Master of Architecture Program Curriculum 2018-2019 >>

Apply to the Master's in Architecture Program

All students interested in applying for the Master of Architecture degree must apply through the UL Lafayette Graduate School. Along with the required Graduate School application materials, you’ll need to submit a portfolio of your work with your application.

Apply for admission to our Master of Architecture program!

Paying for your Master's in Architecture Degree

Some of our architecture graduate students receive a graduate assistantship to help them pay for their school costs. Graduate assistants typically work 20 hours a week in exchange for a tuition and fee waiver and a monthly stipend. Assistantships also help our Master of Architecture students gain professional skills and experience that benefit their work in an architecture firm after graduation.

Learn more about graduate assistantships for Master of Architecture students >>

This program prepares its students for licensure or certification within the state of Louisiana. Please visit the list of licensure programs for important information if you plan to move out of state.