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SCI-Arc’s M.Arch 1 is a three-year, seven-semester program leading to a Master of Architecture degree accredited by National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), allowing graduates to pursue architectural licensure for professional practice in the United States.

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Open to students who hold an undergraduate degree in any field of study, the M.Arch 1 program at SCI-Arc is where applied research and cross-disciplinary experience are synthesized into factors informing architectural production.

Heading titleAn Interdisciplinary Approach to Design Excellence

Central to the M.Arch 1 program’s philosophy is a firm commitment to design excellence, achieved through a comprehensive course of study that provides students with a solid intellectual base and understanding of the history, theory, technology, and professional practice of architecture. Alongside an international design faculty, renowned across a wide breadth of fields, and a distinguished group of critics and theorists, students challenge conventional ways of learning and attain the knowledge to shape our contemporary environment.

Heading titleRefining an Aesthetic Language

The M.Arch 1 program is designed to enable students to cultivate a point of view and personal aesthetic. The curriculum begins with a four-semester core sequence of design studios and seminar courses through which students develop a framework for engaging the discipline of architecture and a strong foundation for critical inquiry and experimentation.

Students continue on to two semesters of Vertical Studios which match small, combined groups of students from SCI-Arc’s undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs with faculty and visiting architects leading design projects that explore a wide variety of focuses and interests. Applied research in advanced studios and seminars in the final semesters of the program prepare students for Graduate Thesis.

Elena Manferdini critique black white red

Heading titleLed by a global faculty of practitioners and scholars

SCI-Arc was founded on the idea that architects should teach what they practice and we still believe that practicing architects can best communicate to students the complex realities of thinking about and making architecture. Today, SCI-Arc faculty is comprised of some of the most dedicated and cutting-edge thinkers in Los Angeles in architecture, culture, history, and technology. Design Studio faculty are active practitioners working in many of LA’s most innovative architecture firms. The symbiotic relationship between practice and teaching produces a close dialogue between conceptual and professional practice.

Elena Manferdini critique black white red

Heading titleBeginning with core skills, centered around design verticals, and ending with a critiqued thesis

The program is comprised of seven terms of study, starting with Core areas of focus. The final two terms are reserved for more specialized areas of focus, led by visiting instructors who bring leading insights to students.

Spencer Daly

"At SCI-Arc, there is a community that looks to learn, looks to share, looks to explore, a group of students so passionate about the smallest details, the smallest crevices in architecture that there ends up being a wide variety of interests and conversations happening all at once-- conversations and relationships that permeate the entire school, that don’t simply live in a classroom, or in an auditorium, but that spills into the corridors, into lunches and coffee breaks, to dinner gatherings and collaborative projects.

To be at SCI-Arc is to be surrounded by people as strange as you, as invested as you, as obsessive as you."

Spencer Daly M.Arch 1
patterned white model in its context

M.Arch 1 student work by Brian Larsen in Ramiro Diaz-Granados's 2GB Design Studio

Marrikka Trotter seated teaching students

History + Theory Coordinator, Marrikka Trotter

Group of students around computer

Heading titleAlumni

SCI-Arc has more than four thousand alumni working all over the globe in a variety of professional architecture and design practices. M.Arch 1 alumni have led design teams at Morphosis, Gehry Partners and Gehry Technologies, Gensler, Skidmore Owings and Merrill, UN Studio, Kengo Kuma and Associates, Tesla Motors, In Europe, Snøhetta, BIG, Zaha Hadid, UN Studio, In Asia, MAD, Toyo Ito, Shigeru Ban and more.

students aid robots in model construction

Heading titleM.Arch 1 Course Catalog

Explore the diverse course offerings in SCI-Arc’s M.Arch 1 program.