Rochester Institute of Technology
Department of Architecture, Golisano Institute for Sustainability
The Master of Architecture Program in the Department of Architecture is designed for students with a broad range of interests and backgrounds who are interested in studying architecture at the graduate level, and includes those whose undergraduate degrees were in architecture but also were obtained in fields outside of architecture. The program's curriculum has been shaped by the global emphasis of sustainability, factors that impact urbanism, and the hands-on application of the principles of design and technology on materials and construction.
The Master of Architecture program at RIT is a part of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) and formally aligned with the College of Imagining Arts and Sciences. Together, these two academic units allow both the technology and aesthetic of architectural design inquiry to blossom and become infused with one another. At GIS, there are also Ph. D. and M.S. programs focusing on sustainability, further allowing for multidisciplinary and collaborative academic investigation. The GIS building "Sustainable Institute Hall" is a state of the art, high performance 'Living, Learning Laboratory' providing hands on experiential learning and research investigation, and is one of the newest buildings on campus. RIT has an enrollment of approximately 18,000 students with a career orientation, cooperative education and research focus. It occupies 1,300 acres in a relaxing, yet vibrant suburban community setting of Rochester, the third-largest city in New York State. RIT also has international campuses in Eastern Europe and Dubai.
Architecture is in a time of great transition. Globalization, political policy making, advanced materials development, and the challenges facing urban environments place great demands on professional architects to be well versed in concepts outside their immediate field, and able to work effectively with professionals from a variety of disciplines. RIT's innovative Master of Architecture Program is geared toward preparation for the practice of architecture in an increasingly inter-disciplinary and inter-professional world. This program is founded upon the principle that the adjective "sustainable" is an integral part of the practice of architecture. The program emphasizes application and collaboration, and students learn and practice the skills and methods of architecture through the lens of sustainability, graduating with the ability to contribute meaningfully to the construction of a fully sustainable built environment. Students are also exposed to the results of cutting-edge research in such areas as material aging, clean technologies, alternative energy solutions, pollution prevention, and green product assessment currently underway in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability.
The Master of Architecture degree has four essential elements that make up the primary cornerstones from which design can evolve and flourish. These include: Sustainability The global emphasis on sustainability, and RIT's commitment to progress in this field now and in the future, forms the first important pillar of the Master of Architecture program. New architecture professionals entering the field from RIT's program will have the opportunity to bring with them a unique perspective on sustainability—an integrated and holistic immersion, to elevate design thought and creative exploration. Urbanism The challenges facing our cities are profound, and architecture plays a key role in addressing them. A degraded urban environment has potentially deleterious implications for social, economic, cultural, and environmental health. Our program pays particular attention to urban settings and urban principles. The program focuses on the practices and principles of preservation and adaptive reuse, with the city of Rochester serving as an active learning environment. Integration Integration of learning and practice are key elements to an effective Master of Architecture program. The program's design curriculum is well integrated with technical coursework and discussion that extends beyond design concepts. Topics such as construction technologies, material science, and building systems have huge implications in design; as does public policy, sociology, urban economic development and other non-design concepts. An educational goal of the program is to acquire collective intelligence in a team environment to the benefit of the communities in which structures are built. Technology Today's architects have incredible technological tools at their disposal. Mastering these tools and understanding technology's implications on their design work are important components of an architect's education. An architecture degree program residing within one of the country's most respected technology universities provides a distinct advantage. The ability to study specialized areas of technology, and the opportunity to collaborate with engineers, computer scientists, imaging scientists and experts in advanced materials means an educational environment for architects unlike most any other. Program Curriculum Students are required to complete 105 semester credit hours to successfully complete the program. Designed as a full-time program, courses will be offered on campus, primarily during the day. The core of the coursework is studio-based design. Technical courses and electives are predominantly classroom based. In addition to three required sustainability courses, students will take one sustainability elective. All students will prepare a thesis in their final year. Students will take four additional graduate electives, drawn from courses offered by the colleges of Liberal Arts, Engineering, Applied Science and Technology, Imaging Arts and Sciences, and Business. In addition to coursework, Master of Architecture students must also fulfill one co-op experience and one global experience.
- Building Technologies
- Community Design
- Ecological Design
- Energy Modeling
- Life Cycle Design