Master of Architecture

Application and Portfolio Deadline:
January 6 annually

Enrollment Deposit and Intent to Enroll Deadline:
April 15 annually

About

The Master of Architecture degree program will prepare you for your future by cultivating a dynamic educational environment where assumptions are challenged, ideas are debated, and emergent design methods are forged. 

Our education combines coursework in design, history and theory, representation, digital fabrication, computation, technology, and sustainability. Your experience is enhanced by our range of facilities, from one of the best fabrication and robotics labs in any architecture school in the world to the University of Michigan’s vast library system to facilities for emerging technologies like virtual reality and mixed reality, including the Taubman Visualization Lab (TVLab). And this is all within the context of one of the world’s most distinguished public research universities.

Arch 552 Institutions Chen Huang, "A Dream of Pig Machines"

Intellectually Diverse

An instructor helps a student with a small 3D printed piece.

A notable strength of our program is our intellectual diversity. Here you will learn from faculty with a wide variety of expertise and methodology with diverse ways of designing and theorizing architecture’s role in the world. The Taubman College Master of Architecture is committed to the idea that architectural education in the 21st century can build upon a plurality of foundations – diverse epistemologies, experiences, histories, methodologies, and technical and conceptual capacities. In doing so, we understand that architecture is a cultural product that always negotiates a complex multitude of voices and ideas and a myriad of social, political, and aesthetic concerns.

Agents of Progress

At a time when architecture is increasingly confronted by changing social, technological, and environmental contexts, we prepare students for their futures by cultivating a dynamic educational environment where assumptions are challenged, ideas are debated, and emergent design methods are forged.

Taubman architecture graduates enter their careers charged with expertise in the most innovative global design practices, an understanding of architecture’s histories and potential futures, and an aptitude to think actively in the world that makes them agents of progress for a better, more just and beautiful built environment.

Taubman Studio Reviews, Dec 2022

/ Eligibility

To be eligible for admission, students must hold an undergraduate degree in any field. 

 

Master of Architecture

Applicants to the 3-year Master of Architecture must have received an undergraduate degree in any subject. Admitted Master of Architecture students begin in the summer term.

We recommend that students complete two courses, Calculus 1 and General Physics, before beginning coursework in the fall (late August). These courses can also be completed during the first year of the M.Arch program. These courses must be taken for credit at an accredited institution and the student must earn a C or better in the course. The two prerequisites are:

  • Calculus 1 (3 credit hours minimum – may be taken online)
  • 1 general physics course (lecture and lab) (4 credits – may be taken online)

In order to use AP credit to fulfill either of these prerequisites, a student must have scored a 5 on the Calculus BC exam and/or a 5 on the Physics 1 exam, and submit an original AP score report(s) to the University of Michigan directly. Credit for AP tests on another institution transcript will not suffice. Scores of 4 or below and the Calculus AB exam do NOT fulfill the prerequisites.

We also highly recommend (but do not require) students interested in the 3-year M.Arch program take two studio art or design courses. The purpose of the studio courses is to explore the design process and the art of making, thereby solidifying an interest in architectural study, and to create work to include in the admissions portfolio. Examples of studio courses include but are not limited to:

  • Architecture
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Design (2D or 3D)
  • Woodworking
  • Ceramics
  • Sculpture
  • Printmaking
  • Metalworking
  • Fashion Design
  • Interior Design
  • Illustration
  • Animation
  • Jewelry Making
  • Photography

Master of Architecture with Advanced Standing

Applicants to the Master of Architecture with Advanced Standing must have a bachelor of science degree in architecture or its equivalent. Admitted Master of Architecture with Advanced Standing students begin in the fall term.

A student must have completed the following prerequisite courses as part of their undergraduate degree in architecture. These courses must be taken for credit at an accredited institution and the student must earn a C or better in every course.

  • 4 sequential architecture design studio courses (5-6 credits each course)
  • 1 construction course (3 credits)
  • 2 structure courses (6 credits)
  • 1 environmental systems course (3 credits)
  • 2 history of architecture courses (6 credits)
  • 1 architecture theory course (3 credits)

Any course deficiencies must be fulfilled in addition to the regular 60 credit hours of the advanced standing curriculum.

/ Degree Requirements

These requirements apply to the current year. Students who entered the college earlier should refer to the specific degree requirements from the year they entered.

Master of Architecture with Advanced Standing

The Master of Architecture with Advanced Standing degree program requires a student to complete all 60 credit hours in architecture and related professional fields (i.e., planning, landscape architecture, natural resources, public health, engineering, business administration, and other), including a minimum of 45 credit hours of 500/600 level architecture courses.

Specifically, a student must complete:

Four courses (24 credit hours) of architectural design studio (ARCH 552, ARCH 562, ARCH 662, ARCH 672)

Eight courses (21 credit hours) of specific required architecture courses (ARCH 515: Sustainable Systems, ARCH 516: Architectural Representation, ARCH 527: Integrative Systems I, ARCH 528: Integrative Systems II, ARCH 537: Fabrication, ARCH 572: Architectural Theory and Criticism,  ARCH 583: Professional Practice, and ARCH 660: Thesis Development Seminar)

Three courses (9 credit hours) of graduate-level (500/600) architecture elective courses

Two courses (6 credit hours) of either architecture elective courses or non-architecture elective courses at the graduate level

Important Notes about M.Arch with Advanced Standing Degree Requirements

  • No more than six hours of Tutorial Studies (ARCH 593 and ARCH 600) can be counted toward the 60-hour minimum.
  • Students with Advanced Standing may not elect undergraduate architecture courses for credit.
  • The following courses cannot be counted towards graduation requirements: ARCH 993: Teaching Methods for GSIs, ARCH 690: Architectural Curriculum Practical Training, ARCH 490: Architecture Spring Break Externship Experience, ELI 530: Academic Speaking and Writing for Architecture Students

A student must complete the 60 credit hours required for the M.Arch. degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above and with a grade of C- or better in each required architecture course. Those students earning a cumulative GPA in the top 5% of their class shall graduate with high distinction; students earning a GPA in the top 5%-10% of the class shall graduate with distinction. These honors will be entered on the student’s transcript and diploma.

It is suggested that you speak with your faculty advisor regarding course elections, especially electives. The Architecture program uses Online Advising Files (OAFs), which students can request from Taubman College Student Affairs, to track and record a student’s progress towards completing degree requirements. The OAF is also used to finalize degree audits at the time of graduation. In addition, all students expecting the Master of Architecture Degree are required to apply to graduate online through Wolverine Access. This should be done at least three months in advance of the expected date of graduation. Students who meet this deadline will have their names published in the commencement program. Although faculty advisors and administrators may assist a student in arranging an academic degree plan, the student is ultimately responsible for meeting all program and degree requirements. If degree requirements are not completed for the commencement period to which the graduation application has been filed, a student must complete a new graduation application to be considered for graduation at a subsequent commencement date.

Course Waiver(s)

A student may seek a waiver of any course(s) listed as deficiencies in their letter of admission or from course(s) that are required for the master’s degree.  Course waivers should be requested upon your arrival in the fall and approved before the end of the official drop/add date for the current semester. Course waivers do not reduce the 60 credit hour requirement.

Take the form along with a copy of your transcript, course description, syllabus/reading list, to the instructor of the course you are requesting to be waived. In the case of a construction course, bring projects/drawings that you have completed as supporting evidence of your request for a waiver. The instructor will then review your material and approve the course waiver form. This form is then returned to the college registrar and placed in your file. A course waiver can only be approved by the faculty member currently teaching the course.

Master of Architecture (3-year)

The Master of Architecture Degree requires a student to complete 99 credit hours.

Specifically, a student must complete:

Seven courses (42 credit hours) of architectural design studio (ARCH 402, ARCH 412, ARCH 422, ARCH 552, ARCH 562, ARCH 662, ARCH 672) 

Eight courses (21 credit hours) of specific required architecture courses (ARCH 515: Sustainable Systems, ARCH 516: Architectural Representation, ARCH 527: Integrative Systems I, ARCH 528: Integrative Systems II, ARCH 537 – Fabrication, ARCH 572—Architectural Theory and Criticism,  ARCH 583—Professional Practice, and ARCH 660—Thesis Development Seminar)

Two courses (6 credit hours) in History of Architecture (ARCH 413 and an Arch History Elective course) 

One course (3 credit hours) Environmental Systems (ARCH 425)

Two courses (6 credit hours) in Structures (ARCH 314 and ARCH 324)

One course (3 credit hours) in Design Fundamentals (ARCH 416)

One course (3 credit hours) in Construction (ARCH 417)

Five courses (15 credit hours) graduate-level (500/600) architecture elective courses

Two courses (6 credit hours) of either architecture elective courses or non-architecture elective courses at the graduate level 

Important Notes about M.Arch (3-year) Degree Requirements

  • No more than six hours of tutorial studies (ARCH 593 and ARCH 600) can be counted toward the 99-hour minimum.
  • All required 300- and 400-level architecture courses should be completed by the end of the first year.
  • The following courses cannot be counted towards graduation requirements: ARCH 993: Teaching Methods for GSIs, ARCH 690: Architectural Curriculum Practical Training, ARCH 490: Architecture Spring Break Externship Experience, ELI 530: Academic Speaking and Writing for Architecture Students

A student must complete the 99 credit hours required for the M.Arch. degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above and with a grade of C- or better in each required architecture course. Those students earning a cumulative GPA in the top 5% of their class shall graduate with high distinction; students earning a GPA in the top 5%-10% of the class shall graduate with distinction. These honors will be entered on the student’s transcript and diploma.

It is suggested that you speak with your faculty advisor regarding course elections, especially electives. The Architecture program uses Online Advising Files (OAFs), which students can request from Taubman College Student Affairs, to track and record a student’s progress towards completing degree requirements. The OAF is also used to finalize degree audits at the time of graduation. In addition, all students expecting the Master of Architecture Degree are required to apply to graduate online through Wolverine Access. This should be done at least three months in advance of the expected date of graduation. Students who meet this deadline will have their names published in the commencement program. Although faculty advisors and administrators may assist a student in arranging an academic degree plan, the student is ultimately responsible for meeting all program and degree requirements. If degree requirements are not completed for the commencement period to which the graduation application has been filed, a student must complete a new graduation application to be considered for graduation at a subsequent commencement date.

Course Waiver(s)

A student may seek a waiver of any course(s) listed as deficiencies in their letter of admission or from course(s) that are required for the master’s degree.  Course waivers should be requested upon your arrival in the fall and approved before the end of the official drop/add date for the current semester. Course waivers do not reduce the 99 credit hour requirement.

Take the form along with a copy of your transcript, course description, syllabus/reading list, to the instructor of the course you are requesting to be waived. In the case of a construction course, bring projects/drawings that you have completed as supporting evidence of your request for a waiver. The instructor will then review your material and approve the course waiver form. This form is then returned to the college registrar and placed in your file. A course waiver can only be approved by the faculty member currently teaching the course.

ELI 530

Students who are non–native English speakers and do not have a four-year degree from an English-medium institution are required to take and successfully complete ELI 530, a two-credit hour architecture-specific English course offered by the English Language Institute (ELI) at U-M in their first fall term. ELI 530 is taken in addition to their regular architecture coursework and does not count toward degree requirements.

/ Sample Schedule

Our degree’s embrace of a plurality of perspectives is further enhanced by the composition of the college, which includes urban planners, doctoral students, and post-professional students of urban design, and digital and material technologies, and by our context within the nation’s top public research university.

Coursework for the 99-credit curriculum begins in late June.

/ Frequently Asked Questions

How and when do I apply?

All Taubman College applications open annually by September. Submit both the ApplyWeb Online Application and SlideRoom Portfolio by the annual M.Arch application deadline on January 6. The application opens annually by early September.

Do you admit on a rolling basis? Is there an advantage to applying ahead of the January 6 deadline?

No, we do not admit on a rolling basis. All materials for all applicants are reviewed before final decisions are sent in early-March. Starting your application early ensures that there is plenty of time to contact us if you have questions. As long as you submit your materials by the deadline, your chance of admission is not impacted by the timing of when you applied.

Should I apply to the M.Arch with Advanced Standing or the 3-year M.Arch program?

Please select the appropriate track when applying, either the Master of Architecture (see 3-year program prerequisites) OR the Master of Architecture with Advanced Standing (see 2-year program prerequisites). Please review our ‘Apply’ page for additional information.

Will you still consider my application if I apply to the wrong program (i.e. applied for Advanced Standing without the appropriate prerequisites)?

We rely on applicants self-selecting the correct program to avoid delays in the admissions process. Your admission decision will likely be delayed if you have the appropriate academic background for Advanced Standing but apply for the 3-year M.Arch program.

Do I need to have completed Calculus and Physics in order to apply?

Applicants for the 3-year M.Arch program can complete the Calculus and Physics prerequisites after receiving an offer of admission, preferably before the program start date in late-June. We notify admitted students of course deficiencies in the admission offer letter. Applicants to the M.Arch with Advanced Standing program do not need to complete the prerequisites for the 3-year M.Arch program (see 2-year program prerequisites instead).

I have all the prerequisites for the M.Arch with Advanced Standing except one or two courses (e.g. Structures II). Should I apply for the 3-year program instead?

Studio course deficiencies will disqualify students from advanced standing eligibility, but any other course deficiencies (no more than four courses) can be fulfilled in addition to the regular 60 credit hours of the advanced standing curriculum. We notify admitted students of course deficiencies in the admission offer letter. See 2-year program prerequisites for additional information.

Do I need to submit a TOEFL/IELTS score? How do I send the report?

All non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency. We will waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement when processing applications for students who have a degree from a university where English is the primary language of instruction. Please submit either a TOEFL, Internet Based TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, or IELTS score report to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Institution code 1839) by the application deadline on January 6. Test scores must be no older than two years old to be valid. The minimum TOEFL score is 95 iBT; the minimum IELTS score is 7.0 (students only need to take one of the tests). U.S. citizenship does not exempt applicants from taking the test if his/her/their native language is not English. Taubman College does not accept Duolingo scores.

Do letters of recommendation need to be submitted by the application deadline?

Ideally, all of your materials should be submitted by the deadline. We understand that some recommenders might need a few extra days, so we do allow a grace period. Please ensure all recommendations have been submitted within 2 weeks of the deadline so that our faculty review committee can offer your application a complete and holistic review process.

How do I apply for a scholarship and need-based financial aid?

All applicants, including international students, are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. Scholarship offers are included in admission letters in early-March. About one-third to one-half of Architecture students receive a scholarship, and the awards range from $5,000 to full tuition. Please note, full tuition awards are very rare and do not cover non-tuition expenses. Please see our ‘Paying for Your Degree’ page for more information.

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, we also encourage you to complete the FAFSA so you can be considered for M.Arch need-based grants and other financial aid (use U-M Federal School Code 002325).

Can I apply for a position as a TA (teaching assistant) or similar position for a tuition waiver?

Students are eligible to apply for Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) positions within Taubman College after their first semester in the M.Arch program. GSI positions are very competitive.

/ Gradient

Gradient is an online platform for current conversations in architecture and urbanism at Taubman College and beyond. The journal highlights the wide variety of expertise and methods and diverse ways of designing and theorizing the built environment’s role in the world. Project Papers further spotlight the intellectual diversity of our internationally recognized faculty.

/ Paying for your Degree

Making decisions about the next step in your educational journey is a time full of opportunity and potential; however, it may also be accompanied by concerns regarding paying for your degree. There are numerous financial resources to help you manage tuition and living expenses.

/ STEM Designated Degree Program

The Master of Architecture degree is an approved field of study within the U.S. government’s official STEM fields list. When a student earns a degree in a field on the STEM fields list, they may be eligible for the 24-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension. OPT is defined as practical work experience in your field of study after completion of a degree. With a STEM degree, a student’s “regular” OPT of 12 months may be extended for an additional 24 months. For further details regarding STEM extensions contact the International Center.

Taubman College Pathways

The Taubman College Pathways program seeks to create avenues to diversify the Taubman College community and the fields of architecture and urban planning. Geared toward those exploring graduate education, the program provides an opportunity for career exploration and learning more about Taubman College’s academic offerings in an intimate setting. Our goal is to expand the diversity of our College and disciplines in as many ways as possible, including but not limited to socioeconomic status, educational experiences, race/ethnicity, etc.

Taubman Studio Reviews, Dec 2022

Career

Taubman College Career and Professional Development offers a variety of programs, services and resources to assist students and alumni in exploring careers, securing positions and continuing skill development and management.

For additional information on career opportunities, visit our career and professional development page.

 

Student Profile

Ahmed Noeman

M.Arch 2G

Ahmed Noeman

Alumni Profile

David Au

M.Arch ’82,

Executive Director, Property Development Airport Authority Hong Kong

Alumni Stories