Department of Architecture
Master of Architecture
The NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture program is based firmly upon the complementary foundations of general and architectural education. We emphasize mastery of the knowledge, skills and understandings essential to the artful creation of buildings, spaces and places. The faculty seeks to assure that our students receive extensive exposure to social, political, economic and technological perspectives that will aid them in functioning as effective leaders in a rapidly changing global context.
In emphasizing the architect’s role as a designer of environments that responsibly address individual and societal needs, the professional Master of Architecture curriculum includes a sequence of design studios providing holistic examination of environmental design issues. Courses in history, theory, human behavior, construction, structural and environmental systems, planning, programming, and professional practice compliment students’ work in the carefully orchestrated series of design studios.
The Master of Architecture degree has two entry points. Students with little or no college experience should apply for the five year plus Non-Baccalaureate Master of Architecture. Students who currently have a Bachelor’s Degree, regardless of field of study, should apply for the Post-Baccalaureate Master of Architecture program. The Post-Baccalaureate program requires a minimum of three years of study, including a required summer studio.
Special Activities and Programs
Short, carefully structured visits to cities in Kansas and nearby states during the first year of study introduce students to techniques of urban and architectural analysis and extend the range of their experience. Longer trips are taken in subsequent years. Second year students travel to Dallas; third year students travel to major cities such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle. Led by faculty, students visit leading architectural firms, contemporary and historical buildings of importance, and examine critical urban design features. Design studio projects are often located in the city visited, so the trips are also site visits, which provide opportunities for detailed urban analysis.
Fourth-year students have access to extended elective field study opportunities, including the 30-week Architectural Internship program and semester-long study abroad programs in Italy, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany or other countries. Architectural internship and study abroad students return with renewed purpose and fresh insights to share with fellow students and faculty during their final year in the Master of Architecture program.
Fifth year students have the option of international travel based on the focus of their studio projects. The College also offers a year-long fifth year urban design studio at the Kansas City Design Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
The professional Master of Architecture degree offers access to a broad array of career opportunities within the profession. The largest number of our graduates find employment with firms in private professional practice, providing a full range of services for clients in the planning, design and administration of construction projects. Most architectural practices work with a diverse array of clients, but an increasing number choose to focus their services on such fields as housing, health care, education, criminal justice, other building types, or adaptive use and preservation. Although some architects, especially those in very small firms, maintain responsibility for every aspect of professional practice, after a number of years most architects specialize in one or more areas of responsibility, for example, becoming project managers, designers, computing coordinators, or marketing experts.
In addition to private practice, some architects are directly involved in real estate development and construction. Facilities design and management for public and private agencies, corporations, and institutions is another opportunity that attracts many architects. Local, state and federal government offices also employ architects to plan and coordinate work with private design and planning firms. As our society grows more complex, new design challenges emerge which open additional career options for architects.
Some graduates continue their formal education opting for careers in research and teaching. Others enter allied fields such as landscape architecture, planning, engineering, development, construction and graphic or production design. Theater, film, television and gaming attract architecture graduates, as do museums, display firms and architectural product and materials manufacturers.