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M.S. in Architecture - Sustainable Design

"Ecological directed toward changing our intellectual emphasis, loyalties, affections, and convictions. It requires breaking free of old pedagogical assumptions, of the straitjacket of discipline-centric curriculum, and even of confinement in classrooms and school buildings." -- Aldo Leopold

The planet, for better or worse, is becoming urbanized. By 2050, according to former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, six billion people, representing two-thirds of humanity, will be living in towns and cities. Today, one billion people-or one of every three urbanites-live in slums. The solutions to this and other environmental challenges hinge on sustainability: preserving the earth's resources, inhabitants, and environments for the benefit of present and future generations.

The School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota's College of Design (CDes) has responded by developing the M.S. in Architecture-Sustainable Design Track (M.S.-S.D.). Bringing together a rich group of multidisciplinary courses, projects, and research opportunities, students can customize the program to meet their individual needs. Options for an M.S.-S.D. + M.Arch. professional degree are also available.  After a student is accepted to the M.Arch. program they can apply for a concurrent degree option.  The school's unique concurrent degree program allows students to combine professional architecture studies with a focus on sustainable design theory and practice. This concurrent degree curriculum provides designers and researchers with the knowledge and expertise to address issues including energy and resource efficiency, water, waste reduction, materials, and technological innovations in sustainable design. The concurrent degree prepares students to integrate sustainable design practice and research in the design professions, government agencies, research institutes, and business.

The M.S.-S.D. can be completed in three semesters (34 credits). The concurrent degree, which combines the M.S.-S.D. and the professional Master's of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree, can be completed concurrently as a full-time student in three-and-a-half years (100 credits).




Read the program booklet.


Students who successfully complete the MS-SD degree are eligible to receive 936 hours of IDP credit -- that is 17% of the 5,600 hours of mandatory internship for registration as an architect.

To receive the IDP credit, the MS-SD degree must be earned after receiving the M. Arch degree.


MS-SD 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.

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

Fax: 612-624-5743


Contact Information

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107 Rapson Hall, 89 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
P: 612-624-1717 | E:

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