Explore the MArch Program

Master of Architecture (MArch)

The Master of Architecture (MArch) graduate program at Woodbury embodies a fresh approach to architectural engineering and global urban conditions. Our innovative and accredited program trains students to engage in the architectural discourse of the city, making clear-eyed connections between their work, new technologies in both representation and realization, and built and natural environments.


Our immersive graduate programs encourage and value all methods of architectural communication: the analog, the digital, the written, the diagrammed, the drawn, the modeled, and the built. We investigate new technologies in representation and building from the position that technology is a means rather than a solution. We believe that there is no craft without knowledge, no technology without theory, no how without why.

Woodbury School of Architecture offers two NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture (MArch) tracks:

3-year professional MArch for students with no prior degree in architecture

2-year professional MArch for students with a pre-professional degree in architecture

Both tracks provide a balance of instruction in studio, representation and visualization, building and construction technologies, and history and theory. During each semester of the foundation, students take a class in each of four realms: studio, building, criticism, and visualization. This curriculum, together with a course in practice, provides the preparation necessary for a contemporary career in architecture. Other class offerings include advanced electives and skills workshops, in topics such as building technology, civic engagement, environmental stewardship and policy, history and theory, animation and other media. Fieldwork defines the program’s ethos of investigation and experimentation.


Image Credits: 2, 7 – Joshua White Photography; 3 – Bojana Banyasz

Process | Collaboration | Education

Graduate architecture students Diana Barash, Giancarlo Cassia, and Anali Gharakhani put together this short video presenting a day in the life of Woodbury School of Architecture undergrad David Hurtado. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at the collaborative processes that make studio life at Woodbury so unique.

Inquire or Apply Here

If you’re ready to apply to our Master of Architecture (MArch) program, you can click the APPLY button on the right to submit your application electronically. If you have questions about the program, use the contact form to get in touch with one of our admissions counselors who will get back to you within 24 hours. Alternatively, you can initiate a chat with our admissions service team.

Our dedicated admissions counselor for this program will be able to answer your questions about the architecture masters degree program, scholarships, financial aid, transfer credits, portfolios and related questions. We’re also happy to put you in touch with faculty and students who can give you an insight perspective on Woodbury School of Architecture.

To learn more about our faculty and the program curriculum, scroll down.

Chair of Architecture, Los Angeles:

Marc Neveu, PhD
Phone: 818-252-5180
Email: marc.neveu@woodbury.edu

Graduate Program Coordinator, Los Angeles:

Jason Rebillot, DDes, MAA
Phone: 818-394-3322
Email: jason.rebillot@woodbury.edu

Graduate Admissions Counselor, Los Angeles:

Ovsanna Adjikian
Phone: 818-252-5209
Email: ovsanna.adjikian@woodbury.edu

Chair of Architecture, San Diego:

Catherine Herbst, AIA
Phone: 619-235-2900
Email: catherine.herbst@woodbury.edu


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Master of Architecture Curriculum

A professional Master of Architecture degree requires a minimum of 168 units, of which at least ninety-six for the two-year program and ninety for the three-year are satisfied through the undergraduate degree. Students in the two-year MArch program study for five semesters; students in the three-year MArch study for seven semesters. Each semester has at its core a six-unit studio. The summer semester before the final year is devoted to Fieldwork; this studio requires both research and design. Students take professional architect courses and elective courses in addition to the studio in fall and spring semesters. The final spring semester centers on a graduate thesis studio, culminating in a public thesis review.

Summer 0
Groundwork (all incoming students)
Groundwork is a free two-week introductory course for incoming Woodbury School of Architecture graduate students. In the summer just before the Fall semester, students immerse themselves in three intensive mini-workshops: Visualization, Fabrication, and Studio Culture. The daily workshops explore the practice and promise of alternative modes of design thinking, and will be supplemented by exposure to local design and research resources.
Fall 1
3-year MArch students enter at this point in the curriculum.
ARCH 583 Graduate Design Studio 1: Spaces within Spaces
The foundation graduate design studio prompts a
phenomenological understanding of architectural space
through an introduction to design methodologies across
multiple media and within nested scales. Students
explore the manipulation of two and three dimensions
through skills development in drawing, material exploration,
and modeling. No prerequisite.
ARCH 562 Visualization 1: Making Technique
Students are inducted into the cultural and traditional
conventions of architectural representation. The course
operates as a workshop providing the analog and digital
communication standards and making techniques for
documenting, drawing, and modeling design ideas. No
ARCH 544 Building 1: Matter and Making
Students engage in hands-on examination of the major
material types through application considerations,
historical evolution, and physical properties of building
composition. No prerequisite.
ARCH 554 Criticism 1: Fieldwork Los Angeles
Using Los Angeles as a living laboratory, students
connect making to thinking in an investigation of the relationship
between architecture, landscape architecture,
and urban planning. Major ideas in urban design theory
are introduced experientially. No prerequisite.
Spring 1
ARCH 584 Graduate Design Studio 2: Living Organizations
Students expose increasing complexity in architectural
space through mining the conceptual organizing
logics of design through the cumulative exploration of
modules and units. Programming, contextual and environmental
prompts, regulating principles, circulation
and urban networks, and systems of assembly become
formative drivers through an investigation of housing
(habits, habitats, and inhabitations). Prerequisite: Grad
Studio 1.
ARCH 563 Visualization 2: Analytical Constructions
Architectural representation is composed as spatial
enabler and interpreter that establishes and conveys
perspective. Engagement occurs through two- and
three-dimensional analog and digital hardware and
software. Prerequisite: Visualization 1.
ARCH 545 Building 2: Structural Concepts
An understanding of the relationships between gravity
and structure is facilitated through the informed and
intuitive testing of building units and formal typologies.
Prerequisite: Building 1.
ARCH 555 Criticism 2: Architecture to Modern (0-1945)
Students embark on a historical exploration of cultural,
societal, and philosophical traditions as filtered
through architectural theory and manifest in the built
environment. The interdependencies of ideology and
inhabitation are revealed through global architectural
and written case studies from pre-history through 1945.
Prerequisite: Criticism 1.
Fall 2
2-year MArch students enter at this point in the curriculum.
ARCH 587 Graduate Design Studio 3: Infrastructures and Territories
The systemic understanding of architecture is broadened
through examination of the architectural object
as a microcosm of an ever-expanding context, of a community
or city as re-cycled. Building is introduced as
infrastructure and infrastructure as intervention within
ecology, land- and urban-scape, site, and territory.
Prerequisite: Grad Studio 2 or admittance to two-year
ARCH 564 Visualization 3: Advanced Drawing and Modeling
Students are exposed to the aesthetic and philosophical
objectives of drawing and modeling. The complexities
of dependency between architectural conceptualization
and representation are analyzed through a study of
changing techniques within mixed media. Prerequisite:
Visualization 2 or equivalent.
ARCH 546 Building 3: Advanced Structures
Architectural concepts and their structural implications
are advanced through case study analysis and performative
modeling. A body of research grows through consideration
of the unique contributions of concrete and
masonry, metal and steel, skin and tensile, and timber
and wood composite systems. Prerequisite: Building 2.
ARCH 554 Criticism 1: Fieldwork Los Angeles (for 2-year students)
Using Los Angeles as a living laboratory, students
connect making to thinking in an investigation of the relationship
between architecture, landscape architecture,
and urban planning. Major ideas in urban design theory
are introduced experientially. No prerequisite.
Spring 2
ARCH 589 Graduate Design Studio 4: The Total Building
Students are challenged to synthesize architectural considerations,
from the conceptual to the tangible, in the
comprehensive design of a building. The studio project
grows from a strong theoretical base into a response to
the complexities of program and site. Accessibility, environmental
performance, and life safety are addressed.
Emphasis is placed on the integration of building
systems with envelope and structure. Material selection
is guided by climate and context and is sensitive to
resource conservation. Prerequisite: Grad Studio 3.
ARCH 565 Visualization 4: Evolving Media
Students advance visualization skills through experimentation
with shifting representation technologies,
including and surpassing digital fabrication tools and
innovative softwares (not limited to BIM, Catia, GIS,
Grasshopper/Rhino, rendering engines, and/or website
production). Prerequisite: Visualization 3.
ARCH 547 Building 4: Environmental SYSTEMS Integration
Students learn an integrated approach to managing
structural and environmental performance, human
comfort and life safety. The approach to ambient control includes active and passive options, vernacular models,
and considerations of climate and materiality. Discussion
integrates the functionality, phenomenological
effect, and resource impact of system selection. Prerequisite:
Building 3.
ARCH 556 Criticism 3: Architecture from Modern (1945-now)
Students delve into contemporary cultural, societal, and
philosophical trends as filtered through architectural
theory and manifest in the built environment. The interdependencies
of ideology and inhabitation are revealed
through global architectural and written case studies
between 1945 and now. Prerequisite: Criticism 1 and 2
or equivalent.
Summer 1
ARCH 575 Graduate Fieldwork Studio
Students elect a fieldwork station from among regional
concentrations and study away exposures as a platform
for thesis research. Their research bridges the analytical
work of the core sequence with the synthetic work
of the final year. Students initiate a design project and
extended investigation proposal. Prerequisite: Grad
Studio 4.
Fall 3
ARCH 691 Graduate Design Studio 5: Focuses and Topics
Students study a contemporary architectural design
topic through a vertical option studio or specialize
through the selection of a focus studio. Topics vary and
focuses correspond to the three emphases and post-professional
tracks. Prerequisite: Fieldwork Studio.
ARCH 620 Practice 1: The Contemporary Architecture Profession
The role of administration, code, contracts, documents,
licensure, management, and policy in alternative and
standard practices are delineated as an elaboration of
the ethical, financial, and legal responsibilities of the
ARCH 648 Criticism 4: Architecture Research Salon and Thesis Prep
A research seminar treated as a design ideas salon
introduces contemporary architectural questions and
establishes the practical and theoretical context of the
thesis project. Students incorporate the issues presented
into a research platform and methodology, and prepare
a thesis proposal. Prerequisite: Fieldwork Studio
and Criticism 3 or equivalent.
Spring 3
ARCH 692 Graduate Thesis Studio
The culmination of the graduate professional program,
students pursue a self-directed thesis in collaboration
with a faculty advisor. Prerequisite: Grad Studio 5 and
ARCH 648, Criticism 4.

Student Experiences

  • The Woodbury faculty create a platform for the students to develop their own unique sensibility and establish a critical trajectory with the discipline. This facilitates new work that grapples with real architectural problems and contributes original ideas within contemporary discourse.

    Conner MacPhee

    MArch 2014
  • The laser cutters are very useful for model making. It's also really cool to watch the CNC mill carve my 3D designs out of wood or sculpting foam. I love to see my digital models take physical form.

    Mary Rose Parker

    MArch 2016
  • I really appreciate the interdisciplinary opportunities, particularly the grassroots community engagement and the Urban Policy Center.

    Serio Legon-Talamoni

    MArch 2016