Graduate Master of Architecture Degree

Master of Architecture (M Arch)

In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year term, an eight-year term with conditions, or a two-year term of continuing accreditation, or a three-year term of initial accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established education standards. 

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a non-accredited undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the non-accredited degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

The University of New Mexico, School of Architecture + Planning offers the following NAAB-accredited degree program:

Master of Architecture (next accreditation visit 2027) with the following Tracks:

  • Track 3 [non-professional degree + 99 credits]

  • Track 2 [professional degree in Architecture + 54 credits]

 Master of Architecture, Track 2: 

This program is for students with a pre-professional undergraduate architecture degree, (typically a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Architecture) and sufficient coursework to fulfill the Path 2 prerequisites.

  • 6 architectural design studios, five or six credits each
  • 3 architectural history or architectural theory courses
  • 1 or 2 courses addressing passive design or environmental systems
  • 1 or 2 structures courses, addressing statics, mechanics of materials, structural analysis, and the design and behavior of basic structural elements and systems
  • 1 course addressing construction materials and assembly / construction methods
Track 2 takes four semesters to complete. UNM Bachelors of Arts in Architecture (BAA) students with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 overall and also in studio courses are automatically admitted to Track 2.
Master of Architecture Degree Curriculum, 2 Year Track 

Master of Architecture, Track 3:

This program is intended for anyone that already holds an undergraduate degree in any discipline, and also for students that have an undergraduate degree in architecture or environmental design, but not enough coursework to apply for the Track 2 program. Track 3 program students come from a variety of backgrounds including art history, biology, economics, engineering, political science, etc. 
Track 3 takes three academic years to complete, plus a summer program prior to the first year. 
Master of Architecture Degree Curriculum, 3 Year Track 


Natalie Rowe, Graduate Advisor

Admissions and Advising

Graduate Admissions

Student Financial Information

  • The UNM Financial Aid Office provides resources and advice for making decisions about financial aid and requirements and forms for applying for financial aid and scholarships.
  • The UNM Financial Aid Office provides estimated costs of attendance for the current academic year.

Career Development Information 


Goals and Policies


SA+P Strategic Plan 5 Goals

NAAB Reports for UNM M.ARCH Accreditation

2023 Interim Progress Report

2021 Interim Progress Report Response 
2021 Interim Progress Report
2018 Decision Letter
2018 Visiting Team Report
2017 Architecture Program Report

2023 Annual Report

2022 Annual Report
2021 Annual Report
2020 Annual Report
2019 Annual Report
2018 Annual Report

NAAB Conditions and Procedures

2020 NAAB Conditions for Accreditation
2014 NAAB Conditions for Accreditation
2020 NAAB Procedures for Accreditation
2015 NAAB Procedures for Accreditation

ARE Pass Rates

As developed by NCARB, the ARE assesses a candidate's knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide the various services required in the practice of architecture.  It has been adopted for use by all U.S. registration boards and the Canadian provincial architectural associations as the registration examination for all candidates seeking architectural licensing.

NCARB tracks the pass rates for the ARE in two ways - one by division and the other by NAAB-accredited schools of architecture.

Licensing for Architects in the State of New Mexico and in Most Other States

To practice architecture in the United States, you must have a license from a U.S. jurisdiction. The jurisdictions include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Each jurisdiction is responsible for regulating the practice of architecture within its borders. NCARB recommends and encourages national requirements for licensure by developing standards for the 54 licensing boards, which then issue licenses to applicants who meet their specific registration requirements.
How to Get Licensed  
The licensure process will differ depending on your chosen jurisdiction, but the basics of initial licensure are similar. Before you begin the process, you should check your jurisdiction’s requirements.
  1. Earn an architecture degree from a NAAB-accredited program, or meet your jurisdiction’s education requirement.
  2. Gain and document the required experience. All 54 U.S. jurisdictions accept the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), but some require additional experience.
  3. Pass the ARE®. All 54 U.S. jurisdictions require you to pass the Architect Registration Examination®.
  4. Meet any extra jurisdictional requirements. Some boards require additional experience or a location-specific supplemental exam before licensure.
  5. Have your NCARB Record transmitted to the jurisdiction where you would like to be licensed. Before transmitting your Record, you should contact your board to verify its individual requirements.
Why Licensure Matters 
The reasons to earn a license to practice architecture are as varied and personal as the path to get there—here are just a few benefits of licensure:
  • Title: Once you’ve earned a license, you can officially call yourself an architect.
  • Trust: Your license gives firms, clients, and the public confidence in your skills and ability to protect their health, safety, and welfare.
  • Skills: Completing your education, experience, and examination requirements helps guide you through continuing your professional growth and development.
  • Advancement: Having a license provides you with greater career opportunities.


The Department of Architecture has determined that the curriculum of the Master of Architecture meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in the State of New Mexico.

NAAB Accredited emblem