Architecture Bachelor's Degree Programs

Contractors use architects' blueprints to build homes, highways, stadiums, schools, shopping centers and other buildings. An architecture bachelor's degree program lays the foundation for your career in building design. Keep reading for more information on this degree program, licensing requirements and optional certification.

What Should I Know About Architecture Bachelor's Degree Programs?

There are two kinds of architecture bachelor's degrees. You can enroll in pre-professional 4-year Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs or a professional 5-year Bachelor of Architecture program. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) typically accredits only professional bachelor's degree programs. A pre-professional bachelor's degree prepares you to continue your education in a Master of Architecture degree program. Architecture bachelor's degree programs typically involve extensive fieldwork, so online programs are rare.

Program Fields Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Architecture
Common Courses Design, communications, environmental systems, architecture and building technologies, CAD software
Other Requirements Fieldwork, internships, or study abroad may be available or required
Licensure and Certification All states require licensure; voluntary NCARB certification available
Continuing Education Coursework, workshops, and/or seminars required to keep licensure
Median Salary (2020)$82,320 (for architects)*
Job Outlook (2019-29)1% (for all architects except landscape and naval)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

Architecture bachelor's degree program courses cover design principles, environmental systems, communications, building technologies and architecture theories. You learn how to draw and use computer-aided drafting (CAD) software. Other courses discuss site selection and planning. You also learn how architecture influences people's behavior and the environment. Architectural history courses are generally required as well.

Professional architecture bachelor's degrees usually require a fifth year of courses, which often include some instruction in business practices and management. You also spend additional time in studio courses for design skills and building science. Both types of architecture bachelor's degree programs usually include some field instruction, internships or study abroad opportunities.

How Do I Get Licensed?

All states require that architects obtain licensure. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that most states require architects to graduate from an NAAB-accredited professional degree program to gain licensure. Often, architecture bachelor's degree programs offer internships or apprenticeships in architecture firms, working under the direct supervision of a licensed architect. Your work might include research, drawing, model building or design.

Do I Need Other Credentials?

You can obtain voluntary certification through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). It can be easier to become licensed in more than one state if you have earned certification. In most states, you must continue your education through college courses, workshops or seminars on a regular basis to maintain your state licensure.