Architecture

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Master of Architecture

The School of Architecture offers two tracks to the Master of Architecture degree:

  • Track 1 is for applicants with a four-year undergraduate pre-professional degree in architecture from a National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited program and may be completed in two years of full-time study;
  • Track 3 normally requires three semesters of preparatory work before entering the final two-year program of graduate study. Some applicants with design-related academic or professional experience may be able to complete the preparatory work in less time.

A variety of courses are available within the School of Architecture in urban and community design, architectural history and theory, material fabrication, professional practice, building technology and environmental systems.

Master of Advanced Architectural Studies

The Masters of Advanced Architectural Studies is a two to three semester, innovative program for committed, self-directed students who have earned a professional degree in architecture, or a degree in a related discipline. Four focus areas – City DesignPublic Interest DesignEnergy and Technology, and History and Theory – provide opportunities for specialized study in leading edge areas of the built environment. They address the design of sustainable, regenerative, equitable and inclusive cities, suburbs, and buildings, and the means to interpret and assess built environments. All are designed as platforms to explore solutions to the crucial issues of the 21st century.

All degrees will be distributed as "Master of Advanced Architectural Studies" without focus area specifications.

Admission Requirements

In addition to documents required by the Graduate School, students apply to the Master of Architecture program by submitting the following documents by January 15:

  1. Portfolio of work;
  2. Completed School Personal Data Form;
  3. TOEFL/ IELTS scores (foreign language students only).

Applicants will be considered on an individual basis. Exceptions to Graduate School policy may be made for students indicating other qualifications and professional experience.

Master's Degree Requirements

The school stipulates the minimum course credits based on educational and professional goals to individualize a plan of study.

Student Financial Support

The school awards scholarships, awards, and teaching assistantships competitively. It also supports national and statewide scholarships, fellowships, and awards. All support is merit based, not need based. No special application for such support is necessary at the time of admissions.

National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)

In the United States, most state 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 U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 8-year, 4-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

The NC State University School of Architecture offers the following NAAB accredited degree programs:

  • B.Arch (pre-professional degree + 30 graduate credits)
  • M.Arch Track 1 (pre-professional degree + 48 graduate credits)
  • M.Arch Track 3 (non-pre-professional degree + 96 credits)

Next Accreditation Visit for All Programs: 2026

Faculty

Full Professors

  • Robin Fran Abrams
  • Thomas M. Barrie
  • Soolyeon Cho
  • David Brian Hill
  • Wayne Place
  • J. Patrick Rand

Associate Professors

  • Bryan Bell Jr.
  • Burak Erdim
  • George Elvin
  • Dana Kathleen Gulling
  • Jianxin Hu
  • Patricia E. Morgado
  • Sara Glee Queen
  • Kristen J. Schaffer

Assistant Professors

  • Shawn Stephen Protz
  • Traci Rose Rider

Practice/Research/Teaching Professors

  • Marshall E. Purnell

Emeritus Faculty

  • Peter Batchelor
  • Georgia Bizios
  • Fatih A. Rifki
  • Henry Sanoff

Adjunct Faculty

  • Margret Kentgens-Craig

Courses

ARC 500  Architectural Design: Professional Studio  (6 credit hours)  

A comprehensive and integrative architectural design studio for M.Arch students involving the execution of a project in sufficient depth to understand the opportunities and discipline resulting from the inclusion of building.

Prerequisite: M.Arch Track 1 and Track 3 student, ARC 405 or BEDA Degree (or equivalent)

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

ARC 501  Professional Architecture Studio I  (6 credit hours)  

Design studio investigations aimed at the development of an understanding of the major issues confronting the contemporary architect and at the expanding of problem solving abilities in architectural design.

Prerequisite: BEDA degree

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 502  Professional Architecture Studio II  (6 credit hours)  

Design investigation aimed at the development of an understanding of the major issues confronting the contemporary architect and at the expanding of problem solving abilities in architectural design. This is an individualized, final project studio.

Prerequisite: ARC 501

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 503  Advanced Architectural Design (Series)  (6 credit hours)  

Advanced studies in architectural design. Projects concerning various aspects of building design, urban design and community design in comprehensive and integrative manner.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

ARC 520  Sustainable Architecture  (3 credit hours)  

This survey course provides students with a solid knowledge base in the numerous aspects of sustainable design touching not only upon strategies, but also various philosophies behind sustainability and the green building movement. This course examines the impact of the built environment on natural systems and questions what it truly means to build responsibly. Lectures, discussions, guest speakers, and field trips create a critical foundation for green building considerations to be references in design at a variety of scales. Restricted to M. Arch, B. Arch, and BEDA seniors. Non-architecture majors by instructor's permission.

Architecture or Environmental Design in Architecture Majors Only

Typically offered in Summer only

ARC 521  Daylighting and Passive Energy Systems for Architecture  (3 credit hours)  

An investigation of building energy systems and simulation techniques with emphases on thermal envelope, solar geometry, daylighting, passive heating & cooling, and building systems integration. The theoretical considerations will be accompanied by hands-on exercises using various simulation tools. Restricted to M.Arch, B.Arch, and BEDA Senior Students. Non-Architecture majors by instructor's permission.

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 522  Building Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy  (3 credit hours)  

This course will discuss and develop strategies for the design of sustainable buildings. The two primary topics addressed are: 1) energy efficiency and 2) renewable energy. The students will learn and discuss ways to improve energy efficiency in buildings. The renewable energy technologies, such as solar and geothermal, are explored to discuss the applicability of those in the building design.

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 523  Building Energy Modeling and Simulation  (3 credit hours)  

This course deals with the fundamentals of building sciences in terms of energy systems. Energy modeling and simulation technologies are used to predict and analyze the energy performance of buildings. The students calculate the energy consumption of heating, cooling, lighting, and equipment by hand to understand the energy & thermal behavior of buildings and then compare and analyze them with those calculated by energy modeling and simulation programs.

Prerequisite: ARC 414

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 524  Building Energy Optimization  (3 credit hours)  

This course introduces energy optimization technologies in buildings using computer simulation. The EnergyPlus program, a whole-building computational energy simulation tool developed by USDOE, is used. The maximum energy savings potential of Energy Efficience Measures (EEMs) are identified and implemented for the energy optimization process. Students obtain a great deal of information about a building's potential for energy savings, well before the first brick is even laid.

Prerequisite: ARC 523

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 525  Sustainability Over the Life of a Building  (3 credit hours)  

Focuses on strategies and metrics for "greening" existing buildings. Sustainability over the Life of a Building will explore the criteria and documentation needed to certify a building at NC State in the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) rating system. This course will emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary work while working toward sustainability goals. Over the course of the semester, students will research various criteria and thresholds for the LEED EBOM system. Through this in-depth process, students will synthesize core knowledge about LEED credits to better understand opportunities for strategies in green buildings. Over the course of the semester, students will research various criteria in-depth which are needed for LEED Existing Building Certification, not only becoming familiar with the rating system itself, but also the foundation for each of the addressed LEED credits, as well as context for decisions made in the realm of green buildings.

This is a graduate-level seminar open to all NCSU master's degree students but can be open to advanced standing undergraduate students with instructors' approval. No prerequisites.

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 526  Health and Sustainability in the Built Environment  (3 credit hours)  

Explores opportunities in the design and aligned fields for facilitating higher sustainability and health targets, associated thresholds, and certification achievements in the built environment. Building rating systems are reviewed that address categories such as social equity, carbon neutrality, material toxicity, nourishment, fitness, mind, justness, and more. Reaching beyond the standards of current green building practice and public policy, the class will explore methods and case studies using cutting-edge building certification frameworks to target carbon neutral, net-zero, and health-promotive design. Student teams will be working on specific projects with professional firms for their final projects.

This is a graduate-level seminar open to all NCSU master's degree students but can be open to advanced standing undergraduate students with instructors' approval. No prerequisites.

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 530  Tectonics and Craft  (3 credit hours)  

Studies of construction and material form in architecture. Case studies of select examples of contemporary architecture that exemplify the technique and craft of modern construction. Analysis of functional, tectonic, and experiential aspects of building methods within the context of economics and culture. Examination of assembly as a determinant of building form.

Prerequisite: Architecture Majors, ARC 432

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 534  Design of Architectural Details  (3 credit hours)  

Using detail patterns based on function, constructability, and aesthetics, students analyze existing successful building details, diagnose problems in existing buildings, and design details for their own projects. Restricted to Bachelors and Masters students in Architecture.

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 535  Experiments in Architecture Prototypes  (3 credit hours)  

Examination of significant architecture prototypes of the Modern Movement. Seminar will investigate the effectiveness of prototypes in proposing solutions to technological, social, and environmental issues such as housing, education, and sustainability. Students will explore the possibilities of prototype design and construction in contemporary practice. Field trips required.

Prerequisite:ARC 232 or equivalent

Typically offered in Summer only

ARC 536  Materials for Design  (3 credit hours)  

Contemporary buildings that have insightfully integrated design intention and materials are analyzed using the case study method. Each student uses an iterative analytical process to probe deeply and specifically to find each building's key lessons regarding materials. Key drawings and photographs will be graphically presented, with a narrative summarizing findings regarding the project's general design intentions and its technical embodiment. Restricted to M. Arch or B. Arch Students.

P:

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 537  Digital Materials Translations  (3 credit hours)  

This seminar combines architectural material research with instruction in advanced digital design software. Students will examine specific materials to determine attributes, and then use parametric, NURBS-based software, and CNC machinery to propose new material applications. The course is limited to College of Design students unless instructors grant permission.

Prerequisite: (ARC 251 or ARC 451 or equivalent) and (ARC 232 or equivalent)

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 538  Manufacturing Architecture  (3 credit hours)  

Focuses on customized repetitive manufacturing for architecture components. Specifically includes repetitive processes that make repeated uses of tooling (e.g. molds, patterns, or jigs) to form components. We will investigate repetitive manufacturing processes and architectural case studies. Limited to MArch, BArch, and BED-A students, senior standing.

Prerequisite: Architecture Majors, ARC 432

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 540  Architectural Theory  (3 credit hours)  

This course provides an introduction to the major themes and associated figures of architectural theory. It focuses on 20th and 21st century texts with a particular emphasis on historicism, phenomenology, structuralism and post-structuralism. Each week there is assigned reading from a range of texts, including extra-disciplinary writers. Lectures and discussions serve to identify principal themes, connect to contemporary issues, and establish relevancy to architectural design. Restricted to M. Arch, B. Arch, and BEDA Seniors. Non-architecture majors by instructor's permission.

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 541  Architecture, Culture, and Meaning  (3 credit hours)  

This course focuses on architecture as a cultural artifact and provides an overview of the interrelationship of architectural form, organization, symbolism, use and meaning. A broad range of examples from a variety of cultures, religions, and historical periods are covered (including "non-Western"), illustrated by detailed case studies. Syncretic, holistic and homological approaches to understanding the meaning and significance of architecture are emphasized. Phenomenological and hermeneutical methods of interpretation are introduced and pertinent philosophical traditions discussed. Restricted to M.Arch., B.Arch., and BEDA seniors. Non-architecture majors by instructor's permission.

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 542  Sacred Architecture  (3 credit hours)  

This course focuses on the meaning and cultural significance of sacred architecture, including its environmental and socio-political contexts, and doctrinal and liturgical influences. The course is structured according to the world's principal faiths and presented comparatively and holistically. There is a particular emphasis on the communicative roles of architecture and the symbolism and ritual use of sacred places. Contemporary theoretical methodologies are introduced and applied as means establish relevancy to contemporary issues and architectural design. Restricted to graduate students.

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 543  Analysis of Precedent  (3 credit hours)  

Investigation of architectural elements, relationships and ordering ideas through comparative graphic analysis of buildings designed by architects. Emphasis on buildings as physical artifacts.

Prerequisite: Grad. standing

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 544  American City Planning History  (3 credit hours)  

An examination of the history of American cities, their founding, plans, and development with emphasis on the colonial era to the late 19th century. Broad study of the larger historical trends in city planning balanced by readings focused on major cities (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles) and smaller ones (Savannah, New Orleans). Major issues include street patterns, parks,and public buildings and spaces; and the roles of government and private citizen groups. Restricted to graduate students in the MArch, seniors in the BArch, and seniors in the BEDA programs; or by permission of theinstructor.

Prerequisite: ARC 241 and ARC 242 and ARC 441 or permission of instructor.

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 545  Methods of Interpretation in Architectural History  (3 credit hours)  

This seminar surveys the materials, methods, and texts of architectural history as an analytical discipline of the built environment. A broad selection of readings will trace the evolution of the discipline and will position architectural history in relation to such fields as architecture, art history, urban and social history, anthropology, literature, cultural studies, urban planning, and architectural theory. The course is restricted to graduate students and serves as one of the alternate required courses for the Concentration in the History and Theory of Architecture.

P: ARC 241 and ARC 242 and ARC

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 546  Theory of Building Types  (3 credit hours)  

Theoretical implications and practical applications of typology in architecture. Analysis and documentation of selected building types in their historical evolution. Graphic identification of type characteristics.

Prerequisite: Two ARC studios

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 548  Vernacular Architecture  (3 credit hours)  

Readings in theories of vernacular architecture. Case studies of selected examples of vernacular architecture of the world: architectural analysis of utilitarian, tectonic, and perceptual aspects of buildings and urban fabrics against the background of place and culture. Examination of influences of various vernacular traditions on contemporary practice.

Prerequisite: M.Arch student without an undergraduate degree in architecture must have completed ARC 211,ARC 241,ARC 232

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 561  The Practice of Architecture  (3 credit hours)  

A lecture course examination of the practice of architecture through a lecture course, with emphasis upon both normative and emerging procedures in the private architectural firm. Special attention upon the role and function of the practicing architect, legal and regulatory conditions, the nature of professional services, office management and project management processes.

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

ARC 562  Legal Issues in Architecture  (3 credit hours)  

The main principles of law affecting the profession of architecture as it is influenced by contracts, torts, agency, property, and environmental restrictions.

Prerequisite: Architecture Majors, ARC 561

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 563  Public Interest Design Seminar: Case Studies and Current Issues  (3 credit hours)  

This course evaluates and appraises design in the public interest as a critical and growing element of design disciplines. We explore how design can positively contribute to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of US and global communities. We study current innovations and review successful examples of projects and practice. In addition to lectures by the professor, presentations are made by professionals and experts in public interest design.

The class is open to Architecture Graduate Students in the College of Design. Other NCSU students may enroll by permission of Instructor.

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 570  Anatomy of the City  (3 credit hours)  

A morphological investigation of cities throughout urban history, with emphasis on formal principles of spatial organization. Part one: examination of the descriptive properties of cities in terms of interdisciplinary concepts and principles. Part two: examination of the organizational characteristics of urban space.

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 571  Urban House  (3 credit hours)  

This seminar is intended to investigate the interrelationships between the form of housing and the demands of a rapidly changing society. Reference is made to the physical, economic, social, cultural, and economic factors that influence housing design.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 572  Regional Infrastructures  (3 credit hours)  

This seminar provides students with a solid knowledge base about current urban issues and design theory surrounding the contemporary networked metropolis. Through lectures, discussions, and workshops the course examines how infrastructural systems might be expanded in order to catalyze additional environmental, social, and economic processes. Students research specific infrastructural systems (conducting food, water, or energy) at a systems-defined regional scale to better understand the characteristics of 21st century American cities and speculate on new opportunities for architects and landscape architects to practice. Restricted to M. Arch, B. Arch, BEDA seniors, and M. LArch.

Restricted to: M. Arch, B. Arch, BEDA seniors, and M. LArch

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 574  Place and Place Making  (3 credit hours)  

Examination of the definitions, concepts and emergent research findings useful in explaining the human sense of place through seminar-lecture course. Particular emphasis upon those physical aspects and relationships influencing this sense of place and affording some designer control.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 576  Community Design  (3 credit hours)  

Processes through which citizens shape and manage built environment. Strategic planning, visioning process, community action, and mediation will be discussed and illustrated with case study examples from architecture, landscape architecture and planning. Analysis and assessment from case studies of participation techniques such as charrette, study circles, and visual appraisal.

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 577  Sustainable Communities  (3 credit hours)  

Historical precedents of sustainable communities. Examination of the Garden City, the New Towns Movement, and the New Urbanism. Comparison of sustainable communities to urban visions of Wright, Corbusier, Soleri and others. Virtual cities and digital communities.

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 581  Project Preparation Seminar  (3 credit hours)  

Quantitative and qualitative conditions, considerations and determinants as preparation for architectural design. Emphasis on research methods, data collection and interpretation, theoretical discourse, site analysis, programming and architectural precedent. Required enrollment in B.Arch.

Typically offered in Fall only

ARC 589  Architectural Travel Study II  (3 credit hours)  

Independent study while traveling. Submission of sketchbook/journal and paper upon return. Research on topic of concentration and approval of itinerary in advance required. Graphic documentation and critical evaluation of buildings and urban spaces.Required of all participants in Dept. of Architecture Foreign Exchange and Summer Abroad Programs. Restricted to departmental approval.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

ARC 590  Special Topics in Architecture  (1-6 credit hours)  

Topics of current interest by faculty in the Department of Architecture. Subjects under this number normally to test and develop new courses.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

ARC 598  Final Project Studio In Architecture  (6 credit hours)  

Final project for graduate students supervised by members of their graduate advisory committee. Requires department approval.

Prerequisite: 18 hrs. of ARC 503 and ARC 697

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

ARC 610  Special Topics in Architecture  (1-6 credit hours)  

Special Topics in Architecture

ARC 630  Independent Study  (1-3 credit hours)  

Development of research and projects in various aspects of architecture under the direction of architecture faculty member on tutorial basis. Requires a faculty sponsor and departmental approval.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

ARC 682  Directed Research  (3 credit hours)  

Students work directly with their advisor in areas of research as defined by advisor. Includes research methods. Restricted to students enrolled in the Master of Advanced Architectural Studies program.

Restricted to students enrolled in the Master of Advanced Architectural Studies program.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

ARC 685  Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 688  Non-Thesis Masters Continuous Registration - Half Time Registration  (1 credit hours)  

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree but need to maintain half-time continuous registration to complete incomplete grades, projects, final master's exam, etc.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

ARC 689  Non-Thesis Master Continuous Registration - Full Time Registration  (3 credit hours)  

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree but need to maintain full-time continuous registration to complete incomplete grades, projects, final master's exam, etc. Students may register for this course a maximum of one semester.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Spring only

ARC 696  Summer Thesis Res  (1 credit hours)  
ARC 697  Final Project Research in Architecture  (1-6 credit hours)  

Investigation of selected problems and projects in architecture of particular interest to graduate students under the direction of a faculty member on a tutorial basis. Credits and content vary to meet the scope of the project proposal.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

ARC 698  Advanced Architectural Studies Project  (3-9 credit hours)  

Investigation of specific topic and subjects, as defined by student in consultation with student's advisor, and approved and supervised by advisor. Includes research methods. Restricted to students enrolled in the Master of Advanced Architectural Studies program.

Restricted to students enrolled in the Master of Advanced Architectural Studies program.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

ARC 896  Summer Dissert Res  (1 credit hours)