Advanced Standing Online M.Arch.

The online Advanced Standing master of architecture pathway features the same advanced curriculum as our on-campus program track, but with the added benefit of being able to attend class from wherever you live. You will learn from the same distinguished faculty, who are leaders in both the design and architecture industries.

The Advanced Standing M.Arch. pathway is for students with a bachelor’s degree related to architecture. If you do not have experience in architecture, explore our Standard Admission M.Arch. online pathway.


The Advanced Standing M.Arch. curriculum skips foundational architecture course work and dives right into in-depth topics such as integrated building systems, urban planning, and industrial ecology.





You will also hone skills in your areas of interest through electives and your final thesis. All courses are completed entirely online and are complemented by studio time and in-person, experiential learning.

Curriculum Themes

The curriculum is broken down by the following themes.

Design and Studio: 24 credits
Sustainability: 12 credits (including a sustainability elective)
Building Systems: 12 credits
History and Theory: 6 credits 
Research: 9 credits (including the required thesis)
Professional Practice: 3 credits 
Global Experience: 0–3 credits (required; included in elective total)
Electives: 12 credits (not including the sustainability elective)


You will complete your studies with a thesis investigation that integrates all of your learning from the program into a research document. You have the option to choose a Research Thesis, a Design Thesis, or a hybrid of the two—the topic is entirely up to you. Previous on-campus student projects include:

  • Designs for an urban master plan for Rochester’s downtown
  • A net-zero or positive energy building
  • A turbine system that harvests rainwater for energy

Learn to Design Buildings with the Environment in Mind

Request information to learn more about the online M.Arch. program.

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Sample Advanced Standing Pathway Schedule

This is an example of a possible schedule and is subject to change.

1 (Fall)
Architectural Studio I: Site
Integrated Building Systems I
Understanding Sustainability
2 (Spring)
Architectural Studio II: Urban
Integrated Building Systems II
Urban and Regional Planning
Immersion 1
3 (Summer)
Industrial Ecology Fundamentals
Architectural Theory
4 (Fall)
Architectural Studio III: Adaptive
Integrated Building Systems III
Sustainable Building Metrics
5 (Spring)
Architectural Studio IV: Integrative
Integrated Building Systems IV
Immersion 2
6 (Summer)
Research Seminar/Thesis Preparation
Graduate Elective 1
Sustainability Elective
7 (Fall)
Professional Practice
8 (Spring)
Graduate Elective 2
Graduate Elective 3
Graduate Elective 4
Flexible Term
Global Experience
Co-op Architecture

Explore all online M.Arch. courses for the Advanced Standing pathway.

In-Person Learning

With a subject matter as hands-on as architecture, experiential learning is crucial. In the online master of architecture program track, your city becomes your classroom and you complete in-person learning locally and on the RIT campus.

  • Studio and Design: Through collaborative work at your in-home studio and on-site visits, you will apply concepts from your other courses to the design of real-world building projects.
  • Professional Cooperative Educational Experiences: You will complete a professional co-op where you will gain 350 to 400 hours of experience at a site in your community.
  • Global Experience: You will spend up to 10 days studying the architecture and culture of a foreign city*. You can choose an individual travel experience for 0 credits or receive up to 3 credits for attending a global experience led by an RIT instructor or at another academic institution.
    *Note: Alternatives for completing the requirement are available per the Department of Architecture’s Global Experience Policy.
  • Immersions: You will visit RIT’s campus in Rochester, N.Y., for a minimum of two required in-person immersions. Here, you will collaborate with your classmates on projects and competitions, participate in live critiques, and experience the RIT culture firsthand.

Visit the experience page to learn how RIT’s online M.Arch. program track brings the curriculum to life.

Learn by Doing

Fill out the form to learn more about RIT’s hands-on education.