Design a Career in Architecture

Earn an Accredited Master of Architecture Degree

Portland State University's School of Architecture offers an accredited professional education in architecture, with graduate degree programs for students who are fascinated by the ways in which design and the built environment can shape our lives. 

The application deadline for the Two-year Master of Architecture (starting Fall 2020) and the Three-year Master of Architecture (starting Summer 2020) is January 16, 2020. 

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We offer a two-year Master of Architecture with full accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board. This program is open to applicants who hold a four-year pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture.

A three-year Master of Architecture degree track is also offered, for applicants who hold a four-year undergraduate degree in any discipline and wish to earn an accredited graduate-level degree in architecture.

In both programs, students are immersed in the challenging and stimulating work of architecture and design, diving deep into architectural theory and history, poetics and meaning, drawing and making, tectonics and building systems, and using design to address societal issues. In their final year, Master of Architecture students create a thesis project, addressing an individual, critical question about our culture and the role of architecture through research and design propositions.

Learn Architecture in the Ideal Design Laboratory: The City of Portland

Recognized internationally as a highly innovative center of creativity and sustainable practice, Portland is one of the most livable urban environments in North America. Portland's vibrant downtown, thriving visual and performing arts scene, proximity to mountain trails, rivers, and forests, local food and drink culture, and distinctive, friendly neighborhoods make it an inviting place to live, study, and design.

With a thriving architecture, construction, and engineering industry and the highest concentration of architecture firms in Oregon, Portland is an ideal setting for studying architecture. In fact, nearly all of our faculty members, from tenure-track professors to visiting and adjunct faculty, have their own professional architectural practices. Our faculty maintain strong connections with local and national architecture firms, inviting practicing architects to review students' work during critiques, deliver talks on current issues in the field, and attend lectures by world-renowned designers and theorists who visit the School. Our students receive many opportunities to connect with respected professionals in the field, obtain feedback on their work, and be among the first to hear about internship and job opportunities.

Make a Difference with Research and Fieldwork Opportunities

POD Initiative sleeping pods designed and built by PSU architecture students for Portland's houseless populationOur Center for Public Interest Design brings design expertise, and social and environmental sustainability, to disadvantaged communities worldwide. Research and design by students in the School of Architecture are an integral part of the Center for Public Interest Design's work in the studio and in the field. Students have traveled as far as Haiti and Ecuador and as near as the Kenton neighborhood of Portland to participate in design-build projects and community fieldwork through the Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design. 

A cross-disciplinary Graduate Certificate in Urban Design is also offered jointly by the School of Architecture and School of Urban Studies and Planning.

We foster cross-disciplinary research with collaborations across campus, and our Research-based Design Initiative places architecture students in design teams within professional firms, providing research for use in real-world building projects.

Get Real-World Experience in Design-Build Projects and Travel

Pickathon Treeline Stage 2019As a Master of Architecture student, you'll have myriad opportunities to participate in and lead design-build projects.

In projects such as the annual Pickathon Treeline Stage design-build (the 2019 creation is pictured at right), the 4th Avenue Parklet, the POD Initiative, and the recent Kenton Women's Village, our students are engaged in the process of designing and creating real-world structures. These endeavors often require site investigations and mapping, material selection and testing, full-scale mockups, permit applications, and hands-on construction.

Travel is an integral part of our programs as well; recent travel experiences and design-build opportunities have taken students to Barcelona and Girona, Spain; Paris, France; Titanyen, Haiti; Lame Deer, Montana; Sacramento, California; and other locations.

Learn More

Choose from the following options:

  • Request information.  Please email us at to ask that a printed brochure be mailed to you, to ask questions about the admissions process, or to be added to our email list.
  • Meet with an adviser. Aspiring architects may schedule appointments with School of Architecture faculty Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., depending on faculty availability, by calling 503-725-8405.

We invite you to apply to our Two-year or Three-year Master of Architecture degree. The application deadline for the 2020-2021 academic year for both degree options is January 16, 2020. 

Apply Now

Pictured (top to bottom): Architecture students collaborate in Shattuck Hall studios; a Master of Architecture student presents her work in a final review in the Shattuck Hall studios; a graduate-level Professional Practice class visits the architecture firm ZGF Architects in downtown Portland; sleeping pods as part of the POD Initiative; the Pickathon 2019 Treeline Stage, designed and built by PSU Architecture students.