B.A.-M.ARCH Path versus M.ARCH Path


B.A.-M.Arch Path

BA, Architectural Studies Certificate in Special program Master of Architecture

M.Arch Path

Master of Architecture

Credits 174 180
Years 6 5

Avg. credits/ Semester

12.3 (inc 2 summers) 16.4 (inc 1 summer)

Studios each year

Yes Yes
Credits outside Architecture 51 47

Internship required

Yes Yes
Study abroad required Yes Yes
In-state tuition for Missouri Yes Yes
Other Possible double majors & minors Certificate program required Minors & certificate programs require credits beyond the degree

Architecture students learn the art and science of building design. Upon the completion of KU’s board-accredited Master of Architecture, a post-graduation Intern Development program and exams, one can become a licensed architect.

Students enter architecture at KU as freshmen. They have two paths that can end with completion of a National Architectural Accrediting Board-accredited master’s degree. Each has its own unique characteristics.

The 5-year professional Master of Architecture degree presents the most direct path into the practice of architecture. High school seniors who apply and are admitted to this path enter directly into this intense and demanding studio-based degree program without pre-professional course work in environmental design or graphics. KU is one of several schools in the U.S. that offer a 5-year accredited Master of Architecture degree.

New student enrollment in the Master of Architecture program is limited, and admission is based on the availability of studio space. Sixty-four seats in first-year design studio are normally available each year. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their academic records (grades, classes, high school class rank, and ACT scores) as well as their interests, talents and experiences.

Applicants who are admitted into the five-year program, whether applying as high-school seniors or transfer students, must have an outstanding academic record, talent in drawing and design, and a demonstrated ability to handle a challenging course of study.

The other path to the professional M.Arch. involves a more traditional approach in which the admitted student completes the degree path over six years instead of five, and earns two degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture.

The student carries workloads during the first three years that are not as concentrated, and has room in the class schedule to complete a required undergraduate certificate program at KU as well as potential minors in other fields.

Perhaps the biggest issue students in the five-year, 180-credit path face is that they will have few opportunities to take classes in other fields. The workload is such that they sometimes find it difficult to maintain outside interests and to take advantage of the many cultural and educational activities and programs that are normally a part of university life. Similarly, students who must work while in school or who have family obligations can be stretched by the intense demands of the five-year program.

The B.A.-M.Arch. path offers an alternative to these issues without sacrificing the desired professional outcome. Moreover, the B.A.-M.Arch. requires course work in such areas as leadership, communications, and problem solving that are not formally addressed with specific courses in the five-year path.

Admission to the B.A.-M.Arch. path is also competitive. The same objective criteria that are examined for admission to the five-year path (grades, classes, rank, and ACT scores) are evaluated for admission to the B.A.-M.Arch.

Students who are interested in obtaining a professional M.Arch. at the University of Kansas should apply for admission to the M.Arch. and their path of study will be determined as part of the admission decision.

NOTE: Students admitted to the B.A. Architectural Studies degree prior to 2014 must follow the 4-year, 124-credit curriculum in place at the time of their admission. See the KU Catalog.

- from the National Architectural Accrediting Board 
In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional 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 two types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture and the Master of Architecture. A program may be granted a five-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on its degree of conformance with established educational standards. 

Masters degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree, which, when earned sequentially, comprise an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.”

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