MS in Architecture & Design Research


College of Architecture & the Built Environment


Master of Science


East Falls


On Campus




2 Years

Program Description

The Master of Science in Architecture & Design Research is a post-professional research-based degree designed to provide students who have already earned an accredited undergraduate degree in architecture or related design or built environment discipline with an opportunity to specialize in an area of study that is critical to the profession today. The program prepares students for specialist and consulting positions in the broad field of the built environment, including Architecture, Engineering and Construction. 

The MS in Architecture & Design Research offers students the platform to shape a customized education that furthers their architectural experience by developing advanced knowledge and expertise in areas of personal interest and specialization. Led by CABE faculty advisors, students shape a Master’s research project. This project can be self-directed or students can work directly with faculty in their specific research areas. Students assemble a suite of electives with faculty from across the College and University to build a graduate level research collaborative foundation for the Master’s thesis.

Customize study by selecting one of four research tracks:

  • Material & Design Computation
  • Health & Design
  • History, Theory & Architectural Pedagogy
  • Self-directed Research Area

Students in each track take two required research methods courses and a set of select courses from an approved list of designated electives, and general electives.

Learning Goals/Outcomes

  • Critically analyze and synthesize a selected problem with established research theories and methods related to Material & Design Computation, or Health & Design, or Theory, History & Architectural Pedagogy, or other topics related to architecture and the built environment.
  • Collaborate with professionals and academic experts in fields beyond architecture and the built environment.
  • Demonstrate expertise in a chosen area of research.
  • Demonstrate professional presentation and communication skills.
  • Review and critically analyze original research in architecture and related disciplines.
  • Conduct cutting-edge, applied research which culminates in a final project to contribute to the fields of architecture and the built environment.

The Master of Architecture & Design Research is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) designated program (CIP Code 04.0902).

Graduates who are interested in subsequently pursuing further studies in Jefferson’s PhD in Architecture and Design Research program can get advanced placement into the PhD program for up to 18 credits which allows students to complete the PhD studies in three academic years instead of the typical four-year timeframe. For advanced placement into the PhD program, graduates have to pass an oral and written Assessment Interview which evaluates the student’s research statement including a general literature review of his/her broad area of inquiry, thesis and coursework papers, and transcripts.