At which campus can I study this program?
The Department of Architecture is a member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the Bachelor of Architecture degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. The major provides for the education of architects at the professional and pre-professional levels.
"In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees:
- the Bachelor of Architecture,
- the Master of Architecture, and
- the Doctor of Architecture.
A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.
Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree."
The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree program:
B.Arch. (162 undergraduate credits)
Next accreditation visit for the B.Arch. accredited degree program: 2022 (anticipated)
(Excerpt from NAAB Conditions for Accreditation, 2009 Edition)
Bachelor of Architecture
The professional program (BARCH) is a five-year curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Architecture degree requiring 162 credits. It prepares those who seek careers as practicing architects. It also provides professional preparation for those who wish to enter related design fields. Graduates of the Bachelor of Architecture program are eligible, after appropriate internship experience, to sit for the Architect Registration Examination. Successful completion of all parts of the Architect Registration Examination is required for registration as an architect. The Bachelor of Architecture curriculum includes coursework in architectural design, history, theory, structural systems, building materials, environmental control systems, visual communications, professional practice, and systems integration. Supporting courses provide students with the flexibility to explore a range of interests, develop concentrations, or pursue minors. A required semester abroad in Rome, Italy, is also a component of this program. All students admitted to the University in the Department of Architecture are enrolled in the five-year professional program leading to the Bachelor of Architecture degree.
Students may elect to leave Penn State after completing the requirements of the four-year (ARCBS) program and receive the Bachelor of Science degree.
What is Architecture?
The study of architecture is a broad endeavor combining the arts and humanities with engineering, science, and technology. It is a global study – from piazzas in Italy to rural disease spread dynamics to information networks spanning physical and virtual domains. As creative designers, architects reflect the history, philosophy, dreams, habits, and values of a culture through buildings and spaces. Architects create responsible solutions to the needs of clients and the natural circumstances of sites. The profession spans the classical to the cutting-edge, and studying architecture encourages exploration across a range of interests, and provides flexibility to develop academic concentrations or pursue minors. The architecture studio is a laboratory in which design synthesizes history, theory, structural systems, building materials, environmental control systems, visual communications, professional practices, and systems integration.
You Might Like this Program If...
- You're fascinated by the intersection of spaces, cultures, history, and people
- You think deeply and love to create
- You're compelled by art, technology, and the environment
- You like formulas and experimentation
- You want to impact society
- You are self-motivated and enjoy the balance of teamwork and working independently
- You honor tradition while inventing novel practices
- You welcome responsibility
- You think and act with precision
- You take risks
- You want to explore, discover, and invent
|Requirements for the Major||123|
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences(GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits
6 of these 45 credits are included in the Requirements for the Major.
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
Requirements for the Major
This includes 6 credits of General Education GA courses.
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|AE 210||Introduction to Architectural Structural Systems||3|
|ARCH 121||Visual Communications I||2|
|ARCH 122||Visual Communications II||2|
|ARCH 131||Basic Design Studio I||4|
|ARCH 132||Basic Design Studio II||4|
|ARTH 201||Ancient to Medieval Architecture||3|
|ARTH 202||Renaissance to Modern Architecture||3|
|AE 421||Architectural Structural Systems I||3|
|AE 422||Architectural Structural Systems II||3|
|ARCH 203||Materials and Building Construction I||3|
|ARCH 204||Materials and Building Construction II||3|
|ARCH 210||Introduction to Architecture and Planning Theories||3|
|ARCH 231||Architectural Design I||6|
|ARCH 232||Architectural Design II||6|
|AE 211||Introduction to Environmental Control Systems||3|
|AE 424||Environmental Control Systems I||3|
|ARCH 311||Architectural and Planning Theories||3|
|ARCH 331||Architectural Design III||6|
|ARCH 332||Architectural Design IV||6|
|ARCH 431||Architectural Design V||6|
|ARCH 480||Technical Systems Integration||3|
|ARCH 499A||Rome Study-Architectural Design||6|
|ARCH 499B||Architectural Analysis||3|
|ARCH 499C||Urban Studies||3|
|ARCH 451||Architectural Professional Practice||3|
|ARCH 491||Architectural Design Studio (6 per semester, maximum of 12)||6-12|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 6 credits of the following:||6|
|Architectural Design Studio (6, maximum 12)|
|Architectural Design Studio|
|Architectural Design Foreign Study|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 3 credits in non-Western traditions in architecture from approved department list||3|
|Select 15 credits in consultation with an academic adviser 1||15|
This category of course work gives students the freedom to explore a range of academic interests, develop concentrations, or pursue minors.
Integrated B.ARCH./M.S. in Architecture Program
The Department of Architecture offers a limited number of academically superior students enrolled in the fourth year of the Bachelor of Architecture degree program the opportunity to enroll in an integrated program leading to both the B.Arch. and the M.S. in Architecture degrees. The ability to coordinate as well as concurrently pursue the two degree programs enables the student to achieve greater depth and comprehensiveness than if the degrees are pursued sequentially, and to earn the two degrees in a shorter period of time. In particular, the program encourages the student to integrate the undergraduate thesis design project with the master's thesis, thereby achieving a greater depth of inquiry. The number of openings to this special program is limited; admission is by invitation of the faculty and is extremely selective.
Applicants to the integrated program must be enrolled in the fourth year of a B.Arch. program or otherwise qualified to apply for admission to the fifth year of the B.Arch. program at Penn State. To be admitted, applicants must have a minimum 3.20 junior/senior overall grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) as well as:
- a minimum 3.20 GPA in architectural design courses (studio), and
- a minimum 3.20 GPA in all course work except architectural design courses (studio).
All applicants for admission to the Integrated B.Arch./M.S. in Architecture degree program must submit the following:
- a completed Graduate School application, found online at http://www.gradsch.psu.edu/portal/, and payment of the application fee.
- names of three faculty members or professionals acquainted with the applicant's academic history who can be contacted and invited to provide reference letters.
- a statement of intent/plan of study, which should be primarily a description of the applicant's professional goals. The statement/plan shall clearly describe the student's proposed general thesis topic and a strategy for pursuing it, including a list of proposed courses and a list of faculty whom the student foresees as contributing to the course of study.
- a portfolio of creative and design work executed at the undergraduate level, under professional guidance or independently, provided that such work can be evidenced as executed by the applicant. A minimum portfolio representation of one project for each year of academic undergraduate study, or its equivalent, is required.
The best-qualified students will be accepted up to the number of spaces available for new students. Acceptance to the program prior to the completion of all required course work is provisional, contingent upon meeting the previous requirements.
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information need to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Stuckeman School Undergraduate Academic Adviser
127 Stuckeman Family Building
University Park, PA 16802
Suggested Academic Plan
University Park Campus
The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.
|ARCH 121*||2||ARCH 122*||2|
|ARCH 131*||4||ARCH 132*||4|
|ARTH 201 (GA;IL)*†||3||ARTH 202 (GA;IL)*†||3|
|ENGL 15, 15A, or 30‡||3||AE 210*||3|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3|
|ARCH 203*||3||AE 422*||3|
|ARCH 210*||3||ARCH 204*||3|
|ARCH 231*||6||ARCH 232*||6|
|AE 421*||3||General Education Course||3|
|CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C‡||3||General Education Course||3|
|ARCH 211*||3||AE 424*||3|
|ARCH 311*||3||ARCH 312 or 317*2||3|
|ARCH 331*||6||ARCH 332*||6|
|ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D‡||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course (GHW)||1.5|
|ARCH 431||6||Semester Abroad|
|ARCH 480||3||ARCH 499A*||6|
|General Education Course||3||ARCH 499B*||3|
|General Education Course||3||ARCH 499C*||3|
|General Education Course (GHW)||1.5||Supporting Course for Major (see note)*2||3|
|ARCH 451*||3||ARCH 492H*1||6|
|ARCH 491*1||6||Supporting Course for Major (see note)*2||3|
|Supporting Course for Major (see note)*2||3||Supporting Course for Major (see note)*2||3|
|Supporting Course for Major (see note)*2||3|
|Total Credits 162|
* Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
‡ Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
# Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
† Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
Additional Courses for Major (6 credits)
SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS FOR MAJOR (18 credits)
University Requirements and General Education Notes:
US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).
W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.
GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.
All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.
The Bachelor of Architecture (BARCH) program, which is a direct admission major, is offered only at the University Park campus.
A ten semester sequence of design studio coursework is the central component of the program and it is this sequence which determines the length of time required to complete the program. Because each design studio course is offered only once each year, a minimum of five academic years will be required to complete this sequence.
A portfolio review is required for change of major consideration. Please refer to the Department's Web site for additional information.
Additional Advising Notes:
In order to take A E 210 (Introduction to Architectural Structural Systems), students must be proficient in MATH 22 (College Algebra II and Analytic Geometry) and MATH 26 (Plane Trigonometry). Satisfactory performance on the mathematics proficiency examination or completion of appropriate mathematics coursework will be necessary in order for students to be able to schedule A E 210 in semester 2 of the recommended academic plan.
ARCH 311W may be taken in either semester 5 or semester 6. Because this is a writing-intensive course, the Department cannot accommodate all third-year BARCH students in only one semester. In the opposing semester (5 or 6) students must select 3 credits of non-Western traditions in architecture coursework from ARCH 312 Critical Postcolonial and Contemporary Perspectives in South Asian Architecture (semester 6) or ARCH 317 Theory of Modern Japanese Architecture (semester 5). Other courses meeting the NAAB requirement for global traditions may be approved by petition.
CAS 100 (Effective Speech) is a particularly useful course for BARCH students and may be scheduled earlier than the sophomore year if students are able to do so.
Although the recommended academic plan lists specific semesters for the General Education coursework, in most instances, students have the flexibility to schedule these courses when it is most convenient for them to do so. For example, students who wish to take MATH 140 (Calculus with Analytic Geometry I) and MATH 141 (Calculus with Analytic Geometry II) in order to satisfy the General Education quantification (GQ) requirement may choose to take these courses during the first two semesters of the program.
Students must select 15 credits of supporting courses in consultation with their academic adviser. This category of coursework gives students the freedom to explore a range of interests, develop concentrations, or pursue minors. Students may schedule these courses when it is most appropriate for them to do so. Students may wish to begin taking supporting courses earlier in their academic career in order to pursue a concentration or a minor which involves a sequence of coursework. For example, some students may choose to take Italian language courses prior to the semester they will spend in Rome. For students who do not acquire any background in Italian before going to Rome, an introductory Italian language and culture course is available in Rome.
For more information, please contact:
Erica Quinn, Academic Adviser
The B.Arch program prepares those who seek careers as practicing architects. Graduates holding a Bachelor of Architecture first professional degree are eligible, after appropriate internship experience, for admission to professional state licensing examinations, and subsequent registration as architects. The B.Arch program is also a rich passageway to further one's studies at the graduate level in design-related fields. The diversity and broad inquiry integral to architectural studies form a natural path to advanced studies in architecture, landscape architecture, computer science, geography, urban studies, system logistics, art history, and more.
Opportunities for Graduate Studies
While professional practice opportunities are available to Bachelor of Architecture graduates, some B.Arch students may opt to pursue graduate programs in specialized topics or focus areas. Students interested in advanced research will be well-positioned to pursue a Master of Science in Architecture (M.S. in Arch) degree. The Penn State M.S. in Arch program is designed to strengthen the intellectual underpinnings of students' undergraduate work through intensive studio investigations, design applications, and rigorous theoretical inquiry. Alternately, B.Arch students pursue graduate studies in fields spanning sciences, humanities, design, digital technologies, planning, and the arts.
In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. Penn State's Bachelor of Architecture degree is accredited by The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation.