Introduction: PhD in Architecture

Introduction: PhD in Architecture 

The Ph.D. in Architecture focuses primarily on expanding knowledge and research capacity, educating researchers capable of establishing the foundations of a research discipline in architecture.  It is an advanced degree preparing students for careers in research, scholarship, public service, and teaching.  The rigor of study required for the Ph.D. degree extends the discipline of advanced research and design beyond the Master degree and is oriented toward applications in the profession and toward academic advancement. Work done in the Ph.D. program contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the knowledge base needed in architectural scholarship and practice.

To realize this goal, the faculty of the Department of Architecture has made a commitment to create, along with doctoral students, a climate in which scholarship and creativity can flourish.  Underlying the advanced study of architecture at KU is an ethic regarding architectural inquiry and architectural practice; one that sustains the question: “what ought we do as architects and researchers to enhance the quality of life on this planet?” 

We accept that our research is founded upon an ethical position, accepting we are not involved in research to simply generate knowledge for knowledge sake, but rather to improve the human condition through more thoughtful built form.  The overall focus is on developing understanding that may inform the critical delivery processes by which humane architecture is created.

Our program is designed to prepare graduates to function in academic, research, and/or practice settings; to conduct scholarly endeavors in architecture and related disciplines; to generate and expand the theoretical, empirical and philosophical bases for architectural practice; and to provide leadership to the profession and to society.  Each student will apply the appropriate philosophical, technical and/or synthetic focus to their study and will develop critical content to their research contributing in innovative and original ways. While some of the academic work will be theoretical in nature, the program will emphasize application within the context of the built and natural environments as well as a specific major area.

Among the strengths of our PhD program are:

  • (1) a lean operational model;
  • (2) diversity of students;
  • (3) diversity of faculty expertise;
  • (4) flexibility of curriculum; and
  • (5) different forms of financial support available for our students.