College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Overview of Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs

About Our Graduate Program

Clemson Architecture offers two Master's degrees: the Master of Architecture (M. Arch.) and the Master of Science in Architecture (M.S. in Arch.) 

The M. Arch. is a professional, NAAB-accredited degree with four degree tracks. The three-year M. Arch. I first-professional degree track is designed for those without an undergraduate preparatory degree in architecture (typically BA or BS in Architecture) and a strong portfolio of 6 to 8 semesters of design studio work. The two-year M. Arch. II second-professional track is intended for those with a pre-professional BA or BS in Architecture (or a pre-professional architecture degree equivalent in preparation) and a portfolio with 6 to 8 semesters of strong design studio work. There are also M. Arch. I and II tracks with a Concentration in Architecture + Health. Students in our M. Arch. I tracks come from a wide range of undergraduate majors, including students with prior studies in architecture and design, and promising students without any formal art or design background. Students in our M. Arch. II tracks come from undergraduate architecture programs across the country and around the world.   

The Master of Science in Architecture (M.S. in Arch.) is a research-oriented degree for those with a research agenda and already holding a pre-professional degree in architecture, an M. Arch., or other degree in design. 

The various degree tracks and programs are described below. For application information, see our Graduate Admissions webpage. For certificate programs, see the Architecture + CommunityBUILD program webpage and the Digital Ecologies webpage. 

As a whole, our Graduate Program currently accommodates up 125 graduate students, including approximately 100 students in the Master of Architecture degree program, 20 students in the Master of Architecture, Architecture + Health concentration, and approximately 5 students in the Master of Science in Architecture degree program. Our target annual admission is approximately 20 new M. Arch. I students, 20 new M. Arch. II students, and approximately 5 new M. Arch. II A+H students each year.

Graduate Degrees and Degree Tracks

Clemson offers four tracks toward earning the Master of Architecture (M. Arch.) degree and a track for earning the Master of Science (MS Arch.) degree. The School of Architecture does not offer a PhD, but is part of the interdisciplinary PhD in Planning, Design, and the Built Environment (PDBE). 

Master of Architecture (M. Arch.) Degree Tracks

Clemson offers four tracks toward earning the professional, NAAB-accredited (NAAB accreditation) Master of Architecture (M. Arch.) degree:

The M. Arch. I  is a "first professional," three-year, 90-credit hour degree track for students without a strong portfolio of 6 to 8 semesters of undergraduate architecture studio coursework. M. Arch. I students have wide diversity of backgrounds, some with prior studies in architecture and some without any formal art or design studies, including such majors as architecture and architectural studies, art, business, economics, city planning, engineering, industrial design, landscape architecture, literature, psychology, studio arts, and other fields.      

The M. Arch. II is a "second professional," two-year, 60-credit hour degree track for students with a pre-professional Bachelor’s degree (BA or BS) in Architecture. 

The M. Arch. I in A+H is a first professional, three year, 91-credit hour degree track for students seeking to pursue a concentration in Architecture + Health. 

The M. Arch. II in A+H is a second professional, two year, 60-credit hour degree track for students with a pre-professional Bachelor’s degree in architecture, who wish to pursue a concentration in Architecture + Health. 

Master of Science in Architecture (MS in Arch.) Degree Track

Clemson also offers a Master of Science in Architecture degree, an independent research-oriented degree which is most appropriate for students who have completed an M. Arch. or other Master's degree in design and who have a defined research agenda. (The MS degree is not a professional degree; a professional degree such as the M. Arch. is necessary for licensure.)  

For more information, see Master of Science in Architecture

PhD in Planning, Design, and the Built Environment (PDBE)

The School of Architecture and architecture faculty are affiliates of Clemson's interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Planning, Design, and the Built Environment (PDBE). Applicants apply directly to the PDBE program (not to the School of Architecture). For more information, see Ph.D. Program in Planning, Design, and the Built Environment (PDBE)

Detailed Program Information

For further information about the degree tracks listed above, click the appropriate links above or to the left. The answers to many questions about the Graduate Program in Architecture can be found in the linked webpages and documents, as well as Clemson University's Graduate School website. If you do not find the answers that you are looking for in these documents and webpages, contact the Program Director, Peter Laurence, or the Student Services Coordinator, Michelle McLane.

Our graduate programs are part of and work in partnership with Clemson University's Graduate School.

For Graduate School regulations and policies, see:

For detailed information about our graduate programs, see the Graduate Program Handbook (aka Graduate Student Handbook) 2014-15.

New and prospective students may find the 2012 Clemson University Graduate Student Guidebook helpful. 

Visiting the School

Prospective graduate students are welcomed and encouraged to visit, and it is suggested that prospective students visit during the school year, when students and faculty are present. Studios are in session Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons; those days are best to get a sense of the life of the school. The Architecture Graduate Programs host Graduate Open Houses in the fall (typically in October or early November) for prospective graduate students and in the spring (in late March or early April) for prospective admitted and wait-listed applicants-- but prospective students are always welcome. For information about our Open Houses, see our Visitors and Prospective Students webpage.    

About Architectural Education and Practice

Before applying, you are encouraged to learn as much as possible about the field, including what architectural education and practice are like. Talk with current and former students, and architects, and read. For more information about "Becoming an Architect, The Profession, Careers in Architecture, and What It's Like to Work As An Architect," start with "The Basics" on the NCARB site. See also the "Careers in Architecture" webpage from the American Institute of Architects, as well as the ARCHcareers.org website. As you will learn there, an accredited Master of Architecture degree is the first step in a lifelong education; for those intending to become licensed architects, it is followed by a structured internship program (IDP) and a licensing exam (the ARE).       

Other good sources of information for those considering a career in architecture are Gunnin Architecture Library's "The Architecture Student's Basic Bookshelf," websites like Archinect, professional journals including Architect magazine and Architectural Record, and various books that have been written about architectural education and practice.