Overview: MA/PhD in Architecture 

The Department of Architecture in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning of the University of Kansas offers two academic graduate degree programs – MA and Ph.D. in Architecture.

The MA program of the Department is designed for matured students who already have an undergraduate degree in Architecture or a related discipline, and want to get in-depth knowledge in one or more areas of architectural research. For an MA degree, students are expected to complete a minimum of 36-credit hours including: 12 hours of core course work; 12 hours in a major area of study; 6 hours of guided study leading to a comprehensive exam; and 6 hours of thesis or project. Students are expected to complete the degree within two years.  

In contrast, the Ph.D. program is designed to provide students:

  • an advanced understanding within a recognized knowledge category of architecture;
  • a concentration of specialized and advanced coursework that will create a context for robust inquiry; and
  • the skills, attitude, and support necessary to conduct original research that advances and contributes to the body of knowledge within a defined area of specialization.

For a Ph.D. degree, students are required to take a minimum of 49 credit hours including: 19 hours of core coursework; 12 hours in a major area of study; 9 hours in a minor area; and a minimum of 9 hours of dissertation.  After completing coursework, students need to receive approval of a dissertation proposal, pass a Comprehensive Oral Exam, complete the dissertation, and pass the Final Dissertation Oral Exam in order to receive the degree.

All of our Ph.D. students are admitted as MA students, and get their MA degrees after finishing their Comprehensive Oral Exams en route to PhD. However, students enrolled in our MA program cannot directly continue to our Ph.D. program. They must seek admission to the Ph.D. Program before graduating with an MA degree to avoid losing any credit hours.


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