Architecture and Urban Design

Scope and Objectives

The Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architectural Studies and four graduate degree programs tailored to the needs of different groups of students: MArch I, MArch II, MA, and PhD.

The BA in Architectural Studies is a two-year program with focus on the built environment. The curriculum visualizes architecture as a cultural, creative, and technical practice and a discipline with direct social impact. Within the context of a liberal arts education, a finely balanced set of architecture and urban design courses, ranging from the history and theory of design to contemporary building technologies, provides students with a diverse foundation of knowledge in the field of architecture and prepares them for graduate school and/or careers in a wide range of fields.

MArch I is a three-year first professional degree program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). It does not assume any prior background in architecture. Students who do have some prior architecture background (e.g., a four-year undergraduate degree) may also enter the program and may petition to waive certain required courses and substitute more advanced electives in their place. MArch I graduates normally pursue professional careers in architectural practice.

MArch II is an advanced self-supporting professional degree program for students who already hold a first professional degree in architecture. The program offers opportunities for intensive concentration in a variety of areas of professional specialization.

The MA and PhD degree programs offer opportunities to pursue research and scholarship in the field of architecture. Graduates typically pursue academic or applied research and consulting careers.

In the U.S. most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a requisite for licensure. NAAB, the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes two types of degrees: Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture. A program may be granted a five-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on its degree of conformance with established standards. Master’s degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree which, when earned sequentially, comprise an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.