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Department of Architecture

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Design Theory Emphasis

The graduate emphasis in Design Theory enables the student to study specific issues in architectural and urban theory and history. The studies are not based on a rigidly defined set of theoretical courses. In general, studies consist of the development of a theoretical framework, through selected courses and readings, which are subsequently used in the analysis and examination of a particular architectural or urban phenomenon. The inquiry may range from the poetic and speculative to the applicative and pragmatic. Analytical methods may encompass a wide range of potential techniques from critical literature review to in-depth building design.

Required coursework
Non-Thesis Option
ARCH 715Topics in Architecture Seminar3
ARCH 725Research Methods/Architecture3
ARCH 830Advanced Architectural Studies5-8
Departmental electives 10-13
Other electives 6
Total Credits 30
Thesis Option
ARCH 715Topics in Architecture Seminar3
ARCH 725Research Methods/Architecture3
ARCH 899Thesis8
Departmental electives 9
Other electives 7
Total Credits 30

All MS Arch students will be required to take a class that provides them with the tools to facilitate in-depth academic research. This class, Research Methods in Architecture, also includes graduate students in Landscape Architecture and Regional and Community Planning. Other coursework will be determined by the selected area of emphasis and individual programs of study.

Recommended Electives

Students consult with their advisors to select courses that match their educational and research objectives. Appropriate graduate-level history and theory courses will be identified each semester from among current course offerings. Normally, at least one three -hour course on an aspect of contemporary architecture is taken by students in the design theory option. It is recommended that international students take one or more courses concerned with American architecture and urbanism.

The Design Theory emphasis requires nine of the sixteen elective credits be taken within the discipline; six or seven may be taken outside the Department of Architecture. Outside electives should be related to the student’s overall program of study, to reinforce or complement other courses and their thesis topic or non-thesis focus.

ARCH 601Topics in History of Designed Environment3
ARCH 710Topics in Design Methods3
ARCH 715Topics in Architecture3
ARCH 830Advanced Architectural Studiesvariable
PLAN 710Planning Analysis3
PLAN 715Planning Principles3
PLAN 745Urban Design Seminar3
PLAN 815Preservation Planning3