SMArchS Urbanism

Master of Science in Architecture Studies

The Master of Science in Architecture Studies (SMArchS) is a two-year program of advanced study founded on research and inquiry in architecture as a discipline and as a practice. The program is intended both for students who already have a professional degree in architecture and those interested in advanced non-professional graduate study.

SMArchS in Architecture and Urbanism

Architecture and Urbanism is a special program for students interested in the development of critical urban design, as well as its history and theory. Consciously locating itself in the contemporary debate about what constitutes good city form with expansive metropolitan regions and systems of cities, the program teaches students to develop articulate and intellectually grounded positions. Students are expected to interrogate current positions within the field in order to explore critical alternatives to existing paradigms of urbanism. The assumption is that design inquiry is an intellectual act with the capacity to yield both critique and alternative possibilities.

The program aims to nurture well-versed, intellectually-robust, and historically-conscious architects who understand the relationship between architecture and urbanism, not as a question of taste and fashion, but as form, process, and associated socio-culturalwith meaning. The program emphasizes a unique combination of both design and scholarship. Our students are unique in their capacity to relate to both. The particular interests of faculty and students may vary, but the goal is always the achievement of the most advanced and effective methods of shaping the form, sustainability, and social condition of the built environment. The design, theory, and elective subjects are also formulated in support of this goal.

The first year of the program builds a student’s foundation with a required sequence of two studios and two theory courses. All incoming students participate in an introductory urban design studio in the fall, and a choice of urban design studio options in the spring. A course in urban design theory is taught in the fall and theory of city form in the spring. In the fall of second year, students take a thesis preparation course and have the option of enrolling in a third studio course. All students complete a master’s thesis. Students may tailor their work to a diverse array of interests, and are encouraged to engage intellectually with surrounding disciplines.

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