Graduate programs

Graduate programs at SCAD are designed for dedicated, self-motivated students who are committed to the pursuit of excellence through advanced study. Graduate curricula are structured to include knowledge of the literature of the discipline and to ensure ongoing student engagement in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training experiences. Graduate courses require students to research, analyze, explore, question, reconsider and synthesize old and new knowledge and skills. The graduate experience culminates in a thesis, final project or portfolio demonstrating a mature and resolved body of work and/or research. Graduates are encouraged to hold leadership positions, to enter a variety of professional disciplines, to teach, or to accomplish other personal and professional goals.

Master of Architecture degree (professional)

The professional Master of Architecture degree program is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board and satisfies the education requirement for architect licensure in all U.S. jurisdictions. The program includes 180 undergraduate credit hours at the preprofessional level and 90 graduate credit hours at the professional level for a total of 270 quarter credit hours (equivalent to 180 semester credit hours).

The M.Arch. degree program requires that students first complete a preparatory or preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture. At SCAD, the preprofessional undergraduate program is a Bachelor of Fine Arts in architecture degree, which is composed of 180 quarter credit hours. After successfully completing 180 undergraduate credit hours and satisfying all program requirements, students are awarded the B.F.A. in architecture degree, whether or not they pursue graduate level studies. Acceptance of students graduating with a B.F.A. degree from SCAD into the professional M.Arch. graduate program is based on current grade-point average and studio portfolio.

Acceptance of a student with a preprofessional or preparatory degree in architecture from another institution to the SCAD graduate program is based on review of academic transcripts, specific coursework and portfolio to ensure that their undergraduate study satisfies NAAB student performance criteria required at the preprofessional level. Based on the results of this review, SCAD may assign additional graduate-level coursework beyond the standard curriculum. As many as five additional courses could be included as part of the graduate program of study and could therefore extend the time and credit hours required to complete the program.

The architecture program in its entirety encompasses a foundation studies curriculum, general education curriculum, major program curriculum and electives. The program emphasizes preparation for a professional career as an architect; it focuses on theory and practice within the university’s unique art and design context. Architectural design is emphasized through design studio courses that meet 10 hours each week and through a sequence of courses in building construction systems, graphic communication, digital technology, sustainability, history, theory and professional practice. The architecture graduate experience culminates in a thesis, demonstrating a mature and resolved body of work and/or research.

Master of Arts degree

The Master of Arts degree is an initial graduate degree that requires at least 45 quarter credit hours and up to 60 quarter hours (equivalent to 30 and 40 semester quarter hours respectively) of graduate-level courses in the selected area, complemented by historical, theoretical and related studies. The program requires a minimum of one year for completion with all 45 quarter hours in residency at SCAD (these can include eLearning and study abroad hours). The M.A. culminates with a written thesis or graduate project, such as a portfolio, group exhibition, presentation or other creative work product demonstrating a high degree of intellectual or artistic proficiency accompanied by a written component. Formal faculty reviews of sample student work and progress are conducted. The M.A. degree program may be research and/or practice oriented to offer students a focused educational experience while engaging in dialogue on the history, theory and practice of the discipline. Students who wish to pursue the M.A. degree should possess a commitment to exploring the field in depth, as well as a desire to foster their individual vision and capabilities; to develop a high degree of proficiency in their technical, creative, expressive or analytical skills; and to participate in a vibrant university community. The M.A. degree may prepare students for positions in related areas or may serve as preparation for advanced graduate degrees such as the Master of Fine Arts or the Doctor of Philosophy in academic disciplines.

In some programs, the M.A. degree may be followed by additional study at SCAD leading to an M.F.A. degree. Students planning to continue the next quarter from the M.A. to the M.F.A. in the same major should contact the office of graduate studies prior to the conclusion of their M.A. studies. Approval must be given by the department chair of the area of study.

Master of Fine Arts degree

The Master of Fine Arts degree is recognized as the terminal or highest degree for many art and design professions. The M.F.A. degree program requires at least 90 quarter credit hours and up to 105 quarter credit hours (equivalent to 60 and 70 semester credit hours respectively) of graduate-level courses in studio, art history, theory and related areas. The program requires a minimum of two years for completion, with the final 45 quarter hours in residence at SCAD (these can include eLearning and study abroad hours). The program culminates with a thesis exhibition, project, presentation or other publicly presented creative work demonstrating professional-level competency, accompanied by a written component and reviewed by a graduate thesis committee. Formal faculty reviews of sample student work and progress are conducted. Most M.F.A. programs require at least one field or teaching internship to provide students with a mentored experience of professional practice.

Students who wish to pursue the M.F.A. degree should possess a high level of ability and commitment, as well as the desire to develop their personal vision; to evolve a mature understanding of their chosen field’s background, principles and practices as well as its broader cultural context; to gain technical mastery in their chosen discipline; to inform advanced art and design creation with critical and conceptual studies; and to interact with fellow students and professors within a dynamic and challenging arts community.

Master of Urban Design degree

The Master of Urban Design program requires 90 quarter credit hours (equivalent to 60 semester credit hours) of graduate-level courses in studio, historical, theoretical and related areas. The program requires a minimum of two years for completion, with the final 45 quarter hours in residence at SCAD. The program culminates with a thesis exhibition, project, presentation or other publicly presented work demonstrating professional-level competency, accompanied by a written component and reviewed by a graduate thesis committee. Formal faculty reviews of sample student work and progress are conducted. The M.U.D. program requires at least one field or teaching internship to provide students with a mentored experience of professional practice.