Browse below to find the answers to the most frequently asked Master of Architecture questions. Don't see what you're looking for? Contact us at [email protected]. We're here to help.
Why has KCAD created a Master of Architecture program?
Because now is the right time and KCAD is the right place. Creating West Michigan’s first professional architecture program allows us to build on the foundation of human-centered design laid by our collaborative, industrial, and interior design programs. As an institution that understands the importance of collaboration and design thinking to the future of all places, KCAD is committed to helping grow your talent and make an impact. The profession and practice of architecture are changing rapidly. As a new program, the KCAD MArch is in an excellent position to focus education on where architecture is going, not where it has been.
Do I need a specific pre-professional degree to enroll?
We welcome students with any undergraduate degree! Those students with a baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than architecture will normally be enrolled in the three-year program. Students with a pre-professional degree in architecture will normally be enrolled in the two-year program. However, each applicant is evaluated individually and placed appropriately.
What will I study?
The first part of each semester is devoted to an immersive, intensive, and broad investigation of architecture that asks you to make connections between areas of knowledge that are too often treated as disparate subjects: history, professional practice, technology, building science, critical theory, and design communication to name a few. The second part of each semester is a design studio that engages you in design research, thinking, criticism and making, applying knowledge developed through immersion to solve real-world problems. Learn more about the curriculum.
What are the program's technology requirements?
Specific technology requirements for the KCAD MArch can be found here.
What internship opportunities will be offered?
An internship in practice is required as part of the course of study. These internships are broadly supported by regional firms. The thriving design community of Grand Rapids will present you with numerous opportunities to expand your learning outside of the classroom, and internships outside of West Michigan are also available. The program will work closely with you to develop an internship experience that broadens your understanding of the possibilities and practice of architecture and design.
Are there any online, weekend, or summer course options being offered?
At this time, there is no online or weekend component to the KCAD MArch. Depending on your educational background, a summer studio in building science and design may be required prior to Year 2 (Year 1 for those students entering with a pre-professional architecture undergraduate degree).
Are there study away opportunities/expenses?
Critical travel, in the late summer and early fall of the final year of the KCAD MArch, is an exciting and deeply impactful study away experience that is part of the required MArch curriculum. Instructional costs for study away are covered by tuition. Students pay their own travel, accommodation, meal and incidental costs. Students should budget $4,000 to $5,000 for these costs. Actual costs will be known in advance of the course.
How can I apply?
Click here to learn how to apply. If you have any additional questions concerning the application process, please contact us at [email protected]. Click here for more information on the KCAD MArch Admissions policy.
Can I work a full- or part-time job while enrolled?
The MArch is immersive, requiring a substantial commitment of time and effort. As such, it would be very challenging to complete the program while working full-time. It may be possible to work a part-time job, including internships, and complete your studies. The program is supported by the regional practice community, which is committed to providing opportunities for our students and graduates.
What is the timetable for accreditation?
The KCAD MArch program is following its Plan for Achieving Initial Accreditation, which was approved by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in 2014. Subsequently, the NAAB Board granted the KCAD MArch (2- and 3-year) Candidacy status, effective January 1, 2014. NAAB again visited KCAD in the fall of 2016 for Continuation of Candidacy. We anticipate that NAAB will make its Initial Accreditation Visit to the KCAD MArch in fall 2018. Pending a successful visit, the KCAD MArch will be granted accreditation effective retroactively to January 1, 2018. This is the final step in the Plan that was approved in 2014.
How does the timetable for accreditation work for graduates seeking registration?
Upon receipt of Initial Accreditation in 2018, KCAD MArch degrees awarded as of spring of 2018 are accredited for professional licensing purposes. In addition, the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB) recognizes degrees awarded up to two years prior to Initial Accreditation as meeting the degree requirements for an NCARB Certificate. This is commonly referred to as the NCARB “Two Year Rule.” Therefore, the degrees awarded to our inaugural class in the spring of 2016 will be recognized by NCARB. Individual states may have differing requirements for registration, so you should research the particular jurisdiction in which you intend to become licensed. If you have questions on this important topic, please feel welcome to contact [email protected].
Please click here for the NAAB Statement on Accredited Degrees.
Follow this link for more on the NCARB Two Year Rule.