Master of Architecture (5-year)

Master of Architecture (Track I: 5+ Year Program)

The Master of Architecture is a NAAB-accredited professional degree program and is an essential aspect of preparing for the professional practice of architecture. Graduates of this program who complete a recognized internship program (such as the Architectural Experience Program) and successfully complete the Architectural Registration Examination are able to become licensed architects.

The Track I program is designed for students entering from high school or transferring from another undergraduate program. The curriculum is designed to be completed within 5 calendar years, but to do so demands sustained concentration and focus. 

The 172 credit curriculum is divided into three segments: Foundations, Core and Professional Options.

The Foundations segment involves two foundation design studios and introductory lecture courses examining the discipline of architecture. A unique aspect of our program is that immediately upon commencing their studies at KU, first-year students enter into architecture-specific design studios and are immediately ensconced in the program’s culture.

The Core is a six-semester sequence that addresses the wide range of skills and understanding required for the practice of architecture, including history and theory, technology, professional practice, and integrating this knowledge within design projects of increasing scale and complexity. The core culminates in a comprehensive studio experience in which students demonstrate their readiness to enter the profession of architecture.

Professional Options: The architecture profession has become an extremely diverse field. Seeking to provide our students the greatest opportunity within that diversity, the final year of the curriculum allows a student to explore a more-focused professional option of their choosing. This experience allows students to craft an area of specialization or a domain of architecture that may otherwise be addressed superficially within a professional curriculum. Currently, students are investigating design-build processes, researching sustainable design practices, participating in internship-based Co-Op programs, pursuing healthcare and urban design as areas of specialization, and engaging in service-learning opportunities around the globe.

Within the 172 credits required to graduate, students will also have a study abroad experience and complete coursework in a variety of other academic disciplines. Students will be exposed to the social sciences, the physical sciences, the humanities and the arts. Study abroad options currently include spending a semester in Denmark, Germany, England, or Australia, traveling to Central America, Asia, or Europe during intersessions, or working in an international architecture office in Paris and Asia.

Students in the Department of Architecture M.Arch Track I program will be awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies when they complete a minimum of 136 credits of courses as outlined in the degree plan and fulfill all KU Core course requirements after the first 4 years of undergraduate studies. 

Professional Registration and Licensing

Although state laws vary, professional registration as an architect in Kansas involves the completion of three aspects: receiving an accredited professional degree (such as the M.Arch.), completion of internship requirements (for information on the Architectural Experience Program, see and successful completion of all sections of the Architectural Registration Examination (ARE). Upon successful completion of these three aspects, the applicant may use the title “architect” and may practice as an architect, either as an individual or as a licensed professional in an office performing professional services.