Registration and Department Policies

Maintaining Status

In order to maintain full-time student status and be eligible for Federal Financial Aid, students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours of courses at the University at Buffalo. Students who drop below 12 credit hours will lose full-time student status. An exception to this is graduate students with a TA, GA or RA appointment who can take 9 credits to be full-time.

As a result of dropping below full-time status, students may lose their financial aid awards and may be in violation of immigration requirements.  All questions on student financial aid should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid. Any questions on visa status or international student requirements should be directed to International Student Services

Certification of Full-Time Student Status:

Master’s students who need to be considered full-time and who are registered for a minimum of one credit hour, but fewer than 12 credit hours (or fewer than nine credit hours with a TA, GA or RA position) and are working full-time on the master’s capstone requirement (such as portfolio or thesis), completing final courses, or working full time on an internship related to their program are eligible to complete the Certfication of Full-Time Status form. Eligible students should complete the top section of the form on their own and send it to their graduate advisor for further review. Once approved, the form must ultimately be submittted to the Registrar with all signatures. 

Final Semester Reduced Courseload Form: 

International students may request to take less than 12 credit hours of coursework in their final semester. To request this, international students must fill out a Final Semester Reduced Course Load Form, found on the International Student Services website, and submit the form to their graduate advisor for review and initial signature.  For further information, please visit the International Student Services website. 

Grading and Academic Standing

Steps for New Students

New students who have recently accepted their offer must complete several steps to remove their holds from their account before becoming eligible to register for classes. Students must read the pages below and complete all necessary steps: 

All Students:

International Students


Students should register for classes in HUB during the add/drop period. Students should refer to the UB academic calendar each semester for add/drop deadlines for each upcoming term. Any holds on the student account must be removed by the corresponding department before registration can take place. For more information about student enrollment, full-time and part-time status, and navigating MyUB and the HUB Student Center, students should refer to the HUB Student Center Training Guides

With the exception of research studio, directed research, thesis and independent study, current and incoming students are responsible for registering themselves for all courses each semester. Students should refer to their course matrix for guidance on what classes to take and contact the department if they have questions. 

Degree Matrices

Students will be sent their specific degree matrix when they accept their admissions offer. This page should be bookmarked by the student and referred back to before registration each semester until graduation. 

Several of the matrix links are below. Additional matrices (including those that include a spring start and those for the dual programs) can be found on the Information for Current Students page under matrices. 


You can find the specific instruction modes within the Class Details page for a course on the class schedule. Even if your course appears as “Remote” on your weekly schedule, you must still go into class details or schedule display list view to determine if it is hybrid, meeting in person or remote. For more information on how to locate the instruction mode, review the HUB Student Center Training Guides. If you have more specific questions, please contact the instructor of your course.

Helpful Registration Links

Graduate Research Group Information

Students in the M.Arch (research studio track) begin taking research studio and the seminars affilated with the different research groups during their first semester in the program. Students in the M.Arch (synthesis and integrated studio track) do not take research studio until their third semester in the program after they have completed their design studio sequence and may not take the affiliated seminars until later in their program. Students in the 3.5 Year M.Arch program will not take research studio or the affiliated seminars until their 5th semester in the program after they have completed their design studio sequence and core requirements.

There are 5 research groups:

  • Ecological Practices
  • Inclusive Design
  • Material Culture   
  • Situated Technologies
  • Urban Design  

Students are not "assigned" to any specific research group during the duration of their M.Arch program. Instead, each semester, eligible students will be asked to identify which research studio they are interested in (research studios are affiliated with a research group or are sometimes offered as an option studio incoorportating multiple research groups) and are registered for studio based on their interest and availability. Students can aim to take research studios and seminars from the same research group throughout their degree or explore courses from different research groups during their time in the program. Upon graduation, research group affiliation will not be designated on the students diploma or transcript.  

Course Information

Course descriptions can generally be found on the Graduate Architectural Resources page under the Course Descriptions header. These descriptions will be continously added and updated leading up to the start of the semester as faculty submit information to the department. Descriptions for core courses can be found here as well.  It is highly encouraged that students read through the information on this site before reaching out with questions. 

At this time, our department does not use wait lists. If an elective or seminar is full, students should look for an alternative elective or seminar to take with open seats that works for their schedule. Often, seats in electives and seminars open up during the first week of classes so students are encouraged to check HUB during the final add/drop week if they wish to revise their schedule. If a core course (for example ARC 555, ARC 582 or ARC 575) is full, students should reach out to their academic advisor as more seats may be added to the class. Changing research studios is generally not allowed during add/drop week and students cannot register themselves for research studio.  

Research Studio

Current and incoming students (accepted into the 2 Year M.Arch research studio track) will be given information about the various research studios being offered each fall and spring semester. This is typically done through faculty presentations. Eligible students will then complete a survey indicating their ranked choices in studio. The department will conduct a studio lottery and register students for studio based on their preference and availability in the courses. Priority will be given to students who are coming from ARC 503 and ARC 603. Additional priorty will be given to students in their last semester of graduate school. While student preferences are not guaranteed, the department will work to balance studio numbers and assign students to a studio in one of their top choices if possible. Students may be registered for a research studio from a different research group than the previous semester. Students must obtain a C or higher in studio or the studio must be re-taken. Those students taking 7 credits of Directed Research or Thesis will not register for studio in the same semester.

Once available, the list of research studios and the preference survey can be found under the Course Descriptions header on the Graduate Architctural Resources page. Only survey submissions before the deadline will be considered. Those who do not complete the survey before the deadline must contact their graduate advisor ASAP and they will be registered for a studio with availability. Please be aware that switches from one studio to another after the first day of classes is only done in very rare situations. 

Technical Methods and Intellectual Domain Seminars

Technical Methods seminars explore strategies for conducting research in different focus areas of architecture, from visualization techniques, skill-building in the use of tools, and developing specific methods for technically-driven inquiry. Intellectual Domain seminars explore the theoretical and historical knowledge-bases of various focus areas of architecture, with an emphasis on pursuing intellectual inquiry.

Students are encouraged to register for the TM and ID seminar that align with their studio (this is often called the triad). However, this is not a requirement for graduation and if a specific seminar is full, the student must choose a different seminar or (if possible) push the seminar to a later semester. If a student has completed the number of ID and TM seminars required in their program and wish to take additional seminars, the additional seminars may be used toward elective credit. Descriptions of these courses can generally be found under the Course Descriptions heading on the Information for Current Students page once this information is availalbe. 

Students should not take a seminar with the same course number twice if the instructor and content of the course is the same. If students have questions about this, they should talk to the instructor teaching the course to ask if it is acceptable that the same course number be taken again. In some cases, faculty will change the topics/content of their courses. At other times, the course content is being repeated. 

Directed Research and Thesis


Independent Study


Students can use any graduate level course (500 level or higher) toward elective credit.  A list of graduate electives offered by the Department of Architecture can generally be found under the Course Descriptions header on the Information for Current Students page once they are available. Additional technical methods and intellectual domain seminars can also be used as elective credits in the program. If seeking a non-ARC course, it is at the discretion of the department offering the course if architecture students are allowed to register. The Department of Architecture can not force register students into another departments course.

Note that previous UB undergraduate students cannot re-take a cross-listed course they have previously completed in their undergraduate studies. Such a course cannot be used toward their graduate degree.

Course Waivers (for students in 2 Year M.Arch research studio track)

If a student has taken a required graduate course at the undergradaute level at UB (for example ARC 455 Structures 3) as part of their undergradaute studies, the student will not need to take the same graduate level course during their graduate studies. However, the student must still make-up the credits by substituting the course with an elective in the program. Undergradaute level courses (400 level or lower) will not be counted toward the number of credits required in a gradaute program under any circumstances. This is UB Graduate School Policy. 

Course Waiver Requests (for students in the 2 year synthesis and integrated studio track)

Advanced Standing Requests (For students in the 3.5 M.Arch program)

Graduate Transfer Credit Requests

Study Abroad Course Planning

The matrixes are intended to be a guide for students to graduate by taking courses in the fall and spring semester. The matrixes do not include a plan for summer registration.

Students who plan to study abroad in the summer should adjust their course sequence appropriately. Typical summer abroad semesters include 13 credits total (7 credits of research studio and 6 credits of electives). Students should consult their matrix to understand their specific course requirements for graduation to see how a summer semester would affect their conferral date. Depending on each students course sequence, it may or may not be possible for students to graduate in the same number or semesters on their matrix if they include a summer semester. 

Students should note that many of the core courses required on their matrix are only offered in either the fall or spring semester. Technical methods seminars, intellectual domain seminars, research studios, portfolio and elective options are generally offered every fall and spring semester. An example of a course that may affect study abroad planning is ARC 582 (Professional Practice), which is only offered in the spring semester. 

If you have questions about how to adjust your course sequence to plan for study abroad, it is recommended that you first develop a proposed plan and then contact your graduate advisor to review and ask questions.