Watch this video on what distinguishes our M.Arch Program

The program leverages the School’s outstanding faculty and pragmatically grounded curriculum. The physical and cultural context of Boston serves as a laboratory for the program’s design studios and is design-focused, but with a different approach than many schools. We find opportunities for innovation within the real estate and construction industries and current policy debates – rather than outside of them. This is how we intend to move architects to the center of the discussion about the future of our cities.

Students take courses in urban housing, practice integrated design and do original research on market-driven building types. The final degree project in the design studio offers an opportunity to leverage this research with real innovations in hybrid types, strategic alterations to existing ones, and to take on the challenge of finding prototypical solutions for systemic problems.

In addition to studio courses, graduate students take seminars in architectural theory and design strategy; and electives are available in real estate development, sustainable building techniques, urban landscape, and other topics. There is also a unique course that looks at case studies of architecture firms in practice, problem solving, and innovation. Students will leave our program with a unique balance of technical, theoretical, and strategic tools to make a real difference in the profession.

There are multiple ways that this degree can be completed:
(Note-all of our programs are full-time day programs)

One-Year Program

Open to candidates with  either  a BS in Architecture from Northeastern University or a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree from an accredited North American program with at least one year of IDP-approved professional experience.

Application Deadline for Fall entry: February 1 for non-Northeastern University candidates, April 1 for Northeastern University candidates

This program gives eligible candidates the opportunity to get a NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture degree in one year.

Two-Year Program

Open to candidates with an undergraduate degree in architecture that includes at least three design studio courses, two architectural history courses, and courses in structures and construction systems.

Application Deadline for Fall* Entry: February 1

*Please note that some admitted students may be required to take summer courses in design, architectural history, and/or technology, depending on their undergraduate work as evidenced by their transcripts.

Three-Year Program

Open to candidates with a non-architecture undergraduate degree

Application Deadline: February 1 for July entry

The program requires three years and a summer term to complete. Students have the option to spend a semester at the School’s Berlin program during their first spring semester program and have the option to enroll in the summer intern program managed by the University’s Co-op program. After completing a first year introductory curriculum, students in the Three-year program merge into the Two-year M.Arch curriculum.

Open to candidates with  either  a BS in Architecture from Northeastern University or a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree from an accredited North American program with at least one year of IDP-approved professional experience.

Application Deadline for Fall entry: February 1

This program gives eligible candidates the opportunity to get a NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture degree in one year.

The final degree project in the design studio offers an opportunity to leverage research conducted in the first semester with real innovation in new hybrid types, strategic alterations of existing ones, and to take on the challenge of finding prototypical solutions for systematic problems.

MASTERS RESEARCH TOPICS FALL 2014

Tim Love / Coordinator

Course Description

Combining aspects of the conventional “option studio” taught by visiting critics and the thesis studio, the graduate research studio provides an opportunity for students to work together to do directed research on a topic that is highly relevant to the discipline and emerging trends in real estate development, planning policy, and/or culture. Each summer, the full-time Northeastern faculty considers new research topics for the following year. The criteria for selection includes the relevance of the topic and the potential for the resulting research to yield a wide range of architectural issues that can be mined when students do their independent projects during the Spring semester. Students are assigned their topic by a lottery that is held on the first day of class. Each instructor will make a presentation outlining the research topic, its relevance, and some of the issues that will be explored during the semester.

The most important deliverable of the semester is a single published “guide book” that includes both comprehensive research on the topic and a potential framework for innovative design speculation. The book is due a few weeks before the end of the semester to allow time for each student to elaborate on one of the speculative themes as a potential subject and scope for their spring studio project.

Research Topics

De Novo Urbanism: Beacon Yards/  Tim Love

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has been circulating plans for the realignment of the MassPike at the Cambridge/Allston tolls in order to straighten the highway and improve connections to Storrow Drive and the surrounding surface street network. MassDOT has prioritized the project because the existing interchange and toll gates are in need of major repair and upgrading. The implementation of a parallel segment of highway allows the existing interchange to remain operational during construction. The site for the project was created when the CSX freight yard was relocated to Worcester[1], a process that is part of a large and complex real estate transaction between the railroad company and Harvard University. The shift in the alignment of the highway also connects the parcel more directly to the large tract of land Harvard owns in Allston.

Since MassDOT is a transportation agency, it does not do comprehensive urban planning. As a result, no officially sanctioned comprehensive plans exist for land liberated by the interchange project. At the same time, Harvard has not yet developed a comprehensive vision for the site, partly because the University is in the thralls of negotiations with the Allston community for two projects closer to Western Avenue. Harvard does not have the political capital to fight a two front battle. As a result, the timing is perfect for a research studio at Northeastern University to create a viable and compelling comprehensive urban plan for the parcel. To do this, experts have been enlisted to contribute to the studio discussions, including a transportation planner, a real estate development expert, a landscape architect, and an expert in the building types likely to populate the future district.

The final plan, developed collaboratively in the fall, will include a street and open space network, the definition of appropriately sized real estate parcels, and a set of draft guidelines that will frame the density, scale, form, and uses of the parcels. As are result, the student team will design a complete urban neighborhood from scratch that they will then test with architectural and landscape design proposals in the spring. 

1] CSX and the MBTA will still require eight layover tracks after the reconfiguration of the Turnpike. The final location and configuration of this mini-rail yard will have an important impact and future plan for the parcel. – See more at: http://www.northeastern.edu/camd/architecture/academic-programs/m-arch/#sthash.KQ0L41z7.dpuf

Innovation in Urban Health Care /  Matthew Littell, plus experts from Gensler, Partners Healthcare, and CVS

Building on the inaugural Healthcare Innovation design studio in 2013-14, the School of Architecture is continuing in its several year project around research and invention in how and where Americans receive their healthcare services in the new era of near universal coverage. The first phase of research yielded significant data at both the regional scale in terms of mapping the Boston area for sites governed by a patchwork of regulatory regimes, as well as clear articulation of the challenges facing the design and development of new prototypes for healthcare facilities and hybrid uses.

A team of design and industry experts from the large university research hospital arena, the retail healthcare industry, and the global interdisciplinary design field will participate in the studio. It will offer students the opportunity to bring together their interest in the pressing social justice issues around healthcare with internationally recognized design talent in a design-oriented studio. This year’s project will focus more specifically on the design challenges around new models of primary care delivery, including retail medical clinics. Special attention will be given to the spatial issues that affect the relationship between patient and caregiver, the pharmacist and the customer, and the way these connections work within a branded, multi-use environment. The work will build on the history of late 20th century branded retail environments, as well as contemporary product design from firms like FROG, IDEO, and Continuum, and explore prefabricated and “kit-of-parts” approaches to the problem. The involvement of Gensler’s Washington DC office will assure access to a broad range of disciplinary expertise.

At the end of the fall semester, students will produce a second comprehensive research document that will be made available to the public to enhance this conversation just as it is beginning in our cities. The studio will focus on Boston, but will address the larger healthcare delivery challenges that face all dense urban centers, both in the United States, and beyond.

Industrialized Housing Delivery Ecologies /  Ivan Rupnik

For much of the last century architects have ‘dreamed of a factory made home’, designed according to their specifications. Meanwhile the building industry has industrialized according to its own logics, with nearly 25% of all residential construction in the US being classified as ‘modular’ or ‘prefabricated’. Using a series of case studies, this studio will map out the logics of contemporary industrialized housing delivery. We will shift scale from the individual building component to what we will call the industrial ecology, a network of material flows and transportation systems that more clearly define the contemporary housing delivery landscape. We will study a number of manufacturers, including Simplex and Kullman, a series of existing systems including Connect Homes, the Modern Modular and Hive Homes, as well as the Modular code. Students will also be introduced to a new set of graphic projection and project management tools used by all industries. The research process will include field trips to factories and building sites.

High-rise Studio: How Tall Buildings Meet the Ground / Carlos Zapata, with Dan Belknap

The 2014-15 High-rise Studio will focus on the way that tall buildings meet the ground, with “ground” understood a) as a place for structural support, b) as a natural or built surface that visually complements the building, c) as the enclosure of services and infrastructure, d) as the place for arrival, etc. In essence, ground is a multi-level zone where the building interacts with its larger environment.  The discussion will be guided by program, context, and by the latest developments in sustainability,  including the concept of self-sufficient structures.

A wide range of case studies will be analyzed, from tall buildings that are sited in dense cities to landmark skyscrapers that were designed in conjunction with a customized ground plane to set them apart from the surrounding context. We will study a variety of ground conditions including roofs of existing structures, water, conventional sites, landmarks structures used as the bases of towers, underground transportation systems, etc. In addition to architectural precedent, we will seek inspiration in offshore oil drilling platforms, science fiction movies, built and unbuilt structures, art, and futuristic writings.

 

Course Sequence

Fall

Spring

Application Deadline: February 1 for Fall entry

This program offers students who have earned a BS in Architecture from an institution other than Northeastern to engage in the urban-focused curriculum that is offered at the School of Architecture.

Year One

In the Urban Housing Studio, students learn to develop new patterns of housing for specific Boston sites and to develop those sites with their own individual interventions. The Comprehensive Design Studio challenges the students to consider architectural connections at all scales, from the nut and bolt to the scale of the door or window to the scale of the whole building and the city. Additionally, students take classes in technology as well as architecture seminars.

Year Two

In the second year, students engage in a research project based on topics chosen by the graduate faculty. Team research is conducted and complied into a published book. This book and the related work serve as the foundation of individual projects. The final degree project offers an opportunity to leverage research conducted in the first semester with real innovation in new hybrid types, strategic alterations of existing ones, and to take on the challenge of finding prototypical solutions for systemic problems.

Course Sequence

Fall, Year One

Spring, Year One

Fall, Year Two

Spring, Year Two

Application Deadline: February 1 for July entry

The professional 3-¼ year M.Arch program prepares students who come from a variety of disciplines with degrees in other fields for a career in architecture.

The program requires three years and a summer to complete. Students may spend a semester at the School’s Berlin program (optional) and have the option to enroll in summer coops. After completing an accelerated introductory curriculum, graduate students in the 3-¼ year M.Arch program will merge into the existing curriculum for the M.Arch program.

Year One

In the first year, students take intensive studios, technology classes, and architectural history classes to immerse them in the studio culture of the school and to give them a strong foundation to begin the upper level studios. The Grad skills studios are specifically designed for the students in this program. Students complete a series of projects that will enable them to develop the skills and the critical thinking needed in the graduate curriculum. Students have the option to take studios offered in the school’s Berlin program or remain in Boston and follow the Urban Institutions studio sequence.

Year Two

In the Urban Housing Studio, students learn to develop new patterns of housing for specific Boston sites and to develop those sites with their own individual interventions. The Comprehensive Design Studio challenges the students to consider architectural connections at all scales, from the nut and bolt to the scale of the door or window to the scale of the whole building and the city. Additionally, students take classes in technology as well as architecture seminars.

Year Three

In the final year, students engage in a research project based on topics chosen by the graduate faculty. Team research is conducted and complied into a published book. This books and the related work serves as the foundation of individual projects. The final degree project offers an opportunity to leverage research conducted in the first semester with real innovation in new hybrid types, strategic alterations of existing ones, and to take on the challenge of finding prototypical solutions for systemic problems.

*NOTE: This program begins in Summer 2, not September.

Course Sequence

Year One, Summer Two

Year One, Fall

Year One, Spring (Boston option)

Year One, Spring (Berlin-Option)

Year Two, Fall

Year Two, Spring

Year Three, Fall

Year Three, Spring

 

 

This is a list of approved graduate electives. Classes may not run every semester. If you wish to take a class that is not on this list, please email the course name, course number and description to Mary Hughes. The course will be reviewed and if approved, will be added as an option to the list.

ARTH 5100 – Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism (4 credits)

Spring 2015   CRN 35093   W/1:35 – 5:05 pm

Introduces the major critical and philosophical approaches that have transformed the reception, interpretation, and production of contemporary art since the 1960s. Examines a range of key interpretive methodologies—including modernism, postmodernism, psychoanalysis, feminism, Marxism, poststructuralism and deconstruction, critical race theory, visual studies, and globalism—designed to provide practitioners with the means to critically frame their own art making within contemporary debates about the meaning and social functions of art.

ARTG 5330: Visualization Technologies (4 credits)

Fall 2014   CRN 17120   TH/1:35 – 5:05 pm

Introduces programming languages that allow computational analysis and digital delivery of dynamic information. Examines implications of environmental and personal sensor data sources, mobile collection and analysis of data, real-time networked data sets, and social use of shared data visualization tools.

ARTH 5400: Contemporary Visual Culture (4 credits)

Explores the implications of the erosion of the traditional boundary between fine art and mass culture for artistic theory and practice as well as art’s place in an increasingly globalized world. Situates contemporary artistic practice within the broader context of visual culture – including film, television, advertising, architecture, and the Internet.

ECON 7260: Urban Economic Systems (4 credits)

Examines urban economic systems including systematic relationships among cities, as well as those within cities. The portion of the course devoted to intermetropolitan analysis covers central place theory, the location of economic activity, and intermetropolitan trade. Intrametropolitan analysis includes urban form and land use, land use controls, and local government systems. 

ECON 7261: Urban Economic Development (4 credits)

Fall 2014   CRN 16652   W/4:35 – 7:35 pm

Examines urban economic development processes. Topics include models and techniques for describing and evaluating urban economies; development strategies and tools; commercial, industrial, and housing development; and problems of poverty and housing.

ENVR 5260: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (4 credits)

Examines geographical information systems (GIS), a way to input, store, analyze, and display spatial data (data with a geographic location). Introduces the major components and applications of this exciting new tool. Consists of two lectures and one laboratory period a week. Laboratory exercises introduce methods of data analysis as well as practical issues of how to manipulate various GIS software packages.

ENVR 5262: GIS Workshop (2 credits)

Studies the basic techniques of reflection and refraction seismology, gravity, aeromagnetic and heat-flow processes, and the information they provide on the structure, composition, and dynamics of the earth’s interior.

HIST 7217: Modern American Social History (4 credits)

Examines recent historical literature on changes in American society over the last hundred years. Possible topics include race, ethnicity, class, gender, migration, demography, deviance, and social policy.

HIST 7311: Grad Seminar in Urban History (4 credits)

Examines the history of the modern city, with a focus on America and on Boston, and discusses local history sources and their analysis.

JRNL 5311: Design and Graphics (4 credits)

Spring 2015   CRN 32200  T/1:35 – 4:35 pm

Fall 2014   CRN 11683   T/1:35 – 4:35 pm

Introduces graphic design terminology and principles using Adobe PageMaker, a leading desktop publishing program. Covers how to plan a publication based on audience and budget. Design assignments include newspapers, magazines, brochures, advertisements, and corporate identity programs. Strict attention is paid to deadlines and quality of the printed publication. Prereq. Junior, senior, or graduate standing.

LPSC 6313: Economic Analysis for Law, Policy, and Planning (3 credits)

Fall 2014   CRN 12077   M/5:15 – 7:45 pm

Designed to familiarize master’s degree students with the essential ideas and methods of microeconomics and their application to a wide range of domestic public policy issues at the national, state, and local level. The role of program and management incentives in influencing behavior and policy outcomes is heavily emphasized. The course focus is to understand the ideas of microeconomic theory and apply them to a range of alternative public policy issues. Offers students an opportunity to develop a clear understanding of essential economic ideas and how the economic perspective can be applied to a wide range of public policy issues. Please enroll in the planning module LPSC 8400 associated with this course when you register. 

LPSC 7312: Cities, Sustainability, and Climate Change (3 credits)

Fall 2014   CRN 12076   T/5:30 – 8:00 pm

Provides an overview of the various aspects of urban sustainability planning. Examines sustainability as an urban planning approach with both ecological and social justice goals. Covers sustainable planning and offers students an opportunity to understand it within the context of smart growth and the new urbanism. Focuses on the two areas in which cities can reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions—the built environment and transportation. From there, the course examines planning efforts to reduce demand on water and sewer systems and to create employment in renewable energy and other “clean-tech” occupations. The course ends by placing urban initiatives in the context of state and national policy. Please enroll in the planning module LPSC 8400 associated with this course when you register.

LPSC 8400: Planning Module in Urban Law and Policy (1 credit)

Fall 2014   CRN 12568   TBA

This is the add-on module for LSPC 6313 and LPSC 7312. Please make sure that you are enrolled for this additional semester hour.

POLS 7314: Urban Government and Politics (3 credits)

Spring 2015   CRN 35736   TBA

Explores issues and problems in urban government, such as legal dependence, government finance and administration, rapid growth of suburban and metropolitan areas, and decline and decay of the central city. Please enroll in the planning module POLS 6400 associated with this course when you register.

POLS 7315: Urban Development and Politics (3 credits)

Spring 2015   CRN 33790   W/5:15 – 7:45 pm

Analyzes the creation and implementation of urban development policies and programs. Explores subsidies and taxes, housing, commercial and industrial development, and job creation and training projects in terms of their historical, political, economic, and social dimensions. Please enroll in the planning module POLS 6400 associated with this course when you register.

POLS 7324: Problems in Metropolitan Policymaking (3 credits)

Examines the broad challenges that confront metropolitan areas-defined as including the center city, its immediate suburbs, and the broader periphery-including economic development, land use, transportation, housing, and the provision of basic services. Considers the array of tools available to policymakers, including planning, tax policy, pooling of services, and zoning. Includes a professional activity related to urban planning. Please enroll in the planning module POLS 6400 associated with this course when you register.

POLS 7326 International Development Administration and Planning (3 credits)

Takes a “manager’s eye view” of the formulation, implementation, evaluation, and improvement of development projects in less developed countries. Also focuses on the planning dynamics of host-government, bilateral, and multilateral organizations as they analyze and tackle such problem areas as agriculture, education, health, population, and land reform. Employs simulations and case studies. Please enroll in the planning module POLS 6400 associated with this course when you register.

POLS 6400: Planning Module in Urban and Regional Policy (1 credit)

Spring 2015   CRN 36727   TBA

This is the add-on module for POLS 7314, POLS 7315,POLS 7324 and POLS 7326. Please make sure that you are enrolled for this additional semester hour.

PPUA 5262 Big Data for Cities-Visual Data Mining Strategies (3 credits)*

Spring 2015   CRN 36891   M/5:15 – 7:45 pm

Focuses on investigating the city and its spatial, social, and economic dynamics through the lens of data and visual analytics. Utilizes large public datasets to develop knowledge about visual methods for analyzing data and communicating results. Develops a critical understanding of data-structures, collection methodologies, and their inherent biases.

PPUA 7234: Land Use and Urban Growth Policy  (3 credits)*

Explores the evolution of land use and urban form in the United States and surveys different types of land-use and urban-growth management tools used by local, regional, and state governments. Examines the environmental, economic, spatial, and social impacts of different patterns of urban growth, including “sprawl” and “smart growth,” and the different philosophies and legal and policy approaches employed to manage those impacts. Also explores how land-use and urban-growth policy interacts with related priorities, including housing, infrastructure, and fiscal policy. Focuses on current and emerging issues and debates in land-use and urban-growth management, such as New Urbanism, livable communities, and transit-oriented development. Please enroll in the planning module PPUA 6400 associated with this course when you register.

PPUA 6201: The 21st Century City (3 credits)*

Fall 2014   CRN 11163   W/5:15 – 7:45 pm

Offers multi-disciplinary examination of the wonders and challenges of urban life, with focus on current dynamics of urban location and prosperity in the context of a global economy. Examines forces that shaped the evolution of cities and metropolitan regions, assesses a range of policy issues confronting metro areas today and the respective roles played by public and private sectors in addressing those challenges, explores global forces that are transforming cities and regions throughout the world, and addresses key questions of urban well-being, civility, and civic engagement. Please enroll in the planning module PPUA 6400 associated with this course when you register.

PPUA 7231: Transportation Policy (3 credits)*

Fall 2014   CRN 16561   T/5:15 – 7:45 pm

Examines the physical, technological, economic, social, cultural, and political underpinnings of transportation policy in the United States. Topics include intra- and interstate transportation, the comparative economics of different modes of transportation, the impacts of federal and state policies on transportation options, and the long-term effects of those choices on metropolitan development, housing, land use, energy and environment. Also involves comparisons with transportation systems in other countries. Please enroll in the planning module PPUA 6400 associated with this course when you register.

PPUA 7673: Capstone Project in Urban and Regional Policy (3 credits)*

Spring 2015   CRN 32595   T/8:00 – 10:00 pm

Fall 2014   CRN 13078   T/8:00 – 10:30 pm

Offers an opportunity for student teams, in partnership with a local, state, or federal agency or nonprofit institution, to assess an urban or regional problem, produce a thorough policy analysis, and present it and recommended solutions to the agency or institution. Course readings focus on materials needed to assess the problem and provide solutions. This is a faculty-guided team project for students completing course work in urban and regional policy studies. Please enroll in the planning module PPUA 6400 associated with this course when you register.

*PPUA 6400: Planning Module in Urban Policy (1 credit)

Spring 2015   CRN 34618 / 36951   TBA

Fall 2014   CRN 15509 / 15510 / 15511 / 17075 / 17076 / 17077   TBA

This is the add-on module for PPUA 6201, PPUA 7231, PPUA 767 and PPUA 5262 Please make sure that you are enrolled for this additional semester hour.

SOCL 7256: Contemporary Issues: Globalization and the City (3 credits)

Discuss contemporary issues in sociology. Include supervised readings and written reports on special problems. Please enroll in the planning module SOCL 8400 associated with this course when you register.

SOCL 7235: Urban Poverty and Social Policy (3 credits)

Explores the causes and consequences of poverty and how it is experienced in America’s inner cities. Each week students are required to read a selected text that focuses on a sociological theory or concept related to urban poverty. Topics include employment, family structure, crime and social control, education, culture, and neighborhoods. One of the key objectives is to examine the advantages and disadvantages of various policies designed to address the persistence of poverty and/or its attendant problems and consider the effectiveness of these strategies for poverty reduction at the individual or community level. Please enroll in the planning module SOCL 8400 associated with this course when you register.

SOCL 7235: Urban Sociology (3 credits)

Discusses theories of the development of urban life. Compares preindustrial and industrialized urban areas. Presents methods for the study of urban social structure and change, and evaluates contemporary metropolitan action programs. Please enroll in the planning module SOCL 8400 associated with this course when you register.

SOCL 8400: Planning Module in Urban and Regional Policy (1 credit)

This is the add-on module for SOCL 7256 and SOCL 7235. Please make sure that you are enrolled for this additional semester hour.

SUEN 6210 Implementation and Visualization for Urban Environments I (4 credits)

Fall 2014   CRN 15637   T F/3:35 – 5:05 pm

This course is an intensive introduction to site analysis and manipulation of earthworks, water and vegetation with a focus on disturbance regimes within waterfront and brownfield zones. Core topics emphasize the ecological services promoted by the urban environment, including: urban soil structure; contouring the urban surface; regional plant communities; storm water, surge and tidal flux management. Development of implementation skills is supported by training in vector, raster and 3D modeling software.

SUEN 6310 Cities, Nature & Design in Contemporary History and Theory (4 credits)

Fall 2014   CRN 15638   T F/9:50 – 11:30 am

This lecture courses presents an historical overview of evolving cultural, environmental and technological influences on societal attitudes toward the relationship of cities, nature and design.  Core topics include the emergence of critical theories, aesthetic philosophies and design typologies in the modern era of industrialization, and the subsequent impact of information, participation and globalization trends on 21st century  designed urban environments.