Architecture, M.Arch. < Temple University

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About the Program

The Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program is a first professional degree preparing students for the practice of architecture through a rigorous course of study that engages students with urgent urban, architectural, environmental, and socio-cultural issues. The curriculum is centered on design studios that require the synthesis and application of knowledge from other coursework. Seminars in building technology, history/theory, professional practice, and research address questions in tandem with design studios. Elective courses allow students to pursue specializations with focus and intent. Together, the architecture courses satisfy professional accreditation requirements. During the final year of study, students have the opportunity to pursue a self-directed research and design thesis. The Department of Architecture and Environmental Design offers three tracks for the M.Arch.: a 1-year, 2-year, or 3-year program depending on a student’s educational background upon entry to the degree.

  • The 1-year track is a +1 accelerated undergraduate-graduate program that enables eligible students to complete the 60-credit M.Arch. degree within 15 months after receiving Temple’s Bachelor of Science in Architecture (B.S.Arch.) pre-professional degree. Eligible undergraduate students use up to 12 specified graduate credits to fulfill requirements for their undergraduate degree. Upon graduation from their undergraduate program, students move seamlessly into their graduate program. At the end of the contiguous fifth year, students receive a Master of Architecture degree. To be eligible for the program, students must be declared as an Architecture major; have a minimum of 3.25 cumulative GPA in at least 45 credits of coursework taken at Temple; be able to complete their undergraduate degree in four full-time terms (beginning with their first term taking a graduate course as an undergraduate); and be able to complete the graduate degree in one additional year, including the two summer terms of graduate coursework.

  • The 2-year track is a 60-credit degree program for students who earn Temple University’s Bachelor of Science in Architecture (B.S.Arch.) degree and for students from other four-year pre-professional degree programs with equivalent course content.

  • The 3-year track provides a curriculum of up to 90 credits for students without a pre-professional degree in architecture. The first year of this program provides a rigorous introduction to architectural design that consists of up to 30 credits of pre-professional studies, including building technology courses, design studios, and history and theory seminars. Each student’s prior academic record is evaluated to determine program and course placement. The number of credits students need to take varies depending on the amount of pre-professional architectural course content previously satisfied by the candidate. Students who have little or no architectural content at the undergraduate level will be required to take the full 30 credits of pre-professional studies in architecture. Students who have degrees in architectural studies may receive advanced standing within the 3-year track.

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Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The curriculum is designed for a full-time load of 15 credits per term. Students are, however, able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis.

Study Abroad: M.Arch. students in the Professional Track may choose to study at the TU Rome or TU Japan campuses in the Spring terms.

Accreditation: The M.Arch. degree program is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which requires publication of the following statement:

In the United States, most 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 professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards. Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Temple University’s Department of Architecture and Environmental Design offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

  • M.Arch. (B.S.Arch. pre-professional degree + 60 graduate credits)
  • M.Arch. (baccalaureate degree + up to 90 graduate credits)
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The next accreditation visit for all programs is 2022.

Job Prospects: The Master of Architecture is an accredited professional degree program that prepares students for a career as a professional architect. Because this is an urban program located centrally in Philadelphia, engagement with the local professional community is a primary characteristic of the program. During their time in the program, students are provided with many opportunities to engage with members of the profession through design critiques and mentorship initiatives.

Licensure/Certification: Licensure from a U.S. jurisdiction is required to practice Architecture in the United States. Licensure for architects is state regulated and must be obtained through achievement of three necessary components: (a) education, (b) professional practice experience, and (c) examination requirements. All states require the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®). In addition, a majority of states require a degree that is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®), which is administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

Temple University’s Master of Architecture is accredited by NAAB. NAAB-accredited degrees meet the education requirement for registration with all 55 U.S. licensing boards which, along with obtaining the necessary and documented experience of the AXP® and passing the ARE®, qualifies a candidate for licensure.

Although required in 38 jurisdictions, graduating from a NAAB-accredited program is not required in all states. States that allow an alternative educational path for licensure typically require a longer period of professional experience and/or a preliminary examination prior to taking the ARE®. Candidates who have obtained a NAAB-accredited professional degree typically complete their licensure requirements in a shorter time frame and constitute, by far, the majority of successful candidates in the United States. The following jurisdictions require a professional degree from a NAAB-accredited program: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut (some conditions apply), Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.

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Temple University’s Master of Architecture program also prepares students for the AXP®, which students can begin while enrolled in Temple University’s undergraduate and graduate architecture programs. The process connects students with NCARB representatives and is overseen by a faculty mentor. Successful completion of both the NAAB degree and the AXP® is required to qualify for the licensing exam in most states and territories. Additional hours or years of experience may be required beyond the AXP®.

Additional requirements (such as exams, questionnaires, or specialized training) may be required depending on the state in which you intend to become licensed. For more information, visit

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students must contact the Department of Architecture and Environmental Design for information. A maximum of 9 graduate credits can be taken at Temple University prior to applying to the program.

Financing Opportunities: The Department of Architecture and Environmental Design has a limited number of scholarships for graduate students. Students should also check the Tyler School of Art and Architecture and Student Financial Services websites for financial aid opportunities. Students should complete a FAFSA application to determine eligibility for student financial aid, work study employment within the Department of Architecture and Environmental Design, or other eligible on-campus jobs.

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