Graduate Programs

The Notre Dame School of Architecture graduate programs in architecture, urban design, and historic preservation promote built environments that are durable, useful, and beautiful, and which are supportive of strong communities.  The School seeks to train designers, scholars, preservationists, and advocates for the built environment who will play a leading role in their professions and may translate their skills and advocacy to a variety of disciplines and arenas.


Toward these ends, the graduate curriculum promotes a holistic approach to design education and the understanding of detail, building, and city as a continuous and interdependent scalar spectrum.  It engages both intellectual endeavor and the practical teaching of craft in order that the best lessons of historic precedent might be learned, expanded upon, and combined with a judicious use of contemporary strategies, materials, and methodologies in order to contribute toward buildings and urbanism which are environmentally and culturally sustainable.


Until recently, the School of Architecture graduate programs offered two different “tracks”, focused respectively on classical architecture and urban design.  The intent was to offer students an opportunity, for two semesters following their foundational semester(s), to delve into the particular issues of one scale or the other.  As part of the School’s recent decision to reinforce the inseparability of building design and urbanism, students are no longer required to select one of two tracks which have been seen by some as disparate fields of study.  The unbundling of the course selections does not eliminate any of the courses that made up the two tracks.  Instead, these courses may now be selected by students on an a la carte basis, allowing greater flexibility for students interested in exploring multiple scales and issues in greater depth.

Architecture & Urban Design

The School of Architecture offers two graduate degrees in architecture and urban design:

Master of Architectural Design and Urbanism (M.ADU)

  • 2-year post-professional degree (Path A) and

Master of Architecture (M.Arch)*

  • 2-year (Path B) professional degree

  • 3-year (Path C) professional degree

  • *Both the 2- and 3-year M.Arch degrees are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Eligibility for one degree program or another is based solely on an applicant's educational background.

Students seeking a two-year MADU post-professional degree (Path A) must hold an accredited professional degree in architecture (B.Arch or M.Arch) or the international equivalent.

Note:  International students who elect to join the post-professional M.ADU program are affirming that they have achieved their country's professional degree—sufficient to test for or to be granted a license there.  Those students wishing to become licensed in the United States should note that the M.ADU post-professional degree is not accredited and therefore not sufficient to qualify for testing in the U.S. based on the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) criteria.  These students may wish to either seek review of their educational and professional credentials by NCARB or to join one of the professional degree programs, again, dependent upon their educational background.

Students seeking a two-year M.Arch professional degree (Path B) must hold either a Bachelor of Art in Architecture or a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. 

Students seeking a three-year M.Arch professional degree (Path C) may come from any other discipline as long as they hold a minimum of an accredited Bachelor's degree, or the international equivalent.  Path C eligible students include those with degrees, majors, or minors in allied disciplines such as architectural engineering, landscape architecture, or urban studies.

The School of Architecture also offers an Additional Scholarly Year (Path D).  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis beginning in a student’s penultimate year in the professional or post-professional degree program in Architecture & Urban Design.  

Historic Preservation 

The School of Architecture is proud to introduce a two-year Master of Science in Historic Preservation (MSHP) program.