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Course of Study

Master of Architecture students study through two principal tracks: Track I, for students with an undergraduate degree outside the field of architecture (102 credits in three years), and Track II, for those with a B.Arch degree (60 credits in two years).

In their second summer, Track I students join incoming Track II students to collaborate on a community-based studio course in which students design and construct a project over the course of the summer.

Grounded in energy-conscious building and site design, the coursework promotes conceptual exploration with practical application in building systems, construction technology, ethical practice, and cultural traditions in architecture.

Students are encouraged to develop a personal language of form and a responsible design ethic through the study of current, visionary, historic, and vernacular architectures, and experimentation with the intrinsic properties and geometries of materials and building systems.

Critiques by faculty and visiting design/construction professionals help students to further refine their work and advance their skills. Internship Development Program (IDP) counseling is offered to students preparing for national professional registration.

Learning Outcomes

  • Produce a comprehensive thesis design and thesis book based on a topic of personal interest
  • Understand the civic role architects play in shaping the built environment
  • Gain team leadership and collaboration skills
  • Understand material behavior through working directly with materials in shops and on-site
  • Develop awareness and understanding of the diverse cultural, historical, and experiential issues expressed and inherent in one’s design work and in the discipline of architecture
  • Master National Architecture Accrediting Board’s Student Performance Criteria specified in the 2014 Procedures for Accreditation
  • Prepare for internship and pathway to professional licensure


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, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

MassArt offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

  • M. Arch. Track I - 102 Credits (non-pre-professional degree + 42 pre-professional credits + 60 graduate credits)
  • M. Arch. Track II - 60 credits (pre-professional degree + 60 credits).

The National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB) granted the MassArt Master of Architecture degree program an eight-year term of accreditation effective January 1, 2016.

The next accreditation visit for the M.Arch program is 2024.

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