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Graduate Admissions

Graduate Program Introduction

The SDSU Department of Architecture (DoArch) offers an accredited Master of Architecture (M.Arch) as its professional degree in architecture. A professional degree is a requirement for licensure with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). The National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) accredits professional programs in architecture.

A Master in Architecture prepares graduates for architectural practice as well as other diverse career opportunities, and ensures that their education allows for the continuing technological changes in the industry. Graduates can expect success in traditional architectural settings, construction, design industry positions, and work that involves critical thinking and design skills in a broad array of other disciplines. Design thinking is one of the most sought after qualities in today’s changing workplace, emphasizing collaboration, a keen sense of making things, sustainable practices and graphic representation skills.

In the professional curriculum there are 96 credit hours of study. For Internal Candidates, these credits complete the four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture plus two-year Master of Architecture (4+2) degree. In addition, DoArch seeks motivated External Candidates who hold a degree in another field and are interested in pursuing a professional degree in architecture. These students complete 96 professional credit hours in three and a half years (3.5). Applicants need not show graphical or design talent so much as critical thinking skills, an ability to succeed in an accelerated, time intensive education, evidence of maturity and leadership, and a willingness to take professional instruction. Students with a previous architectural or building science education may be admitted with advanced standing.

Above all, a student’s success in the professional program is rooted in a capacity to make things, to learn through making, to describe making processes, and to practice making architecture.


2-Year Master of Architecture: Internal Candidates

Internal Candidates are SDSU DoArch students that hold or anticipate a four-year BFA-Architecture degree. These candidates should apply to the 2-year M.Arch degree. Admitted 2-year M.Arch students begin in the fall term. To apply, please complete and submit the following application by January 27, 2020:

2020 Graduate Admissions: Internal Candidates

3.5-Year Master of Architecture: External Candidates

External Candidates are non-SDSU DoArch students. These candidates should apply to the 3.5-year M.Arch degree. Candidates should hold an undergraduate degree, including those in subjects other than architecture. Admitted 3.5-year M.Arch students begin in the fall term. To apply, please complete and submit the following application by February 10, 2020:

2020 Graduate Admissions: External Candidates


Transfer Evaluation

Candidates admitted to the M.Arch degree program are reviewed in part using a Transfer Evaluation Advising Form to verify that professional program pre-requisites have been met. Evaluation is made by the Department Head and academic advisor. Equivalency in non-architecture courses are evaluated by the department administering the course. Students may challenge for transfer credit by portfolio or petition for equivalency for architecture coursework. For professional level courses, both the academic objectives and requisite NAAB student performance requirements have to be evident in the record supplied by the student for approval of equivalency. 

No advanced standing in graduate level professional ARCH courses is permitted. All 45 credit hours of required ARCH-prefix graduate courses must be completed at SDSU. The required graduate elective (3 credits), upon approval by the teaching discipline and the graduate school, may be transferred from another institution.


SDSU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran’s status or any other protected class in the offering of all benefits, services, and educational and employment opportunities. This includes discrimination on the basis of sex in admission to or employment in SDSU’s education programs or activities.