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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Architecture (ARCH)

Program Home Page

MEHRDAD HADIGHI, Head, Department of Architecture
130 Stuckeman Family Building
814-863-2450; Arch-Head@psu.edu

UTE POERSCHKE,Director of Graduate Studies
429 Stuckeman Family Building
814-865-4238; uxp10@psu.edu

gradarch@psu.edu

Degrees Conferred:

  • M.Arch.
  • M.S. in Architecture
  • Integrated B.Arch./M.S. in Architecture
  • M.S. Dual-Title Degree in Architecture and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (HDNRE)
  • Ph.D. in Architecture
  • Ph.D. Dual-Title Degree in Architecture and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (HDNRE)

The Graduate Faculty

 

The Programs

The M.Arch. program is a professional degree program focused on preparation to practice architecture for students who hold a bachelor's degree.

The M.S. in Architecture program is a research-focused degree program designed to offer students graduate level research inquiry into architecture for students who hold a professional baccalaureate or graduate degree in architecture.

The Integrated B.Arch./M.S. in Architecture program permits students to integrate the fifth year of the professional B.Arch. degree, pursued at Penn State, with the M.S. research degree into a continuous program of study culminating in the awarding of both degrees.

The dual-title M.S. in Architecture and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment is a research-focused degree program that enables students from Architecture to acquire the knowledge and skills of their major area of specialization in Architecture, while at the same time gaining the perspective and methods of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment.

The Ph.D. in Architecture program is a research-focused degree program for students with a research-focused master’s degree who have previously studied the technical and professional aspects of architectural or landscape architectural practice and are primarily interested in strengthening the intellectual underpinnings of their work through significant and original theoretical inquiry.

The dual-title Ph.D. in Architecture and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment is a research-focused degree program that enables students from Architecture to acquire the knowledge and skills of their major area of specialization in Architecture, while at the same time gaining the perspective and methods of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment.

M.Arch. Admission Requirements

Admission requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

The applicant’s baccalaureate degree may be in a field other than architecture or be a non-professional baccalaureate degree in architecture. This M.Arch. program culminates in a professional degree, currently in candidacy status for National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accreditation.

 A minimum grade-point average [GPA] of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required.

All applicants for admission to the M.Arch. degree program must submit the following:

  • a completed Graduate School application, and payment of the non-refundable application fee.
  • official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  • Graduate Record Exam [GRE] scores.
  • names of three faculty members or professionals acquainted with the applicant's academic history who can be contacted and invited to provide reference letters.
  • a statement of intent, which should be primarily a description of the applicant's professional goals, subjects of study, and the area(s) of anticipated architectural inquiry.
  • a portfolio of creative and design work executed at the undergraduate level, under professional guidance or independently, provided that such work can be evidenced as executed by the applicant, is an important part of the graduate application. A minimum portfolio representation of one project for each year of academic undergraduate study, or its equivalent, is required.
  • other evidence of academic excellence, such as awards, design and scholarly achievements, and other recognitions that the applicant wishes to have considered by the admissions committee.

M.S. in Architecture Admission Requirements

Admission requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

All applicants must hold either (1) a professionally accredited baccalaureate degree in architecture or related field from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a professionally accredited bachelor's degree in architecture or related field from a regionally accredited U.S. institution; this degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates. Alternatively, the applicant can hold (3) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution plus a professionally accredited master's degree in architecture or related field or (4) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution plus a professionally accredited master's degree in architecture or related field; these degrees must be from officially recognized degree-granting institutions in the country in which they operate.

A minimum grade-point average [GPA] of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required.

All applicants for admission to the M.S. in Architecture degree program must submit the following:

  • a completed Graduate School application, and payment of the non-refundable application fee.
  • official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Graduate Record Exam [GRE] scores.
  • names of three faculty members or professionals acquainted with the applicant's academic history who can be contacted and invited to provide reference letters.
  • a statement of intent, which should be primarily a description of the applicant's professional goals, subjects of study, and the area(s) of anticipated architectural inquiry.
  • a portfolio of creative and design work executed at the undergraduate level, under professional guidance or independently, provided that such work can be evidenced as executed by the applicant, is an important part of the graduate application. A minimum portfolio representation of one project for each year of academic undergraduate study, or its equivalent, is required.
  • other evidence of academic excellence, such as awards, design and scholarly achievements, and other recognitions that the applicant wishes to have considered by the admissions committee.

Integrated B.Arch./M.S. in Architecture Admission Requirements

The Department of Architecture offers a limited number of academically superior students enrolled in the fourth year of the Bachelor of Architecture degree program the opportunity to enroll in an integrated program leading to both the B.Arch. and the M.S. in Architecture degrees. The ability to coordinate as well as concurrently pursue the two degree programs enables the student to achieve greater depth and comprehensiveness than if the degrees are pursued sequentially, and to earn the two degrees in a shorter period of time. In particular, the program encourages the student to integrate the undergraduate thesis design project with the master's thesis, thereby achieving a greater depth of inquiry. The number of openings to this special program is limited; admission is by invitation of the faculty and is extremely selective.

Students must apply to and meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School, as well as the graduate program in which they intend to receive their master's degree. Applicants to the integrated program must be enrolled in the fourth year of a B.Arch. program or otherwise qualified to apply for admission to the fifth year of the B.Arch. program at Penn State. To be admitted, applicants must have a minimum 3.20 junior/senior overall grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) as well as: (1) a minimum 3.20 GPA in architectural design courses (studio), and (2) a minimum 3.20 GPA in all course work except architectural design courses (studio). Students must be admitted to the IUG program no later than the end of the second week of the semester preceding the semester of expected conferral of the undergraduate degree.


All applicants for admission to the Integrated B.Arch./M.S. in Architecture degree program must submit the following:

  • a completed Graduate School application and payment of the application fee.
  • names of three faculty members or professionals acquainted with the applicant's academic history who can be contacted and invited to provide reference letters.
  • a statement of intent/plan of study, which should be primarily a description of the applicant's professional goals. The statement/plan shall clearly describe the student's proposed general thesis topic and a strategy for pursuing it, including a list of proposed courses and a list of faculty whom the student foresees as contributing to the course of study. The plan should be reviewed periodically with an adviser as the student advances through the program. 
  • a portfolio of creative and design work executed at the undergraduate level, under professional guidance or independently, provided that such work can be evidenced as executed by the applicant. A minimum portfolio representation of one project for each year of academic undergraduate study, or its equivalent, is required.

The best-qualified students will be accepted up to the number of spaces available for new students. 

M.S. Dual-Title Degree in Architecture and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (HDNRE) Admission Requirements

For admission to the dual-title degree under this program, a student must first apply and be admitted to Penn State’s Graduate School as well as to the Architecture graduate program (M.S. in Architecture degree). Once accepted into the Architecture program, the student can apply to the Admissions Committee of HDNRE. The HDNRE admissions committee reviews applications and recommends students for admission to the dual-title degree program to The Graduate School.

In addition to the admission requirements for the M.S. in Architecture degree program, the HDNRE program also requires a minimum baccalaureate Jr/Sr grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Ph.D. in Architecture Admission Requirements

Admission requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

All applicants must hold either (1) a professionally accredited baccalaureate degree in architecture or landscape architecture from a regionally accredited U.S. institution and a master's degree in architecture or landscape architecture or related field or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a professionally accredited bachelor's degree in architecture or landscape architecture from a regionally accredited U.S. institution and a master's degree in architecture or landscape architecture or related field; both degrees must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which they operate. Alternatively, the applicant can hold (3) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution plus a professionally accredited master's degree in architecture or landscape architecture or (4) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution plus a professionally accredited master's degree in architecture or landscape architecture; these degrees must be from officially recognized degree-granting institutions in the country in which they operate. Outstanding candidates who do not hold a professional architecture or landscape architecture degree but who satisfy all other entrance requirements may be admitted at the discretion of the program. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) will be required for admission. An overall minimum grade-point average of 3.20 for graduate and undergraduate degrees is required for admission. Exceptions to the minimum 3.20 grade-point average may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests at the discretion of the program.

 All applicants for admission to the Ph.D. degree program must submit the following:

  • a completed Graduate School application and payment of the application fee.
  • official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  • Graduate Record Exam [GRE] scores.
  • names of three faculty members or professionals acquainted with the applicant's academic history who can be contacted and invited to provide reference letters.
  • a Ph.D. Essay that (1) articulates the reasons for pursuing graduate training; (2) demonstrates that the Ph.D. program has been carefully considered and a relevant faculty member has been identified; (3) presents a clear research focus; and (4) highlights how previous education, academic background, and/or professional experience provide a foundation for pursuing graduate training in this research field.
  • a Curriculum Vitae.

Ph.D. Dual-Title Degree in Architecture and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (HDNRE) Admission Requirements

For admission to the dual-title degree under this program, a student must first apply and be admitted to Penn State’s Graduate School as well as to the Architecture graduate program (Ph.D. in Architecture degree). Once accepted into the Architecture program, the student can apply to the Admissions Committee of HDNRE. The HDNRE admissions committee reviews applications and recommends students for admission to the dual-title degree program to The Graduate School.

In addition to the admission requirements for the Ph.D. in Architecture degree program, the HDNRE program also requires a minimum baccalaureate Jr/Sr grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students must apply and be admitted to the dual-title degree program in HDNRE prior to taking the candidacy exam.

M.Arch. Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

The professional M.Arch. may be completed in three years (seven semesters, with the fifth semester being a summer semester) of course work. 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. There will be a review of transcripts to assess the completion of materials covered in preparatory course work. Faculty will assess each accepted applicant’s transcripts for possible course equivalents. If courses have been fulfilled with equivalent undergraduate or graduate course work, students will be eligible for advancement. Accordingly, time to complete degree requirements may be reduced. 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. The capstone course ARCH 536 Design Inquiry is associated with this culminating experience, and students are required to complete two semesters of ARCH 536 for six credits each, for a total of 12 credits.

Preparatory Course Work:

  • A E 211 Introduction to Environmental Control Systems (3)
  • A E 421 Architectural Structural Systems I (3)
  • A E 422 Architectural Structural Systems II (3)
  • A E 424 Environmental Control Systems I (3)
  • ARCH 501 Analysis of Architectural Precedents I (3)
  • ARCH 502 Analysis of Architectural Precedents II (3)
  • ARCH 503 Materials and Building Construction I (3)
  • ARCH 504 Materials and Building Construction II (3)
  • ARCH 521 Visual Communications I (2)
  • ARCH 522 Visual Communications I (2)
  • ARCH 531 Architectural Design I (6)
  • ARCH 532 Architectural Design II (6)

REQUIRED COURSES:

ARCHITECTURE (ARCH)

  • 510. Contemporary Architecture & Planning Theories (3)
  • 533. Architectural Design III (6)
  • 534. Architectural Design IV (6)
  • 451. Architectural Professional Practice (3)
  • 480. Technical Systems Integration (3)
  • A total of 6 credits from ARCH 495 Internship; ARCH 496 Independent Study; ARCH 499 Foreign Study (6)
  • 511. Theoretical Perspectives in Architecture (3)
  • 520. Methods of Inquiry (3)
  • 536. Design-Inquiry (12)
  • 550. Ethics in Architecture (3)
  • Electives (9)

 

M.S. in Architecture Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

The culminating experience of the post-professional M.S. in Architecture program is a Master's Thesis, which requires the student to identify and formulate an area of inquiry within which he or she will be expected to do original research that tests a hypothesis, and to complete a written thesis that presents that research. The master’s thesis committee must be composed of a minimum of three graduate faculty members, not less than two of whom shall be members of the Architecture graduate faculty. One of these two graduate faculty members shall serve as the chair of the committee and thesis adviser. One or more members of the committee may be members from another department. At the master’s thesis defense, the student presents a summary of her/his thesis. This presentation and part of the following discussion are open to the public. The thesis may only pass with a unanimous affirmative decision of the thesis committee. The graduate officer or department head must attend the thesis defense and sign off on the thesis; if the graduate officer is the adviser or a committee member then the department head must attend the defense and sign off on the thesis, and vice versa. The M.S. in Architecture is a 30-credit program that requires 24 credits of course work and 6 credits of thesis. At least 18 credits must be at the 500 or 600 levels, and at least 20 credits must be taken in residence at University Park. The core courses consist of a total of 12 credits.

M.S. in Architecture Degree Required Courses:

  • ARCH 511 Theoretical Perspectives in Architecture (3)
  • ARCH 520 Methods of Inquiry (3)
  • ARCH 536 Design Inquiry (6)
  • ARCH 550 Ethics in Architecture (3)
  • ARCH 600 Thesis (6)
  • Electives (9)

Integrated B.Arch./M.S. in Architecture Degree Requirements

Students must complete the requirements for both the B.Arch. and the M.S. in Architecture degrees with the exception that not more than 12 credits earned in either degree program may be used to the meet the requirements of both degrees. A minimum of 50 percent of the courses proposed to count for both degrees must be at the 500 or 800 level. Courses that can be double-counted are: ARCH 451, ARCH 492, ARCH 511, ARCH 520, ARCH 536, and ARCH 550. A minimum total of 180 credits are required to complete the Integrated B.Arch./M.S. in Architecture program and earn both degrees. The student must maintain a minimum 3.2 overall GPA and shall achieve no less than a B grade in each required course.

 If students accepted into the IUG program are unable to complete the M.S. degree, they are still eligible to receive their undergraduate degree if all the undergraduate degree requirements have been satisfied.

M.S. Dual-Title Degree in Architecture and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (HDNRE) Degree Requirements

To qualify for a dual-title degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the Architecture program in which they are primarily enrolled. In addition, they must satisfy the requirements described below, as established by the HDNRE committee. Within this framework, final course selection is determined by the student, the HDNRE adviser, and the Architecture program adviser.

Upon a student's acceptance by the HDNRE admissions committee, the student will be assigned a HDNRE academic adviser in consultation with the HDNRE chair. As students develop specific scholarly interests, they may request that a different HDNRE faculty member serve as their adviser. The student and adviser will discuss a program of study that is appropriate for the student's professional objectives and that is in accord with the policies of Graduate Council, the Architecture program and the HDNRE Program.

The HDNRE program requires:
A candidate for the dual-title intercollege M.S.in HDNRE must complete 17 credits of course work beyond the bachelor's degree in addition to curricular requirements for the masters' degree in the student's primary program. The HDNRE requirement includes four core courses in the HDNRE curriculum: HDNRE 590 Colloquium (2 credits), HDNRE 574 Integrated Perspectives in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (3), HDNRE 575 Ethical Issues in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (3), and R SOC 555 Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (3). In addition, each HDNRE student will take either ANTH 559 Human Ecology (3) or FOR 565 GIS-Based Socio-Ecological Landscape Analysis (3), and one additional 3-credit course selected in consultation with the student's graduate committee. The HDNRE Colloquium (HDNRE 590) must be taken in each of the first two semesters of enrollment in the dual-title intercollege degree program.

Some courses may satisfy both the graduate major program requirements and those of the dual-title program. Final course selection is determined by the students in consultation with their dual-title program advisers and their major program advisers.

A thesis committee for the dual-title M.S. degree will consist of two graduate faculty members from Architecture and one graduate faculty member from the HDNRE Program. The thesis topic itself will be an integration of both Architecture and HDNRE.

Candidates for the dual-title Master of Science degree in Architecture and HDNRE will also be required to pass a final defense covering the general field of Architecture and HDNRE Program, with emphasis on the student's area of specialization. The defense is to be administered by the student's thesis committee.  The thesis may only pass with a unanimous affirmative decision of the thesis committee.

Ph.D. in Architecture Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

For the Ph.D. degree, students must conduct significant original research that demonstrates mastery of the field. The student's program of courses is developed in cooperation with the student's doctoral committee. It is recommended that it consist of approximately 30 credits of course work. This includes 12 credits of course work for students without a research-focused master’s degree in architecture or landscape architecture or related field (a research-focused master’s degree is typically an M.S. in Architecture or Landscape Architecture degree, but can also be a post-professional M.Arch. or M.L.A. degree). There will be a review of transcripts to assess completion of materials covered in course work. A faculty review committee will assess each accepted applicant’s transcripts for possible course equivalents. At the conclusion of the student's course work, the Ph.D. student must pass a comprehensive examination that is developed and administered by the student's doctoral committee. To earn the Ph.D. degree, doctoral students must also write a dissertation that is accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Ph.D. Dual-Title Degree in Architecture and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment Degree Requirements (HDNRE)

To qualify for a dual-title degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the Architecture program in which they are primarily enrolled. In addition, they must satisfy the requirements described below, as established by the HDNRE committee. Within this framework, final course selection is determined by the student, the HDNRE adviser, and the Architecture program adviser.

Upon a student's acceptance by the HDNRE admissions committee, the student will be assigned an HDNRE academic adviser in consultation with the HDNRE chair. As students develop specific scholarly interests, they may request that a different HDNRE faculty member serve as their adviser. The student and adviser will discuss a program of study that is appropriate for the student's professional objectives and that is in accord with the policies of Graduate Council, the Architecture program and the HDNRE Program.

The HDNRE program requires:
A candidate for the dual-title intercollege HDNRE Ph.D. must complete, in addition to curricular requirements for the doctoral degree in the student's primary program, a minimum of 18 credits of HDNRE course work. This includes the required courses for the HDNRE M.S program: HDNRE 574 (3), HDNRE 575 (3), HDNRE 590 (3), R SOC 555 (3), either ANTH 559 (3) or FOR 565 (3), and one additional 3-credit elective. The HDNRE Colloquium (HDNRE 590) must be taken each of the first two semesters of enrollment in the dual-title intercollege degree program, and once more prior to graduation, for 3 total credits. Particular courses may satisfy both the graduate major program requirements and those of the HDNRE program. If an HDNRE M.S. student continues into the HDNRE Ph.D. program, 15 credits of interdisciplinary course work must be selected, with the approval of the student's doctoral committee.

Some courses may satisfy both the graduate major program requirements and those of the dual-title program. Final course selection is determined by the students in consultation with their dual-title program advisers and their major program advisers.

There will be a single candidacy examination, containing elements of both Architecture and HDNRE. Dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the candidacy examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

The candidacy examination committee and the doctoral committee must include at least one graduate faculty member from HDNRE. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ graduate faculty may serve in a combined role. The HDNRE representative on the candidacy examination committee will participate in constructing and evaluating the candidacy examination, and the HDNRE representative on the doctoral committee will participate in constructing and evaluating the comprehensive examination. If the chair of the doctoral committee is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in HDNRE, the member of the committee representing HDNRE must be appointed as co-chair.

All Ph.D. students will be required to complete, present, and defend a dissertation that incorporates a topic related to both Architecture and HDNRE. Candidates for the dual-title Ph.D. degree in Architecture and HDNRE will be required to pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) covering the general field of Architecture and HDNRE, with emphasis on the student's area of specialization. The defense is to be administered by the student's doctoral committee. A favorable vote of a two-thirds majority is necessary for passing. To earn the Ph.D. degree, doctoral students must also write a dissertation that is accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships and other forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin. All applicants who are accepted are considered for departmental financial aid. Graduate Assistants must abide by the course load guidelines outlined in the Graduate Bulletin.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

ARCHITECTURE COURSES (ARCH)

 

Last Revised by the Department: Summer Semester 2016

Blue Sheet Item #: 44-07-000

Review Date: 06/28/2016

Faculty linked: 12/23/14

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