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Texas A&M University College of Architecture

Master of Architecture

James Haliburton
Associate Department Head for M. ARCH Program 

Ginger White
Graduate Academic Advisor

First Professional Degree Program

The Master of Architecture degree program provides graduates with the requisite educational background to enter the professional practice of architecture and its numerous variants. The Master of Architecture degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), qualifying its recipients to take a state professional licensing examination after a required internship period. 

There is a central thrust, related to contemporary practice and the requirements established for legal use of the title, Architect, which focuses on the design of buildings and environments to satisfy stated individual or societal needs.  Integral with this thrust is an examination of the processes of design, systems of construction, relationships to environmental, social, historical and geographical context, and an understanding of behaviorism and symbolism.  This program complements and completes studies begun in the four year undergraduate program.

Within the professional program there is opportunity and encouragement to explore a range of professional directions, related to the expertise and interests of the faculty. A student may develop his/her own individual program which may include portions of existing emphasis areas in Architectural design, History and theory, Computer simulation, Interior Architecture or focused certificate programs in: Facility Management; Health Systems and Design; Historic Preservation; Sustainable Urbanism. The College, with its four related academic departments and five research centers is in a strong position to support such diverse activity and the resources of the University provide additional depth in such areas as engineering, business, management.


The architecture program at Texas A&M University adopted the "4+2" pattern in 1969, with the first professional degree given at the graduate level. The program is built on the undergraduate foundation of a pre-professional degree in architecture, such as the Bachelor of Environmental Design with Option in Architectural Studies. The Master of Architecture program requires 55 credit hours typically spread over two years. The core curriculum is an examination of the processes of design; systems of construction; relationships to the environmental, social, historical, and geographical context; and an understanding of the behavior and use of symbols in architecture. In all of these areas, the graduate program builds on the foundation of courses taken at the undergraduate level.

Master of Architecture Curriculum

Core Courses (Required)

ARCH 605 Architectural Design I 6 hours
ARCH 606 Architectural Design II 6 hours
ARCH 631 Structural Systems 3 hours
ARCH 633 Environmental Control Systems 3 hours
ARCH 657 Professional Practice 3 hours
ARCH 658 Materials and Assemblies 3 hours
ARCH 637, 638, 639,
640 or 645
An approved architectural theory course 3 hours
ARCH 644 or 649 An approved architectural history course 3 hours
30 hours

Specialization Courses

ARCH 607 Architectural Design III (Required) 6 hours
ARCH 608 Architectural Design IV (Required) 6 hours
ARCH 685 Final Study Proposal (Required) 1 hour
  Electives 12 hours
25 hours

Total Course Work 55 hours


Course Descriptions in the Graduate Catalogue


A total of 25 credit hours of specialization courses including 12 elective credit hours permit the student to structure a program of study related to an established departmental emphasis area, certificate program or a unique exploration topic that has faculty support.

During the second semester of study, the student will, with advice from the faculty, select an advisory committee and develop a degree plan using one of the patterns of study as a guide. Based on this plan, which may include international opportunities, the student should identify course work that clearly leads to the development of skills and the acquiring of knowledge that will prepare him or her for the final study. The Final Study, or thesis project, is a design project with a strong scholarly basis that represents the culmination of the student’s architectural education and preparation. It will exhibit a clear understanding of an integration of both the discipline and practice of Architecture.

The field of architecture synthesizes ecological, technological, social, behavioral, and aesthetic contexts and constraints into healthy sustainable human and natural environments. The graduate program provides an opportunity to examine the past, equip for the present, and prepare for future challenges in architecture. Graduate studies in architecture are complemented by programs in other departments in the college offering courses in the fields of construction science, landscape architecture, land development, and urban and regional planning, and supported by College of Architecture research centers.

The Research Centers include:

Caudill Rowlett Scott (CRS) Center

Center for Housing and Urban Development

Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center

Center for Health Systems and Design

Center for Heritage Conservation

Recipients of a four-year pre-professional architectural degree may apply for admission directly into this program.

Final Study Samples


Application for Graduate Admission

All applicants for admission into the Master of Architecture program must at least hold a four year pre-professional architectural degree. The preparation each student brings from their pre-professional experience is critical to continued development towards the completion of core courses in advanced architectural knowledge leading to the first professional degree. Each applicant should be able to demonstrate successful completion of the following courses or their equivalents as part of their undergraduate pre-professional degree:

4 sequential architecture design studio courses 
2 courses in structures 
2 courses in environment technology 
2 history of architecture courses 
1 course in the social behavior sciences 
1 course in cultural diversity 
Current Admission Submittal

To be considered all applicants must submit the following:

Completed Texas A&M University Application
Official Transcripts from all universities and /or college attended
Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores
Test of English as a foreign Language (TOEFL) scores
Three letters of Recommendation
Academic / professional Portfolio

In general, the university application deadlines should be observed, however students wishing to be considered for financial assistance should submit all application materials to the university and department by 15 January for fall admissions.


The portfolio must include:

A comprehensive goals statement; 
A one or two-page resume; listing background information such as education, honors and awards, work experience, and relevant interests; and
Documentation of a minimum of six projects from the design studio sequence, at least four having strong building design content with evidence of tectonics as part of a comprehensive building design. In addition to photos of final project drawings and models, the documentation of each project must include a process description including the course title, program statement, and design goals and objectives. Photos of preliminary sketches and models are encouraged. If the project was done by a team, identify your individual role and work.

Faculty evaluation of each applicant's portfolio is a major element in the admission process. The portfolio must be concise in style, and bound as a single unit (8 1/2" X 11" preferred). If appropriate, additional supporting materials utilizing electronic media may be submitted. The portfolio will be reviewed by the Department of Architecture Master of Architecture program admissions committee. High quality reproductions must be used for drawings; slides are unacceptable. The portfolio must demonstrate abilities and skills in the following:

Architectural theory and design 
Analytical and programmatic methods 
Evidence of tectonics as part of a comprehensive building design. 
Proficiency in the use of design media (hand drawing and CAD) 
Clear use of the English language

Applicants must include postage (stamps or international coupons) sufficient for the return of their portfolios, or arrange to pick them up at the department. Portfolios remaining in the department more than six months after the review will be discarded. Please include in your submission a USB drive containing a .pdf copy of your portfolio.

Your resume and portfolio should be sent directly to the Department of Architecture.
The address is:
   Texas A&M University
   Department of Architecture
   TAMU MS 3137
   College Station, Texas 77843

Your application and three letters of recommendation should be sent to the Graduate Admissions of Texas A&M University. Please note that the application will not be processed by the Admissions Office until the application fee and all requested information (GRE, transcripts, etc.) has been received.

International students

International students should submit all applications to the Admissions and Records Office by 15 January for Fall entry. With the application, international students must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores of at least 146 in Verbal and 295+ combined (V+Q) score, the “Confirmation of Financial Resources” form, a filing fee of $75 (cannot be waived or paid by the department), and official College Transcripts. Students must also submit one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores of at least 80, International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of at least 6.0, or Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic of at least 53.

Because of the many international students applying for admission, competition is strong and we cannot admit all who apply. We do not consider financial aid for international students until after they have completed their first semester. Unfortunately, we have very limited financial resources for supporting international students. Therefore, you should be prepared to finance your studies. All international students from non-English speaking countries must take and pass the English proficiency test. Please refer to the following policy.

Policy on English Proficiency for Graduate Students


All curricular inquiries regarding the Master of Architecture program should be directed to:

     James Haliburton
     Associate Department Head for M. ARCH Program
     Department of Architecture
     College of Architecture
     Texas A & M University
     College Station, TX 77843-3137
     Phone: +1 (979) 575-4079

All inquiries regarding application or admission to the Master of Architecture program should be directed to:

     Ginger White
     Graduate Academic Advisor
     Department of Architecture 
     College of Architecture
     Texas A & M University 
     College Station, Texas 77843-3137
     Phone: +1 (979) 458-3042

NAAB Statement on Accreditation

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 three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture.  A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-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 consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education.  However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Texas A&M University, Department of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree program: M. Arch. (pre-professional degree + 52 graduate credits) Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2014

2014 NAAB Accreditation Report for Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University

2014 Texas A&M Architecture Program Report

APR PART II.4 Public Information

II 4.2 Access to NAAB Conditions for Accreditation

          Access to NAAB Procedures for Accreditation      

II 4.3 Information on Career Development

          The NCARB Handbook for Interns and Architects

          Toward an Evolution of Studio Culture

          The Emerging Professional's Companion





II 4.4 Public Access to APRs and VTRs 

The Architecture Program Report (APR) and Visiting Team Report (VTR) from the previous accrediting visit may be found on reserve in the Department of Architecture.

II 4.5 ARE Pass Rates

The most recent data on Architecture Registration Exam (ARE) pass rates for graduates of the M. Arch Program may be found on reserve in the Department of Architecture.

Studio Culture at Texas A&M University

The College of Architecture at Texas A&M University encourages a studio culture as the central component of an effective education in architecture. 

Studio Policy (required of all studios)

All students, faculty, administration and staff of the Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University are dedicated to the principle that the Design Studio is the central component of an effective education in architecture. They are equally dedicated to the belief that students and faculty must lead balanced lives and use time wisely, including time outside the design studio, to gain from all aspects of a university education and world experiences. They also believe that design is the integration of many parts, that process is as important as product, and that the act of design and of professional practice is inherently interdisciplinary, requiring active and respectful collaboration with others.

Students and faculty in every design studio will embody the fundamental values of optimism, respect, sharing, engagement, and innovation. Every design studio will therefore encourage the rigorous exploration of ideas, diverse viewpoints, and the integration of all aspects of architecture (practical, theoretical, scientific, spiritual, and artistic), by providing a safe and supportive environment for thoughtful innovation. Every design studio will increase skills in professional communication, through drawing, modeling, writing and speaking.

Every design studio will, as part of the syllabus introduced at the start of each class, include a clear statement on time management, and recognition of the critical importance of academic and personal growth, inside and outside the studio environment. As such it will be expected that faculty members and students devote quality time to studio activities, while respecting the need to attend to the broad spectrum of the academic life. Every design studio will establish opportunities for timely and effective review of both process and products. Studio reviews will include student and faculty peer review. Where external reviewers are introduced, the design studio instructor will ensure that the visitors are aware of the Studio Culture Statement and recognize that the design critique is an integral part of the learning experience. The design studio will be recognized as place for open communication and movement, while respecting the needs of others, and of the facilities.