Master of Architecture
Promoted by University of Kansas

University of Kansas: A master’s degree in architecture that tailors to your interests

The School of Architecture & Design (ArcD) at the University of Kansas is a haven for problem solvers. This is where students, lecturers, faculty members, and researchers work together to develop creative, solutions-based designs to meet today’s architectural challenges. They are on a mission to create a more equitable, healthy, and ecologically sustainable future.

ArcD is a great place for aspiring architects and designers to get their start. They learn through experiential, project-based programmes that set them up for creative discovery and a fulfilling career. One such programme that promotes academic excellence while also reflecting what is needed in the professional field is the Master of Architecture. This NAAB-accredited programme comes in two tracks: two-year for students with architecture and design backgrounds and three-year for those who do not.

Led by a faculty of practising architects, students will learn conceptual and practical applications of design, construction, material science, and research in a collaborative studio culture. The first two semesters plus two summer sessions cover the foundations of architecture while the second academic year emphasises professional development, preparing you for real-world applications to come.

What sets this KU programme apart is the final year. This is when students specialise through a unique opportunity to tailor the master’s degree to their interests and a professional internship at one of the many companies connected to the university. Now more than ever, such professional engagement and exposure are crucial. Architects are required to design not only for function and style but also with a deep understanding of how the built environment affects people and our natural surroundings — something that KU recognises and provides for in its final year options.

Master of Architecture

Master of Architecture students can choose to intern in specialised areas during their final year. Source: University of Kansas

Health & Wellness

One of the specialisations is Health & Wellness, where students explore the connections between the built environment and human well-being. The required Architecture of Health course will dive deep into this relationship while other courses such as Evidence-Based Design Research Theories and Methods and Directed Readings on topics related to Health and Wellness Design will add to the knowledge needed to excel in this sub-field. The two final courses — an internship and a capstone studio — will earn you a Certificate in Health & Wellness Architecture.

The best part? Access to the Institute of Health + Wellness Design. It’s a great way to apply their knowledge in a flexible studio space or work together with researchers on topics such as decentralised nursing stations in inpatient units, critical access hospitals, patient-centred medical home systems, and healthy community design processes. Students can also share the Pulse Design Group Simulation Lab with Interior Architecture undergraduates and explore digitally rendered interior environments in 3D at a human scale.

Master of Architecture

Students can access various facilities, resources, and infrastructure in the “Sports Architecture Capital Of The World”. Source: University of Kansas

Sports & Leisure

Another final year option is the Sports & Leisure programme, which equips students with a robust understanding of contemporary issues in sports, leisure, urban data analytics, algorithmic modelling, and parametric design. The programme will address issues like stadium design, fan experience enhancement, and sustainable practices through collaborative discussions and projects.

Dubbed the sports architecture capital of the world, Kansas City has many community centres, indoor sports halls, large stadiums, multipurpose halls and arenas, pools and wellness facilities. In this living laboratory, KU students can reflect, gain inspiration and get a taste of how their ideas will translate into tangible real projects. 

“While sports are discussed across various professions, what sets us apart at the University of Kansas is our focus on space,” says Gustavo Amaral, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Sports & Leisure Programme Director. “We act as a bridge between state-of-the-art technologies like urban data science, algorithm modelling, and advanced analytical techniques, and the spatial aspects of sports facilities at various scales.”

Alongside Health & Wellness and Sports & Leisure, there are other final year options like Urban Design. It starts with a fall internship at a leading practice located in Kansas City and across the US, followed by a spring Capstone Studio in Kansas City. Eight to 10 students will be placed across four firms here, the likes of Populous, PORT, Perkins & Will and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and DLR Group.

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