Jun 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Architecture, M Arch


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In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year term, an eight-year term with conditions, or a two-year term of continuing accreditation, or a three-year term of initial accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established education standards. Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a non-accredited undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the non-accredited degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers the following NAAB-accredited professional degree: Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree which consists of a minimum of 123 semester credit hours of undergraduate coursework combined with 45 semester credit hours of graduate coursework for a total of 168 semester credit hours. The next accreditation visit for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette School of Architecture and Design is 2022.

Individuals and firms shall not perform or offer to perform architectural services, either directly or indirectly, unless they have secured a license to practice architecture from the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners. Additionally, no person shall use the title “architect” or any derivation of that word unless they have secured a license to practice.

Application and Admissions Requirements


In addition to the general admission requirements of the Graduate School , application and admission requirements for the Master of Architecture degree program require submission of a portfolio of architectural design work for applicants with previous architectural education or experience. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required and will not be considered in the admission review process; if received, official GRE scores may be viewed by the admissions committee in the awarding of graduate assistantships but such consideration may not convey preference or penalization. Official GRE scores must be sent directly from the test administrator to the Graduate School.

Portfolio of Architectural Design Work


Applicants with previous architectural or design education are expected to submit a portfolio of work with a minimum of 4 projects, including at least 3 buildings, that shows evidence of the following:

  • Purposefulness
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Advanced communication
    • Exemplifies traits of good writing
    • Representation/graphics: process, 2D, 3D, and models
  • Design Synthesis
    • Demonstrates clear decision making in the synthesis of user requirements, regulatory requirements, site conditions, and accessible design, and consideration of the measurable environmental impacts of their design decisions.
  • Building Integration
    • Demonstrates clear decision making in the integration of building envelope systems and assemblies, structural systems, environmental control systems, life safety systems, and the measurable outcomes of building performance.

The portfolio should provide clear identification of academic or professional product, collaborations, and role.

Degree Requirements


Requirements for the Master of Architecture degree consist of 45 credit hours. These degree requirements may increase to 87 credit hours depending upon the undergraduate degree previously completed.

Students who enter the program with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies degree from an institution with a NAAB accredited professional degree must complete 45 credit hours. Undergraduate transcripts will be reviewed to ensure students have completed coursework that meets the NAAB Student Performance Criteria. It may be necessary to complete preparatory coursework to ensure these criteria have been met.

Students who enter the program with a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than architecture, a degree from a non-accredited (NAAB) institution, or have coursework that does not meet NAAB Student Performance Criteria must complete a minimum of 87 credit hours. Advanced standing* may be awarded to students with a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline from a regionally accredited institution.

All students must complete either a one-semester Master’s Project track or a two-semester Thesis track. Master’s Project track students are required to complete an architectural design with a written component. Thesis track students are required to complete an architectural design and a written Thesis. Thesis track students must submit a Thesis Proposal to the Graduate Coordinator for approval during ARCH 565 - Architectural Research and Programming .

Curriculum, Students who have completed a Pre-Professional Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies (NAAB accredited)


45 Total Credit Hours

Master’s Project Track or Thesis Track


ARCH Electives


Choose 9 graduate credit hours (three courses at 3 credit hours each) in consultation with the graduate coordinator.

Curriculum, Students who have completed a Bachelor of Science degree not accredited by NAAB *


87 Total Credit Hours

Master’s Project Track or Thesis Track


ARCH Electives


Choose 9 graduate credit hours (three courses at 3 credit hours each) in consultation with the graduate coordinator.

* Advanced Standing Evaluation Process


Students transferring into the M. Arch. degree program and those entering the program with a non-accredited (NAAB) undergraduate degree may be granted Advanced Standing upon evaluation of prior academic coursework for satisfactory completion of NAAB Student Performance Criteria. 

Evaluation of Preparatory Education


To ensure a thorough and equitable evaluation, students will be required to provide, to the Graduate Coordinator, course descriptions and supporting course documents for all coursework under review. 

Once all documents are received, the Graduate Coordinator will call a meeting of the Master of Architecture Evaluation of Preparatory Education Review Committee, which includes the Director of the Program, the Graduate Coordinator, and Senior Graduate Faculty members.  

The Committee will determine if NAAB Student Performance Criteria have been met for courses under review. In doing so, the Committee will develop knowledge of, and may contact, the credit granting institution prior to the evaluation of credits. For design studio courses, Committee members will review the student’s portfolio of work, transcript, and the credit granting institution’s course descriptions. For architecture elective courses, the Committee, with the assistance of architecture faculty who teach those courses, will review the student’s transcript and the credit-granting institution’s course descriptions. For non-architecture elective courses, the Committee, with the assistance of faculty who teach those courses, will review the student’s transcript and the credit granting institution’s course descriptions. A grade of B or better must have been earned in all coursework for approval of Advanced Standing, transfer of graduate credit, and/or a request to the Graduate School to approve lessening curriculum requirements.  

Following the Advanced Standing evaluation process, the Graduate Coordinator will notify the student of the need to formally apply for transfer of graduate credits and/or which individual course requirements in the curriculum will no longer be required.

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