Apr 13, 2024  
2021 - 2022 University Catalog 
2021 - 2022 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Architecture, M.Arch.

The School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation offers the Master of Architecture professional degree program for entering graduate students who hold a pre-professional B.A. or B.S. in Architecture degree. Our goals include preparing students to enter the profession of architecture, to prepare for licensure, to provide for a sufficient depth of understanding of the components of architectural practice and to understand the diverse nature and variety of roles for architects in relation to other fields. The program encourages the mastery and skillful integration of environmental, social, historical, artistic, technical, and philosophical concerns into carefully scaled designs that enhance their context.

Students develop design, visual and digital communication skills; knowledge of building techniques; and an understanding of human problems in a variety of local, regional and international contexts. In a world of continuous technological change, these timeless values and skills exist as relevant tools for contemporary life and practice, and as a means toward advancing the cause of a humane and civilized environment for all.

Applying to the Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) Program

Applicants must hold a B.A. or B.S. (*) in Architecture degree program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher from a school of architecture that offers this degree as part of the accredited professional degree program sequence(**). Applicants from other undergraduate programs may be considered for admission, but would be expected if admitted to complete coursework inclusive of coverage of all Student Performance Criteria outlined in the NAAB Conditions of Accreditation. To apply, submit the following:

  1. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  2. Letter of intent (two double-spaced pages maximum) explaining your interest in obtaining the Master of Architecture degree
  3. Two letters of recommendation attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school
  4. Portfolio containing examples of your work (see below)
  5. If your first language is not English, an official report of TOEFL or IELTS results
  6. Completed application form accompanied by the $50 application fee

The portfolio may include exemplary work from Architecture as well as other creative and research work, and in total should convince the review committee that you are capable of producing independently conceived studio work at a high level of achievement. The portfolio should be in a compact format, no larger than 8.5” x 11”, either in a notebook, portfolio binder or a bound document. Portfolios should contain at least four to six representative Architecture studio projects that should demonstrate:

  • developed degree of competence in architectural design
  • ability to organize programmatic content
  • commitment to professionalism in the studio

Placement decisions will be communicated to accepted students as part of the Graduate Admissions Review process, along with a projected outline of studies toward graduation.

Program Requirements


 (*) Placement in the Master of Architecture program’s Architectural Design Studio sequence is subject to review of academic transcripts from the applicants’ B.A. or B.S. degree, and portfolio submittal. Accepted students may expect to complete a minimum of 4 Architectural Design Studios at Roger Williams University, depending on the number of undergraduate Architectural Design Studios completed previously.

(**) Placement in the Master of Architecture program coursework is subject to review of academic transcripts from the applicant’s B.A. or B.S. degree. Accepted students must complete all student performance criteria for the accredited degree as outlined in the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) Conditions of Accreditation. This may include completion of additional coursework that is listed as undergraduate coursework at Roger Williams University.

For specifics, please refer to the B.S. in Architecture/Master of Architecture 4+2 program requirements listed previously.

Required Courses


One Advanced History/Theory Elective, and four Architecture Electives, with three minimum at the graduate level

Graduate Architecture Electives:

Four Required (a minimum of three at the graduate level):

Students are encouraged to look at these electives as a means to explore various concentrations available within the MS in Architecture program. Graduate electives are grouped in the areas of Sustainable Design, Urban Design, Digital Media and Historic Preservation. In addition some Integrative Core MS in Architecture courses are available as Architecture Electives. Students from other pre-professional programs may apply one undergraduate Architecture Elective to this requirement; otherwise all four should be taken at the Graduate level.

Graduate Course Grading, GPA and Graduation Requirements

The minimum passing grade in SAAHP graduate level courses is a B- (2.67). The minimum GPA for Master of Architecture graduates is a 3.0 in 500 and 600 level courses. Students entering Roger Williams University after completing undergraduate studies at other institutions graduate with the Master of Architecture degree.

Registration in Graduate Courses

Students pursuing the Master of Architecture program who are enrolled in graduate courses may also be enrolled in undergraduate courses during the same semester, due to the nature of the continuity between undergraduate and graduate levels of study in many US professional degree programs in architecture. Students are encouraged to complete all undergraduate course requirements as soon as practicable, but not at the expense of interrupting Architecture program curriculum sequences.

Professional Degree Program Accreditation

In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards. Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Roger Williams University offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

M. Arch. (pre-professional degree + 23 undergraduate credits + 38 graduate credits)

Next accreditation visit: 2018