The graduate program in Architecture at UVA challenges students to imagine new architectural scenarios through rigorous research, design speculation, and the deployment of nascent technologies. We are committed to preparing our graduates to be critical thinkers, global citizens, and design leaders. Our students are actively shaping the values, boundaries, and methodologies of the future of architectural practice through their deep commitment to defining their individual and collective roles in the design of yet unknown built environments.
Our graduate program is comprised of students coming from a diverse range of students with undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, arts, related design-disciplines, engineering, as well as pre-architecture and architecture. Students progress through the program from 1-3 years depending on their educational backgrounds.
The Master of Architecture degree at UVA (2-3 year program) is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. UVA's Master of Architecture program received a full professional 8-year term of accreditation in 2015. The program will be reviewed again in 2023.
PATH 3.0: 102 CREDITS
The Path 3.0 Master of Architecture (First Professional) is a 3-year graduate professional degree with a minimum of 102 credits.
PATH 2.5: 82 CREDITS
The Path 2.5 Master of Architecture (First Professional) is a 2.5-year graduate professional degree with a minimum of 82 credits.
PATH 2.0: 67 CREDITS
The Path 2.0 Master of Architecture (First Professional) is a 2-year graduate professional degree with a minimum of 67 credits.
PATH 1.0: 31 CREDITS
The Path 1.0 Master of Architecture (non-accredited, Design Studies) is a 1-year non-professional degree with a minimum of 31 credits. This degree is intended for applicants who already have an undergraduate degree in architecture or related fields who want to pursue advanced study with an emphasis on design, research and teaching.
The Master of Architecture (M Arch) First Professional Degree curriculum emphasizes a strong foundation in design and research through a core sequence of design studios. The design studios are project-based courses that synthesize learning that is introduced to our students in complimentary lectures, seminars, and workshops on a diverse range of topics. Our design studios allow our students to work closely with our faculty on on-going research projects addressing a diverse range of critical contemporary topics, focused on regions and cultures all across the globe. Courses in architectural history, theory, visualization, building technology, and construction support the design studios.
To gain a broader understanding of the relationships within and parallel to the field of architecture, students may take courses in the departments of Architectural History, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Environmental Planning. Our upper-level graduate students are encouraged, through an optional teaching elective or work study funding, to expand their knowledge by serving as teaching assistants to undergraduate students.
The Master of Architecture (M Arch) Design Studies Degree curriculum (non-professional) emphasizes design, research and teaching for applicants who have an undergraduate degree in architecture or related fields. The curriculum for this program is tailored to the individual student.
Students follow different curricular paths based on prior undergraduate study. There are four paths for earning a Master of Architecture at UVA. Details can be found in the next section.
Students follow different curricular paths based on prior undergraduate study. There are four paths for earning a Master of Architecture at UVA.
M ARCH PATH 3.0
This Path allows students without a pre-professional undergraduate architecture degree to obtain an MArch in a minimum of three years plus an initial month-long summer session. The curriculum follows a prescribed core of foundational courses. Students are encouraged to develop a planned sequence of electives. Independent scholarship is encouraged through research studios, a comprehensive studio and the thesis option. Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree in any field from an accredited college or university.
M ARCH PATH 2.5
This Path allows students with a pre-professional undergraduate architecture degree to pursue the MArch degree in two and a half years. Typically, students have a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture or Environmental Design, or a Bachelor of Architecture or Environmental Design.
M ARCH PATH 2.0
This Path allows students with a pre-professional undergraduate architecture degree to pursue the MArch degree in two years. Typically students have a Bachelor of Science in Architecture.
M ARCH PATH 1.0
This Path provides an opportunity for two or three semesters of advanced study with an emphasis on design, research and teaching. Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in architecture or a field related to the built environment (landscape architecture, planning, architectural history, urban design, etc.). Typical applicants already have a NAAB accredited professional degree, but a non-accredited architecture degree, or a degree in a related discipline is also acceptable. It is important to note that this is not a NAAB accredited degree, and is not a sufficient prerequisite for taking the architectural licensing exam.
Use the PATHFINDER FORM in the link below to determine your Path.
The multi-disciplinary ethos of the School of Architecture offers unique opportunities for students to structure and pursue dual graduate degrees. Dual degrees are offered with Architectural History, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Environmental Planning. Pursuing a dual degree requires admission to each program, meeting the appropriate requirements. Path 2 students can expect to earn a dual degree in Architecture and Landscape Architecture within three and a half academic years; Path 2.5 students within four years; and Path 3 students in four and a half academic years. Students interested in pursuing a dual degree should consult with the Graduate Program Director of each program.