Master’s Degree Programs in Architecture Making Sustainable Leaders

Architects are faced with an enigma. The built environment is responsible for much of the energy – it accounts for around 40% of global energy consumption. It emits 30% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions – the manufacture of steel and concrete generates around 8% of the world’s anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions – in addition to generating waste and d ” use natural resources.

Yet they are ready to do more. They are building a future where 68% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, an increase from the current figure which hovers around 50% today. They need to build more houses, roads and other infrastructure. In some countries, entire cities the size of Chicago would have to be built to provide enough housing.

Their task is to reach both without destroying the planet to a point of no return. The solution? Design and build in a greener, fairer and more sustainable way. A Master of Architecture is a prerequisite and these universities offer the best in the United States:

Roger Williams University: School of Architecture

Little Master of Architecture in the United States prepare students for career success as effectively as School of Architecture, Art and Historical Preservation at Roger Williams University. Here, a paid internship or assistantship is guaranteed – for every M.Arch student in this NAAB accredited and designated STEM program. Each semester, the studios are taught by a Teaching office in residence, comprising a group of chief architects from a leading firm in Boston, New York or the Northeastern United States – an initiative unique to the university.

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On campus, students work with Samsung Flat Panel Monitors, coupled with anytime access to the latest versions of software and advanced applications (including AutoCAD, Revit, Rhino, Maya, Adobe Creative Suite, among others). Off campus, study abroad possibilities let them travel to Beijing, the frenetic capital of China and its fantastic new sculptural monuments, or to Barcelona with the genius of Gaudi dotted in the Catalan capital.

A RWU educational journey extends far beyond the walls of a traditional classroom. With the Career investment program – until recently, the only program in the United States offering this kind of opportunity for all students – it can accommodate one as an internship at Safdie Architects in Shanghai, Wodiczko + Bonder in Cambridge and HOK in New York. This research and professional experience is not only paid, but, more importantly, convincing.

A location in Bristol, Rhode Island – one of America’s busiest architectural corridors between Boston and New York – allows RWU to provide such dynamic opportunities. As students explore New England’s quintessential city of Bristol, which RWU calls home – with unique shops, restaurants and waterfront galleries, plus miles of bike and Colt State trails. Park nearby – they are close to some of the country’s most enviable career opportunities. They have unprecedented access to hundreds of architectural firms across the region, the doors of which are opened by the Career Investment Program.

University of Florida: School of Architecture

Florida is poised for rapid growth, which will take place in sensitive natural ecologies, fluctuating tourism, a humid and hot climate, and widespread threats from coastal hurricanes, among others. It will address it by becoming host to the third largest population in the United States.

Master of Architecture

Gainesville, Florida, where nature and culture meet, is home to the University of Florida School of Architecture. Source: University of Florida: School of Architecture

The University of Florida School of Architecture is uniquely positioned to meet these challenges. It has, to its advantage, studio design methodologies working with a new generation of experts in engineering, ecology, business, anthropology, energy, fine arts, medicine, and construction.

It is led by a team of faculty members and students, who have won international, national, state and local design awards. They regularly publish and receive national, state and local grants for research-based learning and service design projects.

Registering for a Master of Architecture (M.Arch) here implies benefiting from the above features and more. Students will earn a professional degree accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), the degrees you need to obtain a registered architect’s license in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Study abroad opportunities in East Asia and Mexico are also available.

Three streams are offered for the first NAAB-accredited professional master’s degree in architecture to cater to those with or without a pre-professional degree, as well as those with an accredited professional degree.

Institute of Architecture of Southern California

Offering undergraduate, graduate and graduate programs, SCI-Arc is strategically housed in the historic Santa Fe Freight Depot located in the Arts District of Los Angeles. Architectural monuments such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Chinatown and the Mayan Theater surround it; on campus, it’s an integrated suite of resources that support academic progress and experimentation.

Master of Architecture

SCI Arc is located in the Arts District of Los Angeles. Source: Institute of Architecture of Southern California – Sci Arc

Here, students are exposed to artists, practitioners, historians, theorists and even movie stars. They are trained not only to be architects, but to push boundaries as designers and problem solvers in general. Following in the footsteps of Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci and Pritzker Prize winner Hans Hollein, SCI-Arc graduates are recognized for their interdisciplinarity between the arts and sciences.

SCI-Arc offers two NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture (M.Arch) programs. M.Arch 1 is open to applicants with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree in any field of study. You will acquire the intellectual foundations, design expertise and technical skills necessary for the professional practice of architecture.

M.Arch 2 is designed for applicants who have obtained a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Bachelor of Arts in Architecture or Bachelor of Architecture degree. You will build on previous architectural education using contemporary tools and techniques that will broaden their experience in digital design, conceptualization and manufacturing. Both master’s degrees merge a spirit of open inquiry with an encouragement to respond to changes in society, technology and culture.

University of Texas at Austin: School of Architecture

Students at the University of Texas at the Austin School of Architecture (UTSOA) are uniquely positioned to gain first-hand experience in a growing and rapidly changing built environment. UTSOA is part of one of the world’s leading public research universities with more than 170 fields of study, providing an environment conducive to multidisciplinary learning. Its setting? Austin, Texas, a fast growing American city with a fast growing creative community and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Master of Architecture

UTSOA is located in Austin, Texas, known as the Live Music Capital of the World. Source: University of Texas at Austin: Facebook School of Architecture

As for the programs, they promote intellectual ambition and cultural relevance in architectural production. You can expect an integrated and cohesive design studio model where dialogue, collaboration and risk-taking are encouraged.

Since its founding in 1909, UTSOA has been one of the country’s most distinguished schools of architecture. In the 2016-17 DesignIntelligence survey, it was ranked sixth for its undergraduate architecture program and 12th for its graduate architecture program.

UTSOA offers a Masters in Architecture that meets the professional degree requirements for registration as an architect. It is aimed at two categories of candidates: those who enter either without academic training in architecture, or with a “pre-arch” baccalaureate in four years and who wish to enter the profession of architect. The program includes an optional certificate of specialization in historic preservation, sustainable design, urban design, as well as an optional and transcribable graduate certificate in Latin American architecture.

* Some of the schools featured in this article are Business Partners of Study International


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