Curriculum

The five-year curriculum in architecture is centered around the following areas:

Architecture

  • Design
  • Visual Communications
  • Structures and Technology
  • History & Theory
  • Professional Practice
  • University Core Curriculum
  • Cooperative Education

Go to the University's Course Catalog to learn more about specific classes.

Design is at the center of the curriculum spanning all five years of study. The Design Studios are organized into three parts: Foundation Studios (first year and second year), Upper Level Studios (third year and fourth year) and the Master's Studios (fifth year). Foundation Studios meet three afternoons a week for a total of 12 hours/ week and concentrate on developing basic technical, analytic, representational, and critical thinking skills necessary to deal with the complex social, psychological and poetic issues of the built environment. The studios are "project" based and the development of each student's personal and individual philosophy of design is one of the School's primary aims. Upper Level Studios meet three times/week for a total of 14 hours/week and are comprised of a "mix" of students from both third and fourth years together in investigations of complex architectural themes in more concentrated depth. Recent Upper Level Studios have included community design, design of health care facilities, design-build experiences, architectural competitions, historical preservation, sustainability, furniture making and landscape design.

Follow this link to find our studio culture / honor code policy.

Visual Communications includes courses in multi-media drawing, computer graphics, computer aided design, three dimensional design and electives that explore various media. The ability to represent and model architectural ideas is fundamental to the design process.

Structures and Technology provides the technological background necessary to address the increasingly complex architectural themes of the studios. Included in this sequence are math, structures, energy and ecological design, and environmental technology (heating, ventilating, air conditioning, electrical systems, acoustics, etc.) courses.

History and Theory introduces the student to architectural tradition and precedent. It provides an understanding of the social, political, economic and philosophical forces that shape architecture. Through this foundation, students recognize their place in the architectural world and build their own work upon an understanding of the work of others.

Professional Practice introduces upper level students to fundamentals of managing an architectural office, project delivery systems, construction contracts, construction documents, and legal and ethical issues concerning the profession. These courses, in concert with the cooperative training program, prepare students to enter the professional world.