MS in Architecture (MS)

The MS in Design Science (M.S.) is a 30 credit hour degree focusing on emerging research critical to the architectural profession, which requires expertise that exceeds current criteria for accredited professional degrees.  This non-professional degree curriculum is made up of core requirements (research methods and interdisciplinary skills) and research-based concentration areas.


Design Computation

Design has become increasingly important to computer scientists and at the same time computation has become important to designers.  This program is a unique curriculum that systematically combines the strength and insights of each discipline. The curriculum integrates IT and Architecture students and faculty working collaboratively on tasks that challenge both fields.  As firms rely more and more on computation, those who know how to think, program and script will be able to change the way architects design and practice.  We see the day fast approaching when the IT department at firms is not separate but rather is at the core of what architects do.  Already, in advanced practices across the world, computing and design are completely intertwined.

For more information about the Design Computation concentration, contact Jefferson Ellinger.

Design Science and Building Technology

This concentration explores structural principles, statics and strength of materials, structural systems, as well as building technology, intelligent structures, innovative structural assemblies, and integrated design.

For more information about the Design Science and Building Systems concentration, contact Kyoung-Hee Kim.

Critical Heritage Studies

The preservation and interpretation of the built environment is interconnected with both social and environmental sustainability and integrated within discourses and practices surrounding other tangible and intangible heritages happening in museums, archeological sites, and elsewhere. This concentration seeks local solutions while engaging in global conversations; emphasizes hands-on engagement with communities and organizations; challenges authorized heritage discourses; diversifies approaches and practices of engaging with the past; and promotes the stories and sites that foreground the heritage of underrepresented communities.

For more information about the pending Critical Heritage Studies concentration, contact Emily Makas.

Admission Requirements

MS in Design Science applicants must identify a potential research focus to be articulated as a part of their application in the Statement of Purpose.  In addition to identifying a potential research focus, admission is based on an applicant’s previous academic credentials, TOEFL scores (for international students), and a portfolio of material illustrative of the applicant’s research interests such as reports, writing samples, computational models, etc.).


The minimum admission requirements for the MS in Design Science (M.S.) at UNC Charlotte are:

  • An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • An overall undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale)
    • SoA UNC Charlotte B.Arch or M.Arch degree holders with a 3.5 GPA or above are eligible to be considered for admission to the M.S. in Architecture by submitting the Graduate School application and Statement of Purpose
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 220 (computer-based), 557 (paper-based), or 83 (Internet-based) or a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5 required from any applicant whose native language is not English

The above admission requirements include the minimum admission standards for the UNC Charlotte Graduate School. 

Documents To Be Submitted For Admission

Application to the MS in Design Science (M.S.) follows existing Graduate School and School of Architecture admissions processes.  The UNC Charlotte application process is completely online.

To apply for graduate studies in the School of Architecture, all applicants must submit the following application materials to the UNC Charlotte Office of Graduate Admissions :

  • Graduate School Application for Admission (online)
  • Application Fee (payable online)
  • Unofficial transcripts from all previous college-level institution(s) attended (submitted online)
  • Official TOEFL scores
    • A minimum TOEFL score of 220 (computer-based), 557 (paper-based), or 83 (internet-based) or a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5 required from any applicant whose native language is not English
  • A statement of purpose (essay indicating research interest and potential faculty advisor) submitted online as part of the application submission process
  • Three recommendations (submitted online by recommenders)
  • A resume (submitted online)
  • Digital Portfolio (20-page PDF document submitted online; this portfolio may include samples of writing, research, computation, and/or design-based projects)
    • SoA UNC Charlotte B.Arch or M.Arch degree holders with a 3.5 GPA or above are eligible to be recommended for automatic admission to the School of Architecture and are not required to submit separate application materials such as a portfolio

Degree Requirements


Critical Heritage Studies Concentration 

Degree Total = 30 Credit Hours