Paths of Study

Two Degrees in Four Paths of Study

The School of Architecture offers two graduate architecture degrees: 1) the post-professional Master of Architectural Design and Urbanism (M.ADU), and 2) the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)- certified professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch). These two graduate architecture degrees are offered in the following four paths of study:

Curriculum Outline

Graduate Curricula and Course Descriptions

Path A / Master of Architectural Design and Urbanism (2 years)

The 2-year Master of Architectural Design and Urbanism (M.ADU) post-professional degree is intended for students who already hold an accredited professional degree and are seeking to further develop their design skills and critical thinking in the disciplines of classical architecture and traditional urban design. The studio course work consists of a) a foundational first semester spent in South Bend introducing students to classical architectural design, urban principles and history, and the history of Rome; b) two semesters of studio work (one in Rome) in the student’s selected concentration; and c) an independent terminal design project and public defense in the student’s fourth semester. 39 credit-hours over four semesters are required for graduation, and M.ADU students are limited to 12 credit-hours per semester.

Path B / Master of Architecture (2 years)

Notre Dame’s 2-year Master of Architecture (M.Arch) professional degree is intended for students entering the University of Notre Dame with a four-year pre-professional degree in architecture who are seeking a professional graduate degree that focuses upon classical architecture and traditional urbanism. Studio course work is identical to that of the 2-year Path A M.ADU program, with a foundational first semester spent in South Bend, followed by two semesters of studio work (one in Rome) in the student’s selected concentration, followed by a terminal design project and public defense in the student’s fourth semester. Required studio and seminar courses are supplemented by other courses needed to meet the National Architectural Accreditation Board’s (NAAB) substantive curricular requirements for accredited professional architecture degree programs. These requirements will vary from student to student depending upon their undergraduate architectural education. A minimum of 54 credit-hours over four semesters are required for graduation, and the normal course load for Path B / 2-year M.Arch students is 15 credit hours per semester.

Path C / 3-Year Master of Architecture (3 years)

The 3-year Master of Architecture (M.Arch) professional degree is intended for students entering the University of Notre Dame with a four-year undergraduate degree in a field other than architecture. An intensive three-semester foundational sequence of studio, history, theory and technology courses prepares students for the final three-semester concentration/terminal design project and public defense sequence described above. 90 credit hours over six semesters are required for graduation, including a normal (over)load of 18-credit hours each of the first three semesters. Advanced standing may be given to students who have completed some portion of their non-studio course work prior to matriculation, but the six-semester studio sequence is required of all Path C candidates.

Path D / The Discretionary Dual Degree (3 or 4 years)

At the discretion of the School of Architecture Graduate Studies Committee, one or two M.Arch students per year may be invited to pursue the Discretionary Dual Degree (DDD) course of study. Students who pursue the DDD option spend an additional year of studies at Notre Dame, during which time they spend two semesters rather than one in Rome, complete concentrations in both Classical Architecture and Urban Design, and graduate at the end of their additional year with both the professional M.Arch degree and the post-professional M.ADU degree. All M.Arch students are eligible to apply for the DDD course of study, but all DDD invitations are extended at the discretion of the School of Architecture Graduate Studies Committee and may vary in number in any year from none to no more than two. Exactly twenty-four (24) credits must be taken in the final year of study, twelve (12) each semester.