Program Information:

Program Statement:
    The nationally ranked Department of Architecture at Iowa State University provides two graduate degrees in architecture: 1. Master of Architecture: NAAB accredited professional architecture degree providing the foundation for licensure in the United States. This STEM-designated 90 credit degree does not require an undergraduate degree in architecture but can be accelerated for those holding a Bachelor of Architecture. 2. Master of Science in Architecture: a 30 credit research degree for those with prior knowledge or experience in the field of architecture. Thesis required.
Degrees Offered:
  • Master of Archiecture (M.Arch.)
  • Master of Science (M.S.)
Learning Goals:
  • Comprehensive design skills in the field of architecture based on ethical responsibilities to clients, the wider society, and the physical environment.
  • Understanding of diverse cultural and social contexts and translation of this knowledge into design of built environments that support and include people of various backgrounds, resources, and abilities.
  • Understanding of the role of the built environment in human health, safety, and welfare at multiple scales, and application of this knowledge in architectural design.
  • Ecological knowledge and responsibility in respect of the agency and impact of design in conditions of climate crisis.
  • Knowledge of the established and emerging systems, technologies, and assemblies of building construction, and the criteria architects use to assess those technologies against the design and performance objectives of projects.
  • Develop research questions and respond to them with appropriate methods.
  • Knowledge of the histories and theories of architecture, landscape and urbanism, and how these are related to social, cultural, economic, environmental and political contexts.
  • Ability to make design decisions within an architectural project while demonstrating broad integration and consideration of building envelope systems and assemblies, structural systems, environmental control systems and life safety systems.
  • Familiarity with the regulatory contexts and codes relevant to architectural practice in the United States.
  • The path to becoming a licensed architect in the United States, the range of career opportunities available, and how the graduate program prepares for professional practice.
How long does it take to earn a degree?
  • Median time to earn the master’s: 2.8 years (Methods)

Program Contact:

Contact: Melissa Stenstrom
Phone: 515-294-3366
E-mail Address:

Mailing Address:

    Iowa State University
    715 Bissell Road
    159 College of Design
    Ames, IA 50011-3094

Admission Requirements:

Graduate College Requirements:
  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency.
Program Specific Requirements:
  • M.S. Applicants: Research Proposal - Your proposal must be discussed with a member of the Department of Architecture faculty prior to application. The Admissions committee will take into account that faculty member’s recommendation in their decision regarding admission.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Digital portfolio
  • Program Requires GRE: No
  • Program Requires GMAT: No
  • Program Will Review Without TOEFL or IELTS: No
International Requirements:
  • Financial Statement: Application
  • English Proficiency Minimum:
    TOEFL Paper (PBT) 550
    TOEFL Internet (iBT) 79
    IELTS 6.5
    PTE 53
    Duolingo (approved through spring 2025) 105

Application Information:

Application Deadlines:
    Apply by January 4 for priority admission and graduate assistantship consideration. Applications received after that date will be reviewed as program resources permit. Spring and Summer entry not available for the Master of Architecture.
Application Details:
    This program is open to domestic and international students.

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