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School of Architecture

The School of Architecture offers three degree programs at the graduate level to accommodate students from different backgrounds who may have various educational and career goals.  These degree programs are:

  1. The Master of Architecture (M.Arch., professionally accredited program)
  2. The Master of Science in Architecture (M.S.Arch.)
  3. The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA Professionally Accredited Program))
Each of these degree programs provides the student the flexibility to plan his/her curriculum with the faculty advisor to respond to the student’s interest and career intention.

Types of Applicants:
Applicants to the graduate programs are generally of three types:
  1.  Students who have completed the equivalent of our Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies.    
  2. Students who come with prior degrees in architecture from other schools but are missing certain required undergraduate courses that must be taken in addition to the graduate course work.
  3. Students who have a prior degree in a field other than architecture.

Admission Requirements    
For admission to the graduate programs, applicants must meet the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and Research at Florida A & M as well as those of the School of Architecture.  For requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, see that section of this Catalog.  Requirements of the School of Architecture are as follows:
1.    Required previous degree and education background:

    a.  Master of Architecture Degree:  An undergraduate degree. The field of the degree helps determine the number of credit hours required for the M.Arch. degree.

    b.  Master of Science in Architecture Degree: Graduates of a non-professional Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies (B.S.Arch.) degree who do not wish to gain     licensure OR graduates who possess a bachelor’s degree in anallied field such as:  interior design, city planning, industrial design, building construction, construction technology engi-        neering, or computer graphics.   

    c.  Master of Landscape Architecture Degree:  An undergraduate degree.  The field of the degree helps determine the number of credit hours required for the MLA degree.

2.    Admission requirements for all applicants are:
  •  A letter indicating the degree program to which applicant is applying.  The letter should explain the applicant’s educational and career background, goals, and reasons for select-
  • ing the degree program and the School.
  • A résumé
  • A portifolio of recent academic design work.  This is not required fo students with a non-design bachelor’s degree.
  • Three letters of reference from people who can speak knowledgeably about the quality of the applicant’s recent work.
  • A completed FAMU graduate application form with transcript.

3.    Schedule:  All students must submit applications by January 15.  Applications received after these dates will be considered on a  space-available basis.

Progress and Retention Requirements
All students seeking admission to a graduate program in the School of Architecture are required to meet all of the provisions outlined in the university Catalog for satisfactory progress and retention as determined by the School of Graduate Studies and Research.  The requirements for satisfactory progress for such students is different from the general requirements for progress and retention for students admitted and enrolled in undergraduate degree programs.
Students admitted to graduate programs in the School of Architecture who fail to maintain the required conditions for progress and retention could face termination of their graduate student status. A failing grade in a required course or a grade below that required for advancement in the student's graduate curriculum as described in the Catalog requires course retake.  Such retakes follow different grade forgiveness policies from those that apply to undergraduate students' grades.

Master of Architecture
Program Description

The Master of Architecture is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.  The successful completion of the requirements of this degree qualifies graduates to pursue licensure as a registered professional architect. The Master of Architecture program is intended to prepare students for leadership roles in a rapidly changing profession.  Since its inception, the School has consistently recognized the diverse sets of roles graduates may play in the profession.  Emphasis is upon student freedom to pursue an investigation of personal interest.  This consists of in-depth inquiry into diverse architectural and urban issues and understanding architecture’s capability to act as an agent of intervention.

Degree Paths
The School of Architecture offers two distinct paths to the professional Master of Architecture degree:

Path A
Path A of the first professional degree Master of Architecture program is designed for students who have completed the equivalent of the FAMU Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies.  It constitutes advanced standing in the program, requires a two-year term of study, and leads to a professional Master of Architecture degree.
This course of study is for the student who wishes to enhance his/her personal approach to making architecture and to build upon the skills and knowledge gained in his/her undergraduate career.  The general profile of the Path A candidate is someone who has had a successful undergraduate career, has an excellent portfolio of work, and is willing to commit the time and energy necessary to be successful in this rigorous program.

Path B
Path B of the first professional degree Master of Architecture program is designed for graduates who have earned a four-year non-architectural bachelor’s degree. It constitutes a three-and-a-half-year term of study and leads to a professional Master of Architecture degree. This course of study is meant to serve not only the recent graduate but also to provide an educational opportunity for those desiring a career change.
Required Course Work

Below are the required courses for the Master of Architecture degree:

ARC 6357 Graduate Design 6.1 5
ARC 6358  Graduate Design 6.2 5
ARC 5206  Advanced Architectural Theory 3
ARC 6390  Models of Inquiry 3
ARC 6974 Thesis/Master’s Project Planning 3
ARC 6391 Theories of Intervention 3
ARC 6910 Thesis/Master’s Project Research 6
ARC 6971 Thesis/Master’s Project 6
ARC 5288 Practice II 3
ARC 5286 Practice I 3
Electives (5)
 Total 55

Master of Architecture
Suggested Time Frame
Path A
Year One

Fall Semester
Design 6.1
Advanced Architecture Theory
Models of Inquiry
Spring Semester
Design 6.2
Thesis Planning
Theories of Intervention
Year Two 
Fall Semester
Thesis/Master’s Project Research
Practice I
Spring Semester
Thesis/Master’s Project
Practice II
Path B
Year One
Fall 1
Arch. Computer Applications
Graduate Design 1
New Technology of Buildings
Architectural History I 
Spring 1Graduate Design 2
Architectural Structures 1
Architectural History II
Environmental Technology IV
Year Two

Graduate Design 3
Materials and Method of Construction III
Modern Architectural History 
Fall 2
Graduate Design 4
Adv. Architectural Theory and Philosophy
Models of Inquiry
Spring 2
Graduate Design 6.2
Thesis Planning
Architectural Structures II
Theories of Intervention
Year Three  
FallThesis/Master’s Project ResearchGraduate Design 6.1Practice I ElectivesSpringThesis/Master’s Project
Practice II
Architectural Structures III

Course Descriptions

ARC 5206 Advanced Architectural Theory and Philosophy
(3)   Review of the concepts, elements, roles, and significance of theories of architecture as related to the understanding and appreciation of works of architecture, architectural design and practice, and architectural education.  Overview of major architectural theories through history.
ARC 5286 Practice I (3)  This course is a survey of issues related to the profession of architecture, specifically how firms are organized, make money, and design quality buildings. 
ARC 5287 Practice II (3)  This is the second course in the professional practice sequence.  Emphasis will be placed on the current state of practice and its relation and obligations to the community, the marketplace, and the profession.
ARC 6217 Theories of Intervention (3)   This course investigates architecture as an agent of change, that is, as an instrument of intervention.  The course emphasizes gaining an understanding of and appreciation for the various contextual fabrics in which architecture participates, the formation of value positions by designers in intervention situations, and processes for rendering intervention decisions more deliberate and considered. 
ARC 6245 Models of Inquiry (3)  Inquiry is examined in the context of alternative design methods and philosophical postures.  The major course project consists of the establishment of a philosophical position that can be the basis for the future master’s project.
ARC 6357 Graduate Design 6.1 (5)   The couse focuses on design as inquiry of urban design and urban architecture with an emphasis on design as a method of intellectual discourse. 
ARC 6359 Graduate Design 6.2 (5)  [Prereq. ARC 6357.]  This is the last formal design studio in the graduate program.  The course has two components: 1) the development of an urban design scheme; 2) the exploration of a thesis topic and its implication in making architecture. 
ARC 6974 Thesis/Master’s Project Planning (3)  [Prereq. ARC 6245.]  The subject of the course is the task of planning a thesis or master’s project in architecture, specifically of selecting an appropriate topic and selecting appropriate research methods.
ARC 6910 Thesis/Master’s Project Research (V)  [Prereq. ARC 6974.]  This course provides a supportive structure to help the student manage his/her thesis to a successful conclusion.  At the end of the semester, the students will have completed a substantial portion of the written  thesis document.
ARC 6971 Thesis/Master’s Project (V)  [Prereq. ARC 6910.]  This is the concluding class in the thesis course sequence.  The students work closely with their thesis committee to produce the necessary document as required by the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Master of Landscape Architecture

Program Objective

The MLA curriculum addresses the relationship between the natural environment and the man-made landscape.  Landscape architects design and plan outdoor spaces to enhance both the physical and sensual experiences of human users.  The preservation and sustainability of the natural environment and man-made landscapes are essential concerns of contemporary landscape architects.  The mission of the Master of Landscape Architecture program is to provide students with the verbal, intellectual, and design skills required to achieve the highest level of professional or academic practice.

The course of study incorporates practical design experimentation and scholarly investigation in the design, planning, and preservation of rural, suburban, and urban communities.  There is a dual emphasis required of all students that focuses upon not only the core skills associated with professional practice but also upon pure and applied research within the discipline.  The MLA degree prepares graduates for private and public practice as well as careers in academic and research organizations.

For students holding an undergraduate degree in a field other than landscape architecture or architecture, a first professional degree is offered.  This curriculum for the first professional degree requires a total of 90 credit hours, which includes a terminal thesis.  The suggested time frame for completion of this degree is three years.
For students holding an accredited undergraduate degree in landscape architecture or architecture, an advanced degree is offered which requires a total of 60 credit hours including a terminal thesis.  The suggested time frame for completion of this degree is two years.

Both degrees prepare graduates for professional leadership roles within landscape architecture, architecture, planning, and engineering firms as well as within local, state, and federal public agencies.  The interdisciplinary nature of the discipline is reinforced through the incorporation of electives and opportunities for collaborative work into the course of study for both degrees.  The curriculum offers sequenced courses in design, history and theory, construction technology, and graphic communication.
Landscape architecture is a licensed profession in the state of Florida and in 48 additional states.  The program supports a student chapter of the professional organization that represents landscape architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Required Course Work*
Design Studio 30
Professional Courses 36
Approved Electives 12
Thesis Research and Thesis
 Total 90

*Curriculum adjusted for advanced degree candidates

Admission Requirements
Admission to the Master of Landscape Architecture program requires:

    *     Completion of graduate application form;
    *     Completion of the equivalent of an undergraduate degree with a 3.00 overall GPA in the last 60 hours of coursework or a combined score of 1000 on the GRE;

    *     A one-page letter explaining the applicant’s educational and career goals;

    *    A resume, samples, or representations of recent, design-related work;

    *    Three letters of reference, and;

    *     If an international student, a score on the TOEFL exam as required by the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Theses:  A terminal thesis is required for both first professional degree and advanced degree candidates.  These theses involve the generation of new knowledge and innovative scholarly investigations within the discipline of landscape architecture.  These works are to be accomplished within the established guidelines for graduate academic theses. Each thesis will frame a specific hypothesis related to a broader theme of inquiry.  The theme of inquiry will structure the individual student’s electives and research methodology.  Interdisciplinary linkages will be encouraged in both thesis subject matter and thesis committee membership.

Master of Landscape Architecture
First Professional Degree
Suggested Time Frame
Year One

Fall Semester
Design Studio 1
Landscape Computer Graphics
Landscape Architecture History
Site Engineering
Spring Semester
Design Studio 2
Landscape Modern History
Site Implementation
Year Two 
Fall Semester
Adv.Land.Arch.Design 1
Landscape Architecture Plants 1
Fla. Natural Communities
Urban Design
Spring Semester
Adv.Land.Arch.Design 2
Landscape Architecture Plants 2   
(Elective - Thesis)
Thesis Research 1 
Year Three  
Fall Semester
Adv.Land.Arch.Design 3
Thesis Research 2
(Elective - Thesis)
Landscape Construction
Spring Semester
(Elective - Ecology)
Architecture (Elective)
Landscape Architecture Practice  

Course Descriptions

Design Studios
LAA 4244 Introduction to Urban Design
(3) Introduction to and survey of historical  and contemporary theories, applications, and examples of successful urban designs.
LAA 6652 Design Studio 1  (6)   Introduction to the planning and design of outdoor spaces with emphases on design process, graphic communication, and three-dimensional modeling skills. An introduction to landscape architectural terminology and landscape design methodology.
LAA 6653 Design Studio 2 (6)  [Prereq. LAA 6653.] Basic design principles and their application to outdoor spaces with emphasis on human scale and site-specific data inventory and analysis.  Human spatial needs and preferences linked to their environmental impacts within natural systems and cultural constructs.
LAA 6654 Advanced Landscape Architecture Design 1  (6)   Site planning and design of complex landscape architectural programs.  Program development, site inventory and analysis, conceptual design, and detail design development of landscapes intended to serve multiple users.
LAA 6655 Advanced Landscape Architecture Design 2  (6)  Design and planning of rural, suburban, and urban landscapes with emphases on community participation, contextual analysis, conflict resolution among multiple users, and sustainable development strategies.  Interaction with related design professionals and community leaders.  
 LAA 6656 Advanced Landscape Architecture Design 3  (6)   Land planning and design at a regional scale, including appropriate applications of computer technology in the accessing and interpretation of data relative to ecological units.  Comprehensive land-use planning and environmental planning related to community design and preservation.

Professional Courses
LAA 6215 Landscape Architecture Practice
(3) Survey of ethical, legal, and professional practices necessary to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the public.  A critical review of contracts, client relations, firms, organizations, and professional insurance.
LAA 6371 Landscape Computer Graphics (3) Expansion of presentation graphics and construction documentation utilizing computer software.  Introduction and practice in computer-aided design and photo imaging applications currently in use by landscape architects in professional offices and public agencies.
LAA 6423 Site Engineering (3) Theory, principles, and practices of shaping the physical environment through the manipulation of earthwork, including the opportunities and constraints associated with surface and subsurface drainage.  Land survey techniques, base map preparation, topographic contour mapping, and earthwork calculations as they relate to contemporary landscape architectural practice.
LAA 6424 Site Implementation  (3)  Techniques and applications of materials and methods of construction in landscape settings, including paving, walls, garden structures, irrigation, outdoor lighting, and signage.  Emphasis on construction details, specifications, and computer-aided drafting.
LAA 6525 Landscape Construction (3) The preparation of a set of landscape construction drawings for a design assigned by the course instructor, including layout, grading, irrigation, utilities, planting, and site structures with appropriate specifications and cost estimates.
LAA 6540 Landscape Plants I (3)  Field study, including the identification and landscape uses of both native and ornamental landscape plant materials.  Ecological factors, botanical character, and maintenance concerns are addressed to facilitate proper plant selection and usage.
LAA 6515 Landscape Plants II (3)  [Prereq. LAA 6540]  Design applications and biological problem-solving through the use of landscape plant materials.  Emphasis on the techniques and methods of plant usage in outdoor settings to accomplish both functional and aesthetic living environments.
LAA 6545 Florida Natural Communities (3) Study and investigation into the role of native and indigenous species in the evaluation and planning of land use alternatives, sustainable landscapes, and ecologically sound design within various Florida ecological systems.
LAA 6715 Modern Landscape Architecture History (3) A survey and critical review of professional landscape architectural works and significant individuals who influenced the contemporary practice of landscape architecture.  Emphases on the seminal works of late nineteenth century and early twentieth century landscape architects that defined the role of the profession, early academics, and theorists that established the boundaries of the discipline, and significant contemporary writers and practitioners in the field.
LAA 6716 Landscape Architecture History (3)  A critical review of concepts of nature, land planning, and landscape design in the Western Hemisphere from pre-history through Ancient Egypt, Greece, Roman and Medieval Europe with a focus on the Renaissance gardens of Italy, France, and England.  Colonial American attitudes and practices toward the landscape and urban development.  Relationship of societal, cultural, technological, and metaphysical factors to landscape preservation and modification within historical periods.

Thesis Courses
LAA 6910 Thesis Research 1
(3) Theories and practical applications of research in landscape architecture and related disciplines, including investigative techniques and tools, research program development, research reporting, and writing.  Emphasis is on critical inquiry and its relationship to the generation of new knowledge within professional disciplines.
LAA 6912 Thesis Research 2 (3) A continuation of 6910.  Compilation of thesis bibliography, thesis proposal, thesis committee formulation, collection of initial thesis data, and its documentation.  Identification of case studies and/or thesis application sites where applicable.
LAA 6971 Thesis (6) Independent research and documentation based upon work accomplished in Thesis Research.  Intermediate reviews, committee meetings, and interim product due dates scheduled by thesis candidate with guidance from committee chair.

Master of Science in Architecture

Program Description

The Master of Science in Architecture (M.S. Arch.) is for those who wish to acquire special skills and knowledge at the master’s level. Due to the short duration of the curriculum path, students should have a well-formulated thesis topic or educational agenda before entering the M.S.Arch. program.   The Master of Science degree is not a professional degree and does not qualify a recipient of this degree for licensure.

Students with degrees in fields other than architecture may be admitted to the M.S.Arch. program.  This may require additional course work at the undergraduate level be completed together with the normal graduate course curriculum for the degree.

The degree requires 36 credits of course work and the completion of a thesis. This program is planned as a three-semester sequence.  In the past, students have focused on the following areas:
  • Urban design and urban architecture
  • Facilities programming and analysis
  • Architectural design and theory
  • Historic preservation

Typical profiles of candidates for this degree program include but are not limited to:       
  • Graduates who possess a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree.
  • Graduates of a non-professional Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies degree who do not wish to gain licensure.
  • Graduates who possess a bachelor’s degree in an allied field.

Required courses for the Master of Science in Architecture Studies are:
    ARC 6974    Thesis Planning (3 credits)
    ARC 6910    Thesis 1 (6 credits)
    ARC 6971    Thesis 2 (6 credits)
    ARC 6390    Models of Inquiry (3 credits)
    ARC 6391    Theories of Intervention (3 credits)
    Thesis-related electives (9 credits)
    Open electives (6 credits)

The required professional coursework for the Master of Architecture is composed of 10 courses totaling 40 credits. This is in addition to the 15 elective credits. The final course list is determined by the student, the thesis chair, and the program director.