Jul 13, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2016-2017 
Graduate Catalog | 2016-2017 Previous Edition

Architecture and Information Technology, M.Arch/M.S., Dual Degree

Design has become increasingly important to computer scientists and at the same time computation has become important to designers. The dual degree program in Architecture and Computer Science/Information Technology program is a unique curriculum that systematically combines the strength and insights of these disciplines.

As computing has matured as a discipline, it has expanded its focus to include the physical and virtual settings in which users interact with the machine. Specialties like human computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, gaming, and visualization require an understanding not only of the logic of the machine, but also the logic of the user. Based on these concerns, the design thinking ability that is an integral part of design training is of interest as an alternative paradigm that may change the way that students think and operate.

Within architecture, there is a unique opportunity to develop students who will have the knowledge to lead the integration of the computer into architectural practice and research. As firms rely more and more on computation, those who know how to think, program, and script will be able to change the way architects design and practice. We see the day fast approaching when the IT department at firms is not separate but rather is at the core of what architects do. Already, in advanced practices across the world, computing and design are intermingling.

The curriculum integrates architecture students with computer science/information technology students, working collaboratively on tasks that challenge both fields. Early in the curriculum, the cohorts with architecture background and those with computingbackground take courses to provide basic competency in a new discipline.

Students in this dual degree program enroll simultaneously in the Master of Architecture  program and either the M.S. in Computer Science  degree (courses labeled ITCS) or the M.S. in Information Technology  degree (courses labeled ITIS).


Students are admitted to this program upon recommendation of a joint admissions committee of faculty from the School of Architecture  and the Departments of Computer Science  and Software and Information Systems . Admitted students are expected to complete all coursework outlined above to receive both degrees. Upon successful completion of all requirements, students receive the Master of Architecture III  degree and the M.S. in Computer Science  or M.S. in Information Technology  degree.

All students admitted to the Master of Architecture III  program must be enrolled in the Dual Masters program.

Note: Other programs within the School of Architecture are accredited through the National Architectural Accrediting Board, but the Master of Architecture III  degree program, because of its research focus, is not an accredited program that can lead to licensure as a registered architect.

Admission to the dual degree program requires either:

  • A degree in architecture or a related design discipline or
  • An undergraduate degree in computer science, information technology, or a related discipline

Students without an undergraduate degree in a computing-related discipline must meet the following additional admission requirements:

  1. Architecture and Information Technology option
    Students admitted to the It option must have one of the following:
    • A summer programming course (boot camp) offered by the College of Computing and Informatics 
    • An introductory programming course as part of a bachelor’s degree
    • A certificate in a programming course offered online that is approved by the admission committee for the dual degree program

Master of Architecture / M.S. in Information Technology Curriculum

Year One

Second Summer Session (3 Credit hours)

Fall (12 Credit hours)


*Course required for entering students with undergraduate architecture degrees

**Course required for entering students with undergraduate computing degrees

Spring (13 Credit hours)

Year Two

Fall (10 Credit hours)

Spring (9 Credit hours)


*Another 4-credit Design + Computation Studio Course may be substituted for this course.

Total Dual Degree Credit Hours = 47

The centerpiece of the curriculum is a three-semester sequence of studio/lab courses taught jointly by the College of Computing and Informatics  and School of Architecture  faculty that are focused on issues and problems that are researched by design teams.

Courses in Architecture (ARCH) can be see here . For courses in Computer Science (ITCS) and Information Technology/Software and Information Systems (ITIS), please see the course listings  in the “College of Computing and Informatics” section.