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M.Arch in Architecture

Explore, build, and lead the profession architecture.
The professional M.Arch. degree prepares students to become leaders in the profession of architecture. Students enroll in a two-year core curriculum focused on techniques, principles, histories, theories, and technologies related to the discipline of architecture. In the final year of the program, the students develop a thesis project.

The professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree is designed for students with undergraduate baccalaureate degrees in fields other than architecture and for those holding a non-professional baccalaureate degree in architecture. The three-year (seven-semester) program helps prepare students to become leaders in the profession of architecture. Students enroll in a two-year core curriculum that helps prepare them with techniques, principles, histories, theories, and technologies related to the discipline of architecture. In the final year of the program the students develop a thesis project.

The M.Arch. program is a companion to our more than century-old accredited Bachelor of Architecture program and enjoys the curricular explorations and experiences that have gone into designing and maintaining a cutting-edge professional architectural education. The program is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Effective January 2020, the M.Arch. is designated as a STEM program with the CIP code 04.0902.

In its 2019 accreditation visit, the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) praised Penn State’s M.Arch. program by pointing out that four accreditation conditions are met “with distinction”: (A2) Design Thinking Skills, (A7) History and Global Culture, (C1) Research, and (C3) Integrative Design.


Many US states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map. (Available July 2020.)

M.Arch Student Awards

Exterior views of a building diagram model printed on textured paper.

Alumni Spotlight

My Penn State education has influenced my career by developing me into a global citizen, through exposure to different people, resources, industries, cultures, and places.
Penn State alumna and 2019 president of the New York chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects, Samantha Josaphat.

Alumni Spotlight

Samantha Josaphat

B.Arch. in Architecture 2012

Samantha Josaphat is an architect and the founder of STUDIO 397 Architecture. Part of the mere 0.3 percent of black female architects registered in the United States, she is the 397th living black female architect to be licensed. Samantha entered the Penn State Architecture program in 2007, and by 2012, she had traveled to ten countries, become a member of the Arts and Architecture Student Council, and founded the Penn State student chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS). While at Penn State she built herself a valuable network of resources that continues to shape her path to success. Samantha is the 2019 president of the New York chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects. Learn more about how Samantha’s firm is impacting the narrative of black female architects in this video.

Modern, dark facade of high-end retail showroom for COS, in Toronto, Ontario. Architectural design by Samantha Josephat.
Pedestrians engaging with ‘The Ambiguous Heart,’ Samantha Josephat’s heart-shaped pavilion, featured in the 2019 Times Square Valentine heart design competition.
Corporate office interior design by Samantha Josephat.
video Nazarian and Marshall MonaAsadi McKenna McKenna Mishra Hazel Tang Vishansky Mckenna Shang

Faculty Spotlight

Felecia Davis

Associate Professor of Architecture

Felecia Davis combines art, technology, and science in her work with computational textiles: soft materials that can sense and respond to the world around them through computer programming, electronics, and sensors. Director of SoftLab, she holds the Agnes Scollins Carey Memorial Early Career Professorship in the Arts for 2018–21, using the funds to lead a multiphase, collaborative research project that involves constructing a 1:1 scaled demonstration prototype for a solar photovoltaic fiber tension shade. Her work was featured in Penn State’s recent campaign highlighting the national and international impact of select faculty’s research.

Professor of Architecture Felecia Davis

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