Lucas Boyd Section
Section drawing by Lucas Boyd (M.Arch ‘17)

The Master of Architecture I curriculum provides a disciplined approach to the fundamentals of architecture in a setting that ensures the flexibility and latitude necessary for students to develop their individual talents and skills.

The School believes that the educational experience of its program is enriched by students who have diverse educational backgrounds and, therefore, embraces students who in their undergraduate education have majored in a wide spectrum of disciplines, from architecture to any of the arts, sciences, or humanities. This program, leading to a degree of Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), is for students holding undergraduate liberal arts degrees, such as a B.A. or B.S., who seek their first professional architectural degree. It typically requires three years of full-time residency to complete the degree requirements.

Entering students, with a sound liberal arts background assumed, are required to follow a curriculum in which their creative powers are stimulated through a sequence of problem-solving exercises involving basic and architectural design, building technology, freehand and computer-assisted drawing, and an introduction to design methodologies, as well as courses in architectural theory and the planning, design, and development of the urban landscape. Architectural design problems in the first year start in the fall term at limited scale and by the spring term progress to an investigation of dwelling. During the spring term of first year and until mid-June, a community building project is undertaken, which provides an opportunity for the design of an affordable house as well as the experience of carrying the design through the building process when the class builds a final design. The fall term of second year undertakes the design of a public building, and the spring term of second year is devoted to urbanism. During the fall and spring terms of third year, students, through a lottery system, are at liberty to choose from a variety of advanced design studios, many of which are led by the profession’s leading practitioners and theoreticians. Students may, if they wish, continue their work for an additional term by taking an advanced studio and/or elective courses. A number of support courses are required during the three-year curriculum. Required courses in design and visualization, technology and practice, history and theory, urban studies, and visual studies support the studios.

Within the limits of certain required credit distributions, students are encouraged to explore elective course options. Courses—falling into the broad categories of design and visualization, technology and practice, history and theory, and urbanism and landscape—support and augment the pivotal studio offerings. Courses offered by other schools and departments within the University may be taken for credit. Emphasis throughout the program is on architectural design and decision-making.

Course of study

In course titles, a designates fall term, b designates spring term, and c designates summer. The School reserves the right to change the prescribed course of study as necessary. The course of study listed below becomes effective with the first year of the 2018-2019 incoming class and the second year of the 2017-2018 incoming class. The prior listed course of study remains in effect for the first year of the 2017-2018 incoming class and for all years of the 2016-2017 incoming class.

M.Arch I total requirement: 114 credits

Pre-First Year (Mid-Summer)

1000c, Architectural Foundations* 0
Total 0

First Year (Fall)

1011a, Architectural Design 9
Visualization elective 3
2011a, Structures I 3
3011a, Modern Architecture 3
Total 18

First Year (Spring)

1012b, Architectural Design 9
2012b, Structures II 3
2016b, Building Project I 3
3012b, Architectural Theory 3
Total 18

First Year (Early Summer)

2017c, Building Project II† 3
1019c, Visualization and Computation† 3
Total 6

Second Year (Fall)

1021a, Architectural Design 9
2021a, Environmental Design 3
4011a, Intro. to Urban Design 3
Elective‡ 3
Total 18

Second Year (Spring)

1022b, Architectural Design 9
2022b, Systems Integration 3
Elective‡ 3
Elective‡ 3
Total 18

Third Year (Fall)

Advanced Design Studio 9
2031a, Arch. Practice & Management 3
Elective‡ 3
Elective‡ 3
Total 18**

Third Year (Spring)

Advanced Design Studio 9
Elective‡ 3
Elective‡ 3
Elective‡ 3
Total 18**

If an entering student can demonstrate competence and passing grades, from an accredited school, in the material covered in any of the program’s required support courses (except for 2031a), that student may request a waiver of those courses. A waiver of any required course, however, does not reduce the number of course credits required to fulfill the program’s degree requirements. Support course waivers are granted by the Curriculum and Rules Committees based upon the recommendations of the course’s study area coordinators. Requests for a waiver must be submitted to one of the course’s study area coordinators within one week of the start of the first term of the student’s enrollment. A transcript, course syllabus, and a notebook or examples of work accomplished must be presented to the study area coordinators.

*This course is required for those students so designated by the Admissions Committee. Typically, this course will be required for students who do not have significant pre-architectural training. This five-week course begins mid-July and concludes mid-August.

†This course concludes in late June.

‡One elective must be a qualified Visualization elective (in addition to the required Visualization elective taken during the first year of study), two electives must be in History and Theory study area and must require at least a fifteen-page research paper, and one elective must be in Urbanism and Landscape study area. These required electives may be taken in any term(s). Courses taken outside of the School may fulfill these requirements provided they are listed in the appropriate study areas or they have been approved by the area coordinators. Students not on academic warning or probation may substitute independent elective course work. (See the School’s Academic Rules and Regulations for procedures and restrictions.)

Program Requirements

Summer Preparation Courses for Incoming M.Arch. I Students

In the six weeks before the beginning of the fall term, the School offers four summer preparation courses that are required for incoming M.Arch. I students.

  1. Architectural Fundamentals (1000c). This five-week course is offered at no charge for those newly admitted students who do not have significant pre-architectural training. This course is required only for those students who have been informed in their acceptance letter that they must take this course. Students required to take the summer session must satisfactorily pass this course before being admitted to the School’s first-year M.Arch I program in the fall. Classes are held each day, Monday through Friday. The average day is broken into morning and afternoon sessions. Students are expected to complete assignments outside of class.
  2. Summer Shops Techniques Course. This one-week course introduces incoming students to the School’s fabrication equipment and shops. The course stresses good and safe shop techniques. Students are not allowed to use the School’s shops unless they have satisfactorily completed this course.
  3. Summer Digital Media Orientation Course. This two-part course, which occurs during the same week as the Summer Shops Techniques Course, covers accessing the School’s servers, the use of the School’s equipment, and the School’s digital media policies and procedures. This course is required only for those M.Arch. I students who did not take Architectural Fundamentals (1000c); see paragraph 1 above.
  4. Arts Library Research Methods Session. This ninety-minute session covers various strategies to answer research questions pertaining to course curricula and topics by using tools such as the Yale University online catalog, architecture databases, image resources, print resources, and archival resources.

School Portfolio

In addition to the 114 satisfactorily completed course credits, a student must satisfactorily complete the portfolio requirement in order to receive an M.Arch. degree. The portfolio requirement is administered and periodically reviewed by the Design Committee.

Academic Rules and Regulations

Procedures and restrictions for the M.Arch. I program can be found in the School’s Academic Rules and Regulations section of the School of Architecture Handbook.

National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)

Design and Visualization 17

Fall 2019
Architectural Design 1
Brennan Buck, Miroslava Brooks, Nikole Bouchard, Joyce Hsiang, Nicholas McDermott, Michael Szivos
Fall 2019
Architectural Design 3
Emily Abruzzo, Annie Barrett, Iñaqui Carnicero, Peter de Bretteville, Gavin Hogben
Fall 2019
Advanced Design Studio: New Tools
Francis Kéré, Martin Finio
Fall 2019
Advanced Design Studio: Cross-Border Commons—A Geography of Interdependence
Teddy Cruz, Fonna Forman, Marta Caldeira
Fall 2019
Advanced Design Studio: Vienna—Another Day in the City
David Gissen, Surry Schlabs
Fall 2019
Advanced Design Studio: Conjunto
Billie Tsien, Tod Williams, Andrew Benner
Fall 2019
Advanced Design Studio: Archipelago
Elia Zenghelis, Violette de la Selle
Fall 2019
Advanced Design Studio: Postprivacy, Designing New Centralities at the Border
Fernanda Canales, David Turturo
Fall 2019
Advanced Design Studio: Next Generation Tourism—Touching the Ground Lightly
Patrick Bellew, John Spence, Henry Squire, Timothy Newton
Fall 2019
Advanced Design Studio: Gothenburg Studio
Alan Plattus, Andrei Harwell
Fall 2019
Advanced Design Studio: The Architecture of Thought
Mark Foster Gage, Graham Harman
Fall 2019
Drawing and Architectural Form
Victor Agran
Fall 2019
Architectural Product Design
John D. Jacobson
Fall 2019
Formal Analysis I
Peter Eisenman
Fall 2019
Composition and Form
Peter de Bretteville
Fall 2019
Theory Through Objects: Political Form
Mark Foster Gage
Fall 2019
Trattie Davies, Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen

Technology and Practice 8

Fall 2019
Structures I
Kyoung Sun Moon
Fall 2019
Advanced Building Envelopes
Anna Dyson, Mohamed Aly Etman
Fall 2019
Environmental Design
Anna Dyson, Naomi Keena
Fall 2019
Architectural Practice and Management
Phillip Bernstein, John Apicella
Fall 2019
Technology and Design of Tall Buildings
Kyoung Sun Moon
Fall 2019
The Mechanical Eye
Dana Karwas
Fall 2019
Material Case Studies
Emily Abruzzo
Fall 2019
Computational Composite Form
Ezio Blasetti

History and Theory 7

Fall 2019
Modern Architecture and Society
Anthony Vidler
Fall 2019
Parallel Moderns: Crosscurrents in European and American Architecture, 1880–1940
Robert A.M. Stern
Fall 2019
Politics of Space
Mary McLeod, Summer Sutton
Fall 2019
Renaissance and Modern I
Peter Eisenman, Kurt Forster
Fall 2019
Spatial Concepts of Japan: Their Origins and Development in Architecture and Urbanism
Yoko Kawai
Fall 2019
Medium Design
Keller Easterling
Fall 2019
Architectural Writing
Cynthia Zarin

Urbanism and Landscape 6

Fall 2019
Introduction to Urban Design
Alan Plattus, Andrei Harwell
Fall 2019
The City and Carbon Modernity
Elisa Iturbe
Fall 2019
Urban Research and Representation
Elihu Rubin
Fall 2019
History of Landscape Architecture: Antiquity to 1700 in Western Europe
Bryan Fuermann
Fall 2019
Out of Date: Expired Patents and Unrealized Histories
Anthony Acciavatti
Fall 2019
Introduction to Planning and Development
Alexander Garvin