2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Feb 08, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog

Architecture, M. Arch


Lauren Mintier, Graduate Program Manager
225 Slocum Hall
ph. (315) 443-1041


Julie Larsen, 225 Slocum Hall


Amber Bartosh, Jean-François Bédard, Kathleen Brandt, Lawrence Chua, Junho Chun, Roger Hubeli, Bess Krietemeyer, Julie Larsen, Mark Linder, Brian Lonsway, Kirk Narburgh, Hannibal Newsom, Emily Pellicano, Nina Sharifi, Michael Speaks, Fei Wang, Abingo Wu


The Syracuse Architecture MArch is a fully accredited professional degree that aims to produce architects who not only provide leadership and vision in the construction of the physical environment, but collaboratively draw upon and organize diverse professions and multiple technologies to expand the field of architectural design. The integration of research with design is an integral part of the course of study, from the first year of courses in design, theory, history, representation, and technology, to the final semester’s thesis project.

Because the architect’s role in society is complex and changing, students approach the study of architecture as a transdisciplinary enterprise. The program places equal importance on the acquisition of professional skills, knowledge, and expertise, as on the necessity for versatility and innovation in the application of design.

Toward that end, the graduate program has developed the “discursive studio.” Each of the core studio courses is led by faculty members who regularly bring in faculty from across the curriculum with differing expertise and approaches, encouraging the studio as a site of debate, exchange, and possibility. Students actively contribute to the conversations and criticism through their design work. This work is informed by seminars, collaborations, and technical and speculative exercises. Studio work is also coordinated with other core courses in theory, history, media, research, and technology so that design is pursued as inseparable from other aspects of the discipline as well as the complexities of the broader culture.

Studios in design and media, lecture courses and seminars in theory, history, and research; and courses in structures and technology constitute the “core” of the MArch program. In the summer after the first year, students may choose to study at a summer intensive program in New York City or in our “Three Cities” global study program.

The studio sequence moves progressively through a series of discursive frames, from ‘The Material Project of Architecture’ to ‘The Social and Political Project of Architecture’ in the first year for students without prior architectural study, to our ‘Design Futuring’ and ‘Integrative Design’ studios in subsequent years.  Students also have an opportunity for a Visiting Critic studio taught by preeminent designers and architects, as well as their summer studio in either New York or abroad.

The Master’s Thesis builds on all of a student’s coursework, particularly leveraging an array of innovative and future-oriented research practices, building skills in scholarly and applied approaches relevant to an array of disciplinary trajectories, from the academy to the profession.

Complementing these, a rich array of professional and history electives allows students to study specific topics in seminars and lecture courses.

Completion of the degree typically requires three academic years and one summer. Students with four-year baccalaureate degrees in architecture, architectural engineering, or related fields may qualify for advanced standing in the program, which could shorten the program to as little as two to two-and-a-half years (including full-time study in the summer between the first and second year). Determination of qualification for advanced study is made at the time of admission.  Participation in some professional opportunities, including our rich Teaching Assistantship program requires the extension of the program by one additional term.

Degree Awarded

This is a 110 credit program leading to a Master of Architecture degree.

Prerequisites for Admission into the MArch Program

The program is open to students with an undergraduate degree in any field. The program seeks students with a wide range of experiences. The completed application form must be accompanied by an official copy of prior academic transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a portfolio of academic and professional work, and a brief statement of interests and objectives. GRE scores are required. TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for all applicants whose native language is not English.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Develop a holistic understanding of the dynamic between built and natural environments with the goals of mitigating climate change responsibly by leveraging ecological, advanced building performance, adaptation, and resilience principles in their work and advocacy activities

2. Understand the historical and contemporary role of the design process in shaping the built environment and develop the ability to make architectural design decisions that demonstrate the synthesis and thoughtful integration of human, technical, regulatory, and environmental demands and requirements.

3. Understand established and emerging systems, technologies, and regulatory requirements of building construction as well as their underlying principles; develop skills to effectively and creatively integrate them into architectural designs; and assess them against pertinent design and performance objectives and legal requirements.

4. Deepen students’ understanding of diverse human contexts and deepen student commitment to translating this understanding into healthy, safe, inclusive environments at multiple scales.

5. Ensure that students understand the histories and theories of architecture and urbanism from multiple perspectives, framed by diverse social, cultural, economic, and political conditions.

6. Develop skills and knowledge needed for the practice of architecture including its diverse career paths and opportunities, professional ethics, business processes, regulatory requirements, and principles for effective leadership and collaboration.

7. Ensure a positive and respectful environment that encourages optimism, respect, sharing, engagement, and innovation among its faculty, students, administration, and staff.

8. Develop skills to critically and meaningfully understand and engage, through research, design, and other forms of creative inquiry, the role and agency of architectural design for possible, probable, and preferable futures.

Major Requirements

History Electives

Six credits of History Electives are required for graduation.

The following courses are listed in the catalog, but the school also offers a variety of Selected Topics (ARC 500) courses each term.  The descriptions of recent offerings can be found on the School of Architecture website.

Professional Electives

Fifteen credits of professional electives are required for graduation.  The following courses are listed in the catalog, but the school also offers a variety of Selected Topics (ARC 500) courses each term.  The descriptions of recent offerings can be found on the School of Architecture website.

Other Electives

Additional Information

An additional six credits of open elective courses are required and can be taken in schools and colleges other than the School of Architecture with Petition to Faculty. 

Advanced Standing

MArch applicants who have completed or are about to complete an undergraduate degree in a non-professional program in architecture or environmental studies may apply for advanced standing. Advanced standing is determined at the time of admission after a complete review of the applicant’s portfolio by representatives of the faculty.  Students who are admitted with advanced standing will receive credit for ARC 604 , ARC 605 , ARC 621 , ARC 681 , and one credit of ARC 650 , along with 1 history elective, 2 professional electives, and 2 open electives.

All admitted students are eligible to sit for equivalency exams in the areas of Architectural History and Structures.  These are offered during the orientation week prior to the first week of classes.  Students who demonstrate competency on these exams equivalent to our coursework will receive equivalency credits in these subject areas that can be applied to the total number of credits required to graduate.  Students entering with advanced standing who demonstrate this equivalent competency will be able to waive specific courses in these subject areas, but will need to substitute elective credits, as they will still be required to complete 76 credits at Syracuse University to meet the degree requirements.