M Arch Questions


I’m applying to m arch programs for fall 2023. I’ll have a bs in architectural studies from the University of Missouri. I feel like I’m going in kinda blindly and I have a lot of questions. 

  1. What are m arch programs with high acceptance rates? 
  2. What programs will practically take anyone with a pulse?
  3. What schools are theory and research vs practice based? I know you can tell by the courses and descriptions and everything, but tried looking at them and I still couldn’t tell.
  4. How easy is it to get into a dual degree program?
  5. Ideally I’d like to get into a 2 year program, but after talking to some other people, it turns out no one graduating from my school gets into the 2 year programs, only the 3 year programs. So how do they decide if you get into the 2 year program vs the 3? Do you just submit an application and the school decides what program you’d be best for? I always thought you applied for the specific one you wanted, but now I’m not sure. I’ve looked on many different school’s websites and it’s not making it any easier for me. And I do know that some schools say you have to graduate from an accredited undergrad program in order to be admitted to the 2 year program. 
  6. How do I look into schools? Should I be visiting these schools and taking tours and meeting with faculty? Do I approach looking at schools like you do for undergrad? 
  7. I have a low gpa (under a 3.0 but above a 2.5). How hard will it be for me to get into a program? Do I have a chance? I know portfolios are looked at the most, but I have no idea how strong it will be.

Thank you!!!

Jul 21, 22 6:49 pm
Non Sequitur

If academics and research are not your strong suits, why do you feel you need to go for a master's degree?  This shit ain't easy and it ain't cheap.

Jul 21, 22 6:56 pm  · 

The questions are all good, they just need to be asked to the right people. I suggest emailing directly to admissions, they are paid to answer your questions.

Jul 21, 22 7:51 pm  · 

Yeah, you're probably going to want to continue your research a bit more. Your questions imply a lack of baseline research into your chosen degree pathway.

That's ok, but perhaps a little surprising to some of us if you've graduated with a bs in architectural studies. I'd recommend diving into resources like those from the ACSA, NAAB, NCARB, and others. Here's a website put together by ACSA you might start with:

On your question of 2-year vs. 3-year programs ... I'm pretty sure it depends on your degree, courses, and NAAB criteria for accreditation. Most of the 2-year programs are shorter because the students getting into them have degrees and coursework that gets them further ahead on the NAAB criteria. Your bs arch studies degree probably doesn't get you as far and why no one graduating from your school gets into the 2-year programs. 

My M.Arch program was the same process for everyone to get admitted, but I think all the students getting into it from another school were put on a 3-year path. Only the students coming in from the undergrad program at that same school (i.e. the 4+2 pathway) were put into the 2-year M.Arch path. The school could do this because they controlled the coursework in the 4 years before you were admitted into the 2-year program and ensure that in the 6 years you'd cover the NAAB criteria and they could award you the degree. Students getting in from other schools with various degrees could attempt to get recognition for criteria/credits for required courses to shortcut the extra year a bit, but it was always hit or miss. There is little incentive for the school to work with you to figure it out and get you through faster. 

Jul 21, 22 8:25 pm  · 

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