Master of Architecture

General

Program Description

Rice Architecture is the meeting point of design and discourse; of theory and practice; of past and future; of Rice and the world; and of our two inseparable aims: to educate architects and to position our graduates as leaders in a rapidly changing world.

Generosity binds these aims to one another. Inside the school, the exchange of knowledge depends upon the magnanimous sharing of intellectual culture among students, faculty, and visitors to the school. Beyond the school’s boundaries, Rice Architecture is a catalyst, an advocate for architects and architecture to step unflinchingly into public life. Taken together, these mandates underscore our goal of forming architects whose ideas will continue to reverberate across contemporary culture. Our ambitions are simple. Our graduates will be prepared with knowledge. They will always be curious about what they don’t yet know. And they will continue to propose alternatives that foster an unyielding optimism about the future.

The required core sequence of Rice Architecture’s Master of Architecture program includes courses in four areas: design studio, history/theory, technology, and practice. Each area provokes the others in a deliberate feedback loop. The collective conversation that characterizes Rice Architecture – in our studios, our seminars, our juries, our lectures, our hallways – is where we synthesize these threads. Our core courses in design, history/theory, technology, and practice focus attention on key topics within architecture: form, program, materials, technology. The core also establishes a shared set of references – significant historical and contemporary. We also offer a broad selection of electives within the architecture school and across the university.

The advanced options studios of the final year of the masters program include Totalization, our unique program that embeds nationally-recognized consultants in the studios, emphasizing that architectural innovation results from collaboration and the nimble anticipation of contingencies.

The final course in the history/theory core is the required pre-thesis seminar, which reflects our conviction that every student must step back and define their argument vis-à-vis architecture’s contemporary position in the world. Students subsequently complete their studies either with a semester-long thesis project or an additional options studio in their final semester.

Rice Architecture’s Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) professional degree is fully accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB), qualifying our graduates to sit for the professional licensing exam.

M.Arch. programs are STEM designated, making international students from those programs eligible to apply for a three-year F-1 visa extension after graduation.  

Last updated Oct 2020

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About the School

Why Rice We are the smallest professional degree program situated within a top research university, allowing individual attention with the breadth of study afforded by a major university. Located in t ... Read More

Why Rice We are the smallest professional degree program situated within a top research university, allowing individual attention with the breadth of study afforded by a major university. Located in the nation’s fourth largest city, Rice University is a leading research institution committed to fostering a strong intellectual environment for the next generation of leaders and thinkers. Rice Architecture’s small, 5-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio encourages a close-knit community that provides both undergraduates and graduates with thoughtful instruction, particularly in the studio setting. Read less