Graduate program

The NAAB accredited professional Master of Architecture at Portland State University encourages substantive investigation of significant urban situations and prevailing architectural issues pertinent to contemporary human experience. It meets the demands of an accredited first professional degree in architecture as determined by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

Through a series of focused design studios, and courses in humanities, technology and the profession, the program encourages depth in questioning, aptitude in discursive thinking, and versatility in means of representation as each student assimilates the skills, knowledge and dexterity to negotiate the professional demands of comprehensive design while developing a mode of creative inquiry that extends beyond established conventions to possibilities yet to be tested in a critical arena. Student generated questions and polemics will form the inspiration for the final year Design Thesis exploration culminating in a unique thesis proposal fully articulated in drawings, models and text.

We offer two tracks towards the Master of Architecture: the 2-year track for candidates with a pre-professional undergraduate degree in Architecture (74 credits); and the 3-year track for candidates with a Bachelor's degree in any other discipline (134 credits).

Admission requirements

Architecture M.Arch. 2 year

Architecture M. Arch. 3 year

Architecture M.Arch: 3-year track

Degree Requirements

Students will enter the program in the Summer term and must complete 4-quarters of graduate transition courses with a minimum of 60 credits followed by the requirements for the 2-year track, for a total of 134 credits to graduate. The transition program includes the following:


Arch 520Advanced Architectural Graphics and Media


Arch 531Studies in Contemporary Urban Design


Arch 533Contemporary Issues Seminar


Arch 534Topics in Architectural History and Theory


Arch 535Topics in Modernism


Arch 563Building Science Research Topics


Arch 567Advanced Architectural Structures


Arch 568Architectural Technology I


Arch 569Architectural Technology II


Arch 570Architectural Design Transition Studio I


Arch 571Architectural Design Transition Studio II


Arch 572Architectural Design Transition Studio III


Arch 583Architectural Design Studio X


Total Credit Hours: 60

The Master of Architecture program is designed for students intending to become licensed architects and has full professional accreditation with the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Portland State University, School of Architecture offers the following NAAB accredited degree program in architecture: M.Arch (pre-professional degree + 74 graduate credits). Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2015.

The School of Architecture reserves the right to retain for archival or exhibition purposes any student work executed as part of a School of Architecture instructional program. In addition, the School reserves the right to document, reproduce, and publish images of any such student work in PSU publications, printed or electronic, for the purposes of research, publicity, and outreach, giving publication credit to the student.

Owning a laptop computer system will provide critical advantages in your progress through the Architecture program, especially the ability to work in any of our classrooms and studios. Therefore, all students studying Architecture are required to own a laptop computer that meets minimum system specifications published by the School, including software required for courses in our program. Contact the School office for complete information on our Student Laptop Purchase Program.

Grades of C+ or lower will not count towards meeting Master of Architecture degree requirements. Students are strongly advised to become familiar with the standards for academic accomplishment described in detail in the Graduate Studies section of this bulletin.