Master of Architecture

The Master's of Architecture is traditionally a one year degree taken immediately after completing the Bachelor of Science in Architecture and is often considered the "fifth year."

The fifth year Master of Architecture is dedicated to intensive graduate-level classroom and studio work, culminating in a design thesis project.

Degree earned: Master of Architecture (professional) — recognized by all state licensing boards and accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).


The Master of Architecture degree curriculum is made up of two components: general studies and professional studies.

General Studies: (39 credits)

University General Education Requirements: (33 credits total, not including 6 credits from the Pre-Professional curriculum)

The following statement is from the NDSU Undergraduate Bulletin:

The purpose of general education at NDSU is to ensure that students acquire knowledge, perspectives, and skills associated with a university education. The program is designed so that graduates will be able to adapt to and anticipate changes in their profession and in society. Graduates also will be able to integrate and use the knowledge and perspectives they have gained to live productive, intellectually rewarding, and meaningful lives.

  • Communication: 12 credits
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credits
  • Science and Technology: 10 credits (includes 1-credit lab)
  • Humanities and Fine Arts: 6 credits (met with 6 credits from the professional curriculum)
  • Social & Behavioral Science: 6 credits
  • Wellness: 2 credits

Additional General Education Courses: (6 credits total) 

These courses are general studies courses required by the architecture program beyond the university's general education requirements.

  • A third social & behavioral science class: 3 credits
  • A philosophy elective class: 3 credits

University General Education Requirements:

  • Cultural Diversity
  • Global Perspective  
  • Computer Usage in all Majors: (ARCH 232: Design Technology) 

Optional Studies:(21 credits)

  • Three undergraduate level elective courses beyond university general education requirements: 9 credits total
  • Four graduate level courses (minimum three from department offerings): 12 credits total


Professional Studies: (108 credits)

Courses at the undergraduate level: 88 credits

Courses at the graduate level: 20 credits


Our curriculum is designed to build knowledge and ability in our students in an incremental way as students move through the program. Expectations for increased knowledge, ability and self-reliance continue to rise as student’s approach graduation. This, along with our emphasis on the transfer of knowledge from lecture and seminar courses to active employment in studio projects, constitutes the framework for our professional studies.




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1st Year
ENVD 101    Intro to Environment Design3     ENVD 104Env. Design Fundamentals     1   
ENVD 102Drawing Basics for Env. Designers     1ENVD 172Env. Design Fund. Studio3
ENVD 130Drawing Skills for Env. Designers3ENGL 120College Composition II*3
ARCH 321History/Theory of Architecture I 3COMM 110      Public Speaking*3
ENGL 110College Composition * 3ARCH 322   History/Theory of Architecture II
Science/Tech.   Science/Tech Gen. Ed.*3QR Quantitative Reasoning* 3
Wellness Wellness General Ed* 2


Selective Admission


2nd Year
ARCH 271  Architectural Design I6     ARCH 272     Architectural Design II 6
ARCH 231  Architectural Drawing3ARCH 232  Design Technology3    
ARCH 233  Math for Designers1ARCH 344  Structures 13
PHYS 120   Intro to Physics *3PSYCH 111 Introduction to Psychology* .    3
ARCH 323  History/Theory of Arch. III .          PHIL  Philosophy elective*3    



3rd Year
ARCH 371  Architectural Design III                  6     ARCH 372     Architectural Design IV6
ARCH 341  Site Design for Architects3ARCH 450  Architectural Detailing3    
ARCH 351  Materials and Construction    4ARCH 454  ECS II (Active Systems)3
ARCH 453    ECS I (Passive Principles)3ARCH 461 Urban Design    3
Science/Tech.    Science Laboratory*         ENGL 326 Writing for Design Professions* 3    
or ENGL 357Visual Language and Culture



4th Year
ARCH 471  Architectural Design V                  6     ARCH 472     Architectural Design VI6
ARCH 443 Advanced Structures3or ARCH 474  International Design Studio    
ANTH 111  Introduction to Anthropology     3SOC 110   Introduction to Sociology*3
Science/Tech.    Science/Tech Gen. Ed.*         Elective*3    



Graduate Admission (for most students)
5th Year
ARCH 771 Adv. Architectural Design              6ARCH 772 Design Thesis8
ARCH 763 Thesis Research3ARCH 72x/789Topics3
ARCH 781 Professional Practice3ARCH 72x/789Topics3
ARCH 72x/789 Topics3orNon-ARCH Graduate Elective
ARCH 72x/789Topics3
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