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.
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
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
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.
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.
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