School of Architecture

Architecture (MArch) LA + SD

The Master of Architecture 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.

' Apply

Our Master of Architecture is one of the first four graduate programs nationwide to have been accepted for participation in the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative.

IPAL Program

soa_la_range

Internships & Careers

Woodbury School of Architecture supports our students in building a strong foundation for professional practice while investigating the nature of practice itself.  Throughout our architectural degree programs, students gain knowledge and skills that they will use in their professional lives.  Graduate students have the opportunity to participate in fieldwork, research projects or teaching assistantships that give them firsthand experience of practice.  These experiences prepare students to make informed choices regarding their diverse career options.  Visit our School of Architecture Career Services page for more information about the services offered by our Career and Outreach staff.

School of Architecture Careers

Faculty & Staff

Our faculty are architects, designers, academics and policy makers practicing in Los Angeles, San Diego and Tijuana. This internationally recognized and award-winning group works closely with students, teaching the skills required to push the limits of practice and explore disciplinary possibilities in both theoretical and professional arenas.

Dedicated and professional staff members actively participate in the student experience.  Through individual attention, we foster close mentoring relationships between faculty, staff and students.

Faculty & Staff Contacts

An Intimate and Immersive Program

The professional graduate program at Woodbury School of Architecture embodies a fresh approach to architecture, Southern California, and global urban conditions. Within an intimate and immersive program, our innovative coursework encourages students to engage in the architectural discourse of the city, making connections between their work, new technologies in both representation and realization, and built and natural environments. Our MArch students consistently win design awards from public agencies and private groups, including American Institute of Architects (AIA) Pasadena Foothills, Los Angeles Business Council (LABC), Association for Women in Architecture + Design (AWA+D) and many others.

Alumni

Henry Cheung

Woodbury University alumnus Henry Cheung graduated from the Master of Architecture program (MArch) in 2013. After his graduation he joined Bestor Architecture in Los Angeles and has worked on such high-profile projects as the Beats by Dre headquarters in Culver City, California. Bestor Architecture was founded in 1995 by architect Barbara Bestor. The office engages Southern California as both the site and subject of architectural and cultural production to create contemporary environments.

“Beats by Dre HQ in Culver City is one of those projects that I will never forget. I learned and developed tremendously as a designer, creating spaces that were both conceptually profound, graphically punchy, while maintaining a balance between play and function. I was able to apply that acquired knowledge to one of the proudest project that I’ve had the chance to work on – a conceptual juice store in Pasadena due to open in July 2016. The project is a great balance between high-design and detail, and is on the pulse of what architectural design should be – a gesamtkunstwerk if you will.”

Alumni

Jennifer Pope

MArch alumna Jennifer Pope (’14) recently joined the Infrastructure Team in the office of Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti. As a policy analyst, she advises on public projects such as the Citywide Sidewalk Reconstruction Program and the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project. She is delighted to apply her architectural training towards implementing the Mayor’s goals to create a more livable and sustainable city –one city project at a time.

“I am very excited for the scope of work which includes a front row seat on projects such as citywide sidewalk repair and the 6th Street Bridge as well as learning from the innovative and forward-thinking team in the Mayor’s Office.”

Facilities

The Burbank/Los Angeles facility takes full advantage of the university’s academic offerings, student support services, comprehensive library, and residential campus life. At the same time, it offers specialized facilities, including a wood/metal shop, a materials resource library, a digital fabrication lab, computing facilities, a render farm, and 24-hour access to studios, including a 15,000-square foot architecture building.

Making Complex

Courses

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.

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.

 

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
prerequisite.
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.

 

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.
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 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.

 

 

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
program.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

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
architect.

 

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.

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.

 

ELECTIVE

ELECTIVE

 

Accreditation

NAAB
The MArch program at Woodbury School of Architecture is NAAB accredited.

WASC
Woodbury University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.

For more information about accreditation, visit the About page.

Accreditation