Which Architecture Colleges Are in the Washington, DC Area?

Learn about architecture schools in the Washington, DC, area. Get information about degrees available and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

The Washington, DC, area offers a unique mix of public and private schools with architecture programs for interested students. Explore these schools, and the undergraduate and graduate level programs available.

What You Need to Know

If you are in the Washington, DC, area and wish to obtain an education that could prepare you for a career as an architect, you will find several schools offering bachelor's, post-baccalaureate certificate and master's degree programs. As a licensing requirement for architects, you will need to obtain a 4-year degree; more advanced studies could be required for advancement in the field.

A Bachelor of Architecture or Bachelor of Science in Architecture program will typically teach you about the history of architecture, basic design methods and information about architectural structures. More advanced studies presented in post-baccalaureate certificate and Master of Architecture programs could delve deeper into more specific architectural topics, such as sustainable design, real estate development and architectural theories. Advanced programs could also include labs, simulated exercises and internships. It could take 2-3 years to complete a master's degree in this field of study.

Bachelor's Degree Programs in Washington, DC

The Catholic University of America

The Catholic University of America's (CUA's) School of Architecture and Planning offers a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. This pre-professional degree can provide a foundation for further study in a graduate architecture program or prepare you for careers related to architecture. As a pre-professional degree, it will not qualify you to apply for licensure as a professional architect. The school also offers a joint degree program in architecture and civil engineering.

As a CUA student, you'll have access to digital media and fabrication labs as well as a visual resources center. With its location right in DC, the school commonly hosts lectures and exhibit programs that are sponsored by the many organizations and institutions in the surrounding DC area.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Architecture
  • Program Length: Four years
  • Tuition and Fees: $40,932 per year (2015-2016)
  • Requirements: Portfolio required for transfer students
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 6,699 students (3,572 undergraduate students)

Howard University

A member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, Howard University's School of Architecture and Design offers an NAAB-accredited Bachelor of Architecture program that meets the requirements for licensure. Specific courses include elements of architecture, architectural history, design methods and structures. Architecture students have access to a range of facilities that include a gallery for showcasing student work and special exhibits and an auditorium, as well as an architecture and design library, computer laboratory, resource center and model shop with student workstations.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Architecture
  • Program Length: Five years
  • Tuition and Fees: $23,970 per year (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Secondary school courses that include three units in English, 3.5 units in math, including algebra, geometry and trigonometry and one unit in a foreign language
  • Requirements: Must submit 1-3 creative work examples for admission (can be graphic, written or audiovisual examples)
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 10,265 students (7,013 undergraduate students)

University of the District of Columbia

The University of the District of Columbia is the sole fully accredited public institution of postsecondary education in DC. The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. The program is open to high school graduates and applicants with associate's degrees in architecture or related fields as well as architecture and construction industry technicians and related professionals. The bachelor's degree program requires a total of 128 credit hours and at least a C grade for all major coursework.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Architecture
  • Program Length: 128 credit hours
  • Tuition and Fees: $5,251 per year for residents, $11,233 per year for non-residents (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 4,803 students (4,491 undergraduate students)

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs in Washington, DC

The Catholic University of America

The School of Architecture and Planning offers two post-baccalaureate certificate programs in sustainable design and real estate development, which are offered as standalone certificates or may be applied towards a master's degree in architecture. The sustainable design program offers technical and non-technical tracks; courses in the technical track include systems and simulations, while non-technical track courses include strategies in sustainable design, ethics and stewardship. Real estate development courses include practice management, real estate finance, real estate law and architecture theory. All real estate development courses are offered exclusively in the evenings.

  • Program Name: Certificate in Sustainable Design or Certificate in Real Estate Development
  • Field of Study Options: Technical and non-technical tracks (for sustainable design)
  • Program Length: 12 credit hours
  • Tuition and Fees: N/A
  • Prerequisites: At least a bachelor's degree with a 2.8 GPA or higher
  • Requirements: A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of at least 295 and, if available, an architecture portfolio
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 6,699 students (3,572 undergraduate students)

Master's Degree Programs in Washington, DC

The Catholic University of America

CUA's School of Architecture and Planning administers a NAAB-accredited professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program. If you have a bachelor's degree in architecture, it typically takes two years to complete; otherwise, it will take three years if you have a bachelor's degree in another field. The school also offers a Master of Architectural Studies, which is a post-professional degree for applicants holding professional architecture degrees who want further training in design. Both master's degree programs offer five areas of concentration.

  • Program Name: Master of Architecture
  • Specialization Options: Cultural studies/sacred space, urban design/conservation, digital architecture, digital fabrication and real estate development
  • Program Length: 2-3 years for the Master of Architecture (depending on undergraduate degree)
  • Tuition and Fees: $41,800 per year (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in architecture or another field with a 2.8 GPA or higher
  • Requirements: A GRE score of at least 295 and, if available, an architecture portfolio
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 6,699 students (3,572 undergraduate students)

University of the District of Columbia

Through the university's College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, you can pursue a Master of Architecture program. It can be completed in 1.5 years if you have a bachelor's degree in the field or 3.5 years with a bachelor's degree in another field. The graduate-level curriculum covers topics in sustainable design, structural design, computer simulation, environment systems and studio labs. Upon graduating from the program, you can qualify for an internship towards licensure as a professional architect.

  • Program Name: Master of Architecture
  • Program Length: 1.5-3.5 years (depending on bachelor's degree concentration)
  • Tuition and Fees: $8,700 per year for residents, $16,162 per year for non-residents (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 4,803 students (4,491 undergraduate students)

Students who are interested in studying architecture in the Washington, DC, area can pursue a bachelor's or master's degree, as well as a post-baccalaureate certificate from the Catholic University of America.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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