Architecture, MArch

The Master of Architecture degree is intended to prepare students to become practicing, licensed architects in the United States of America.

Two track options are available. Track I is a 1-year continuation of the 5 year MArch degree program for students already enrolled in the CBU architecture program. Track II is a pathway into the 5 year MArch for students transferring into the program who already have earned a bachelor's degree.

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Program Intro

The primary goal of CBU's architecture program is to help students develop the capacity and judgment necessary to understand the built environment and generate architecture as a critical response, so that each student can engage both the discipline of architecture and the multiple discourses – artistic, technological, social, political, environmental, economic, spiritual – necessary to be a successful practitioner and a conscientious citizen with a biblical worldview.

30 Units

*depending on track and prerequisites taken

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$940 +fees Cost Per Unit

*Based on current academic year. Subject to change.

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1 Years to Complete

*depending on track and prerequisites taken

Why Earn Your Master of Architecture at CBU?

Many Opportunities to Engage with the Profession

At CBU Architecture, we aim to develop architects who demonstrate professional excellence and personal integrity, are servant leaders in their communities and who live biblically based, missional lives within the profession. While this is a regular topic of discussion during class, we also aim to provide key opportunities for our students outside the class to engage with the profession, apply their skill sets in a missional setting, and participate in developing industry leading research. CBU has partnerships with the following organizations and chapters: American Institute of Architecture Students, CRUX, Association of Christians in Architecture, Church Design Research Institute, National Organization of Minority Students, and Freedom by Design.

Option to Complete Graduate Degree in Less Time

CBU Architecture offers a 5-year combined BA and Master of Architecture program which is rooted in a Christian worldview and missional community engagement. With this combination, CBU students are able to complete their education requirement in a shorter time, all while potentially earning a portion of their experience credit for their community engagement involvement during their time at CBU.

Learn More about the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture Program

Program Details

ARC 514: Project and Client Development

Course explores and develops ability within pre-design services including assessment of client and user needs; program development and analysis; site selection, analysis, and design; review of building codes and standards; and assessment of project impact.

ARC 570: Professional Practice

Advanced seminar that addresses laws and regulation, project process and economics, business practices and management and ethical concerns. Students will critically explore how daily operations of architectural practice are an expression of personal values.

ARC 550: Architectural Theory II

This course considers selected topics in the history of modern architecture and philosophy as seen through a missional, Christian worldview. 

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Brett Biermann, Ph.D.

Professor of Graphic Arts

Office Location: Adams Suite B8

Krysten Burton

Assistant Professor of Architecture

Office Phone: 951-552-8377

Ryan Chung

Assistant Professor of Architecture

Office Phone: 951-552-8620

Susan Duemer, M.Arch.

Professor of Architecture

Office Phone: 951-552-8815
Office Location: ARCH Building, Room 216

Aaron Greene, M.Arch.

Associate Professor of Architecture

Office Phone: 951-552-8193
Office Location: Architecture, 105

Katherine Kaford, Ph.D.

Professor of Art History
Associate Dean, College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design

Office Phone: 951-552-8816
Office Location: James Building, Room 453

Keelan Kaiser, M.Arch.

Professor of Architecture
Program Director of Architecture

Office Phone: 951-552-8149
Office Location: ARCH 103,

Matthew Niermann, Ph.D., M.S.

Associate Professor of Architecture
Associate Dean of College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design (CAVAD)
Program Lead, Illustration/Interior Design

Office Phone: 951-552-8670
Office Location: James 478

David Ogoli, Ph.D.

Professor of Architecture
Fellow of The Cambridge Commonwealth Trust

Office Phone: 951-552-8195
Office Location: 3739 Adams Room 214

Jacob Slagill, BA

Assistant Professor of Architecture

Office Phone: 951-552-8336
Office Location: ARCH 215

Karim Youssef, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Architecture

Office Phone: 951-343-4849

  1. Employ critical thinking skills.
  2. Demonstrate facility with a wide range of communication skills.
  3. Research and analyze multiple theoretical, social, political, economic, cultural and environmental contexts.
  4. Demonstrate overall design sensibilities and problem solving skills.
  5. Comprehend building technology, including technical aspects of design, systems and materials, and be able to apply that comprehension to their services.
  6. Appreciate the role of professional practice, including their role in the implementation of design decisions and the impact of such decisions on the environment.
  7. Integrate their Christian worldview and their profession through service to their community, and through learning to manage, advocate, and act legally, ethically, and critically for the good of the client, society and the public.

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, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards. Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

California Baptist University, College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs: M. Arch. (168 credits)

Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2029

The latest Architecture Program Report (APR) and NAAB Visiting Team Report (VTR) are available for view in the CAVAD Office at CBU, Room J446, alongside copies of the latest NAAB Conditions for Accreditation, and Procedures for Accreditation, and all other accreditation related documentation.

1. The Policy

The Studios Culture of CBU Architecture will value generosity of spirit, open discourse, continuous testing of ideas and a commitment to excellence on the part of all the participants. It will promote a culture of engagement in which students develop intellectually, technically, ethically and spiritually through interaction with problems, opportunities and people not only within the field of architecture, but beyond it.

2. Process of Implementation and Maintenance

The members of the CBU Architecture community agree to uphold the Studio Culture Policy. The policy will be a working guide for Studio Culture at CBU. The Policy will be introduced to students at the Academic School Orientations, posted in the studios themselves, available on the CAVAD website and included in the Student Undergraduate Catalog.

A team of faculty and students will review the policy annually, determine its efficacy and ensure its implementation. Revisions to the current policy will be discussed by the team with the common goal of maintaining a healthy studio environment that supports holistic growth through the sharing of knowledge, ideas and experiences.

3. Studio Design

Studio is the central component of an effective education in architecture. Studio learning encourages dialogue, collaboration, risk-taking, innovation, and a “learn-by-doing” pedagogy. The Studio atmosphere is a unique learning community that fosters increased scholarship as well as personal connectedness and an attitude of “iron sharpening iron.”

4. Faculty

Students are encouraged to think of all the faculty of CBU Architecture as “their” faculty, not just their particular Studio instructor. Interaction between students in separate studios and between students in separate years of the program is encouraged, as is interaction between students in the separate disciplines of CAVAD.

5. Time Management

Students and faculty must lead balanced lives and use time wisely, including time outside the Design Studio, to gain from all aspects of a university education and life experiences. Although we believe in the Studio as the backbone of the architectural education, we also believe in the value of a rich, fully engaged life that is deeply involved in spiritual maturity and service.

6. Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Opportunities

We believe that Design is the integration of many parts, that process is as important as product, and that the act of design and of professional practice is inherently interdisciplinary, requiring active and respectful collaboration with others.

The CBU Architecture program is built on a foundation of interdisciplinary learning, and opportunities to promote and experience this philosophy are inherent throughout the program. We seek every opportunity for collaborative processes and learning opportunities, not only within the program, but across the disciplines of CAVAD, CBU and the larger community outside of our walls. We will highly value cross-disciplinary design studios and design-build project opportunities that span disciplines and reach into our community. This is in keeping with our University Student Outcome to “implement a personal and social ethic that results in informed participation in multiple levels of community.

7. Assessment

Design critique is an integral part of the learning experience. Students will learn from faculty, but also from peers and from the experience itself. Making clear, understandable and comprehensive presentations of one’s ideas, both graphic and verbal, and then learning from the critical feedback that the presentation generates, are vital learning experiences that help prepare students for professional practice. We highly value honesty and forthrightness, in a constructive atmosphere of respect and encouragement.

CBU’s architecture program encourages assessment for design and studio courses that affirms the values of respect for a student’s ideas (intention), the development of these ideas (process), and the ability to make those ideas spatial & material (product). Students will therefore be graded on an understanding of the concepts that motivate and initiate the project at hand (grasp of ideas), the student’s rigor in the development of ideas and use of information in the process of design (work effort), and the material and graphic quality of the project’s final products – be they models, drawings or representations in other media (communication of ideas). Some advanced Studio projects will also consider the appropriateness of the proposed design solution in its real-world context.

8. Diversity

CBU Architecture values social, intellectual and disciplinary diversity, as well as diversity in race, nationality and gender, in its staff, faculty and student population, as well as in its curriculum. We support active, open discourse, and the Studio must be a place where diverse life experiences and opinions are shared. A culture of respect and open inquiry provides the foundation of a life-long learning perspective that begins in architecture school. This attitude is in keeping with our University Student Outcome to “respect diverse religious, cultural, philosophical, and aesthetic experiences and perspectives.” The program is currently recruiting students from high schools representing a wide cross section of Southern California’s ethnic and socio-economic communities. We are also involved in the ongoing recruitment of international students.

* Studio Policy is an evolving draft, which is being regularly assessed, negotiated and ratified with students and faculty.

Career Possibilities

The path to becoming a licensed architect is a multi-step process that includes education, experience and examination. 

  • Since 2008, the construction industry and, in parallel, demand for architectural services has steadily increased. Both total construction and private non-residential construction are on an increasing trend. 
  • According to American Institute of Architects membership data, 60% of architects are 45 years of age or older. In short, there is an increasing need for new young architects in America to replace the aging, and soon retiring, population of architects.

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