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Master of Science in Architecture

The Master of Science in Architecture at Texas A&M University is an advanced, multidisciplinary degree program designed to provide highly qualified students and professionals in Architecture and allied disciplines with a training of academic foundation in theoretical/practical concepts and research methods in Architecture.

Our program provides an opportunity to examine the past, be equipped for the present, and prepared for future challenges in architecture. We will challenge you to think creatively and critically as you address design problems on various scales.

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About the Program

The Master of Science in Architecture is a research-focused, non-professional degree tailored for practicing architects who wish to refresh, update, or upgrade their research skills and for students who wish to explore architecture as a scholarly enterprise. In this program, students choose a non-thesis or thesis option while pursuing required foundational courses and allied supporting courses.

The MS in Architecture degree is designed for those seeking advanced knowledge in preparation for architectural research, specialized practice, and/or consulting careers. The degree may also serve as a pathway toward a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Architecture. Many MS graduates apply to the PhD in Architecture. The program culminates in either a non-thesis option with skills to innovate architectural research or design products/processes or a required final thesis on topics related to faculty expertise, departmental emphasis areas, and research centers within the college.

Areas of Emphasis

● Design for Health

● Building Energy Systems

● Building Energy Simulation

● Solar Energy

● Energy Efficiency

● Lighting

● Sustainability – Energy

● Architectural History and Theory

● Heritage Conservation

● Design

● Architectural Education

● Advanced Visual Communications

● Building Construction and Assemblies

● Interior Architecture

● Product Design

● Sustainability – Circular Economy

● Building Information Modeling/Simulation

● Design Computation

● Digital Fabrication and Robotics

● Artificial Intelligence


The Master of Science in Architecture at Texas A&M University prepares students to conduct scholarly research and to synthesize novel approaches to existing bodies of knowledge. The multidisciplinary nature of the program enables students to emphasize research, design thinking, and specialized skills that provide our graduates with a wide range of career options. Graduates of our MS in Architecture program distinguished themselves as architectural researchers, heritage conservationists, Building Information Modeling (BIM) specialists, university professors (after obtaining a PhD), specialized practitioners, and consultants.


The M.S. requires a minimum of 32 credit hours (thesis option) or 36 credit hours (non-thesis option). To maintain the full-time student status, a student must take at least nine credit hours during the fall and spring semesters.

Example Curriculum 32–36 credit hours

Semester 1 — Fall

ARCH 681 Graduate Seminar 3 credit hours
ARCH 690 Research Ideologies for Architecture 3 credit hours
Varies Elective Course 3 credit hours

Semester 2 — Spring

ARCH 669 Foundations of Research 3 credit hours
CARC 689 Writing for Publications 3 credit hours
Varies Elective Course 3 credit hours

Semester 3 — Fall

ARCH 600 Level Architectural History 3 credit hours
ARCH 600 Level Architectural Theory 3 credit hours
Varies Elective Course 3 credit hours
Proposal Defense if Thesis Option
After taking ARCH 690, ARCH 681, ARCH 669, and ARCH 698; having taken 18 hours; and committee and degree plan approval.

Semester 4 — Spring

Varies Elective Courses 5–9 credit hours
Thesis Defense, Revision and Filing (Thesis Option)
Final Exam (Non-Thesis Option)

Elective Courses Specific to Your Area of Research

Elective courses include courses to support research inquiry and/or courses to support research interpretation; both to be determined by committee chair/mentor.

The graduate catalog connects to an extensive listing of graduate courses with ARCH designations addressing a wide range of topics in the built environment.

Representative M.S. in Architecture Thesis Abstracts


We encourage our M.S. students to develop an area of specialization. Through our pattern study courses, students can structure their program of study to include:

Advisory Committee

You’ll be assigned a temporary academic advisor upon admission to the program. The advisor will help choose your first-year courses. You will be responsible for selecting a faculty member to chair your advisory committee who has expertise in your chosen focus area. You and your committee chair will locate two or more graduate faculty members (at least one member outside the architecture faculty) to join your committee. Once your committee is in place, they will guide and assist with graduate degree planning, research methods, and thesis work.

FAQ about the M.S. program

What’s the difference between the Master of Architecture and M.S. in Architecture programs?

The Master of Architecture is an accredited degree that fulfills the educational component of professional licensure as an architect. The M.S. degree enhances your design and research skills and can lead to pursuing a Ph.D.

Do you offer the program online?

No, our masters programs are offered face-to-face only.

How long will this program take to complete?

This program requires 32 credit hours and is typically completed in less than two years. You must enroll in at least nine hours a semester to be considered a full-time student.

Who will be part of my advisory committee?

Your advisory committee is composed of a chair and at least two additional graduate faculty members. The chair and one of the members must be architecture faculty. The third member must be from outside the architecture faculty. Committee chairs assist in finding graduate faculty members to join the committee.

How to Apply

Admission to our M.S. program is offered to students with a bachelor’s degree and an interest in architectural research. Applicants are selected based on their chosen area of research and the availability of qualified faculty who specialize in the applicant’s area of interest.

Learn more about the M.S. admissions requirements

What do we look for in an applicant?

We look for applicants that are passionate and curious about architectural research, and committed to advancing knowledge in the built environment, humanity or technology.

Can you start the M.S. program in the spring?

No, successful applicants will only be admitted in the fall semester. The M.S. in Architecture does not accept admission for spring or summer.

How does the admission process work?

Submit your application at Texas A&M GradCas along with a non-refundable application fee.

Your application should include the following:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended
  • 3 letters of recommendation (academic references preferred)
  • one-to-two page statement of purpose essay
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

Read more about the Master of Science application requirements

Are there specific requirements for international students?

International students should follow the university application process for international students, including passing an English proficiency test.

We also require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores of at least 146 in Verbal and 295+ combined (V+Q) score.

What are the admissions deadlines?

Program admission deadline: Applications must be submitted in full by December 15.

Financial assistance deadline: Applicants should submit financial assistance application materials to the university and department by January 15.

What kinds of financial aid does the program offer?

Though a number of teaching and research assistantships, as well as competitive, merit-based scholarships and fellowships, may be available for Master of Science students, no guaranteed funding is provided. All students entering the M.S. program should plan to be fully self-supporting through personal funds and/or student loans. International students must provide verification of financial status.

International students must meet English language proficiency requirements to be eligible for a graduate teaching position.

Who can I go to for questions?

Inquiries regarding the Master of Science in Architecture English language certification, application requirements and admission details related to the M.S. in Architecture program should be directed to or 979.458.3042.

Inquiries regarding coursework, graduate faculty, and research focus for the M.S. in Architecture should be directed to Monica Garner, Senior Administrative Coordinator I, at and Dr. Wei Yan, Director of Research Programs, at


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