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School of Architecture

M.Arch Program Learning Outcomes

The Architecture graduate school tracks (M.Arch) have been designed to equip the graduate student with the ability to enhance the experience of our environment through the process of discovering the logic of meaning and the art of making. The School of Architecture empowers the student to apply creativity, artistic vision, critical thinking and technical developments towards the continued evolution of architecture.

Each graduate student completes a thesis project during the Directed Study component of the architecture degree program. The thesis project includes a research paper, drawings, models, narrative and a complete set of documentation in compliance with local regulations. Students are required to develop a constructable design proposal within the urban context of San Francisco or the student's country of origin. The completed thesis project will be critically appraised by a formal Committee of faculty and professionals at the graduate student's Final Review.

M.Arch graduates of the School of Architecture will meet the following student performance criteria:

  • Design:

    • Demonstrate development of design exploration and understanding throughout the program
  • Visual Communication:

    • Visually communicate ideas through hand sketching/ drawing, including hand drawn concept sketches, design process sketches and diagrams
    • Visually communicate ideas through architectural drawings (digital or otherwise): site plan, plan, section, elevation, and 3D representation
    • Produce accurate physical models of design ideas
  • Written Communication:

    • Effectively summarize the project and process in a well-crafted proposal and thesis book
  • Presentation Skills:

    • Professionally present the thesis proposal and final project
  • Building Systems, Materials and Methods:

    • Demonstrate understanding of material systems and construction details
    • Demonstrate understanding of building systems (including structural systems, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems)
    • Demonstrate understanding of environmental control systems
    • Demonstrate understanding of building codes and accessibility
    • Apply sustainability concepts in their project
  • Thesis Proposal Development:

    • Clearly define the mission of their project
    • Present research that defines the need and desirability of the project
    • Provide a profile of the user group
    • Comprehensively define and analyze the proposed site area and its context
    • Present and analyze relevant precedents for the project
    • Develop a general project concept related to the site analysis and program
    • Effectively present the suitability of the proposed program on the proposed site
    • Produce a spatial/ functional program online
  • Thesis Project:

    • Produce a comprehensive architectural and building solution to the mission statement

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.
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