Curriculum

Andy Lee and Taylor Halamka in studio. Photo by Joe Angeles.

Architecture is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing from various bases of knowledge and requiring collaboration with other fields. You'll find our program valuable for both its architectural focus and its broad-based nature. With multiple opportunities in the undergraduate curriculum to pursue study in other areas, our students develop abilities to think, communicate, and work across disciplinary lines.

The curriculum is centered around the design studio, where small groups of students and a faculty member work together on design projects that employ a "learn by doing" methodology. As an architecture student, you'll benefit from an intimate environment for learning; there are approximately 60 students in each incoming class, and studio class sizes are typically 15 or fewer students to one professor throughout your undergraduate program.

Throughout your four years, you will take both studio courses and Sam Fox School Commons courses that are offered by Art and Architecture and open to any student. These opportunities to study "in between" Art and Architecture expose you to different methods and ways of thinking, incorporating topics such as sustainability, public practice, and new technologies.

Below you'll find an overview of our curriculum for both of our undergraduate architecture programs. For detailed credit requirements, download the degree profile sheets.

Degree profile: Bachelor of Science in Architecture>>
Degree profile: Bachelor of Arts in Architecture>>

First Year

- Foundation studios in design
- Interdisciplinary drawing course for all Architecture and Art students
- Explorations of materials, geometry, surface, and detailing
- Design of a small building
- Practices in Architecture + Art + Design, a lecture course taught by the leaders of the
   School
- Additional course work in the liberal arts

Second Year

- Design studios focused on the relationship of architecture to the landscape and to the urban environment
- Interdisciplinary elective studies between art, architecture, and design
- Architectural history courses
- Additional course work in the liberal arts

Third Year

- Intensified design studios exploring building assemblies, structure, landscape, and sustainability
- Building systems course
- Architectural theory course
- Additional course work in the liberal arts

Fourth Year

For Bachelor of Science in Architecture:
- Continue in-depth study of architecture through design studios
- Structures courses
- Architectural history and theory course work, with an emphasis on urban design issues
- Technology courses in environmental systems or landscape architecture

For Bachelor of Arts in Architecture:
- Student-directed capstone project
- Ultimate flexibility to complete a second major or additional minor, or to explore other areas of interest
- Option to take additional architecture course work, including your choice of studios and theory classes

Digital Technologies

Technology plays a critical role in the educational experience of our students; therefore, the College of Architecture is committed to the integration of relevant technology into our currciulum. Instruction in digital technologies begins in the first year and continues throughout the curriculum. We strongly recommend that all first-year students entering the College of Architecture acquire a computer and software that will serve as the technological foundation for their studies. For more information, click here.