The culmination of the B.Arch and M.Arch professional programs is a major design research project which serves as a bridge between the rigors and strictures of a comprehensive professional education and the imagined but unpredictable opportunities for career pursuits afterwards.

Directed Research (DR)

In the final semester each spring, the School’s faculty offer several DR courses which represent their range of expertise. Each course will involve students in a collaborative design project and/or research endeavor led by faculty members. This capstone course will require student initiative, a willingness to take risks, and an advanced skill set. Course format and size will vary depending on the type of research undertaken. The aim of the Directed Research courses is to culminate—with maximum quality, intensity, flexibility and diversity—the aspirations of the B.Arch and M.Arch curricula (including design, design research, technical knowledge, critical/creative thinking, and political and cultural awareness) in ways that prepare students for careers in the evolving and increasingly specialized, collaborative, and multi-faceted field of architecture.


2023 marked the 45th anniversary and the final year of the thesis program as it was established in 1978 by Werner Seligmann at the beginning of his tenure. Working individually or in teams, under the guidance of a faculty Advisory Group, students devised and pursued an ambitious project that was built on the skills and knowledge gained in their prior courses. Thesis was both a test of students’ general competency across the subject areas of the curriculum, as well as a focused design research investigation that drew upon the expertise of the faculty.