Architectural education is transformative. Its goal is to build in students the consciousness of an architect. The core values of the Graduate Program in Architecture are based on a design-centered curriculum that promotes personal development, ethical imperatives, critical thinking, and ecologically sustainable practices. These values are expressed in an education that challenges students to expand their awareness, to become leaders, to master the discipline, and to engage real-world problems in their cultural and social contexts with the responsibility of stewardship for the built and natural environment. The program is committed to preparing students for leadership roles not only within the profession but also within the broader communities they join and influence.
In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards. Master’s degree programs may consist of a preprofessional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree, that when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
The Master of Architecture program at the University of Tennessee received a full 6-year accreditation as a result of its last NAAB accreditation review.
The School of Architecture offers two tracks leading to the Master of Architecture degree. Track 1 is for students seeking the first-professional degree who already hold a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree in another field. Track 2 is for students with an accredited first-professional degree who seek to develop an area of specialization. Contact the school for additional information.
In addition to meeting the Graduate Council’s minimum requirements, the following specific admission requirements to the Master of Architecture program must be met.
For Track 1 applicants, a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA from an accredited college or university is required. International applicants must have an equivalent four-year degree and 3.0 GPA. Candidates with a GPA less than 3.0 may be considered for conditional admission when evidence of exceptional promise is identified. Undergraduate work must include at least 12 semester hours of humanities, a basic understanding of physical principles, systems and analytical procedures and an understanding of mathematical principles and analytical procedures, as well as a general understanding of the use of computers. The school requires an essay and three letters of recommendation. Submission of a portfolio illustrating evidence of visual creativity and/or graphic capabilities is highly recommended. A personal onsite interview is desirable but not mandatory. For those applicants from undergraduate design programs, a portfolio is required in addition to the above requirements.
For Track 2 applicants, a Bachelor of Architecture degree from an NAAB accredited program or foreign equivalent is required. Candidates with a GPA less than 3.0 may be considered for conditional admission when evidence of exceptional promise is identified. Submission of a portfolio, an essay, and three letters of recommendation are also required. A personal onsite interview is desirable but not mandatory.
The general portion of the Graduate Record Examination is required of all applicants. Applicants should take the GRE at least one semester in advance of application for admission.
Track 1 requires a minimum of 48 semester hours of undergraduate preparation and 60 semester hours of graduate course work, taking approximately three and a half years of full-time study. A minimum of 4 hours of architectural electives or approved electives from another discipline must be taken at the 500 level or above.
Track 2 requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate course work.
Both tracks require 6 hours of Thesis ARCH 500 with a public presentation and oral defense of the thesis.
Retention in the program is contingent upon evidence of satisfactory progress toward the degree. Student’s progress will be reviewed each semester by the graduate program head. Any questions regarding progress will be reviewed by the Graduate Program Advisory Committee.