MArch/ SMarchS choice



This year I am going to apply for a graduate program in US. I have my list of preferred universities and most of them have 2 choices for advanced studies in architecture: professional and post-professional  (MArch/SMArchS at MIT; MArch or MSAAD at Columbia, ect.).

I've talked to 2 MIT graduates. One said to me that with my background (6 years in an architectural school) SMarchS would be appropriate. The other one said that students who attend SMarchS or analogous programs are aiming for academic or curatorial career rather than for actual architectural practice. I've read all information provided by schools but I am still unsure about which program to choose.

I am from Russia and have a Specialist of Architecture degree (4 years of bachelor studies in architecture + 2 years for specialist diploma). My degree usually equates with bachelor in Europe and US. I am interested in architectural design and had a year of practice at an architectural office.

I would very much appreciate any suggestions and stories about your choices.

Aug 13, 14 12:22 pm

I will post here some of my research results in case somebody will be interested in the issue.

  1. Master of Science degree won't let you get licensed in the US - one cannot run his own office without a MArch degree. (Not sure about lower positions in architectural firms.)
  2. Master of Science in Architecture program is research-based, rather than studio-based. You can focus on a specific topic that interests you.
  3. MSarchS program is significantly shorter than MArch II program which means that one have to spend less money on it.
  4. Students of SMarchS or analogous programs are sometimes looked upon by MArch students at schools, though that's not a rule. (Reference -
  5. Master of Science degree is sometimes said to be more appropriate for an academic or curatorial career than for actual practice.
  6. MIT SMAchS and  MEBD program at UPenn are supposed to be strong, while MDeS in Harvard GSD is said to be weak. (Reference -
  7. Some people say that applying for MArch II degree lacks sense for the applicants with BArch degree - you will basically reinforce skills and knowledge that you already have, so attending Master of Science program lets you to learn more new things.

So far that's all I've learned. I think that I'll focus on MArch II programs, but I will still appreciate any suggestions.

Aug 16, 14 11:20 am

How is your time there then?

Nov 8, 14 5:16 am

Hello, I am in the same situation as you now. Can you please tell me what you have decided?

Oct 20, 19 12:13 pm

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