School of Architecture

Master of Science in Architecture

More than ever, architecture needs to be understood as part of an ever-expanding set of aesthetic, social, and technical systems. The Master of Science in Architecture (MSArch) is a one-year/three-semester program that invites architects and non-architects to explore this expanded zone of interdisciplinary practice. Each student chooses an area of concentration that allows them to build expertise in a specific system of thought and technique. In so doing, students are prepared to productively contribute to today’s conversation about contemporary problems and practices in architecture.

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Areas of Concentration

Materials & Fabrication

Through the Making Complex, students in this area work closely with the Institute for Material Ecologies to develop an in-depth understanding of materials and the connections they hold to environmental and political systems.

Management & Development

Drawing upon the expertise native to Southern California and in close collaboration with our School of Business, students in this area engage the real-world practices of management and real estate development.

Computational Design Systems

Students in this area focus on the design of computational design systems. They learn how to design and implement their own software tools and hardware prototypes using new generative design techniques, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Photography & Curatorship

Taking advantage of the Julius Shulman Institute, our Hollywood exhibition space, and local archives, students in this area study the ways architecture is represented in media and in scholarship through architectural photography, exhibitions, and archives.

The City

Using the environment of Los Angeles and Southern California, students in this area inquire into the present and future urban form. Students may choose to work with the Hinterlands Institute on the new productive landscapes beyond the city’s edge.

New Interiors & Virtual Experience

Students in this area engage the new interior spaces of gaming and virtual/augmented reality. They take advantage of resources such as our VR lab and the course offerings of our Interior Architecture, Game Design, and Applied Computer Science departments.

Who we want

  • Recent graduates of architecture programs who want to sharpen their focus prior to a professional career.
  • Graduates of non-architecture programs who want to develop the architectural aspects of their work.
  • Early- to mid-career professionals who want to develop a specific area of expertise.

How it works

During the application process, students identify an area of concentration and a primary advisor within that area. Once enrolled, each student works closely with the advisor in a small seminar/studio format to define the project and conduct research. This work is supported by a series of elective courses. In their final semester, students produce a thesis project that gives concrete form to their investigation, whether as a publishable article, exhibition, or prototype. At the end of their one-year course of study, students will have produced a personal project that will sustain and energize their future careers, whether as designers, artists, filmmakers, game designers, entrepreneurs, or scholars.

Students in the MSArch program have full access to the resources offered by Woodbury’s design, media, and business programs, such as our virtual reality facilities, gallery and exhibition spaces, game design courses, and digital fabrication labs. Further afield, students are encouraged to use the unique conditions of Southern California as an extended network and laboratory, including local archives and technical expertise from nearby industries.



If you are interested in applying to the Master of Science program, you may begin the process by clicking here to go to the Office of Admissions webpage.

Applicants are expected to already possess an undergraduate and/or graduate-level degree in architecture or a cognate design field (landscape architecture, environmental design, interior architecture, product design, etc.). However, that degree need not be a professional degree- we are interested to work with a wide range of intellectual backgrounds.

The following application items are required of all program applicants:

3 letters of recommendation from former faculty or employers
Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended
GRE scores, if required
TOEFL scores, if required

In addition, all MSArch applicants are required to submit a clear and compelling research proposal. In it, you are expected to address the following:

What specific area/s of interest do you have as relate to the built environment?
What exactly would you like to explore through the MSArch program?
Which regular faculty member are you interested to work with?
Which of the two program options are you planning to pursue (design research or scholarly research)?

Applications that do not clearly and concisely address the above through the research proposal will not be reviewed.