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Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture

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Ph.D. Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in Architecture educates students to become more valuable to society through academic, business, and government organizations that require greater artistic, scientific, and investigative skills. It offers candidates opportunities to develop and deepen their education in 3 important ways:

  • Enhancing research and analytical skills with rigorous methods of inquiry and synthesis;
  • Acquiring advanced knowledge specific to their area(s) of inquiry through comprehensive scholarly investigations and distinguished documentation; and
  • Developing the ability to communicate knowledge in a clear and eloquent manner.

To realize this goal, the faculty has made a commitment to create, along with doctoral students, a climate in which scholarship and creativity can flourish. Underlying the advanced study of architecture at KU is an ethic regarding architectural inquiry and architectural practice; one that sustains the question, “What ought we do as architects and researchers to enhance the quality of life on this planet?” Examples of inquiry at KU that exemplify this underlying question are

  • Progressive models of practice embracing evidence-based design and design-build practices;
  • Affordable housing with a sensitive aesthetic;
  • Material investigations to create more affordable and sustainable building practices;
  • Rigorous evaluations of built artifacts to inform better design practice;
  • Translation of empirical findings of person-place interaction research into design guidelines; and
  • Critical perspectives on human settlement patterns.

Our research is founded on an ethical position. We are not involved in research simply to generate knowledge for its own sake but rather to improve the human condition through more thoughtful built form. The overall focus is on developing understanding that may inform the critical delivery processes by which humane architecture is created.

The Ph.D. in Architecture degree program is carefully crafted to allow students to engage in rewarding and potentially revolutionary scholarly investigation steeped in an atmosphere of rigorous academic pursuit. The 49-credit-hour curriculum is divided into three parts: foundation, concentrations, and advanced study. In the foundation, students must take the following courses:

ARCH 930 Doctoral Seminar I 1
ARCH 931 Theories of Architectural Inquiry 3
ARCH 951 Methods of Inquiry in Architectural Research 3
Research Skills 3
Advanced Methods 3
ARCH 958 Research Practicum Preparation 1
ARCH 959 Research Practicum 4

Concentrations are major (12 credit hours minimum) and minor (9 credit hours minimum) curricula developed by the student in concert with the major professor. The student becomes a candidate upon passing the comprehensive examination. As a candidate, the student enters the advanced studies portion of the curriculum and begins work on the dissertation. The student must be continuously enrolled, including summer sessions, until all requirements for the degree are completed. A minimum of 9 dissertation credit hours is required for the degree.

Note: Responsible scholarship requirements were approved after this catalog was finalized. Contact your department or program for more information about this requirement for doctoral students.

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