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Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) online

Develop the practical skills and creativity to design innovative, sustainable buildings that meet the needs of modern communities. Earn your M.Arch. from RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability.

About the program

  • Industry-leading masters: Gain insights and experience from one of the first online architecture degree programs.
  • No experience required: Choose between the Standard Pathway or Advanced Pathway, according to your academic background.
  • NAAB-accredited curriculum: Prepare for a career in architecture by fulfilling the educational requirements to pursue licensure.

About RIT and the Golisano Institute for Sustainability

Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) founding dates back to the late 19th-century. RIT works at the intersection of technology, the arts, and design, going beyond the ordinary in the pursuit of the exceptional. RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) is made of systems-thinkers, knowledge-builders, and problem-solvers. GIS focuses on curtailing the impact of the built environment through sustainable technology and innovation. RIT’s international community is intellectually curious, and brings a breadth of skills and diverse perspectives that drive collaboration and creativity.

Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees are subject to change and may increase each academic year. Tuition does not include student fees, technology platform licensing, or support services. Learners are also responsible for travel and accommodation costs related to any in-person immersions or residentials.

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Program tracks

RIT’s online Master of Architecture is offered through Golisano Institute for Sustainability. Learners develop the scientific and technical skills and knowledge they need to design energy efficient buildings that use environmentally-friendly materials, and require less land development. Learners complete online coursework and participate in hands-on studio time. The online M.Arch. program focuses on four core areas: sustainability, technology, urbanism, and integrated learning and practice. Learners can choose between two plans of study:

  • Standard Pathway: This program is for learners with little or no background in architecture, is made up of 105 credits, and takes 44 months to complete, full time. It covers foundational knowledge, offers electives perfect for honing skills, provides practical experience, and concludes with a thesis.
  • Advanced Standing Pathway: This program is for learners with a bachelor’s degree related to architecture, is made up of 78 credits, and takes 32 months to complete, full time. Instead of foundational courses, it offers subjects such as integrated building systems, urban planning, and industrial ecology.
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The online M.Arch. program offers one annual start date — in the fall — with applications accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year. Successful candidates may have diverse personal, professional, and academic backgrounds, but need to be committed to sustainability and possess qualities such as intellectual curiosity, social consciousness, and an open-minded outlook. To complete an application, you will need to submit: 

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution 

  • Official transcripts from all educational institutions attended

  • GPA of 3.0 that includes a college-level math and a college-level science course 

  • Personal statement and an academic or creative letter of recommendation 

  • Résumé and portfolio

  • Application fee



RIT’s online M.Arch. program offers students a range of opportunities to gain practical experiences as they learn from and engage with classmates and faculty. Studio and design time is made up of live video sessions, asynchronous course content, recorded video instructions, and interactive discussions and critiques. On-campus immersions, on the other hand, provide learners with the chance to collaborate on projects and competitions, participate in live critiques, and experience the RIT culture firsthand.

Learners also get to work with architectural and design firms in or near their community, and gain at least 350 hours of valuable hands-on experience. 

Finally, learners have the opportunity to participate in a global in-person experience — 10 days of architecture-related work or of studying the local culture, history, and built environment in a destination abroad. Learners can earn up to three elective credits when attending a global experience either led by an RIT instructor or by instructors at an abroad academic institution.

Frequently asked questions

This online M.Arch. program fulfills the education requirements needed to pursue a career in architecture. To become a licensed architect, and in addition to completing the program, you will need to pursue relevant experience and take the Architect Registration Examination. Requirements vary by state. Check your local licensure boards for specific requirements.

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