Taubman College

Ph.D. in Architecture

The Ph.D. in Architecture was one of only four such programs in the United States when it was established in 1969, the first to offer the Doctorate of Architecture degree. Over the last forty years the program has continued to evolve in response to the changing nature of the discipline and the profession. Through research, scholarship, and education, its goal is to study and contribute to knowledge within the discipline itself, but also in relationship to its shifting boundaries and increasingly global outlook. Students learn to conduct rigorous and significant research and scholarship, preparing them to make important contributions to the understanding and development of architecture through a variety of professional roles. Over two hundred degrees originally named Doctorate of Architecture or Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture have been granted – more than any institution in the country. The Ph.D. is awarded by Rackham Graduate School.

The program's strength not only lies in the specialized knowledge and accomplishments of its permanent and affiliated faculty but also their interdisciplinary interests. Thus it is able to capitalize on the University of Michigan's commitment to interdisciplinary studies, reflected in the breadth and quality of degree programs as well in specific initiatives shared by these programs. Students, who are typically graduates from professional schools of architecture, but also from fields outside of it, study within a particular field of specialization represented by a faculty major advisor. At the same time they tailor this course of study according to their specific interests by means of contact with other units and, in the case of Ph.D. students, work with a minor advisor from one of these units. The doctoral curriculum culminates in dissertation research guided by major, minor, and cognate committee members from within the university, but also in some cases outside of it. If their interests and abilities are well-suited, students can participate in the sponsored research projects of faculty members, giving them exposure to research activities in settings ranging from the archive, to the laboratory, and to the field.

In addition to faculty, the program is supported by a broad range of resources necessary to pursue advanced research within Taubman College and in other units on campus. This includes library, computing, and laboratory facilities that are among the best in the country. In addition, students are encouraged to seek any other resources unavailable on campus but necessary to develop and carry out topics of research, particularly for the dissertation or thesis. Funding is available from Rackham Graduate School and Doctoral Studies in Architecture for students to carry out research that advances their progress to degree.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Architecture degree is the highest degree offered in architectural research and scholarship. Students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct substantive and original work in a specialized area that creates a deeper and broader understanding of the discipline of architecture, including its theoretical and methodological bases, and contributes to its development.

Ph.D. in Architecture students are competitive with their peers within UM and other institutions, winning prestigious internal fellowships, including those offered by Rackham Graduate School and the Institute for Humanities, and from outside agencies, including the Fulbright, American Academy in Rome, Social Science Research Council, Getty Institute, and others. Graduates of this program are prepared to occupy a broad array of professional roles. Although most Ph.D. graduates take teaching positions in four-year colleges and research universities, a number return to professional design practice, gain positions in research institutions, or complete post-doctoral training. Similarly, M.Sc. graduates go into teaching and/or practice, but a large number choose to pursue the Ph.D. degree.

For more information on the application process and online forms, click here.

2013 Taubman College Brochure
Ph.D. in Architecture Admissions Card