Workspaces of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism l Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Workspaces of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism

About International MediaArchitecture Master Studies (IMAMS)

Study Program: General Information

The standard period of study for the joint program is four semesters. The participants complete the first semester at their home university, where they gain specific knowledge of their field of study. The second and third semesters are completed at the respective partner university. Participants then return to their home universities to complete their fourth (thesis) semester.

The language of instruction is English: The institutions ensure that an adequate number of courses are offered in English: With sufficient knowledge of German, students may also attend courses taught in German. All academic activities, including assignments, examinations and thesis presentations are conducted or administered in English. The course of study builds on the respective qualifications and offers experience in the respective fields. A new interaction space (for instructors and students equally), in which the common fields of research can be pursued. New expressions should be encouraged through co-operation experiences. The goal is to increase the competitiveness of the students in their disciplines as well as in crossing borders.

What does the program offer?

General scope:

The alliance of architecture with media has three phases that generally describe the topic fields in form and content: First of all architecture is, just as language, text and symbols, itself a medium that not only conveys, processes and saves reality and its meaning, but also produces it. In this sense architecture is always a perception machine, physical technique, semiotic tool, and so on. The best examples are represented by the window as view, image and mirror, glass buildings as panorama or simply the space as a choreography of use. Digital media make the expansion of real space possible and allow for its exchange effect with the virtual space.

Secondly architecture is represented in the media. Architecture circulates in media, which present themselves structurally and discoursely as having the ability to define architecture. Thus the representative forms of architecture (drawing, sketch, model, book, photography, film, virtual reality) as well as the techniques of their distribution contribute to its constitution. On the other hand architecture effects other media and serves as a model for them itself.

Thirdly architecture doubles itself virtually by making or simulating a completely individual architecture from the artificial worlds based on new technology so that new ty­pologies of immersion spaces are developed. Thereby it in turn becomes clear that architecture is always a prototype of such an immersion space. Here architecture offers the metaphors, the language, as well as the structure for order and for the navigation of knowledge.

Skills and qualifications:

The master‘s program provides the students with instrumental, as well as conceptual skills:

  • Technical mastering of advanced media tools in the con-text of architecture (construction, presentation, simulation programs)
  • Use of new digital technology in space and its interaction with architectural considerations (intelligent building, media facades etc.)
  • Complex understanding of architecture as a medium, as well as the media of architecture (theories of architecture, media, art)
  • Ability for interdisciplinary co-operation between media artists, architects and art academics
  • Development of a debate culture, critical skills, generation of innovative approaches etc.

Admission and Enrolment

Application Process

Students apply at their respective home university and must meet the standard admission requirements for the home university programme.

For students applying from BUW the following admission requirements have to be fulfilled:
Only those with a study-related degree or equivalent certificate and / or those able to demonstrate adequate professional experience, as well as pass the aptitude test can be admitted. A study-related degree is an academic degree from a German university or equivalent certificate from a foreign university in the following majors or fields: Architecture and media studies, as well as related disciplines with academic and/ or artistic-design emphasis (Bachelor, Master or Diploma). The study programme is in English. 

For students applying from UB:
German language requirements are not expected. An interest in German language and culture is expected and an Intensive German language course is offered at BUW and is a required part of the curriculum for UB students. The study programme “Media Architecture” at BUW ensures an adequate number of courses in English language to successfully complete the joint study programme.

Registration and Enrollment

Students will maintain registration at the sending institution and will be charged no entrance examination fee, admission fee, or tuition be the receiving institution. In addition to the enrollment at the home institution, students participating in the double degree programme enroll at the host institution for the study abroad period. 

After registration at the Bauhaus Universität, students are required to individually register with the admissions department at the University at Buffalo. Once registered it is the student's responsibility to take all steps necessary to obtain a student visa required for studying at UB. More information on the visa application process can be found here:

Aptitude Test

Selection of the candidates is made based on an aptitude test. In order to participate in the aptitude test registration is necessary in the form of an informal letter of interest addressed to:

Dekanat der Fakultät Architektur und Urbanistik
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Master MediaArchitecture
D-99421 Weimar

Geschwister-Scholl-Str. 8

The registration deadline for the study programs "International MediaArchitecture Master Studies" (IMAMS) is July 15 th. Studies start the beginning of October of that year. The aptitude test proceeds as follows:

  • Aptitude assessment based on the documentation of previous work
  • Interview (after assessment by the commission; not obligatory)
  • Decision and announcement of the results.

Form of Application 

The following should be included in the application:

  1. Tabular curriculum vitae with educational, practical and international experience

  2. Notarised copy of the school graduate certificate (university acceptance) or a certificate from the appropriate authorities as an accepted equivalent

  3. Notarised copy of the university degree (Bachelors, “Diplom” or Masters) or an accepted equivalent, such as “Diploma supplement”

  4. Letter of motivation, which thoroughly explains the reasons behind the study and career plans, approximately one page long (A4 or 8 1/2 x 11)

  5. Documentation of previous work, which demonstrate the ability for interdisciplinary work, as well as special skills in theory and/ or practice, included final thesis project, maximum 25 sheets A3 (or videos, CD's etc.)

  6. Written declaration concerning the authorship of the submitted work

  7. Language certificate as proof of very good language skills, with a TOEFL minimum score of 79-80 on the internet-based (IBT) TOEFL exam or 550 on the paper-based (PBT) TOEFL exam or 213 on the computer-based (CBT) TOEFL exam. Alternatively, students can take the IELTS exams and must receive a minimum overall score of 6.5 and no individual band score below 6.0 on the IELTS.Applicants, whose mother tongue is not English, are required to provide proof of these skills. Exceptions are possible if proof of a university degree from an English-speaking country can be provided

  8. Applications can be submitted via the »online application portal« on:

Curriculum and Course Overview

General Study Plan

Students start with their 1st semester at their home university. The next two semesters they study at the partner university. The final semester with the Master's thesis they study at their home university again. General course language is English, in which also the Master's thesis is written and presented.

1st Semester: Foundation

The foundation semester provides an introduction to the theory and practice of Media Architecture. Basic concepts in the design and analysis of architectonic and medial space are introduced through structured projects developed in the context of the design studio.  Coordinated seminars and workshops address core competencies and skills, both intellectual and practical. This semester is designed to give students entering the program with different academic backgrounds a common platform for their studies in Media Architecture.

2nd Semester: Expansion

Following the foundation semester, students cross the Atlantic and continue their studies at the respective partner institution. This semester provides the student with the opportunity to both broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the field through a combination of studio projects, coordinated seminars and workshops. The intention of the expansion semester is to diversify the perspectives by which the student apprehends the field.

3rd Semester: Pre-thesis

During the Pre-thesis semester, students conduct research on a specific topic that they will pursue for their Master's Thesis. Research is organized around seminars, workshops and independent study. Student progress reviews are conducted periodically throughout this semester by a committee consisting of a faculty member at the current institution together with a faculty member from the home institution via videoconference. This semester focuses on the development of the Thesis Proposal and culminates with the presentation of this proposal.

4th Semester: Thesis

Students then return across the Atlantic to their home institution and the program culminates with the production of a Master's Thesis project during the final semester. Before commencing the thesis, all required coursework needs to be completed successfully (see Thesis). Students work independently with a dedicated faculty member at each institution. The semester culminates with a public presentation and defence of the Thesis with 2 faculty members (1 from each partner institution) participating via remote telematic sessions.

Curriculum IMAMS
Curriculum IMAMS

Thesis and Academic Degrees

Upon successful completion of the semester projects and coursework in Buffalo and in Weimar, students are able to register for their master thesis.

Firstly, in the pre-thesis, a general research prospective is formulated in coordination with a chosen thesis chair, functioning as an advisor to the student. In this phase, the student develops a bibliography and extensive body of research in order to finalize the pre-thesis with a precise statement of intent.

The following semester is comprised of the main thesis, which is situated in the intersection of architecture and media and elaborated scientifically and/or artistically by the student, whilst guided by interdisciplinary faculty members in both Buffalo and Weimar.

A student undertaking a thesis conducts independent investigations of his or her chosen topics under the supervision of a thesis committee consisting of at least two faculty members. A student must complete all thesis work and documentation to the satisfaction of his or her thesis committee. At both eight and four weeks before the semester's last week of classes, all thesis students must participate in interim thesis reviews scheduled by the architecture department. During these interim reviews, each student will be expected to demonstrate substantive progress toward completion of his or her thesis.  The body of work is submitted to both institutions and evaluated by a respective committee, leading to the award of the Dual Degree.

Academic degrees and certificates:

After successful completion of the study program the students receive two academic degrees in two separate conjoined certificates (Double Degree):

  • the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar awards the academic degree “Master of Science in Media Architecture” (M.Sc.)
  • the SUNY, University at Buffalo awards the academic degree “Master of Science in Architecture” (M.S.)

Related Research


The research project MEDIA CITY was established at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in 2005 and undertakes seminal investigation in questions concerning the increasing permutation of digital and physical space and the consequent field of possibilities for planning practices. The main goal was formed in the correlation of applied research and academic education, with a focus on international developments in the field of new media.

The conference was initiated as part of the EU funded MEDIACITY project at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, with the first event with invited speakers in 2004, and a second open conference in 2006.
Following this initial success, and a third conference in Weimar in 2008, it became a roving event taking place every two years in different cities around the world.
The fourth MediaCity conference was hosted at University of Buffalo in May 2013. MediaCity 4: MediaCities comprised of 35 peer reviewed conference paper presentations, 3 keynotes, 2 two-day workshops and an exhibition of 4 invited international artists. There were approx. 150 attendees over the three-day duration of the conference. Conference attendees were international with Brazil, UK, USA, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Australia, Germany, Japan the Netherlands and Turkey.
The 5th international MediaCity conference, titled Social Smart Cities, takes place from the 3rd till the 5th of May of 2015 in Plymouth, England. The main focus lies on a transdisciplinary, international discussion on the development of urban social practice in the overlapping of media, arts, architecture and urbanism.

And after my studies?

The integrative nature of the International MediaArchitec­ture Master Studies program offers graduates perspectives in many different professional fields. Concrete areas of ap­plication include traditional architecture as well as trade fair, event and film architecture, the design of exhibitions, sta­ging, media and wayfinding systems as well as in the fields of knowledge production and image representation and urban design and engineering disciplines.

After graduation, alumni of International MediaArchitecture Master Studies will work in the interfacing areas of media and architecture such as:

  • Digital planning, presentation techniques, computer graphics and architectural visualization
  • Architecture and media
  • Architecture and image theory
  • Cultural techniques in architecture
  • Scenography
  • Computer-aided interdisciplinary work
  • Interface design