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M.S. in Architecture - Research Practices

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) released data on a wide variety of topics across several decades related to internship, examination and licensure for architects. “NCARB by the Numbers” revealed that the mean time from graduation to completion of the Intern Development Program (IDP), now called Architectural Experience Program (AXP), is 4.9 years with an additional two years to complete the exam and achieve licensure. In real numbers that means the total amount of time from high school to licensure for architects in America is 13.3 years.


The Masters of Science in Architecture with a concentration in Research Practices (MS-RP)* addresses two goals: providing a structured path to licensure totaling seven years and integrating research with practice. The proposal takes advantage of many of NCARB’s recent changes to AXP and AREĀ® as well as leveraging the historically strong connection between practice and academy in our Minneapolis/St. Paul community.


Most critically, we believe that by offering this model, we nudge the profession towards true culture change, one that expects all our students can be licensed upon graduation, regardless of their final career choices. This change extends to architectural firms and the building industry, transforming the culture to one of sharing knowledge in the effort to collaboratively tackle the serious “wicked problems” affecting the built environment.


Our cultural change goals are based on our belief, borne out by recent research from EQxD, that the strongest predictor of success for recent graduates is contact with firm leaders. By providing structured, substantive interaction, MS-RP graduates have excellent support which can greatly advance their progress after graduation. We also know other research overwhelmingly shows that diversity in a company or industry increases creativity and collaboration and we are committed to increasing diversity in the building industry. Since MS-RP is a feeder to leadership in the industry, by ensuring that the program graduates women and minorities, we could substantively change the face of the industry leadership within a decade.



Under AXP, students are eligible to receive approximately 1,700 hours of AXP credit during the duration of the program, almost half of the minimum 3,740 required hours.


MSRP students are required to maximize their progress toward completing AXP during their MS program. This means summer work in a firm or other AXP setting is required. Exceptions will be made for extraordinary circumstances (such as grant funded research or personal situation).


MS-RP has the CIP code designation 04-0902: Architectural and Building Sciences/Technologies. As a STEM program, international students on an F-1 visa receive two additional years of OPT.


Research Practices Consortium site


MS-RP. Program Booklet

School of Architecture
145 Rapson Hall
89 Church Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-5743


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