The M.Arch. degree requires 40 credits of preparatory course work, plus 57 credits of core graduate course work for a total of 97 credits. Some or all of the preparatory course work may have been completed previously, in which case the total credits required for the degree may be reduced in an equivalent manner to a minimum of 57 credits of core courses. At least 36 credits must be at the 500 level, and at least 57 credits must be taken in residence at University Park. The culminating experience of the M.Arch. degree is a master's design project, requiring the student to identify and formulate an area of inquiry and then to complete a research-intensive design project, documented in a volume that includes the design and the research. A capstone course in Design Inquiry is associated with this culminating experience, and students are required to complete two semesters of 6 credits each, for a total of 12 credits.