Due to the demand for a graduate architecture education, architecture schools and programs can be found all over the world along with companies looking to hire individuals with this advanced training. A masters program in architecture is designed to provide you with additional higher-level skills and training in a specialty concentration that you would not receive with a bachelor's program. Many companies recognize these accredited graduate programs and understand that future hires with an advanced degree have a higher level of training and the ability to typically manage a team of professionals.

Graduate Degree Benefits:

  • Learn to solve architecture problems as they occur in the real-world, develop data analysis skills to make sound architecture decisions.
  • Prepare to lead architecture operations with an advanced managerial core and strengthen your skills as a content expert and take your career to the next level.
  • Gain strong technical, ethical and professional skills to excel in an architecture career.
  • Develop the quantitative, technical skills to analyze and forecast architecture variables in your target field.
  • Hone your skills while enhancing your understanding of the global context of architecture.

Career Options with a Graduate in Architecture:

  • Architecture Manager in Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services - $88,660
  • Architecture Manager in Residential Building Construction - $83,410
  • Architecture Manager in Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) - $101,870
  • Architecture Manager in Nonresidential Building Construction - $93,280
  • Architecture Manager in Specialized Design Services - $91,600

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Architecture Managers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes171011.htm (visited March 24, 2022).

Graduate Degree Types for Architecture Concentrations:

  • M.S. in Architecture
  • M.A. in Architecture
  • MBA in Architecture

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:


First, you're going to have to take a set number of credits at minimum each quarter or semester. If you have chosen a major in architecture without any concentrations, you'll likely be able to complete your courses and earn your degree sooner.

Even better, one university will allow you to earn academic credit for several forms of applied education and real-world experience including job-related courses and military training.

This university requires its architecture masters majors to earn at least 36 to 54 semester hours for a graduate. For those students who want to earn an advanced architecture degree, they will need to take at least 36 semester hours to graduate depending on the college program. If you take at least 9 credit hours per semester, you'll earn your graduate program degree in 2 to 3 years; if you take 12 credit hours per semester, you'll graduate in closer to 18 months to 2 1/2 years.

Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.

Architecture is a wide-ranging field with many different specialties. If you have a specific career you are hoping to enter, make sure the school either offers a major in that field or a variety of classes pertaining to your field of interest. You may be able to find employment information for graduating students, which can show you how many students were able to enter the architecture you're looking at upon graduation.

This is a very important question to ask yourself. Your major should play a big part in the schools you are considering. Not every college may offer the major of your choice, so doing your homework is the first step of the selection process.

An architecture master's degree will consist of some really particular training courses to increase your subject knowledge. Generally, a master's degree in architecture looks like your upper division classes on bachelors, but with a graduate degree or advanced degree the courses are more specific and will require additional critical thinking skills. Below is a sample of online master's degree courses so you can see the kind of curriculum that will be typically found. Universities will differ in their specific study's needed and required. Compare colleges very carefully on the courses they will require you to take to gain your master's degree in architecture. Sample courses you may need:

  • Analysis of Contemporary Architecture
  • Introduction to Integrated Design
  • Environmental Technologies in Buildings
  • Ecologies of Construction
  • Design Across Scales, Disciplines and Problem Contexts
  • Geometric Disciplines and Architecture Skills: Reciprocal Methodologies
  • Introduction to Architecture & Environmental Design
  • Theory and Method in the Study of Architecture and Art

About 61% of college students complete their two-year architecture masters degree on time. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center study if the question suggests that money and family income is a large factor in the rate of non-achievement. In-state public college tuition rates have traditionally been the lower range for leading schools. Depending on the college you are choosing, some colleges will have the same cost for in-state or out-of-state students, whereas other colleges may offer lower costs for students that are residents. According to FinAid.org, the average cost of a master's degree for students is between $30,000 and $120,000.

Many students run out of money and take reduced course loads to accommodate increased work and other money-making activities. Low per-semester credit-hour rates means more time required to complete a doctoral degree. Reducing the per semester course load from 12 to 9 or even 6 credit hours can add a year to the time needed to complete a masters program.

Among the reasons cited for the low rate of two-year completions were student decisions in course selection. Many students choose interesting subjects and neglect to grab key courses when available. The failure to take a required course when offered can add a semester to the completion of a major or concentration.

The student experience is a vital piece of information. The graduation rate is often a predictor of the student experience. Factors that can influence late graduation include the availability of required coursework and dropouts for financial reasons. School surveys often have information similar to customer satisfaction information on other businesses. It may be useful to see responses from recent graduates about their experiences. The student survey observations will not predict your experience, but they can lead to productive questions about the school and the master's degree program.

Accreditation is a very important facet of your career since, if the college you attend is accredited by a reputable association, the doctorate degree you earn from that college will have more value and some employers include this information when evaluating you for employment.

The reason why accreditation is so important is that, without it, it's hard to determine what kind of standards the training programs hold and if they are up to date with technology and innovation.

A college gets accredited voluntarily by an association of their choice. The association will interview and inspect the college thoroughly to see if they meet their standards of everything from cleanliness to academics and, if the college passes the inspection, the association puts their stamp on them as an assurance that they meet all their requirements.

Employers today want only the best of the best working for them. Some businesses are even willing to pay for the education of potential candidates. So, when it comes to degrees, most employers look at the accreditor of the school you earned your degree from, since this says a lot about the kind of education you acquired. If an employer is willing to go so far as to pay for a student's education, imagine what kind of salary they will offer to those holding a degree from a highly reputable association.

Depending on your school and if you are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition, a(n) architecture master's degree can cost as little as $30,000 or as much as $300,000. The key difference in the price will depend on whether you attend a public, in-state school, a private school or an Ivy League school. Note that if you attend a public school in another state that you will probably pay twice (or more) of the base tuition. Private schools can be more or less expensive depending on the prestige of the school for architecture or if they are charging additional fees for out-of-state students to attend the college.

If you are going to spend a lot of time and energy to attain a doctoral architecture degree, you will certainly want some job placement assistance as you near graduation. Discuss this with your admissions counselor when you are considering the right program. In fact, you might want to broaden that discussion by asking about how your school handles internships and if co-op programs are available. Experiential learning can help you not only gain the skills needed to land a job, but you can also cultivate a professional network that will help you build the career you deserve.