Architecture

The NAAB-accredited M.Arch program at RWU provides a rigorous professional training in design, history, planning, and technology while helping students develop critical strategic thinking and communication skills to tackle a range of issues from sustainability and urbanism to historic preservation. Students learn from Practicing Firms in Residence, earn valuable experience in guaranteed paid internships and assistantships, and even have the opportunity to study abroad.

    Format

    On campus (Bristol)

    Schedule

    Day and evening coursework

    Credits Required

    59-61

    Students without a pre-professional degree will have additional requirements.

    Time Commitment

    1.5 to 3.5 years

    Cost

    2022-2023
    $20,904/semester

    Fees

    2022-2023
    $475/semester

    Ways to Save

    Scholarships above 3.0 GPA

    Guaranteed paid assistantship or internship for all students

    Apply By

    January 15 (Priority Deadline I)

    March 1 (Priority Deadline II)

    May 1 (Final Deadline)

    Master of Architecture Program

    Program Brochure

    Video: RWU Cummings School of Architecture Overview

    Video: RWU Cummings School of Architecture Virtual Info Session (12-2-21)

    The Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program prepares students to enter and advance both the discipline and the profession of architecture. Students achieve a depth of understanding of the components of architectural practice and of the diverse nature and variety of roles for architects in relation to other fields. The program encourages the mastery and skillful integration of environmental, social, historical, artistic, technical and philosophical concerns into carefully developed designs that enhance their context through the region, the site, spaces, and detail. Our students and faculty embrace the opportunity to express human values through the design of the built environment. 

    Key Features

    • Career Investment Program - Available to all M.Arch students, the Career Investment Program provides a paid internship or assistantship each year you are in the program.
    • Teaching Firms in ResidenceGraduate architectural design studios are taught by a group of lead architects from a top firm each semester.
    • Study Abroad OpportunitiesTake advantage of an opportunity to study abroad in top destinations like Barcelona and Beijing as a graduate student all without losing time toward your degree.
    • Women's Leadership NetworkRWU is committed to furthering the work of women in the architecture field with this innovative network that provides mentoring, guest lectures, and more.
    • Samsung Design Studio and rCloud - Studio space with individual Samsung flat-panel monitors for all students and access to more than 100 software packages in a state-of-the-art virtual environment called rCloud complement a rich architecture curriculum at RWU.

    Architecture Pathways

    We offer three distinct pathways to the Master of Architecture program. Students in each path develop individualized degree plans to maximize their skills, interests and time to completion, including summer study options.

    Path 1

    Path One provides a continuous sequence from undergraduate to graduate study leading to the Master of Architecture professional degree, for students who have completed Roger Williams University's B.S. in Architecture program. Path One students normally complete this 181-credit sequence in 5-1/2 to 6 years from the beginning of their undergraduate studies.

    Path 2

    Path Two provides advanced entry to the Master of Architecture professional degree for students from other universities who have completed a four-year undergraduate degree in Architecture. Individualized placement occurs following an evaluation of the student's undergraduate transcript and portfolio for completion of NAAB Student Performance Criteria. Path Two students normally complete a 56-credit, full time sequence over four semesters of study. For degree requirements and elective offerings, refer to Path 3.

    Path 3

    Path Three provides entry to the Master of Architecture professional degree for students who have completed a four-year undergraduate degree in fields other than architecture. Students normally finish this 91-credit full-time program in three years and one summer. Some additional prerequisites in math, physics, and drawing may also be required.

    Accreditation

    The Master of Architecture program is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Read more about the accreditation.

    In the News: September 14, 2018: RWU's Master of Architecture Program Reaccredited with Distinction 

    Roger Williams University offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:
    M. Arch. (pre-professional degree + 38 graduate credits)
    Next accreditation visit: 2026

    STEM Designation

    The Master of Architecture (M.Arch) program at Roger Williams University is a STEM-designated program in Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology eligible under the CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) Code 04.0902. The STEM designation allows F-1 international students who graduate from the RWU M.Arch the ability to apply for a 24-month extension of post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment authorization in the United States, up to 36 months in total. Architecture was officially recognized as a STEM subject by the U.S. Congress as part of the 2018 reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.

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    Degree Requirements

    Foundation

    ARCH101Foundations of Architecture 
    ARCH121History of Art and Architecture I 
    ARCH122History of Art and Architecture II 
    VARTS101Foundations of Drawing 

    Design
    The design studio sequence consists of core studios, advanced undergraduate studios, comprehensive design studio, graduate studios, and a final graduate thesis design studio. The Core consists of five sequential semesters addressing fundamental architectural design issues, and graphic skills. This is followed by one semester of advanced architectural design studio and one advanced topical studio in urban issues. At the graduate level, students undertake comprehensive design studio, and two additional graduate topical studios, before exploring a thesis topic of their own choosing for the final semester of the professional degree program.

    ARCH113Architectural Design Core Studio I 
    ARCH114Architectural Design Core Studio II 
    ARCH213Architectural Design Core Studio III 
    ARCH214Architectural Design Core Studio IV 
    ARCH313Architectural Design Core Studio V 
    ARCH413Advanced Architectural Design Studio 
    ARCH416Advanced Topical Design Studio: Urban 
    ARCH513Comprehensive Project Design Studio 
    ARCH515Graduate Architectural Design Studio (two studios) 
    ARCH613Graduate Thesis Design Studio 

    History/Theory
    The History/Theory sequence is a three-part structure of required introductory and intermediate courses, and advanced elective options. Students complete a two-course introductory survey of Art and Architectural History, followed by a History of Modern Architecture and Theory of Architecture requirements, one intermediate course in the History of Architecture chosen from a broad menu of options, and one advanced elective option. 

    AAH121-122History ofArt and Architecture I-II 
    ARCH325History of Modern Architecture 
    ARCH322Theory of Architecture 

    and ONE Intermediate History/Theory Elective:

     

     

    ARCH324Evolution of Urban Form 
    ARCH327History of American Architecture 
    ARCH328Renaissance Architecture in Perspective 
    ARCH329History of Landscape Architecture 
    AAH313Arts and Architecture of Africa 
    AAH321Arts and Architecture in the Classical World 
    AAH322Arts and Architecture in the Medieval World 
    AAH323Arts and Architecture in the Islamic World 
    AAH330Topics in Art and Architectural History 
    HP341Pre-Industrial America 
    HP342Industrial America 
    HP351History and Philosophy of Historic Preservation 

     

     

    and ONE Advanced History/Theory Elective:

    ARCH478Dutch Architecture: The Enduring 20th Century Legacy 
    ARCH530Special Topics in Architecture 
    AAH530Special Topics (selected topics) 
    AAH560The Newport Seminar 
    ARCH573Modernism in the Non-Western World: A Comparative Perspective 
    ARCH575Contemporary Asian Architecture and Urbanism 
    ARCH576Theoretical Origins of Modernism 
    ARCH577The American Skyscraper 
    HP351History and Philosophy of Historic Preservation 
    HP391Architecture and Historic Preservation Abroad 
    HP530Special Topics in Historic Preservation 

    Environment and Human Behavior
    Environment and Human Behavior coursework develops student's skills and understanding relative to environment, social aspects and research methodology.

    ARCH321Site and Environment 
    ARCH522Environmental Design Research 

    Technical Systems
    The Technical Systems sequence gives students an essential understanding of the practical and theoretical interrelationship between the structural, environmental and enclosure systems of a building, and introduces them to various building materials, assemblies and services. Students complete seven required courses, including a three course structures sequence and two courses each in Construction Materials and Assemblies and in Environmental Systems.

    ARCH335Structure, Form, and Order 
    ARCH434Design of Structures I 
    ARCH435Design of Structures II 
    ARCH231-331Construction Materials and Assemblies I and II 
    ARCH332Acoustics and Lighting 
    ARCH333Building Systems: Electrical for Buildings 

    Practice and Professional Development
    Practice and Professional Development coursework develops students' communication skills and understanding of the role of architects within society and in relation to the various participants in the building process. This sequence culminates with the Graduate Thesis Seminar, where students are asked to formulate an independent architectural investigation that engages a set of issues that further their understanding of Architecture as a cultural medium and as a profession. 

    VARTS101Foundations of Drawing 
    ARCH101Foundations of Architecture 
    ARCH287Computer Applications in Design 
    ARCH488Computer Applications for Professional Practice 
    ARCH542Professional Practice 
    ARCH641Graduate Thesis Research Seminar 

    Architecture Electives Requirement
    In addition to the elective options outlined above in History/Theory, the completion of four Architecture Electives is required for graduation, with a minimum of three at the Graduate Level (500 level or above). 

    Mathematics Requirement
    Math 136 Precalculus or MATH 213 Calculus I and Lab are required for all Architecture majors, and are a prerequisite for required courses in the structures sequence. Successful completion of one of these courses also fulfills the University's Core requirement in mathematics. Students are encouraged to complete the highest level of mathematics that they place into, in recognition of the fact some Roger Williams University minors and graduate study options at other universities may require calculus. Students seeking to complete a Minor in Structural Engineering must complete MATH 213 Calculus I and Lab.

    Science Requirement
    Architecture majors are required to complete PHYS 109-Physics I-Algebra Based and Lab or PHYS 201-Physics I-Calculus Based and Lab or ENGR 210, and either CORE 101 Science or BIO 104-Biology II or NATSC 103-Earth Systems Science and Lab. Both BIO 104 and NATSC 103 count toward the Core Concentration and Minor in Sustainability Studies.

    Degree Requirements

    Design

    ARCH511Graduate Core Studio I - summer 
    ARCH512Graduate Core Studio II 
    ARCH413Advanced Architectural Design Studio 
    ARCH515Graduate Architectural Design Studio I 
    ARCH515Graduate Architectural Design Studio II 
    ARCH513Comprehensive Project Design Studio 
    ARCH613Graduate Thesis Design Studio 

    History/Theory

    ARCH501Elements and Principles of Architecture 
    ARCH325History of Modern Architecture - summer 
    ARCH322Theory of Architecture 
    AAH300Intermediate Art & Architectural History Elective 
    AAH400-500Advanced Art & Architectural History Elective 

    Environment and Human Behavior

    ARCH321Site and Environment 
    ARCH522Environmental Design Research 

    Technical Systems

    ARCH231Construction Materials & Assemblies I 
    ARCH331Construction Materials & Assemblies II 
    ARCH335Structure, Form, and Order 
    ARCH434Design of Structures I 
    ARCH435Design of Structures II 
    ARCH333Building Systems: Equipment for Buildings 
    ARCH332Acoustics and Lighting 

    Practice and Professional Development

    ARCH287Introduction to Computer Applications 
    ARCH488Computer Applications for Professional Practice 
    ARCH542Professional Practice 
    ARCH641Graduate Thesis Research Seminar 

    Architecture Electives Requirement
    In addition to the elective options outlined above in History/Theory, the completion of four Graduate Level (500 level or above) Architecture Electives is required for graduation.

    BS in Architecture + Master of Architecture Program Estimate of Tuition, Fees, Specialized Materials

    For 2021/22, Architecture students pursuing the BS in Architecture + Master of Architecture sequence can expect the following annual and total costs. 

    Annual Costs

    Undergraduate
    $43,872 per year Architecture tuition

    $330 activity fee
    $1000 per year estimate for books, supplies, specialized materials
    $1399 (PC) -$2799 (Mac) Laptop--one time cost. All software is provided for free through the RWU rCloud.
    $857 Architecture Toolkit --one time cost

    Graduate

    $40,584 per year
    $930 semester fees
    $1000 per year estimated books/supplies

    Total Costs (before scholarships or other aid)

    $189,832 total estimate for four years of undergraduate study  
    $85,028 total estimate for 2 years of graduate study
    $274,860 total estimate for students pursuing the 4+2 BS in Architecture + Master of Architecture program sequence

    Financial aid and scholarships are available for students pursuing the B.S. Architecture or Master of Architecture degrees.
     

    Please consult the Office of the Bursar website for the most current and official tuition and fee information. 

    Elective Offerings

    History/Theory Advanced Level Course Options

    ARCH475Frank Lloyd Wright: A Life's Work 
    ARCH478Dutch Architecture: The Enduring 20th Century Legacy 
    ARCH530Special Topics in Architecture 
    ARCH573Modernism in the Non-Western World: A Comparative Perspective 
    ARCH575Contemporary Asian Architecture and Urbanism 
    ARCH576Theoretical Origins of Modernism 
    ARCH577The American Skyscraper 
    AAH430Special Topics in Art and Architectural History (selected topics) 
    AAH530Special Topics in Art and Architectural History (selected topics) 
    HP351History and Philosophy of Historic Preservation 
    HP391Architecture and Historic Preservation Abroad 

    Graduate Electives
    Students are encouraged to look at these electives as a means to various concentrations within the M.S. in Architecture Program.

    Sustainable Design

    ARCH521Sustainable Design Seminar 
    ARCH533Detailing the High-performance Envelope 
    ARCH535Introduction to Proactive Simulation 
    ARCH536Special Topics in Sustainable Design 
    ARCH593Sustainable Paradigms 
    ARCH594Urban Ecology 

    Urban Design

    ARCH524Evolution of Urban Form 
    ARCH529History of Landscape Architecture 
    ARCH537Special Topics in Urban Design 
    ARCH561Landscape Architecture: Theory and Practice 
    ARCH572Urban Design Theory 
    HP682LPreservation Planning Workshop 

    Digital Media

    ARCH535Introduction to Proactive Simulation 
    ARCH538Special Topics in Digital Media 
    ARCH586Processing 
    ARCH587Advanced Computer Applications in Design 
    ARCH588Digital Manufacturing 
    ARCH5894D (Four Dimensional) 

    Historic Preservation

    HP501Fundamentals of Historic Preservation 
    HP525Preservation Economics 
    HP526Preservation Law and Regulation 
    HP582LArchitectural Conservation Lab 
    HP681LHistoric Rehabilitation Workshop 
    HP682LPreservation Planning Workshop 

    Additional Architecture Electives

    ARCH530Special Topics in Architecture 
    ARCH573Modernism in the Non-Western World 
    ARCH574Regionalism in Architecture 
    ARCH575Contemporary Asian Architecture and Urbanism 
    ARCH576Theoretical Origins of Modernism 
    ARCH577The American Skyscraper 
    ARCH606Field Research Seminar 
    ARCH616Collaborative Workshop 
    AAH560The Newport Seminar 

    Open Houses

    Open Houses are scheduled on the Bristol Campus every June and November with virtual Open Houses available in January and August. Join us to learn more about your program, the admission process, and financial aid at these informative events with faculty and Graduate Admission staff.

    Please visit http://grad.rwu.edu/events for our next Open House.

    Virtual Information Sessions

    Short on time or just want to learn more about us from the comfort of your home, school, or office? Join us for a Virtual Information Session.

    Watch the recording of the latest Virtual Information Session

    Please visit http://grad.rwu.edu/events for the most current information on Open Houses and Virtual Sessions.

    Cummings School of Architecture Lecture Series

    Each semester the school hosts lectures and exhibitions featuring notable people and their work from the region, country and world. Free and open to the public.

    Check out upcoming lectures

    Application Requirements

    Applicants to the Master of Architecture program should submit the following items to the Office of Graduate Admission to be considered for admission. Materials do not have to be submitted together in one package. 

    1. Completed online application form accompanied by the $50 application fee
    2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
    3. Letter of Intent (two double-spaced pages maximum) describing your interest in the Master of Architecture program, relevant past experiences and career goals
    4. Two letters of recommendation attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school
    5. Portfolio containing examples of your work (submitted as hard copy, emailed to the Office of Graduate Admission, or submitted electronically through SlideRoom)
    6. Senior final semester schedule - non-RWU graduates only. To give you an accurate degree plan, you will need to submit a copy of your final semester schedule from your undergraduate studies if it is not represented on your transcript
    7. If your first language is not English, an official report of TOEFL or IELTS results.

    The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is not required for admission. International applicants should also read additional requirements for non-U.S. residents.

    Where appropriate, documents should be submitted online through the applicant portal or via email to gradadmit@rwu.edu. Any official documents that must be mailed (i.e. transcripts) should be sent directly to:

    Office of Graduate Admission
    1 Old Ferry Rd.
    Bristol, RI 02809

    Have questions about the application process? Visit the How to Apply page from the Office of Graduate Admission.

    Application Deadlines (Fall Admission)

    Priority Deadline I - January 15th 

    Priority Deadline II - March 1st

    Final Deadline - May 1st 

    Applications received for each of the priority deadlines will be guaranteed an admission decision within 30 days of that deadline and will receive priority consideration for financial aid. Students who miss the final deadline may contact the Office of Graduate Admission for consideration for admission on a space available basis. 

    Scholarships and Institutional Aid

    All accepted Master of Architecture students who completed their undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA or above will receive a merit scholarship, renewable annually while maintaining a 3.0 GPA in graduate coursework. In addition, each full-time graduate student will be awarded a $4,000 assistantship through the Career Investment Program.

    Master of Architecture students are also eligible for several endowed scholarships, including the Raj Saksena Memorial Scholarship, the Kaestle Boos Associates Scholarship, and several scholarships endowed through the American Institute of Architects Rhode Island.

     

    M.Arch Design Studio Work

    Architecture studios are at the center of the undergraduate and graduate programs in Architecture. Students explore architectural issues in a variety of ways led by full-time faculty, part-time practitioners, and Teaching Firms in Residence.

    Select a studio to see examples of recent student work:

    ARCH 511 Core Studio WorkARCH 513 Integrated Design Studio workARCH 515 Grad Options Studio work
    ARCH 517 Collaborative Revitalization Studio workARCH 613 Thesis work 
    Headshot of Brigida Capicotto

    Design and Detail: A Career in Architecture

    Brigida Capicotto, RWU Class of 2017, 2018M
    Architecture

    Working as an Architectural Designer at KITE Architects, Capicotto makes her artistic visions come to life.

    Read full story