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Master of Architecture

Ahmed K. Ali, Associate Professor, M.Arch, Ph.D.
Associate Department Head for Professional Programs

Ginger White
Graduate Academic Advisor

NAAB Accredited - Master of Architecture Professional Degree Program

The architecture program at Texas A&M University follows a “4+2” structure with an undergraduate foundation of a pre-professional Bachelor of Environmental Design degree and a Master of Architecture (M.Arch) first professional degree awarded at the graduate level. The Master of Architecture degree program requires 55 credit hours typically spread over two years. The Master of Architecture degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, fulfilling the educational component of professional licensure as an Architect. The Texas A&M University Department of Architecture M.Arch received an eight-year accreditation in 2014.

The Master of Architecture (M.Arch) program provides graduates with the requisite educational background to enter the professional practice of architecture and its numerous variants. The Master of Architecture (M.Arch) program lets students explore a range of professional directions related to faculty expertise. Faculty encourage students to develop their own individual course of study, which blends the emphasis areas of Architectural design; History, Theory, and Criticism; Design Computation; and Interior Architecture. Students can also direct their studies within existing certificate programs in Facility Management, Health Systems and Design, Historic Preservation, and Sustainable Urbanism. These certificate programs, offered through the five research centers, institutes, and labs at the College level, provides students with access to resources at the College and University that support diverse interests and engaged activity alongside opportunities for interdisciplinary experiences in tangential areas, including engineering, business, management, and leadership. Studying at Texas A&M offers motivated and tenacious students the unique opportunity to engage with the discipline and profession of Architecture at an impactful level through the diverse faculty comprising both breadth and depth of expertise.


The Master of Architecture (M.Arch) curriculum produces conceptual comprehension and technical competency in the design of buildings and environments by weaving together five constituent trajectories: Design, Representation, History/Theory/Criticism, Technology, and Engagement. Integral within these woven trajectories is the focus on the principles and practice of design synthesis as the confluence of processes and workflows; systems of construction; relationships to environmental, social, historical, and geographical contexts; and an in-depth understanding of topics ranging from aesthetics and symbolism to the complex relationships between human behavior and design.

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 a student to structure a program of study related to an established departmental emphasis area, certificate program, or a unique exploration topic with 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 will identify coursework that leads to the definitive development of skills and the acquiring of knowledge that will prepare him or her for the final study. The Final Study is a design project with a strong scholarly basis representing the culmination of the student’s architectural education and preparation. It will exhibit a clear understanding of the 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, be equipped for the present, and prepared 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 the 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:

     Ahmed Ali, Associate Professor
     Associate Department Head Professional Programs
     Department of Architecture
     College of Architecture
     Texas A & M University
     College Station, TX 77843-3137
     Phone: +1 (979) 845-7698

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, 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.

The Texas A&M University, Department of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree program: M. Arch. (pre-professional degree + 55 graduate credits) Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2023

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.


General Disclosure

Notice to students pursuing programs that may lead to a professional license or certification required for employment.

The following programs may lead to a professional license or certification that is required for employment. Professional licensure/certification requirements vary from state to state, which may affect a student’s ability to apply for a professional license/certification upon the completion of the program. The U.S. Department of Education regulation, 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v), requires an institution to disclose whether the program will fulfill educational requirements for licensure or certification for each state. The administrative departments that offer the programs have made the following determination regarding their curriculum.




Does not meet

A determination has not been made

Master of Architecture




We recommend students contact the appropriate state licensing agency in their state or the state where they intend to work to seek the most up-to-date information about state licensure/certification requirements before beginning the program.


Pertinent information related to the importance of licensure in architecture can be found here:

Additional information for architectural licensure by state and territory can be found here:

TAMU Master of Architecture requirements can be found here:


Student Work

The following link provides examples of student work that illustrate the projects undertaken in graduate programs offered by the Department of Architecture.

The following link provide examples of the Masters of Architecture students' Final Study Samples.


Course Listing

For an extensive listing of graduate courses with ARCH designations addressing a wide range of topics in the built environment please view the TAMU Graduate Catalog.


Studio Culture at Texas A&M University

All students, faculty, administration, and staff of the Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University commit to 21st century, student-centered pedagogical approaches that seamlessly weave diversity, inclusivity, and critical thinking throughout our programs' representation, history-theory-criticism, technology, and engagement courses. In this context, design serves as a centrally unifying tenet of our curriculum.

The Department of Architecture equally dedicates 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 university education and world experiences. They also believe that design is the integration of many parts, that process is as important as the product, and that the act of design and professional practice is inherently interdisciplinary, requiring active and respectful collaboration with others.


Operational Procedure

Students and faculty in every design studio will embody the fundamental values of optimism, respect, sharing, engagement, and innovation. Therefore, every design studio will 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, the department expects that faculty members and students devote quality time to studio activities while respecting the need to attend to the broad spectrum of academic life.

Every design studio will establish opportunities for a timely and effective review of both processes and products. Studio reviews will include student and faculty peer review. When external reviewers integrate into the studio reviews, 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 is an environment for open communication and thought that inclusively respects others' needs and the facilities.