Master of Architecture Curriculum & Courses

Here in the multicultural heart of the Sonoran Desert, your education will be inflected by place and materials and expressive of the ethos of our time.

We see architecture as the intertwining of sensible, technical, historical, intellectual and aesthetic activities—a research-based creative practice.

At the core of the M Arch program is a carefully orchestrated series of studios and synthesized support courses that foster mastery of fundamentals and advanced processes with the experimentation required for critical practice. Before advancing to the final year, students develop a portfolio for the M Arch Milestone. The curriculum culminates in a master’s project, which includes future-oriented research that informs a design project.


M Arch II and M Arch III Tracks

The Master of Architecture is available via one of two tracks, according to your prior preparation:

M ARCH II

For students with an undergraduate studio-based architecture degree, the M Arch II (two years) develops prior design fundamentals into a critical practice education. The curriculum is particularly attuned to sustainable practice and the understanding of sensible relationships between the natural and built environments. The program imparts a design sensibility appropriate to the impending environmental crises facing this generation. Applicants who have a previous accredited degree are eligible for advanced placement (less than 2 years).

View Curriculum

M ARCH III

For students with little or no design background, the M Arch III (three and a half years) starts with a summer immersion in our rich, regional design culture. Beginning with fundamental architectonic problems and an orientation to the desert, the first year brings students quickly up to competence in basic environmental design issues and skills. This program is available to students with a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, in any discipline—no previous architecture or design experience is required.

View Curriculum

In both tracks, the program fosters the development of architects who are both scholars and makers via the integration of passive and active building technologies, theory and history, digital fabrication, design communications, materials and assembly and methodologies of practice. This rigorous and comprehensive curriculum provides graduates with the skills necessary to enter a diverse range of leadership positions in the field of architecture, design and construction.


Curriculum

Review M Arch curriculum by track, semester and year or view or download the M Arch program overview and curriculum:

M ARCH II

The M Arch II requires 62 units for program completion.
For students with an undergraduate studio-based architecture degree.

Summer 1

Optional for 2-year admits; may be recommended upon portfolio review.

Course # Course Title Units
ARC 509A Advanced Immersion Studio 4
ARC 509B Advanced Immersion Seminar 3
  TOTAL 7

Fall 1

Course # Course Title Units
ARC 510D Comprehensive Studio I: Dwelling or Institutional 6
ARC 521C Integrated Technologies III 3
ARC 533 History and Theory III: Modern and Contemporary Architecture 4
ARC 540C Design Communication III 3
  TOTAL 16

Spring 1

Course # Course Title Units
ARC 510E Comprehensive Studio II: Assembly 6
ARC 521D Integrated Technologies IV 3
ARC 541 Contract Documents 3
ARC XXX History and Theory Technical Elective 3
  TOTAL 15

Fall 2

Course # Course Title Units
ARC 520F Options Studio III 6
ARC 909 Master's Project Prep* 3
  Graduate-Level Elective 3
  Graduate-Level Elective 3
  TOTAL 15

Spring 2

Course # Course Title Units
ARC 909 Master's Project 6
ARC 550C Ethics and Practice 4
ARC 5XX Integrated Technologies: Technical Elective 3
  Graduate-Level Elective 3
  TOTAL 16

* Request enrollment.


M ARCH III

The M Arch III requires 94 units for program completion.
For students with little or no design background.

Summer 1

Optional for 2-year admits; may be recommended upon portfolio review.

Course # Course Title Units
ARC 510A Immersion Studio I: Space and Composition 4
ARC 540A Design Communication 3
  TOTAL 7

Fall 1

Course # Course Title Units
ARC 510B Immersion Studio II: Tectonic 6
ARC 521A Integrated Technologies I 3
ARC 530 History and Theory I 4
ARC 540B Design Communication II 3
  TOTAL 16

Spring 1

Course # Course Title Units
ARC 510C Immersion Studio III: Land Ethic 6
ARC 526 Site Analysis and Planning 3
ARC 521B Integrated Technologies II 3
ARC 527 Architectural Programming 2
ARC 532 History and Theory II 2
  TOTAL 16

Fall 2

Course # Course Title Units
ARC 510D Comprehensive Studio I: Dwelling or Institutional 6
ARC521C Integrated Technologies III 3
ARC 533 History and Theory III: Modern and Contemporary Architecture 4
ARC 540C Design Communication III 3
  TOTAL 16

Spring 2

Course # Course Title Units
ARC 510E Comprehensive Studio II: Assembly 6
ARC 521D Integrated Technologies IV 3
ARC 541 Contract Documents 3
ARC XXX History and Theory Technical Elective 3
  TOTAL 15

Fall 3

Course # Course Title Units
ARC 510F Options Studio II 6
ARC 909 Master's Project Prep* 3
  Graduate-Level Elective 3
  Graduate-Level Elective 3
  TOTAL 15

Spring 3

Course # Course Title Units
ARC 909 Master's Project* 6
ARC 550C Ethics and Practice 4
ARC 5XX Integrated Technologies: Technical Elective 3
  Graduate-Level Elective 3
  TOTAL 16

* Request enrollment.


Master's Project

The master’s project is a vehicle for students to reflect on contemporary, emerging and future conditions as they employ their values and optimize their skills and knowledge. The projects vary each year and are conceived through student-faculty collaboration. The projects strive to serve as springboards to the profession with the objective of preparing students to maximize their impact on the world through the discipline of architecture


Student Work

CAPLA students create a wide variety of outstanding work during their time at the University of Arizona. Here are just a few examples:

View All Student Work

 


Courses

The master's courses listed here align with the degree curriculum above, and are subject to change. View all Architecture courses, including electives, on the University of Arizona Course Catalog. For more information, contact an academic advisor.

An immersive skills development studio for advanced architectural design, focusing on architectural character, tectonics, land and settlement ethics, site integration, and climatic-appropriate responses.

Typically offered: Summer
Units: 6

An immersive skills development studio for advanced architectural design, focusing on architectural character, tectonics, land and settlement ethics, site integration, and climatic-appropriate responses.

Typically Offered: Summer 

Units: 4

Introduction to essential methods of visual communication, spatial design and material manipulation.

Typically offered: Summer
Units: 4

Design of buildings with emphasis on fundamental design and visual communication skills, spatial integration and tectonic assembly.

Typically offered: Fall
Units: 6

Formulation of architectural proposals informed by and embodying ethical relationships with the land, based upon observation and analysis of phenomena in the Sonoran Desert region.

Typically Offered: Spring 

Units: 6

Design of medium scale public buildings accommodating varying spatial, structural and environmental characteristics, with emphasis on site ~ building interface, accessibility and sustainability.

Typically Offered: Fall 

Units: 6

Comprehensive design of buildings with emphasis on systems logic, efficient utilization of resources, and rigorous definition of appropriate interface between site, program and technical systems.

Typically Offered: Fall 

Units: 6

Application of previously learned core skills to design research, foreign contexts, collaborative methods, multi-disciplinary work, design/build problems, or urban design outreach.

Typically Offered: Fall 

Units: 6

Introduction to principles of structures, materials and methods of construction, and environmentally adaptive systems as integrated technologies.

Typically Offered: Fall

Units: 3

This course introduces fundamentals of small to medium building structures, materials and methods, and environmentally adaptive architectural design.

Typically Offered: Spring

Units: 3

Advanced structures, materials and methods of construction, and environmentally adaptive systems as integrated technologies.

Typically Offered: Fall

Units: 3

This course covers advanced concepts of medium to large scale building structures, materials and methods of construction, and environmentally adaptive systems designs.

Typically Offered: Spring

Units: 3

This course introduces students to the study of context in which architecture is to be developed. This course complements ARC 527 Architectural Programming as the first of the pre-design studies.

Typically Offered: Spring

Units: 3

Architectural Programming is a process for collecting and synthesizing information used for building design; this includes: working with clients, goal identification, and establishing quantitative requirements.

Typically Offered: Spring

Units: 2

Considers the creation, use and interpretation of ancient and medieval architecture from a variety of perspectives, including environmental, functional, material, structural, formal, socio-political and cultural.

Typically Offered: Fall

Units: 4

Explores cultural, social, technological and ideological influences on the built environments of global cultures, from the earliest habitations through the Renaissance.

Typically Offered: Spring

Units: 2

The study of modern, postmodern and contemporary architecture through examination of works and theories and their impact on the discipline of architecture.

Typically Offered: Fall

Units: 4

This course emphasizes the development of digital communication techniques for the analysis and presentation of architectural ideas. Essential methods of digital drawing are investigated through a series of interrelated exercises. Material exploration of the design research case studies will be developed and interrogated concurrently with our digital production.

Typically Offered: Summer

Units: 3

This course promotes the further development of communication techniques for the study and presentation of architectural ideas. Advances in digital modeling, animation and rapid prototyping allow architects to investigate, test and assemble their designs in the computer. This data can then be used to generate drawings, presentation images, analytical information, as well as a direct export to fabricate an output. This course will be an overview of all these methodologies culminating in an architectural assembly.

Typically Offered: Fall

Units: 3

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to advanced digital technologies in architecture with a specific focus on parametric modeling for design applications. Graduate students will be required to include a more extensive research component with their project  and complete more in-depth exercises.

Typically offered: Fall
Units: 3

Introduces students to the technical drawings and supporting documentation needed to convey design intent to the various parties involved in realizing built work.

Typically Offered: Spring

Units: 3

Introduces students to contracts, office practices, and ethical issues facing the profession, with focus on pre-design and programming methodologies, including problem seeking and goal identification.

Typically Offered: Spring

Units: 4

Individual study or special project or formal report thereof submitted in lieu of thesis for certain master's degrees.

Typically offered: Fall/Spring
Units: Variable

Research for the master's thesis (whether library research, laboratory or field observation or research, artistic creation or thesis writing). Maximum total credit permitted varies with the major department.

Typically Offered: Fall/Spring

Units: Variable

Ready to design sustainable spaces honed by the poetics of place?

Learn more about the Master of Architecture by contacting Emilio Romero, graduate services coordinator, or review the admissions process and begin your application now:

Start Your Application