Master of Science


Wurster Hall

The Program

2012-13 Master of Science Handbook [PDF]

The last two decades have seen rapid growth in the complexity of buildings and the development of specialized knowledge for their design and operation. The building profession now requires a wider range of expertise in design, operation, and management than was required in the past, and new types of professional specialists have emerged to provide this expertise. Often these experts are educated outside of traditional architectural programs, frequently through studies in other disciplines.

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Architecture is an academic, nonprofessional degree program that offers the opportunity for advanced research in the ever-broadening and increasingly complex subfields within architecture. It is intended to supplement but not supplant the Master of Architecture degree, the professional degree accredited for the practice of architecture. Students in the program generally hold a degree in architecture.

The Faculty

Name Research Areas Specializations
Nezar AlSayyad
Professor of Architecture, City Planning, Urban Design and Urban History; Chair, Center for Middle Eastern Studies; President, International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments
Architecture and Urban History, Environmental Design and Urbanism in Developing Countries, Housing and International Development, Urban Design Traditional Dwellings and Settlements, Cinematic Urbanism, Hybrid Urbanism, Fundamentalism, Middle Eastern Cities, Virtual Reality
Gail S. Brager
Professor of Architecture; Associate Director, Center for Environmental Design Research
Energy and Environmental Management, Sustainable Design for Hot Climates, Mechanical Systems and Architectural Space-Making Comfort and Adaptation in Naturally-Ventilated Buildings; Design and Performance of Alternative Offices
Greg Castillo
Associate Professor of Architecture
History of Architecture 20th Century Architecture with Emphasis on Mid-Century Modernism, Cold War-Era Design, Consumer Culture, Architecture and the History of Emotions
Galen Cranz
Professor of Architecture
Social and Cultural Basis of Architecture and Urbanism Chairs and Body-Conscious Design, Urban Parks, the Sociology of Taste, Ethnography for Design, Post-Occupancy Evaluation, Qualitative Research Methods
Margaret Crawford
Professor of Architecture
History of Architecture and Urbanism, Urban History and Theory, Urban Design Everyday Urbanism
C. Greig Crysler
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies; Associate Professor of Architecture
Design Theories and Methods, Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Architectures of Globalization, Discourses of Architecture and Urbanism
Paul Groth
Professor of Architecture and Geography
American Cultural Landscapes, Cultural Geography, History of Architecture, U.S. Rural Suburban and Urban History since 1870 American Vernacular Architecture, Ordinary Architecture, History of Housing
Stefano Schiavon
Assistant Professor of Architecture
Sustainability, Energy, and Indoor Environmental Quality Energy Consumption in Buildings, Ventilation Strategies, Personal Environmental Control Systems, Radiant-Hydronic Systems, Air Movement, Thermal Comfort, Systems Integration and Building Renovation, Building Performance Simulations, Post-Occupancy Evaluations and the Effect of the Indoor Environment on Heath and Productivity
Andrew Shanken
Associate Professor of Architecture
History of Architecture and Urbanism, American Architecture Architecture and Consumer Culture, Memory and the Built Environment, Paper Architecture and the Unbuilt, Expositions, Themed Landscapes, and Architectural Rhetoric

The Fields of Study

The M.S. degree emphasizes course work and supervised independent research in one of the following areas of study:

Research topics outside of these fields, or combinations of several areas, may be undertaken, subject to approval of the architecture M.S./Ph.D. committee, if supported by qualified departmental faculty members.

The Requirements

NOTE: Details of these requirements are currently under discussion by the M.S./Ph.D. committee and will be updated when finalized. Program requirements will also be made available in a forthcoming student handbook.

The M.S. in architecture is earned through a one-and-a-half to two-year program of study approved by the M.S./Ph.D. committee. Students holding architecture degrees (B.A. or B.S. in architecture, B.Arch., or M.Arch.) must complete a minimum of 32 units, and those holding non-architecture degrees, a minimum of 48 units.

Requirement Number of Units
Course Requirements for All M.S. Students
Research Methods, Specialty Area 4
Inside Field (Specialty Area) 9 (Minimum)
Elective Courses Outside Architecture 9 (Maximum)
Two Departmental Colloquia for M.S./Ph.D. Students 2
Thesis Work 5
Additional Course Requirements for M.S. Students with Non-Architecture Degrees
Architecture Breadth Courses TBD*

* Note: The exact number of required breadth units is under discussion. These will include courses inside the Department of Architecture but outside the speciality area, and may include lectures, seminars or studio. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisers to select courses appropriate for their academic plan and future career goals.

The culmination of the student’s program is a research thesis carried out independently under the direction of a three-person committee.

Successful students may apply for the Ph.D. program.