student models of white buildings on a piece of wood

Carnegie Mellon Architecture's Accelerated Master's Program (AMP) offers undergraduate students the opportunity to expedite their completion of a master’s degree, saving both time and money and allowing them to hit the job market with specialized knowledge and two Carnegie Mellon degrees.

If you are interested in AMP or would like to learn more about the program and the application process, plan to attend an AMP information session (offered each fall) or contact Joshua Bard, Associate Head for Design Research.

Associate Professor & Associate Head for Design Research

Program Overview

Carnegie Mellon Architecture offers undergraduate students the opportunity to obtain an accelerated master’s degree in one additional year after completion of their bachelor’s degree. The Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) saves both time and money, enabling students to enter the job market with specialized knowledge and two Carnegie Mellon degrees. Two options are available based on the undergraduate program:

5+1 Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) Five years of undergraduate coursework followed by two semesters of full-time master’s level coursework for a total of six academic years. 

4+1 Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (B.A.) Four years of undergraduate coursework followed by two semesters of full-time master’s level coursework for a total of five academic years.

Degree Completion

An AMP student must complete all of the units required by both the undergraduate and master’s programs, less a maximum of 48 units that can be double-counted. In addition, AMP students in their final undergraduate year (B.Arch during 5th year, B.A. during 4th year) can pursue additional master’s coursework provided they also meet the minimum bachelor’s degree requirements. These additional units can count toward the master’s degree requirements. AMP students must maintain full-time master’s status for at least two semesters after completion of their bachelor’s degree. 

Total number of units = minimum required undergraduate units + minimum required graduate units - 48 double counted units

Example: B.Arch (450 units) + MSBPD (160 units) - double counted (48 units) = Total (562 units)

Fall Graduation for Undergraduate Degree

Any undergraduate student who anticipates a fall (December) graduation due to early completion of their bachelor’s degree or due to being out of sequence should consult with their academic advisor(s) no later than the fall of their second to last year. This situation, while sometimes possible for AMP students, is not common due to the necessity of staying on track for both undergraduate and master’s degree programs in an integrated manner. 

Movement from Undergraduate to Graduate Student Classification 

AMP students who are certified as having completed their undergraduate degree, typically in the number of semesters that is standard for their program, will then be classified as a graduate student at CMU. Students are expected to complete their graduate degree requirements within the standard length of time for their program of study. Students should be aware of and plan for financial implications, including financial aid. Students should also be aware of any F-1/J-1 non-immigrant implications when moving from undergraduate student status to graduate student status at CMU. (See details below.) 

Incomplete Graduate Degree Requirements 

In some cases, AMP students may withdraw from the graduate component of the program of study; in this case they will not be certified or awarded the graduate degree. Any such withdrawal decision may also require close consultation with the undergraduate advisor to determine eligibility for undergraduate degree completion and certification if the undergraduate degree is not already certified. 

Extended or Longer-Than-Standard Graduate Degree Completion 

Longer-than-standard degree completion may occur for a variety of reasons, such as an academic interruption in making progress toward the degree as defined by the academic program; an interruption of full-time study or progress toward the degree due to serious documented medical issue(s); or other unusual or unforeseen circumstances. 

AMP students who require longer than the standard time to complete their graduate degree requirements are expected to remain in close contact with their graduate program and will be certified at the end of the semester in which they have completed their degree requirements. Students should reference CMU’s Master’s Student Statute of Limitations regarding guidelines and restrictions which place an upper limit on the maximum length of time allowable for master’s degree completion and certification.

AMP-Compatible Master's Programs

Students in either the B.Arch program (450 units) or B.A. program (369 units) can pursue the following accelerated master's degrees:

Admissions Timeline

To take advantage of all the benefits of the program, students must apply to the AMP during their second to last year of their undergraduate program (B.Arch in the 4th year, B.A. in the 3rd year). AMP applicants follow the standard graduate admissions cycle and guidelines, including: 

  • February 1st: Graduate applications due
  • Mid-March: Admissions decisions shared with applicants
  • Mid-April: Enrollment decision deadline and AMP Roadmap due (see below)

More admissions details can be found on the Graduate Admissions page.

AMP Roadmap

After acceptance to the AMP, students must work with their academic advisor, graduate program track-chair and Carnegie Mellon Architecture administration to complete an individualized AMP Roadmap. This worksheet outlines a detailed path toward the completion of both degrees in the +1 year timeframe, including:

  • Progress toward undergraduate degree completion
  • Tally of double counted units
  • Proposed course schedule during final undergraduate year (B.Arch 5th year, B.A. 4th year)
  • Projected units remaining to complete master’s degree during additional year

The worksheet should be submitted to Alexis McCune Secosky, Director of Recruitment and Enrollment by the enrollment deadline.

Tuition & Financial Aid

All undergraduate tuition and financial aid guidelines apply until the student’s completion of their undergraduate degree, typically the end of the 4th year for B.A. students and the end of the 5th year for B.Arch students. At the time of acceptance into an architecture master’s program, each student will receive detailed information outlining graduate tuition and scholarship offers. These take effect when the student transitions to full time master’s student status, typically the fall of the 5th year for B.A. students and the fall of the 6th year for B.Arch students. Students should consult with their designated college liaison in The HUB regarding billing and financial aid, particularly for early completion, longer-than-standard completion or integrated bachelor and master’s degree programs.

International Students

Immigration status for students in F-1 and J-1 non-immigrant status is tied to making normal progress toward completing degree requirements. Therefore, F-1 and J-1 students who are considering completing their degree requirements early, anticipating longer-than-standard completion, or moving from an undergraduate to a graduate student classification (integrated undergraduate-graduate study), should consult with their designated advisor in the Office of International Education (OIE) to ensure compliance with immigration regulations.