What Are the Courses in an Undergraduate Architecture Degree Program?

There are certain key areas of knowledge and skill that all prospective architects need to have to work in the field. Read on to explore some of the major courses and topics that you can expect from an undergraduate architecture degree program.

Overview of Architecture Programs

Most students pursuing a career in architecture must first complete a bachelor's degree program that includes core instruction in architecture theory and practice. Students can expect to encounter an emphasis on building design and analysis as they complete their studies. Hands-on practice is important in this field, so schools may offer a variety of opportunities to complete co-op work experiences or similar activities.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

DegreesBachelor of Architecture (B.Arch), Bachelor of Science in Architecture
ConcentrationsArchitectural history, digital design, architectural analysis, emerging technologies, urban architecture
Online AvailabilitySelected courses available in online/hybrid format at some schools
Continuing EducationRequired to maintain licensure in many states
Median Salary (2018)$79,380 (architects)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)4% (architects)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Core Curriculum Highlights

Architecture programs across the United States differ in various areas of specialization. However, since architecture is a regulated profession, a need for strong foundational coursework exists. Such coursework can include the following courses:

Introduction to Architecture

This course provides first-year architecture students with a primer to architectural theory, development and terminology. Concepts are reinforced through writing and presentation projects. Select details for the course are highlighted below:

  • Part of a professional 5-year bachelor's degree in architecture program
  • Introduces architectural parlance
  • Includes essential historical concepts

History of Architecture

This foundational history course provides students with a lecture-based look at the history of architecture. From ancient to contemporary architecture, this course examines how civilized culture and architecture affect each other. Students also explore how examples of architectural history have been reevaluated at particular times and in particular contexts. This course also develops the following skills:

  • Visual analysis
  • Historical research
  • Architectural writing

Architecture Design Studios

Students can find a series of architectural design studios that emphasize visual creativity. Courses in this series replicate the design process through projects that meet specific goals. These projects also help architecture students practice aspects of design that deal with structure, organization and space. Additionally, students explore the following aspects related to housing and urban development:

  • Energy regulations
  • Disability codes
  • Constructional systems