M.A. in Architecture

Master of Arts In Architecture Degree Program

Academic degree in Architecture oriented toward research and teaching. 
2 years.
Degree Conferred: Master of Arts in Architecture

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The purpose of the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Architecture degree program is to prepare students to do specialized research, consulting, or teaching in fields related to the architecture and urban design professions.

This is a two-year program that culminates in a thesis based on research in the student’s area of concentration. Students are required to focus their work on a specific academic area or professional issue. Students conduct original scholarly and critical research in topics of importance to the field of architecture and urbanism today.

M.A. students work in a variety of intellectual and programmatic milieus including new forms of historical research, cultural studies, and interdisciplinary studies with particular emphasis on connections with geography, design, art history, archaeology and literary studies, as well as studio and design based research. In addition to their course work and individual research, students participate in collective project based activities, including publications, symposia and exhibitions.

The program is distinguished by its engagement with contemporary design and historical techniques as well by the unusual balance it offers between fostering in students great independence and freedom in their courses of study and providing fundamental training in the various aspects of architectural scholarship. Students in the M.A. program often work with faculty on research projects and teaching, particularly in relation to CityLAB, Hi-C, and the Experiential Technology Center.

See Ph.D. in Architecture for a description of the core program in Critical Studies in Architectural Culture


cityLAB is a think tank that focues on experimental urban architecture. Its director, Dana Cuff, and co-director, Roger Sherman, initiate projects that engage research and design related to cityLAB's three initiatives: the postsurburban city, urban sensing, and rethinking green. Advanced research students from Architecture, as well as related departmetns, participate in al cityLAB undertakings. Recent projects include symposia, design competitions, funded research grants, design-technology installations, and publications on topics ranging from design after disaster, to innovative housing neighborhood infrastructure, to high-speed rail's implications for the city.

The Experiential Technologies Center (ETC), directed by Diane Favro, conducts interdisciplinary research focusing on 3D simulation modeling and other types of digital experiential analyses. Students create real-time models of historical environments in UCLA's cutting-edge Technology Sandbox and Visualization Portal, and have the opportunity to participate in archaeological excavations worldwide. Models produced incude simulations of ancient Rome and the Amon temple at Karnak. The ETC also participates in UCLA's dynami Hypercities Project and the Keck Digital Mapping Program.

Hi-C is a collaborative group of doctoral and design students focusing on scholarly research and critical approaches to contemporary design, is currently specializing in extending seminar topics into exhibitions. Hi-C, led by Sylvia Lavin, has organized such international exhibitions as: "Craig Hodgetts, Playmaker" on view at the Ace Gallery Los Angeles in 2009; "Take Note" on view at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal in 2010; "Neil Denari, The Artless Drawing" on view at the Ace Gallery in Los Angeles 2010; and "Ultra Expo" for Little Tokyo Design Week at the Japanese American National Museum in 2011.


Dean Abernathy, "Computer Visualization and Simulation as a Medium for Architectural and Urban History Pedagogy"

Abdul Al-Balam, "An Advanced Digital Solution for Representing Continuity in Urban Architectural Change: A Virtual Urban Architectural Evolution"

Tulay Atak, "Byzantine Modern: Displacements of Modernism in Istanbul"

Ewan Branda, "Virtual Machines: Culture, telematique, and the architecture of information at Centre Beaubourg, 1968-1977"

Penelope Dean, "Delivery without Discipline:  Architecture in the Age of Design"

Dora Epstein-Jones, "Architecture on the Move: Modernism and Mobility in the Postwar"

Jose Gamez, "Contested Terrains:  Space, Place, and Identity in Postcolonial Los Angeles”

Todd Gannon, "Dissipations, Accumulations, and Intermediations:  Architecture, Media and the Archigrams, 1961-1974"

Tamara Morgenstern, "Early Baroque Urban Planning at the Water's Edge in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies"

Eran Neuman, "Oblique Discourses: Claude Parent and Paul Virilio's Oblique Function Theory and Postwar Architectural Modernity"

Alexander Ortenberg, "Drawing Practices: The Art and Craft of Architectural Representation"

David Salomon, "One Thing or Another: The World Trade Center and the Implosion of Modernism"

Ari Seligmann, "Architectural Publicity in the Age of Globalization"

Lisa Snyder, "The Design and Use of Experiential Instructional Technology for the Teaching of Architectural History in American Undergraduate Architecture Programs"

Rebeka Vital, "Incorporation of Cultural Elements Into Architectural Historical Reconstructions Through Virtual Reality"

Jon Yoder, "Sight Design:  The Immersive Visuality of John Lautner"