Architecture includes the study of design, graphics, computing, building structures, construction materials, environmental control systems, history, theory, and professional practice. It also draws from a broad range of fields including ecology, sociology, psychology, cultural studies, and law.
Advising for the first two years of the program is done through the Undergraduate Gateway Center, 171 Mary Gates Hall.
The Department of Architecture offers the following programs of study:
The BA in architectural design is a pre-professional degree that prepares candidates for admission with advanced standing to professional architectural programs. It is also good preparation for other roles in society that benefit from an understanding of and exposure to architectural design and problem solving such as government, development, management, planning, art, graphic design, and digital arts. Students develop visual literacy and complex problem solving through the design process, including researching historical precedents, analyzing theoretical texts, and on-site understanding of the physical built and natural environment. International study programs (Rome, Scandinavia, India, Mexico, Japan) provide further opportunities for students to engage built environments within global/local and contemporary/historical cultural contexts. A focus on sustainable technologies and the craft and making of architecture play an important role throughout the program.
The BA with a major in architectural design is for students who are interested in the architecture profession and who may continue their studies by earning a graduate professional degree in architecture. The masterís degree in architecture is a professional degree and generally takes two or more years to complete if the student enters with the pre-professional BA in architectural design.
The college also offers a design and construction concurrent degree (BA in architectural design, BS in construction management), awarded after completion of 227 credits. Students interested in this double degree must complete the prerequisites for the architectural design major, be admitted to architectural design, and then apply to construction management while completing the architectural design major. This is a five-year program. In addition, the College of Built Environments offers three other bachelor degrees: the BLA in landscape architecture, a five-year professional degree; the BS in Construction Management, a four-year professional degree; and the BA in Community, Environment, and Planning, a four-year interdisciplinary degree.
Bachelor of Arts in architectural design
Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: See Department Admission Requirements below.
Department Admission Requirements
90 credits as follows:
Dual-degree majors first apply to the architectural design program and must meet architectural design admission requirements. Admitted architectural design students apply to the construction management program during spring quarter of their junior year (first year in the architecture program). For architectural design students, construction management prerequisites are waived, but such students must take CM 313 and CM 323 prior to the construction management application deadline, April 1.
Dual Degree Program Requirements
139 credits, as follows:
Note: A minimum of 225 credits is required to complete a dual degree.
Minor Requirements: 25 credits to include a minimum of 20 credits in ARCH courses (at least 9 credits at the upper-division level) and 5 additional upper-division credits from courses in the College.
Student Outcomes and Opportunities
Of Special Note:
Most states require that an individual intending to become an architect hold an accredited degree. Two types of degrees are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB): (1) the Bachelor of Architecture, which requires a minimum of five years of architectural study (this degree is not offered at the University of Washington), and (2) the Master of Architecture, which requires a minimum of three years of study following an unrelated bachelor's degree or two years following a related pre-professional bachelor's degree. These professional degrees are structured to educate those who aspire to registration and licensure to practice as architects.
The UW's four-year, pre-professional degree is not accredited by NAAB. The pre-professional degree is useful to those desiring a foundation in the field of architecture as preparation for either continued education in a professional degree program or for employment options in fields related to architecture.
Architectural education at the University of Washington requires a minimum of six years of higher education to attain the first professional degree, the Master of Architecture. The curriculum is divided into three two-year segments of coursework with a pre-professional Bachelor of Arts degree (with a major in Architectural Studies) awarded at the completion of the second two-year segment. The professional degree, Master of Architecture, is awarded only upon completion of the third segment. (Students with bachelor's degrees in unrelated fields take an additional year of coursework.)
Graduate Program Coordinator
The Department of Architecture offers two graduate level degrees: the Master of Architecture (MArch) degree, a professionally accredited architecture degree; and the Master of Science (MS) degree in design computing, an advanced research-oriented degree for those who already hold a professional or pre-professional degree in architecture or an allied design discipline (or can show evidence of equivalent preparation for work in design computing). Those interested in professional careers in architecture should apply to the Master of Architecture program.
Master of Architecture
The Master of Architecture degree is the only professional degree offered by the Department of Architecture. Completion of the requirements of this nationally accredited degree program satisfies the educational requirement for licensing (registration) as an architect. The accredited MArch program accommodates two groups of undergraduate degree holders: (1) persons holding a pre-professional four-year degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (or equivalent), who normally require seven or eight quarters of study; (2) persons with an undergraduate degree in an unrelated field, who normally require ten or eleven quarters, over a period of at least three years, to complete the requirements for the degree. This three-year program may vary somewhat in duration and specific coursework required, depending on selection of concentration/study areas and prior academic and professional experience.
Candidates with a pre-professional four-year degree, such as Bachelor of Arts (in architecture) or the equivalent, usually undertake six full-time quarters of study including completion of a thesis for the MArch degree. This program typically requires 91 credits of coursework, including 30 credits of design studio, 30 credits of approved core courses, 9 credits of thesis, and 15 credits of electives. Special interests and certificate programs often can be accommodated within the 15 credits of electives and design-studio options.
Persons holding degrees in other fields normally take three quarters of preparatory coursework to develop knowledge and skills equivalent to those of students who enter the program from undergraduate architecture programs. Upon completion of preparatory coursework, the students merge with students in the two-year program described above.
The department offers an advanced MArch degree program for persons holding an accredited professional five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree (and those already holding an accredited Master of Architecture degree). For these candidates the program represents a specialization or in-depth study of a specific area or interest in the field. Each student's program is developed on an individual basis in consultation with faculty advisers. The approved program of study becomes the student's curriculum, which must be completed for award of the degree. Typically this program involves a minimum of 45 credits of required coursework, including a thesis, and can be completed in four or five quarters. Those seeking advanced study of design computing should apply to the Master of Science (MS) in architecture degree program, not the post-professional MArch.
91-145 credits, as follows:
Master of Science
The Master of Science (MS) in architecture program offers an advanced and specialized graduate degree in architecture. The MS in architecture is currently offered with a single area of specialization, design computing. Applicants should hold a degree in architecture or an allied design discipline. Candidates from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds who are interested in pursuing education in research and applications of design computing that include design methods, cognition and computation, design collaborations, human/computer interface in design, visual architecture, physical computing, and related areas are encouraged to apply.
45 credits, as follows:
The Department of Architecture, in conjunction with Landscape Architecture and Urban Design and Planning, offers graduate-level interdisciplinary certificates in historic preservation and urban design. The department also offers certificates in design computing and lighting design.
The department offers the Architecture in Rome program at the University of Washington Rome Center, and the Design/Build Mexico program in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Other programs have included summer study of the Italian Hill Towns and in Portugal and Scandinavia, and numerous exchanges including Scandinavia, England, Germany, Hong Kong, Colombia, Japan, and Australia.
Each spring quarter the department awards scholarships and assistantships for the following academic year. These are more typically available to students already enrolled in the architecture program at the time of awarding, although some financial aid is offered to newly entering students. Other financial aid and assistantship possibilities may be found through the Graduate School Fellowship Division and the Office of Student Financial Aid in Schmitz Hall.