Monica Rivera

Chair of Graduate Architecture and Professor of Practice


We draw from our long history to advance pioneering research in housing, fabrication, sustainability, and socially engaged practice. In our practice-oriented program, we believe in craft, in risk, and in delivering sophisticated strategies that push architectural ideas and abilities to the edge. Student projects reflect the complexity of contemporary concerns, working at the confluence of environmental and social issues.


Graduate students learn to create places that are beautiful to inhabit and poised to contribute to society’s higher ambitions by designing responsibly in consideration of the environment, technology, and people.


First-Professional Degree Programs


Our Master of Architecture programs offer an accredited first-professional degree to students with either an undergraduate degree in architectural studies or other disciplines. They are STEM-designated and may combine with study in other divisions of the university.



March 3

Master of Architecture

105 Credits / Six Semesters*


This curriculum is for students holding baccalaureate degrees with majors in architecture and majors other than architecture. The program begins with a series of core studios and courses before students progress into the options studio sequence, concluding with the Degree Project. * Degree requirements beginning in fall 2019


MArch 2

Master of Architecture

75 Credits / Four Semesters*


Students are considered for this advanced placement curriculum based on design portfolio evaluation and the extent of their undergraduate architectural studies. Placement is highly selective. The MArch 2 sequence begins with the core studio in housing (419) before students progress into the options studio sequence, concluding with the Degree Project. * Degree requirements beginning in fall 2020



Studio Sequence


Core Studios


The three semester-long core studios—317, 318, and 419—establish ways of questioning the world and begin the transformational process of becoming an architect. Core studios provide a space where students learn about themselves and discover new modes of problem solving and methods of inquiry; they begin to engage what we call design thinking. In core studios, students experience architecture as a critical discipline and learn that the discourse of architecture happens through a process of making.


317: Introduction to Making

The first core studio of the MArch 3 program.

Students explore spatial thinking and critical processes through iterative forms of making. They are encouraged to be imaginative, to work by hand, and to make translations between different modes of representation, materiality, and observations about the world around us.


318: Building & Environment

The second core studio of the MArch 3 program.

Students tackle the urban context with a cultural or civic program. The studio emphasizes nonlinear forms of the design process addressing multiple scales. Students consider environmental strategies in relation to building form and project siting.


419: International Housing Studio

The third core studio of the MArch 3 program and the first studio of the MArch 2 program.

Students deepen their understanding and responsiveness to cultural, climatic, and social conditions, and develop proposals for collective urban dwellings in a diverse array of international locations, working with faculty who are active practitioners.



Options Studios


Fundamental to the graduate curriculum is the advanced architectural design studio sequence. Each semester, students select from a range of vertical studio options organized around projects and topics. These studios, which often include national and international field trips, emphasize the development of strong conceptual abilities, thoughtful integration of technical information, and convincing representations of architectural ideas in two- and three-dimensional form and through a variety of media. The goal is for each student to develop clear design principles, strong technical resources, and an independent, critical position on the making of architecture in the world. A variety of “comprehensive” design studios are offered each semester, which give students an opportunity to integrate structural and environmental concepts into their building design.


During the fall and spring semesters, internationally based architects and designers temporarily reside in St. Louis and teach design studios on campus. This unique arrangement allows our students to connect with visiting professors just as they do with local faculty. Their presence throughout the semester contributes to the international atmosphere and facilitates rich and diverse cultural exchanges for both students and faculty.



Degree Project


After working for a semester in a preparatory Design Thinking seminar, students author a Degree Project in their final semester. They are charged not simply to create an advanced, comprehensive work of architecture, but to establish the unique intellectual space in which to work as an architect. This semester serves as a simulacrum of design in the world of practice.



Post-Professional Degree Programs



Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design
36 Credits / Three Semesters


This program allows individuals already holding NAAB-accredited professional degrees in architecture to pursue advanced design studies, research, and teaching preparation. Schedules for students in this program are varied and highly individual, but include an advanced design studio in each semester.


Master of Science in Architectural Studies
30 Credits / Two Semesters


(Concentrations in Architectural Pedagogy or the History and Culture of Architecture)


This program is open to students who hold an undergraduate degree in architecture, as well as those who are already enrolled in another degree program in the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design. It provides students the opportunity to engage in research specialization or focus beyond that possible within the professional degree programs. Academic advisors help each student craft a unique curriculum that builds toward individual research goals, ultimately culminating in a thesis project. Students are able to take courses both within the Sam Fox School and in other departments across the university, enabling them to construct a broad foundation for their research. The thesis project allows students to conduct research on a wide variety of topics in architectural pedagogy, history, and theory and is the apex of the program.



Combined Degree Programs


MArch + MLA
Architecture with Landscape Architecture


MArch + MUD
Architecture with Urban Design


MArch + MBA
Architecture with Business Administration


MArch + MCM
Architecture with Construction Management


MArch + MEng
Architecture with Computer Science & Engineering


MArch + MSW
Architecture with Social Work






Landscape Architecture

Derek Hoeferlin 

Chair of the Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Programs and Associate Professor



The landscapes of our common world are a vast, entangled field of terrains. Now more than ever, we must face the global challenges of our time with new modes of discovery and engagement. The Master of Landscape Architecture program is committed to this endeavor.


Students learn to create adaptive new tools to intervene, manage, and design the living conditions of the future. They are arts-driven, research-led, and interdisciplinary. From collaborative projects to research assistantships, the experiences in this program model emergent, real-world conditions. We believe in advancing social health, ecological urbanism, environmental justice, and rural recovery for all living systems, both human and nonhuman.


Students have access to the world-class Missouri Botanical Garden; the vast, urban Forest Park; the field station at Dunn Ranch Prairie; and more. Through intensive engagement with place, students study issues not only related to land and water, but also those that power social and cultural networks. Design has always been a mode of human inquiry. Landscape architecture is an investigation through design of the relationships that allow humans to coexist with other species in a planetary network of beings. Our program welcomes global citizens to join us in cultivating resilient cultural and social practices through responsive and responsible design.


The landscape architecture program is built around a combination of core studios and electives that address these primary concerns: environmental justice, urban ecology, community work, spatial organizations, and water access.



First-Professional Degree Programs


All of our MLA programs are STEM-designated. Graduates earn an accredited professional degree in landscape architecture, allowing them to become registered landscape architects.




Master of Landscape Architecture

90 Credits / Six Semesters


This three-year program provides opportunities for study abroad and internships in the summer. It is a STEM-designated, accredited first-professional graduate degree. Students with no prior experience in design are eligible to enroll in the program and graduate with a degree that enables them to enter the profession of landscape architecture and become registered professionals.



Master of Landscape Architecture

60 Credits / Four Semesters


Students who have prior degrees in landscape architecture or architecture are eligible for this accelerated track. This is typically a two-year course of study that provides flexibility for students whose undergraduate studies have prepared them in different ways for graduate study in landscape architecture.


Studio Sequence


Core Studios


401: Studio I

The first core studio of the MLA 3 program. Students are introduced to landscape architectural design focusing on conceptual, theoretical, and tectonic operations.


402: Studio II

The second core studio of the MLA 3 program. Areas of focus include spatial understanding, ground plane manipulation, and vegetation and material strategies.


501: Studio III

The third core studio of the MLA 3 program and the first studio of the MLA 2 program. The studio focuses on site reclamation strategies based on ecological, social, and cultural histories and the generation of site-specific design propositions at multiple scales.


502: Studio IV

In this studio, students are involved in the re-engineering of large-scale site systems to balance inherent resources with development by means of innovative programming.


601: Studio V

This is the first advanced landscape architecture studio.


602: Studio VI

This is the second advanced landscape architecture studio.



Combined Degree Programs


MLA + MArch Program

Landscape Architecture with Architecture


MLA + MUD Program

Landscape Architecture with Urban Design


Urban Design

Derek Hoeferlin

Chair of the Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Programs and Associate Professor


Urbanization is an increasing and constantly changing condition of contemporary society. This presents enormous opportunities for—and challenges to—the creation of resilient, livable, and healthy urban habitats. Cities are the largest consumers and producers of global resources and our greatest agents of social change. Through the design of our cities, we address the potential of the urban world. At the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, students focus on how to transform cities for the 21st century as active and informed participants. Our innovative structure allows students to pursue advanced design and research while developing a rigorous theoretical and professional foundation. Studios integrate concepts of architecture, landscape architecture, and infrastructural and ecological urbanism. They are research-oriented, yet speculative and exploratory.


Founded by Fumihiko Maki and Roger Montgomery in 1961, our program is built for experiential immersion learning. Work is deeply engaged with place—in St. Louis, throughout the United States, and abroad. Locally, students collaborate with agencies and communities on real initiatives to create more equitable and environmentally conscientious strategies, systems, and cities. Internationally, they work with renowned practitioners in intense, mega-growth developments to address the evolving urbanization across the globe.


Urban design takes an expansive view of the built environment. It unifies the social, political, economic, and environmental forces in our cities. Students who graduate our program are prepared for global leadership in the development of humane cities for a more sustainable world.


The MUD program is structured to provide students with opportunities for experiential immersion learning—the best form of education for an urban designer. As part of the curriculum, students travel to a select number of major metropolitan cities in North America, Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia under the guidance of Washington University faculty and associated local urban design professionals. Through this hands-on experience, students obtain a great appreciation for a range of cities and different approaches to the making of cities.


The Master of Urban Design degree can be combined with study in other divisions at Washington University, including architecture, landscape architecture, public health, social work, and the Doctor of Sustainable Urbanism.



Post-Professional Degree Program



Master of Urban Design

42 Credits / Two Semesters + Summer


The MUD program is centered on a core sequence of three studios and seminars through which students develop the skills to make design proposals for a diverse range of urban conditions within the contemporary metropolitan landscape. Urban design is approached through a full range of scales: from the mega-region to the district, from the district to the street, and ultimately, to the design of the public realm as the place of lively and vibrant community life.


Studio Sequence


Core Studios


711: Elements of Urban Design Studio



This studio explores contemporary, postindustrial metropolitan conditions in and around the Midwest and St. Louis region. Students focus on infrastructural urbanism at the regional scale and the natural and built systems of the postindustrial urban landscape. Issues of equity and access are critical. Students travel to U.S. cities such as Detroit, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, New Orleans, and Baltimore.


713: Lively City Studio



This studio engages the scale of the district and the design of public space, more fully considering the public policy, cultural, economic, and real estate conditions of cities. The studio involves travel to large North American cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, Vancouver, and Toronto, plus a spring break public life workshop in a major European city.


714: Global Urbanism Studio



This is an immersive, 14-week experience in a fast-growing city in Asia, Africa, or South America. These cities are marked by an active cultural scene, but a complex, challenging urban fabric. Recent studio locations include Mexico City, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Dubai, Accra, and Cape Town.


Students have the opportunity to establish areas of concentration through three urban design electives in related areas within the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, as well as through the schools of Law, Business, Engineering, and Social Work (which includes the Institute for Public Health). With faculty approval, students can craft an individualized experience according to their interests and needs through the combination of electives.



Combined Degree Programs


MUD + MArch

Urban Design with Architecture



Urban Design with Landscape Architecture



Doctoral Degree



Doctor of Sustainable Urbanism



The Doctor of Sustainable Urbanism is the first degree of its kind in the United States. Launched in 2015, this applied research degree is designed for urbanists, planners, architects, and landscape architects. Our specialized program prepares students for leadership roles in sustainability at policy institutes, universities, design and research centers, nonprofits, and in the private sector.


Doctoral students work closely with a faculty advisor to develop a detailed course of research that takes advantage of Washington University’s vast resources, including a broad range of interdisciplinary courses, research institutes, and faculty across engineering, public health, and the humanities and sciences. A worldwide network of collaborative partners establishes a resource base deep in expertise and global in scope. Advanced candidates are also able to pursue teaching and research assistantships within our program in St. Louis and our international studios.


Students research new ways cities can be more economically productive and socially just. Utilizing evidence-based methods and applied knowledge, this research helps make urban centers healthier by finding ways to implement high-performing, natural systems that are less dependent on scarce, nonrenewable resources. Most importantly, graduate students learn ways to engage citizens in creative problem solving and cooperative actions to make a more adaptive and resilient society. Our graduates build the pathways to move us toward greater equity and stewardship of the urban environment.


The Doctor of Sustainable Urbanism program consists of two years of advanced coursework in history, theory, and research methods relevant to sustainable urbanism discourse and practice. Each semester, students select electives from advanced courses across the Sam Fox School and Washington University at large to expand their knowledge base in specific fields of study that complement their research. Field work and a dissertation are required for completion of the degree.




To learn more about our graduate programs and application requirements,

please visit the Sam Fox School Graduate Admissions page

or contact Kathleen O’Donnell, Graduate Admissions Coordinator,

at or 314.935.6227 / 800.295.6227


Anabeth and John Weil Hall. Photo: Joshua White /



About the Sam Fox School


The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis is a leader in architecture, art, and design education. We are advancing our fields through innovative research and creative practice, excellence in teaching, a world-class university art museum, and a deep commitment to addressing the social and environmental challenges of our time. The school is composed of the following units, each with a rich history:


The College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design was established in 1910 and has the distinction of being one of the ten founding members of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.


The College and Graduate School of Art was founded in 1879 as the first professional, university-affiliated art school in the United States and is the only art school to have fathered a major metropolitan art museum.


The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum was founded in 1881 as the first art museum west of the Mississippi River.