Jun 20, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 Previous Edition

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

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. Students enroll simultaneously in these two M.S. degree programs.

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 M.S. in Architecture students with M.S. in Information Technology students, working collaboratively on tasks that challenge both fields. A two-semester sequence of studio lab courses focuses on issues and problems that are researched by design teams.

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.

Admission Requirements

Interested students should apply to the Master of Science in Architecture and be evaluated by the graduate admissions committee of the School of Architecture, as well as apply for the Master of Science in Information Technology, and be evaluated by the graduate admissions committee of the Department of Software and Information Systems. Upon successful completion of all requirements, students receive both the Master of Architecture degree and the M.S. in Information Technology degree.


The minimum admission requirements for the M.S. in Architecture are:

  • An earned bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body
  • An overall undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale)
  • 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

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
Documents To Be Submitted For Admission

To apply for graduate studies in the School of Architecture, all applicants must submit the following application materials to the UNC Charlotte Office of Graduate Admissions:

  • Graduate School Application for Admission (online)
  • Application Fee (payable online)
  • Unofficial transcripts from all previous college-level institution(s) attended (submitted online)
  • Official TOEFL scores
  • Official GRE or GMAT scores (sent directly online from testing services)
  • Three recommendations (submitted online by recommenders)
  • A resume (submitted online)
  • A statement of purpose indicating research interest and potential faculty advisor (submitted online)
  • Digital Portfolio illustrative of research interests (20-page PDF document that may include samples of writing, research, reports, and/or design-based projects)
Automatic Recommendation for Admissions for M.S. in Architecture

The School of Architecture Graduate Admissions Committee will automatically endorse applications from UNC Charlotte four-year Bachelor of Arts in Architecture degree holders with a GPA of 3.5 or above for courses in the major for acceptance to the M.S. in Architecture program. UNC Charlotte B.A. in Architecture students with a GPA of 3.5 do not need to submit the full School of Architecture application; however, must still apply to and be accepted by the M.S. in Information Technology Admissions Committee and the UNC Charlotte Graduate School.

Degree Requirements

Year One

Spring (13 credit hours)


* ARCH 6050 , ARCH 6306 , or ARCH 6890  may be substituted for ARCH 5050

** Other ITIS courses may be substituted for ITIS 6010

Year Two

Dual Degree Total = 50 Credit Hours

Grade Requirements

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.