Architecture studies comprise a plethora of subjects. At the undergraduate level, we will have dealt with almost every discipline the architecture encompasses. If one desires to continue studying, the master’s level is the following step, which allows the students to intensify their studies in a specific area of interest. Earning a master’s degree can take anywhere from a year to almost four years. Graduates with master’s degrees in architecture can pursue a lucrative lifetime career.

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There are many notable universities in various countries throughout the world that provide several master’s programs. Among all the countries, the USA remains the world’s most popular destination for international students. Universities in the United States top global rankings, and the country provides a diverse range of intriguing study locations. 

Today, architects and aspiring architects understand that American architecture schools are known for their originality, diversity, and leadership in worldwide architectural advancement. Most of the institutions providing the masters of architecture courses in the USA are NAAB (National Architectural Accrediting Board) accredited. 

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Listed below are the various masters’ options one can opt for in the USA, offered by various acclaimed universities. 

1. Masters in Architecture

This program is one of the most popular options after the completion of the bachelor’s. Master in architecture involves the specialized study of architectural design and engineering along with research work and professional practice. The course offers a highly advanced platform to the students helping them engage in modern challenges and take care of different varieties of programmatic, social, cultural, and technological contexts. 

It is a professional degree program specifically designed for preparing students to serve the architectural practice and allows students to specialize in the subjects of their interest. Various prestigious universities offer STEM-based courses and are listed in the top global rankings of the best architecture masters courses.  

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©www.rit.edu/news/rit-offer-master-architecture-degree

2. Masters in Architectural History and Theory

A theory-based program that focuses on amplifying research skills on the history and theory of architecture applying a range of critical and historical lenses. This course helps students in developing analytical, curatorial, and narrative skills to perform their empirical research. The program is mapped out to encompass the architectural, cultural, and political forces that have shaped the continuing discourse of modernity in architecture, including all of its contemporary manifestations. 

This program is one of the sub-courses of the master’s in architecture- II program and the students can choose to major in this. Specializing in this course can open doors to a new emerging career: the architect-theorist-educator.

©carleton.ca/aah/ba-history-theory-architecture/

3. Master of Advanced Architectural Design

Master of advanced architectural design is one of the most popular courses offered by many prestigious universities in the United States. It is a post-professional program that offers a critical framework for investigating pertinent design concerns, practices, and technologies in 21st-century architecture. The program highlights a hands-on approach to study and architectural design that is informed by current issues. 

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This program is for the professional degree (accredited Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture) holders who wish to continue to explore current design issues in a stimulating, rigorous, and experimental studio setting. The course usually lasts for 2-4 semesters. It is a STEM accredited program in many universities. This course provided by the Ivy League universities like Columbia and Cornell has been listed in the top architecture master’s degree programs provided worldwide.

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©soa.cmu.edu/maad

4. Masters in Landscape Architecture

Landscapes are the dynamic synthesis of natural systems, social forces, and the physical substance of the built world. This type of architecture is more than just designing open green spaces. This program explores the professional practice and innovative solutions to environmental and urban challenges in international and local contexts. Students taking up Masters in Landscape Architecture will learn about innovative design solutions, techniques and practices, and urban planning. They will also learn about integrating the latest technology and materials with the design of contemporary and ecological landscapes. 

Landscape Architecture Masters in the USA has become one of the most popular fields of study in the current times. The job of a landscape architect ranks amongst a few of the professions considered best in the industry. The field of landscape architecture is anticipated to grow rapidly in the years to come. 

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©www.nmbu.no/en/faculty/landsam/department/la/studies/node/34079

5. Master of Urban Design

It is a post-professional or postgraduate degree that focuses on designing and shaping urban areas. The study involves the creation and use of different procedures that make way for successful planning and development in the future. The program is guided by the imperatives of resilience, sustainability, and conceptualized cities in the form of an extension of the ecological transect. The idealisation of complex global operations and urban transitions is a focus of this research program.

Students obtaining their Masters in Urban Design in the USA can expect to pursue varied and rewarding careers.  Students get to work in different settings starting from municipalities and private companies to government entities. Masters in Urban Design into direct contact with varied communities for the ones they will be coming up with their designs. Masters in Urban Design USA is a degree program that can vary from one university to another and many institutions of prominence offer the course in its highest standards in the USA along with STEM-based learning.

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©www.sde.nus.edu.sg/arch/programmes/master-of-arts-in-urban-design/

6. Master of Urban and Regional Planning

Master of Urban and Regional Planning is a study of crafting proposals and designs for the large-scale development of pieces of land. It involves the use and development of land in such a way that it is used by individuals, no matter whether it is on an industrial, regional, or urban level. 

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This study is concerned with the planning and the management of contemporary cities, which is probably one of the most important societal challenges faced by the entire world in recent times. Professional planners make use of various techniques and tools for designing sustainable and equitable communities.

The majority of universities in the United States make it a point to tailor their Masters in Urban and Regional Planning programs to the student’s individual learning objectives and interests. In this program, they will better understand the different trends in globalization along with international connections amongst the US regions, populations, and cities and some of the most important international development and planning issues. All the acclaimed universities regularly update STEM curriculums to present a bright stance.

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©en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_planning

7. Masters of Urbanism

Masters of Urbanism is a theory-based program. This course focuses on developing the student’s research skills in urban areas. The program helps in developing analytical, curatorial, and narrative skills to perform empirical research and provide innovative solutions for various urban problems. Students are expected to question current perspectives on the subject to investigate critical alternatives to present urbanism paradigms. The notion is that design inquiry is a cognitive act capable of producing both critique and alternative options. 

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Top Ivy League colleges have designed special courses on urbanism and have been listed in the top 10 global rankings of the best architecture master’s programs around the world.

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©www.aaschool.ac.uk/academicprogrammes/postgraduate/housing-and-urbanism 

8. Masters in Interior Architecture

Interior architecture stands at the intersection of architecture, design of the built environment, and conservation of spaces. Masters in Interior Architecture create designers who bridge the gap between architects and interior designers. This degree focuses on developing architects who are capable of adhering to industry rules, doing efficient and effective research, selecting sustainable materials, and communicating with other field workers who must work together to bring a certain design to life.

The field of interior architecture is expected to grow at a rate of 4% over the next ten years, placing it well within the average rate of growth among all career fields. Depending on the university to which one is applying, this program can be taken online or offline.

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©www.academyart.edu/academics/interior-architecture/

 9. Masters in Historic Preservation

This program prepares students to fill new, forward-thinking jobs with an inbuilt heritage that promotes inclusive and resilient communities. With a specific emphasis on climate change adaptation and social justice, the program incorporates humanist, scientific, and technical perspectives required for students to determine the profession’s future. 

Historic preservationists design and implement plans to restore and maintain historical sites in a way that balances conservation and preservation with commercial and development interests, working for and with a variety of organizations and communities ranging from inner cities to distant settlements. A lot of universities also train students about techniques of conservation that led to urban regeneration. Students with an interest in historical structures and rejuvenation can opt for this program.

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©www.bsu.edu/academics/collegesanddepartments/architecture/academic-programs/masters/historic-preservation

10. Masters in Construction Management

This program prepares individuals for careers in the field of engineering, assignment management, and building. Construction jobs are often enormous responsibilities with a multitude of moving elements. Only, for this reason, a comprehensive study subject has been created for the process. Construction assignment management combines engineering and business characteristics, focuses on time management, quality assurance, and budget management all at the same time.

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The USA is regarded as one of the best places in the world to pursue a Master’s degree in Construction Management. Some of the world’s top colleges in this discipline lead university rankings and give high-quality education to their students. This field has been attracting a large number of students from across the world. Construction managers with Construction Management Masters are in great demand, and companies are willing to employ them in varied positions. This goes for all those companies dealing in civic, commercial, and private project management sectors.

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©builterra.com/how-contract-administrators-can-adopt-construction-management-software

11. Masters in Sustainable Architecture

Sustainable architecture focuses on architectural development that minimizes damage or impact on the environment. This program combines architectural design with environmental awareness. The study advocates for students to concentrate on the research and design of sustainable design at multiple scales ranging from energy-efficient buildings to better neighborhood design, and smart growth. The program prepares students for design-based research and professional practice at the cutting edge of the sustainable design industry. 

Sustainable architects work in both the public and private sectors, designing everything from private office buildings to ‘green’ residential neighbourhoods. Information from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that architects focusing on sustainability would receive significant interest from 2019 to 2029. 

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Various universities offer different types of master’s programs in sustainable architecture like sustainable design, sustainable energy systems, architecture, and environmental design, emergent technologies, and bio-integrated design.  

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©www.greenprophet.com/2013/06/dubai-sustainability-city-phase-2-awarded-to-baharash-architecture/

12. Masters in Architectural Engineering

Architectural engineers are professionals that specialize in the planning, design, construction, and operation of engineered systems for various types of structures. Their jobs are similar to those of civil engineers in terms of tasks and specialties, but they also have characteristics that distinguish the career sector. This program’s major goal is to develop skilled and educated building and structural engineers. 

The students pursuing this course will study how to design bridges, buildings, factories, maritime structures, and industrial structures, among other things. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an annual increase of 8.4% is expected until 2024 for civil engineers, including architectural engineers, due to the need for improvements and repairs to existing and aging infrastructure. 

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13. Masters in Furniture Design

Many architects are known for their renowned furniture designs and the art of furniture design is being practiced for ages. Masters in furniture design provides a student with an opportunity to discover their craft, learn and develop design methods and techniques, master technical advancements in areas such as sustainability, and ultimately determine the trajectory of their career. 

A profession in furniture design, while tough at times, can be very rewarding and lucrative for some people. There are various art schools in the USA providing excellent Masters in furniture design programs.

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©mydesignagenda.com

14. Masters in Industrial Design

Masters in Industrial or Product Design teach students how to design systems and create products that ultimately optimize the value, function, and appearance of their employers or clients. The Industrial Designer’s job as a professional service is to use the benefits of data collection and analysis to produce clear and simple conclusions that eventually deliver greater benefits to consumers. 

There are several various specialties in industrial design to choose from when attending industrial design schools.

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©www.daysoftheyear.com/days/world-industrial-design-day/

15. Masters in Graphic Design

These programs teach a student how to communicate a message through visual content. Graphic Design programs at international art schools teach the fundamentals of visual hierarchy, typography, and images, allowing students to create visually appealing and easy-to-understand messages. 

Students learn how to optimize user experience using interactive design features and layout strategies that are tailored to the demands of the user.

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©www.liberty.edu/online-at-liberty/graphic-design-degrees/ 

References

Best Architecture Masters. n.d. Ranking 2020 | Best Architecture Masters. [online] Available at: <https://www.bestarchitecturemasters.com/ranking-2020/> [Accessed 14 June 2021].

Naab.org. n.d. National Architectural Accrediting Board. [online] Available at: <https://www.naab.org/> [Accessed 15 June 2021].

Archinect. n.d. STEM M.Arch degrees. [online] Available at: <https://archinect.com/forum/thread/150052949/stem-m-arch-degrees> [Accessed 15 June 2021].

Masterstudies.com. n.d. Best Master’s Degrees in Architecture in USA 2021. [online] Available at: <https://www.masterstudies.com/Masters-Degree/Architecture/USA/> [Accessed 13 June 2021].

Brennan, K., 2021. Top 10 Masters of Architecture Programs in the US. [online] Go.blackspectacles.com. Available at: <https://go.blackspectacles.com/blog/top-10-masters-of-architecture-programs-in-the-us> [Accessed 15 June 2021].

Rawal, B., n.d. Masters in Architecture in USA: Top Colleges, Eligibility, Costs, Scholarships, Scope. [online] Collegedunia.com. Available at: <https://collegedunia.com/usa/article/masters-in-architecture-in-usa-comprehensive-course-guide> [Accessed 15 June 2021].

Hotcoursesabroad.com. n.d. Postgraduate Architecture Degrees & Courses In USA. [online] Available at: <https://www.hotcoursesabroad.com/india/training-degrees/us-usa/postgraduate/architecture-courses/loc/211/slevel/3/cgory/c1-3/sin/ct/programs.html> [Accessed 14 June 2021]

Author

Vaishnavi Patil is a vivacious individual who loves good wordplay. She is an architecture student with a proclivity for writing and has a keen interest in the art of minimalism. She believes that one should empower one's solid writing skills which will ensure their designs to be more successful.

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