Architecture (PhD)

The PhD degree program focuses on sustainable design, addressing the needs of the profession as society faces the environmental impact of its cities. It prepares students for careers at universities and other institutions engaged in research related to sustainable design, such as national research laboratories, industry research and development, public agencies, and nongovernment organizations. PhD students address research topics that encompass spatial, environmental, historical, social, political, technical, and economic factors. In addition to a rigorous understanding of building performance, aspects of sustainable community development, and broader social processes and policies, each student is expected to demonstrate an understanding of theory and research in a related focus area. Completion of the program requires demonstrated excellence through original contributions to the field. Depending on background and research goals, students can expect to complete the degree in three to six years, with four to five years being most typical. There is a minimum residency of two years of full-time graduate work at the Eugene campus.

The program supports advanced study in the following areas:

  • Design and policy for sustainable cities and livable communities
  • Design for climate change and adaptation
  • Cultural, social, and economic sustainability
  • Net-zero building and eco-district design
  • Resource forecasting and simulation of place and building performance
  • Energy-efficient, adaptive reuse of existing buildings
  • Indoor environmental quality and occupant health
  • High-performance building envelopes and green technologies
  • Life-cycle building analysis design and modeling

The Ph.D. program in Architecture focuses on sustainable architecture and integrated design. The program is an advanced research degree that engages students in multidisciplinary investigations that create new knowledge in compelling and time-sensitive research topics. The PhD program prepares students for careers at universities, and at other entities engaged in research related to sustainable design such as national research laboratories, industries, public agencies, and non-government organizations. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Conduct independent original research and disseminate research results to the academic and professional community.
  • Demonstrate thoughtful and professional conduct and contribute research advances and service to their professional communities and societies.
  • Demonstrate broad knowledge of principal texts, journal and conference publications, methods, discussions, and problems in a selected field of study within architecture.
  • Identify fundamental research problems and propose innovative solutions to these problems through their research projects using a strong theoretical and/or experimental and/or computational background.
  • Create and deliver effective verbal and written presentations that contribute to the understanding of the field.

Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture

Research and Investigation 1
Research - ARCH 6014-8
Research: [Topic]
ARCH 620Research Methods in Sustainable Design2-6
ARCH 678Advanced Research in Sustainable Design2-6
ARCH 695Advanced Dissertation Proposal Development4-6
Primary Inside Focus Area 2
ARCH 608Workshop: [Topic]1
ARCH 633History of Sustainable Design4
Advanced electives (500 level and above)13
Secondary Outside Focus Area 3
Courses at the 600 level16
Dissertation 418
Minimum Total Credits:84

Additional Requirements

  • Five required theory and research courses that address qualitative and quantitative studies of environmental and building design and the planning processes that shape them
  • 4 credits of supervised college teaching
  • Additional course work in two focus areas, one within the department and one in a different department or program to develop knowledge of a second discipline that supports the student’s research (e.g., anthropology, architectural history, biology, ecology, education, landscape architecture, planning theory, urban geography). Courses are selected in consultation with a faculty advisor
  • A written comprehensive exam followed by an oral comprehensive exam upon completion of course work, typically at the end of the second year. After the student has passed both the written and oral comprehensive exams, he or she will be advanced to candidacy
  • A dissertation proposal typically submitted the term following the comprehensive exams, but at least within three terms of the exams. The student forms a dissertation committee that must approve the proposal following a scheduled public proposal presentation and before undertaking the dissertation
  • A public presentation and defense of the dissertation research followed by final approval by the dissertation committee