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Curriculum

Through the teachings of theory and practice, our Master of Architecture students learn important skills for leading and growing in the architecture field such as: writing and visual communication building systems, materials and methods, and the environmental concerns affecting the architectural space. The Master of Architecture degree online course schedule consists of 36 semester credit hours and can be completed in as little as 15 months.

Core Online Courses (15 credits):
Students are required to complete the following five courses for 15 credit hours.
ARC 5013 – Research Methods
Intensive study and application of research methodologies used for academic, theoretical, and design practice. The course will include historical and current methods of research in behavioral sciences, building sciences, and environmental design. The course utilizes computer applications and engages case studies in design research. Sources of research include those utilized in educational, governmental, professional, and legal environments.
ARC 5423 – Ecological Issues
Investigation of ecology and ecological systems in specific relation to design and the built environment. The course will explore both historical and current issues that illuminate global and societal concerns regarding ecology. Issues will be examined from a social, political, biological and practical perspective and address the current and future development of architecture. The professional role and ethical responsibility of the architect will be examined to foster ecological awareness and understanding of responsible practice. Case studies, readings, reports, and projects generate discussion around ecology and faculty lectures define relevant topics for debate and review.
ARC 5643 – Design Theory
A comprehensive survey course of the theoretical positions of design through history culminating in the 20th century. The studies will track the origins, attitudes, and development of aesthetics in Western society. The class will follow developments in classical Greece, the Enlightenment and birth of modernity in Europe, the academic French architecture, the industrial age of England and the political upheavals of the early twentieth century Europe. Examples will include architecture, interior design, urban planning, engineering and industrial design, Lecture format with required papers.
ARC 5913 – Professional Practice
An overview of the professional architectural practice from a regulatory, procedural and ethical perspective. The course addresses the NAAB standards for a professional degree program, the NCARB standards including the Intern Development Program, and the state laws governing requirements for licensure and professional practice. Topics include the history of the profession, professional services, contract documents, legal relationships, professional ethics and codes of conduct, governmental regulations, regulatory codes, and professional firm organization.
ARC 6833 – Practice Portfolio
Students will critically review and document their graduate work as a reflection on theory and practice, including a statement of academic focus and achievement defining a professional position and trajectory into professional practice. As a measure of this objective, students will construct a portfolio of their graduate design studio work and their work in additional graduate courses. The portfolio will be developed in both print and web media.
Design Studio (or Thesis Courses) (12 credits):
Students are required to complete the three graduate level design or thesis courses. Those who are interested in preparing a thesis will be required to qualify; refer to the notes below regarding thesis guidelines.
ACR 5804 – Critical Practice Studio*
A leading design practitioner and collaborating faculty define a specific topic and process for an advanced design investigation exploring current issues in critical practice. Students research, generate and represent design ideas in a collaborative team format and working process, reflective of studio practice in the design professions.
ARC 5814 – Advanced Design Studio 1
Advanced architectural design project. An approved architectural design project must be based on a clear theoretical position that demonstrates an advanced understanding of architectural design. In this option, students develop and expand a year-long personalized program of architectural investigation in consultation with a faculty advisor in a traditional design studio setting.
OR
ARC 6514 – Thesis 1**
Advanced architectural research and critical investigation on a pre-selected and approved topic. The research topic is broadly based within architectural discourse with a clear theoretical position. Students expand and develop a year-long personalized program of architectural investigation in consultation with a supervisory committee. The topic of investigation should be not only of personal interest but also further the theoretical boundaries of the discipline of architecture.
ARC 5824 – Advanced Design Studio 2
Continuation of the architectural design project investigation from Advanced Design Studio 1. The final outcome of the project is determined by the student in consultation with the studio’s faculty advisor.
OR
ARC 6524 – Thesis 2**
Continuation of research and architectural investigation from Thesis 1. Final outcome of the project is determined by the student in consultation with the thesis committee and will have relevance to the discourse of architecture. Final grading is determined by the thesis chair in review with the final jury. The final jury includes members of the thesis committee.
Online Electives (choose a minimum of 6 credits in ARC and 3 credits non-ARC):
Students are required to take a minimum of 6 credits of ARC courses and 3 credits of non-ARC courses. Elective offerings include the following. Additional graduate-level electives may be found in the online registration system and in the course catalog.
ARC 5952 – Construction Management
Comprehensive study of construction management services, including project planning, scheduling, budgeting, contract administration, and agreements. Comparison between traditional construction delivery systems and the commonly used fast tracking and phasing of construction projects.
ARC 5962 – Law for Architects
Legal aspects of architecture, engineering, and the construction process, including the court system and jurisdictional issues. Various forms of property ownership relating to owner responsibilities. Contract interpretation including issues relative to codes and construction custom and practice as well as forms of liability avoidance for the practicing architect. Applicable statutes of limitations and statutes of response affecting the practice of architecture and construction. The construction bidding process and its legal aspects examined in depth, including the examination of lawsuits filed in various courts.
ARC 6912 – Practice Management
Advanced study of the architectural profession and its role in the building industry. The architect’s professional responsibilities and how they impact on other professionals, contractors and owner organizations. Emphasis on the architect’s response to the technical, social and legal obligations of practice through the use of good planning, organizational and communications skills. Case studies are analyzed. Practicing professionals interact with students in group discussions.
ARC 5942 – Project Management
The knowledge and skills required to navigate an architectural project from conception to completion are the focus of this course. Topics include project delivery methods, the design and delivery process, project team organization/roles and management, discipline coordination, client and contractor communication, project financial management, time management, conflict resolution, project manual development, construction administration and cost estimating.
HRM 6023 – Human Resource Management
This course focuses on strategic issues and choices in acquiring, developing, motivating, managing, and retaining a workforce, from the perspective of a general manager or non-HR manager. Topics include: employment law, job design and analysis, performance management, HR planning, staffing, training and development, compensation and incentive, and employee and labor relations. HRM for global operations will be integrated throughout this course. Emphasis is placed on how HRM programs can add value and create competitive advantage, and on the need for HR practices to be internally consistent and aligned with the firm’s strategy.
MGT 6013 – Leadership and Leadership Development
The course is designed to provide professionals and managers with a broad understanding of leadership concepts, theories and the skills necessary for practicing leadership in the global economy. The course focuses on a variety of techniques/applications for assessing leadership competencies and generating action plans for applying leadership skills. Emphasis on the requirements for effective leadership in multicultural organizations and the development of personal leadership skills.
MIS 6013 – Information Systems and the Enterprise
Examines the use of information systems for achieving and maintaining competitive advantage, and managerial issues concerning the development, implementation, and management of enterprise information systems. Case studies address the impact of information systems on the organization, challenges involved in managing technological change in organizations, and the impact of emerging technologies. Students will develop a socio-technical perspective on the use of information systems to solve real-world problems.
EME 6403 – Quality Control
Quality policies and objectives, management of quality, new product quality, production of quality. Statistical process quality control. Computers and SPQC. Methods for process improvements, preventive maintenance. Quality measure and controls in several manufacturing industries.
EME 6713 – Technology Management
The objective of this course is to provide graduate students with advanced knowledge in production planning and control. Topics will cover: inventory control, material requirement planning, manufacturing resource planning, the total quality organization, basic factory dynamics, variability basics, influence of variability on performance, 5s program/value steram mapping, shop floor control/one-piece flow, time workforce planning, supply chain management, capacity management and waste reduction techniques.
LLT 6013 – Literature of the Built Environment
Impact of the built environment on the minds and feelings of the people who create and live in it. Imaginative writing, discursive literature and narrative art forms from biblical times through the 20th century. Selected literature gives a strong personal sense of what it is like to inhabit man-made structures of varying scale and complexity and to live in an environment created by an agglomeration of buildings. While exploring the psychological impact of the built environments as expressed by the best writers, students also become aware of how structures may influence demographic and social change. The symbolic dimension of the built environment.
SSC 6013 – Social Responsibility Community Action
Relationship of political, economic, and legal aspects of community and design environments, and the roles of government in the urban economy. Community constraints on design, including legal and political limits on community action. Concludes with an integrative case study.

*Critical Practice Studio is the only course in the program not available online. This summer semester course is completed on campus over three to five multi-day weekend meetings so that students living at a distance from the main campus may make arrangements to participate. One weekend meeting may include a field trip. Please refer to the Critical Practice Studio website to find out more about student work, pedagogy, faculty, and the most recent summer schedule.

** The thesis is a more demanding alternative to the Advanced Design Studios and is intended as an opportunity for students who are capable of independent work, individual research, independent idea development, and the formulation of sharply focused, articulate conclusions. It is a self-initiated and self-directed work of greater breadth and depth than work produced in a student’s earlier academic coursework. Students whose primary interest is in design and in a design studio experience are better served by the graduate level design courses, the Advanced Design Studios. Students interested in preparing a thesis should download and consult the Thesis Guidelines.

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