Since 1987, UMKC has partnered with Kansas State University to provide an accredited Master's degree in Architecture, Interior Architecture, Industrial Design or Landscape Architecture. We are excited to be able to provide this program in Kansas City, the only partnership of its kind with KSU's College of Architecture, Planning and Design, whose design programs are consistently ranked in the top-ten in the nation.

Kansas State University, located in Manhattan, KS, offers a five-year curriculum leading to an accredited master’s degree in Architecture, Interior Architecture, Industrial Design or Landscape Architecture.

Our Architectural Studies program at UMKC offers the option of completing the first two years of the Architecture curriculum in Kansas City. (Students pursuing a degree in Landscape Architecture, Interior Architecture or Industrial Design will spend only the first year at UMKC.)

Why UMKC? We have small class sizes, excellent scholarships and a unique connection to Kansas City. Students are able to tackle real-world problems in an exciting urban environment, as well as connect with design professionals across the metro, taking those first networking steps in finding future internships and jobs.

Successful completion of the Architectural Studies program will allow a student to seamlessly transfer into the third year of the KSU curriculum on the Manhattan campus. (Students pursuing a degree in Landscape Architecture, Interior Architecture or Industrial Design will transfer to KSU in their second year.) Upon successful completion of the program, Master’s degrees are awarded from Kansas State University.

Interested in pursuing one of our design degrees, but not sure which one or what they entail? Check out our Design Discovery workshop, offered every summer!

NOTE: For prospective students who already have an undergraduate degree, Kansas State University also offers a post-baccalaureate Masters of Architecture. Some of the required courses are offered at UMKC, as part of our Architectural Studies program. We encourage you to read more about it here, and to contact KSU directly for more info and to plan a course of study. Contact information for Prof. Todd Gabbard can be found here.

Application Process

To apply to the Architectural Studies program at UMKC or find out about university application deadlines, please visit the admissions page here. Be sure to mark Architectural Studies as your intended major on the UMKC application.

Application and acceptance into Architectural Studies is a two-stage process. First, the UMKC Office of Admissions collects all the necessary materials, via your application on the admission page, to admit you to the university . Then, once your materials have been assembled, the Office of Admissions forwards the information to us to consider for admittance into the department. (Note: because of our course sequencing, new students are accepted into the department only in the fall semester.)

The Architectural Studies program is selective, and admits only 36 students into the first year. For first-time college students, high school grade-point-average and ACT or SAT scores will be reviewed. For students transferring from another college or university, current grade-point-average will be reviewed. After review, a letter will be sent directly from the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design accepting or denying entry into the Architectural Studies program. A deposit, refundable up until May 1, reserves your place in the program and will be applied to your tuition in fall.

We encourage prospective students to apply as soon as possible. Students are accepted into the department until all positions are filled.

Missouri Reciprocal Tuition Agreement

Would you like in-state tuition at UMKC and KSU? Students who are residents of Missouri, successfully complete our program and are accepted into the K-State program, will automatically receive the Missouri Reciprocal Tuition Agreement for Kansas in‑state tuition at K-State. (And students who are Kansas residents in the Kansas City metropolitan area will receive Missouri in‑state tuition at UMKC.)

Preparing for our Program

High School and Transfer Student Requirements

Entering freshmen and transfer students must have fulfilled each of the following math prerequisites prior to entering our program:

  • 1 unit of Algebra I
  • 1 unit of Algebra II
  • 1 unit of Geometry

Suggested High School Curriculum

High school students are encouraged to complete a college preparatory curriculum including:

  • ½ unit of Trigonometry (may be incorporated in another course)
  • Calculus
  • 4 units of English
  • History
  • 3 to 4 units of science, including physics
  • 3 to 4 units of social studies
  • 2 to 4 units of foreign language
  • Courses that are helpful in developing creative abilities should be taken if time permits. With respect to drawing, we recommend courses in both freehand drawing and technical drawing.

College Credit

As a student in our program, you will be investing considerable time in your course work. By taking certain college courses while in high school, you may be able to take fewer required courses at UMKC, thereby “lightening” your semester course load. Successful prior completion of one or more of the following courses may be applied toward completion or our program:

  • College Algebra (or higher level math)
  • Expository Writing I
  • Expository Writing II
  • Public Speaking
  • Approximately 18 credit hours of general electives (cannot be architecture courses)

High school students planning to take courses for college credit are encouraged to contact us for advice about courses that will meet the program’s requirement.


The materials necessary for the Architectural Studies program can exceed typical expectations, and should be factored into your budget considerations. While our courses do incur the typical textbook expenses, they also require the additional “tools of the trade” necessary in the design professions: drafting tools and paper, sketchbooks, cardboard, foamcore and other model materials. We do our best to minimize these costs, and negotiate a greatly reduced cost on tools with a local art supply house. The one-time cost for a first-year tool kit typically runs about $350, and the tools can be reused each semester. “Expendable” materials, such as paper and model materials, can run about $200 per semester.

Computer Purchases

For your first year in Architectural Studies, all drawing is done by hand, so no particular type of computer is required. Students usually have a standard laptop for writing papers, internet research, etc. For your second through fifth years of study, however, you will need a specific computer and monitor(s). Since the specifications are updated each year, that information is given to students at the end of their first year.

 Time Management

Architectural Studies is a challenging and time-intensive program of study. Students usually find it difficult to reconcile the coursework with equally time-intensive extracurricular activities (sports, Greek life, etc.) We strongly encourage any student interested in pursuing these types of activities to speak with us first, so that we can elaborate on what your coursework will be like. It is critical that students in the program be highly focused and engaged in order to meet the criteria for advancement into the second year of study. (Likewise, the number of credit hours taken should be carefully considered and coordinated with the number of hours spent with any form of employment.)