Master of Architecture I Degree Program

First professional degree in Architecture. 
Program Duration: 3 years

Accredited by NAAB

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Master of Architecture I

The Master of Architecture I (M.Arch.I), accredited by the NAAB, is the basic professional degree in architecture at UCLA. It is offered to students who want to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to practice architecture professionally. It consists of three years of study, including design studios, required course work, and electives.

The three-year professional degree curriculum prepares students for the practice of architecture by providing a focused framing of today's cultural, ecological, political and technological questions with a view to what architects may bring to bear on such complex issues.  At each stage of the curriculum, A.UD graduates become equipped to not only lead the professional field but also to construct new opportunities for it by positioning their design skills within a rapidly changing world.

The three-year sequence is divided into two periods of study.

i) The first of these periods is a two-year foundation, known as 'Core', in which students complete six design studios of increasing scale and complexity. They simultaneously take courses in the History and Theory of Architecture; Architectural Programming; Computation; Environmental Design; Representation and Visualization; Structures; as well as a range of complementary cultural and technical elective courses.  This core period provides students with the foundation and knowledge necessary to clearly articulate strong architectural concepts; and formal and organizational principles in terms of culturally informed approaches to such factors as context, materials and building systems.

ii) The second period of study is the culminating third year, in which students choose from an array of one-year long thematically focused Research Studios; as well as two Advanced Topic studios (to be completed in the first two quarters.) and a number of elective courses. Research Studios are led by senior design faculty and are structured around specific concerns. The three-quarter Research Studio comprises a first quarter of research; a second quarter of hypothesis definition and development; and a final quarter of design resolution.  This structure provides students with opportunities to develop and expand particular positions in architecture by rethinking existing problems, establishing new directions, and making well-informed and progressive conjectures with which to shape the built environment.

A collaborative spirit pervades the three-year A.UD curriculum fostering an environment in which students and faculty develop a collective intelligence composed of multiple, yet focused, points of view. Through this shared set of interests, students develop methods and techniques for producing new architectural intelligence, plausible speculation and the capacity to invigorate the field and attract to it new audiences.

As a graduate program in a top tier research university, the M.Arch.I builds on the broad knowledge base of the entering student body and integrates these diverse worldviews into a practice oriented pedagogy that is both open to broad cultural questions and a pragmatic view of architecture today. Core studios encourage those with previous architectural training to question assumptions formed prior to their arrival. At the same time, knowledge of other disciplines, brought by those new to architecture, is reframed such that it plays an important role throughout the program.[2] This admixture of student backgrounds has proven fruitful over the 50 year history of training architects at UCLA and has produced young architects who are aware of the influence that other fields of knowledge have on architectural thought and production. UCLA A.UD’s longstanding dedication to communicating clear and articulate architectural ideas fosters critical thinkers who become leaders in practice, academe, and on the global stage.

[1] The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture.
[2] Academic backgrounds include A.B., B.A., B.S. (including four-year B.A. or B.S. in Architecture), non-architecture undergraduate degree or four-year nonprofessional degree in Architecture.