The professional program leading to the Master of Architecture degree consists of a sequence of coordinated core courses that introduce and develop architectural knowledge; this is followed by a flexible array of more advanced and speculative course options. The preparation each student brings determines where, in this progression from introductory to advanced work, the program is entered.
- Path A is for those with a baccalaureate degree but no specific background in architecture; this sequence normally takes 3.5 years to the M.Arch.
- Path B is for those with a four-year undergraduate baccalaureate degree with a major in architecture; this sequence assumes satisfactory core studies and consists of about two years of more advanced professional studies.
- Path C is for those who already hold an accredited professional degree in architecture and who wish for a second professional degree; at least one year of advanced work is required.
The Program in Landscape Architecture has the dual objectives of providing students with a core of design and technical skills in combination with experiences in pure and applied research. This duality prepares students for identifying and solving problems in the profession through design and research, and it is a Program focus.
The National Architectural Accrediting Board explains the accreditation policy:
"In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes two types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture and the Master of Architecture. A program may be granted a five-year, three-year or two-year term of accreditation, depending on its degree of conformance with established educational standards.
"Master’s degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree which, when earned sequentially, comprise an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree."
The complete NAAB Conditions for Accreditation, including Student Performance Criteria, can be found on the NAAB website at www.naab.org.