about the program
The Master of Science in Architecture program offers the opportunity for advanced study and research in specialized areas related to building design, construction, and operations over a broad range of scales, providing the basis for diverse career paths and/or entry into a Ph.D.-level program. The M.S. is not directed toward professional licensing and therefore is not accredited by the NAAB as a “first professional degree.” While an undergraduate degree in architecture or a related field is not required, applicants must demonstrate relevant background and experience, as well as capabilities for undertaking advanced academic study.
The Master of Science program allows a student to conduct a research-based program of study which can be expected to contribute to the body of knowledge in the design and building professions, and may lead to future study in the doctoral program, where advanced standing may be awarded for acceptable graduate credits earned at the master’s level.
Students will develop their own programs of study in cooperation with appropriate faculty and in consideration of the courses and facilities available. A brief description of the available research concentrations follows:
- Building Science: Studies in the category of Building Science focus on various environmental systems issues over a broad range of scales and may concentrate on the following (or other) areas: energy and building design; mechanical systems and large buildings; lighting and daylighting; natural ventilation and air flow; indoor air quality; acoustics and theater design; and building structure, assembly, and/or economics. This concentration is available on the main campus in Blacksburg.
- Interior Design: This concentration allows those with professional degrees in Interior Design or closely related areas the opportunity for advanced research which is expected to add to the body of knowledge in the discipline of Interior Design. Potential research areas include design practice, history of interiors, computer applications in interior design, and environmental factors related to interiors. This concentration is available on the main campus in Blacksburg.
- Urban Design: This concentration, available at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (National Capital Region – NCR), allows students an opportunity to engage in urban design research, addressing the design of safe, healthy, and sustainable urban environments. Emphasis is on the physical form of cities and the complex forces that shape them. Focused on the general underlying themes of security, resilience, health, and sustainability, possible research areas include but are not limited to mobility and infrastructure, conservation and preservation, and urban places and dwellings. (More info…)
The Master of Science degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of an approved plan of study of at least 36 credit hours, normally including a thesis representing up to 10 hours of the total hours required.
For more information, please see MS.Arch. Program Policies, Procedures and Guidelines.