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Architecture is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing from various bases of knowledge and requiring collaboration with other fields. Our program balances architectural education with a strong liberal arts base. You can take classes in any field that interests you across the University—art, engineering, computer science, psychology, literature, business, and more—allowing you to develop your abilities to think, communicate, and work across disciplinary lines.

Degree Tracks

We offer two degree tracks—the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Architecture and the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Architecture—that allow students to individualize their educational experience. Students on both tracks may pursue minors, second majors, and dual degrees; this includes several minors offered within the Sam Fox School. While the BS in Architecture is an optimal springboard to graduate school, both tracks prepare you to move on to a master’s degree, positioning you for teaching and leadership positions in architecture and other related fields.

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Architecture

The Bachelor of Science in Architecture offers a more intensive study of architecture during your senior year. You’ll take an upper-level design studios focused on advanced building design, along with structures courses, architectural history/theory courses that emphasize urban design issues, and technology courses in environmental systems or landscape architecture.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Architecture

The Bachelor of Arts in Architecture is a more flexible course of study that allows you to take additional architecture design studios or pursue courses in other areas of interest across the University.

Year-by-Year Overview

All architecture students take similar courses your first three years; courses during your fourth year will differ depending on your choice of degree track.
  • Beginning design studios, with exploration of materials, media, and geometry
  • Interdisciplinary drawing course
  • Design of a small building
  • Introduction to digital technology
  • Additional course work in the liberal arts
  • 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
  • Intensified design studios exploring building assemblies, structure, landscape, and sustainability
  • Building systems course
  • Architectural theory course
  • Additional course work in the liberal arts

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


Within the architecture program, you’ll explore a wide array of media and techniques, including freehand drawing and computer-aided design. You’ll also study building technology and architectural history and theory. Offerings vary each semester, but recent courses and topic areas have included:

  • Architecture Design Studio
  • Drawing and Representation
  • Digital Technology and Fabrication
  • Architectural History and Theory
  • Building Systems and Structures
  • Environmental Systems
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Urban Design
  • Community Building
  • Furniture Design

Digital Technologies

Technology plays a critical role in the educational experience of our students; therefore, the Sam Fox School is committed to the integration of relevant technology into our curriculum. As part of our College of Architecture curriculum, our faculty provide required instruction in digital design technologies beginning in the first year, guided by established industry standards and best practices.

We strongly recommend that College of Architecture first-year students acquire a computer and software that meet or exceed the specifications noted in the guide below. Instruction for introductory courses on digital tools is designed to meet the precise specifications of the hardware and software listed. This laptop and software will serve as a basic, but versatile, toolkit and will support at least the first two years of your education in architecture. Due to advances in technology and subsequent upgrades in software, you may need to acquire a new, more powerful computer in your junior or senior year in order to complete your area of study.