PhD in Architecture

Degree Requirements | Required Courses | Sample Curriculum Outline


Degree Overview

Building upon more than forty years of excellence in environmental design teaching and research at the UO, the PhD program focuses on sustainable architecture and integrated design. Home to professional education in architecture and related environmental design fields since 1914, the PhD program in architecture is an advanced research degree that engages students in multidisciplinary investigations that create new knowledge in compelling and time-sensitive research topics.

With this exclusive focus, the program addresses the needs of the profession as society faces the environmental impact of buildings and cities. Students examine research topics that typically encompass an array of spatial, environmental, historical, social, political, technical, and economic factors. In addition to the rigorous understanding of building performance, aspects of sustainable community development, and broader social processes and policies, each student is also expected to demonstrate an understanding of the literature, theory, and research in a related focus area.

The PhD program prepares students for careers at universities, and at other entities engaged in research related to sustainable design such as national research laboratories, industries, public agencies, and non-government organizations. Students admitted to this program will carry out a program of advanced study and research in sustainable design.

PhD students join a community of inquiring architects, engineers, and designers who are committed to solving multi-faceted problems and furthering knowledge by researching issues and processes that give form to the environment. We seek candidates with keen interests, career goals, and a clear capacity for research that are interested in topics that may include:

  • sustainable cities and livable communities design and policy
  • design for climate change and adaptation
  • cultural, social and economic sustainability
  • net-zero buildings and eco-districts design
  • resource forecasting and simulation of place and building performance
  • energy-efficient, adaptive re-use of existing buildings
  • indoor environmental quality and occupants’ health
  • high-performance envelopes and green technologies
  • life-cycle analysis design and modeling


Degree Requirements (84 Credits)

The usual program for the PhD consists of a minimum of 66 credits, including at least 50 graduate-level credits in the Department of Architecture, through a four- to six-year course of study. The PhD program in architecture is governed by the regulations of the University of Oregon Graduate School and administered by the Department of Architecture’s PhD program committee. Specific degree requirements include:

  • the first year of study needs to be at the Eugene campus
  • a minimum of two years in residence
  • completion of three terms of courses in research methodology
  • completion of two courses in design theory and history of sustainable design
  • completion of two focus areas (one within and one outside the Department)
  • completion of a written qualifying examination, followed by an oral qualifying examination
  • completion of a dissertation

For additional reference, see the PhD Handbook.

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Required Courses

Research and Investigation Requirements (minimum 24 credits)

ARCH 601 Research

4-8 Credits

ARCH 620 Sustainable Design: Research Methods I

4 Credits

ARCH 678 Advanced Research Methods in Sustainable Design

4 Credits

ARCH 695 Proposal Development

4 Credits

PPPM 656 Quantitative Methods for Planning, Public Policy and Management or Equivalent

4 Credits


Primary (Inside) Focus Area Requirements (minimum 22 credits)

Students will select courses that are aligned with their research interests. Students may focus on sustainable building design, preservation and sustainability, sustainable communities, or other related areas.

All students will be required to take the following two courses:

ARCH 617 Design and Planning Theory

4 Credits

ARCH 633 History and Theory of Sustainable Design

4 Credits


Secondary (Outside) Focus Area Requirements (minimum 16 credits)

These courses will be selected in consultation with the faculty advisor to provide sufficient depth in the student’s area of research. The courses are typically taken outside of architecture and are intended to develop knowledge of a second discipline that supports the student’s research.


Supervised Teaching Requirements (minimum 4 credits)

Students should take one of the following courses:

ARCH 602 Supervised College Teaching

4 Credits

ARCH 661 Teaching Technical Subjects in Architecture

4 Credits

ARCH 690 Teaching Technology in Architectural Design

4 Credits

Architecture PhD students may choose to add one of the following optional Specializations or Graduate Certificates to their degree:

Further details on completing these specializations and certificates are available with the departmental academic advisor.


Sample Curriculum Outline

Year One

FALL TERM

10 Credits

ARCH 620 Research Methods in Sustainable Design

4 Credits

ARCH 633 History of Sustainable Design

4 Credits

ARCH 661 Teaching Technical Subjects in Architecture

2 Credits
 

WINTER TERM

15 Credits

ARCH 617 Built Environment Design and Theory

4 Credits

ARCH 601 Research

4 Credits
Elective Inside Focus Area
3 Credits
Elective Outside Focus Area
4 Credits
 

SPRING TERM

15 Credits

ARCH 678 Advanced Research in Sustainable Design

4 Credits

ARCH 695 Advanced Dissertation Proposal Development

4 Credits
Elective Inside Focus Area
3 Credits
Elective Outside Focus Area
4 Credits

Year Two

FALL TERM

15 Credits

ARCH 601 Research

4 Credits
Elective Inside Focus Area
3 Credits
Elective Outside Focus Area
4 Credits
Statistical Methods
4 Credits
 

WINTER TERM

10 Credits

Elective Inside Focus Area
4 Credits
Elective Outside Focus Area
4 Credits

ARCH 602 Supervised College Teaching

2 Credits
 

SPRING TERM

9 Credits

ARCH 605 Reading and Conference

8 Credits

ARCH 608 Colloquium

1 Credits

Year Three

FALL TERM

 

ARCH 603 Dissertation (as required)

 
 

WINTER TERM

 

ARCH 603 Dissertation (as required)

 
 

SPRING TERM

 

ARCH 603: Dissertation (as required)

 

Year Four

FALL TERM

 

ARCH 603 Dissertation (as required)

 
 

WINTER TERM

 

ARCH 603 Dissertation (as required)

 
 

SPRING TERM

 

ARCH 603 Dissertation (as required)

 

Year Five

FALL TERM

 

ARCH 603 Dissertation (as required)

 
 

WINTER TERM

 

ARCH 603 Dissertation (as required)

 
 

SPRING TERM

 

ARCH 603 Dissertation (as required)

 

Year Six

FALL TERM

 

ARCH 603 Dissertation (as required)

 
 

WINTER TERM

 

ARCH 603 Dissertation (as required)

 
 

SPRING TERM

 

ARCH 603 Dissertation (as required)