Michigan MS/2 year MArch dilemma, help needed!


So I'm an international applicant holding a five year accredited B.Arch. degree from outside the United States. I'm applying to the post-professional concentration (usually MArch II) for fall 2014.

Michigan is one of my options, and they offer both an MS Arch. (for B.Arch. grads) and a 2 year M.Arch. track (For BS Arch. grads). Their 2 year M.Arch. track fits in far better with my interests and future plans and all along I was planning on applying to that, but a couple of weeks before the deadline I'm having somewhat of a panic attack and unsure whether B.Arch. grads can even apply to this concentration (equivalent of an M.Arch. AP at other schools, I suppose). 

Will I be restricted to applying for the 2.5 semester MS degree? Or can I go ahead and complete my application to the M. Arch. 2 year track? The MS is offered through the Rackham School, not Taubman, and comprises of four specializations, none of which are really in tune with my research/study concerns. On the other hand, I quite love the work they're doing in the M.Arch. concentrations(among other factors) and I really feel like I'd be a good fit there. 

What do you guys think? As a B.Arch. grad, is applying to the equivalent of a first-prof AP degree allowed/does it make sense? Is it looked down upon, will it in any way hamper my chances?

Dec 30, 13 1:29 am

AppleGK, I think you would need to take the MArch 2 year at a min.  The "BArch" they assume is a professional US qualification - NAAB accredited programme.  NAAB BArch Students can sit for the exam without further degree.  Your International BArch would then be equivalent to a US BA or BS - non professional degree.  You should apply to the MArch 2 year track.

Dec 30, 13 10:31 am

My international degree is a valid admission criteria for all post-professional programs; however, opting for a non NAAB accredited one will rule out licensure (as you rightly mentioned), which is not my highest priority. Assuming that factor to be out of the picture, what do you suggest would be a better option? I'm quite keen on applying to the MArch but I'm not sure whether they would rather encourage those of us with a five year undergrad to go for the MS instead. 

Dec 30, 13 1:59 pm

I have an M.Arch II from michigan.
Even if you have a B.Arch from the US you can be accepted to the M.Arch II. It's a professional degree, but they do not discriminate against those who have previous Professional B.Archs. Of course your degree is not accredited, so even if they did it would be fine.

Dec 30, 13 3:03 pm

Thank you :) I've sent them a mail just to confirm, but this helps a lot!

Dec 31, 13 12:21 am


An "M.Arch II" is generally understood to mean a "post-professional," non-NAAB-accredited advanced degree for those who already hold a "first-professional" degree (a B.Arch or an M.Arch), and it is not offered at Michigan.

If you have an M.Arch from Michigan, it's not an M.Arch II as that term is commonly understood.

Dec 31, 13 2:06 am

It depends on what you want to do:
If you want to teach in college, then forget about Master Degrees, and just go for a Ph.D. directly.
If you want to get an architect's license and practice in the US, check out the board requirements for the state that you want to practice in, and pick the program that will help you get the license.
The sooner you decide, the better for you.

Dec 31, 13 2:33 am


yes and no. Good catch though.

I have what was called a MArch 2G there, or just a Two-Year MArch. Which is meant for those with previous degrees in architecture. It is a professional degree that can be done on top of a BArch, or BSArch, or even in rare cases a BAArch. They have a 3G, or three-year MArch, for people with non-arch degrees, or who lack the qualifying credentials for the 2G.

However, the titles for these degrees are arbitrary and at the discretion of each school. At Harvard and Yale an "MArch II" is a post professional degree, at SCI-Arc and Cincinnati the "MArch 2" is a professional degree on par with the 2G at michigan.

But you are right, Michigan does not call it that, and I don't typically either. Sorry for any confusion, I was just trying to draw the parallel because the inconsistency of schools is laughable.


Dec 31, 13 10:35 am

They are at the discretion of each school, but in general (not just at Harvard and Yale), an M.Arch II is a post-professional degree. Schools like Michigan and Cincinnati that use other titles are the exception. 

Dec 31, 13 1:00 pm

Fair. I can only really reference a small number of schools which I am familiar with. Honestly, I think that the obvious logical organization is that "I" be the professional and "II" be the post-professional. They can just have tracks in the professional to differentiate background.

Anyway,  I still maintain that the OP would be qualified to do the two-year program at Michigan.

Dec 31, 13 1:53 pm

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