Feb 21, 2024
Design has become increasingly important to computer scientists and at the same time computation has become important to designers. The Master of Science in Architecture and Master of Science in Information Technology dual degree 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 and its allied fields, there is a unique opportunity to develop students who will have the knowledge to lead the integration of the computer into architectural 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 Master of Science in Architecture students with Master of Science in Information Technology students, working collaboratively on tasks that challenge both fields. Early in the curriculum, the cohorts with architecture backgrounds and those with computing backgrounds take courses to provide basic competency in a new discipline.
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.
Students in this dual degree program enroll simultaneously in the M.S. in Architecture degree program and the M.S. in Information Technology degree program.
Students are admitted to this program upon recommendation of a joint admissions committee of faculty from the School of Architecture and the Department of Software and Information Systems. Admitted students are expected to complete all program coursework to receive both degrees. Upon successful completion of all requirements, students receive the Master of Science in Architecture degree and the Master of Science in Information Technology degree.
Note: The Master of Science in Architecture, because of its research focus, is not a NAAB accredited program that can lead to licensure as a registered architect. The School of Architecture does offer a NAAB accredited Master of Architecture, which is a separate degree program.
In addition to the established Graduate School admissions criteria, admission to the dual degree program requires one of the following:
- A degree in architecture or a related design discipline
- An undergraduate degree in computer science, information technology, or a related discipline
Students without an undergraduate degree in a computing-related discipline 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
M.S. in Architecture applicants must identify a potential research focus to be articulated as a part of their application in the Statement of Purpose. In addition to identifying a potential research focus, admission is based on an applicant’s previous academic credentials, GRE scores, TOEFL scores (for international students), and a portfolio of material illustrative of the applicant’s research interests such as reports, writing samples, computational models, etc.). Additional requirements for the M.S. in Architecture include:
- An earned bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body
- An overall undergraduate grade point average of at least a 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale)
- UNC Charlotte School of Architecture B.Arch. or M.Arch. degree holders with a 3.5 GPA or above are eligible to be considered for admission to the M.S. in Architecture by submitting the Graduate School application and Statement of Purpose
- A minimum TOEFL score of 220 (computer-based), 557 (paper-based), or 83 (internet-based) or a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5 required from any applicant whose native language is not English
- Satisfactory scores on the GRE or GMAT
Dual Degree Total = 47 Credit Hours
Students in the M.S. in Architecture and M.S. in Information Technology dual degree program are expected to earn a grade of A or B in all courses included in the curriculum and must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). As per UNC Charlotte Graduate School Master’s Degree Requirements, students must maintain “an overall GPA of 3.0 or above in courses on the degree plan of study. No more than six hours evaluated as C may be counted toward the minimum hours required for the master’s degree.” An accumulation of three C letter grades will result in the suspension of a student’s enrollment in the program.