Directory   |   Workday   |   Access+   |   CyBox   |   Privacy Policy

Department of


Graduate Architecture Programs

Master of Architecture (MArch)

The Master of Architecture (MArch) is a three-year accredited professional degree in architecture designed for students with undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than architecture, as well as for students who hold four-year, non-accredited professional degrees in architecture such as the Bachelor of Science in Architecture. The MArch provides the knowledge, skills and experience with which to professionally practice architecture, alongside a critical awareness of the discipline’s wider social, political, economic, environmental and cultural implications.

Application Deadlines

The priority application submission date is January 4. Curricular accommodations for advanced-standing students will be made on a case-by-case basis. View application requirements. Applications received after each deadline will be reviewed only as program resources permit.

Degree Program

The MArch program (download PDF curriculum guide) is accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) and leads to a professional Master of Architecture degree over three years. The curriculum commences with an intensive sequence of classes establishing the foundations for the study and practice of architecture. Equal emphasis is placed on each of the three study areas; studios in architectural design and media, laboratories and lectures on science and technology, and lectures and seminars on history and theory. Building on these foundations, students are supported in developing their own specific interests and agendas as they progress through the subsequent two years of study. This specialization is facilitated through options in studying abroad, taking choosing from a wide range of electives, and through opportunities for independent study.

Students previously admitted to the full three-year program have held undergraduate degrees in a broad range of fields, including art history, history, literature, interior design, economics, mathematics, computer science, anthropology, medicine and philosophy. This diversity of experience is brought to bear on the study of architecture, collectively enriching the range and depth of our program.

Advanced Standing

While students with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines must complete the full three years of the curriculum, students with undergraduate degrees in architecture or other related design fields may, on consideration, be given advanced standing in the program. Advanced standing students may waive up to the whole first year.

Graduate Publication

Read more about our graduate program and see photos of past student projects in the 2013 publication CODA.

Application Requirements

Anyone applying for admission to the Master of Architecture program must meet the following requirements.

  • Iowa State University Graduate College Application
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of academic and personal interests
  • Portfolio
  • English Proficiency Exam (international applicants only)
  • Financial statement (international applicants only)

Download a PDF file detailing these requirements.

Double Degrees

We are pleased to offer the unique opportunity for you to pursue a double degree between our MArch and programs within and outside the College of Design. Earn the MArch and a second degree simultaneously while maintaining the high standards of both programs. In many cases, the time to degree completion is lengthened only by one or two semesters.

STEM Designation

Our graduate programs in architecture (Master of Architecture and Master of Science in Architecture) have been officially designated as STEM degree programs (CIP code 04.0902). With this new designation — which refers to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) — international MArch and MS in Architecture graduates are eligible to extend their F-1 visas for up to three years after graduation in order to work in the United States.

Ready to take the next step?

Please review our frequently asked questions and then contact Melissa Stenstrom, Graduate Student Recruiter for more information or to set up your visit.


For more information on our graduate programs in architecture, please contact:
Melissa Stenstrom, Graduate Student Recruiter
Dr. Doug Spencer, Director of Graduate Education