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.
208 Gould Hall, Box 355720
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 Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in architectural studies
A dual-degree program leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in architectural studies and the Bachelor of Science degree in construction management
A minor in architecture
The B.A. with a major in architectural studies 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 master's degree in Architecture is a professional degree and generally takes two or more years to complete if the student enters with the pre-professional B.A. in architectural studies. It takes three years or more to complete if the student enters with any bachelor's degree other than one in architecture.
The college also offers a design and construction concurrent degree (B.A. in Architectural Studies, B.S. in Construction Management), awarded after completion of 227 credits. Students interested in this double degree must complete the prerequisites for the Architectural Studies major, be admitted to Architectural Studies, and then apply to Construction Management while completing the Architectural Studies major. This is a five-year program. In addition, the College of Built Environments offers three other bachelor degrees: the B.L.A. in landscape architecture, a five-year professional degree; the B.S. in Construction Management, a four-year professional degree; and the B.A. in Community, Environment, and Planning, a four-year interdisciplinary degree.
Bachelor of Arts
Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: See Department Admission Requirements below.
Department Admission Requirements
90 credits to include the following:
Preparatory Architectural Coursework (17 credits): ARCH 350, ARCH 351, ARCH 352 (9 credits); ARCH 210, ARCH 211 (8 credits). Note: These courses can be taken through UW Extension on a nonmatriculated basis, prior to admission to the UW, or they can be taken in the sophomore year on campus.
General Education Requirements (70 credits): English composition (5 credits); Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA) (20 credits); Individuals and Societies (I&S) (20 credits); Natural World (NW) (20 credits, including MATH 112, MATH 124, or MATH 145); additional Areas of Knowledge (5 credits).
Electives (3 credits)
While the cumulative GPA is an important factor in the admission evaluation, the committee places emphasis on the evaluation of performance in the preparatory architectural coursework the student has completed. It is to the student's advantage to take as many of these courses as possible before applying.
Application deadline: May 15 for autumn quarter only. Prerequisite courses must be completed by the time the student enters the program in autumn quarter.
90 credits as follows:
Preprofessional Coursework (69 credits): ARCH 300, ARCH 301, ARCH 302, ARCH 315, ARCH 320, ARCH 321, ARCH 322, ARCH 332, ARCH 380, ARCH 400, ARCH 401, ARCH 402, ARCH 431, ARCH 460. One selective course in each of the following areas: (1) graphics/media; (2) history/theory; (3) building science/materials. Selective courses to be chosen from approved lists maintained by the department.
21 credits of approved upper-division electives.
The final 45 credits must be completed as a matriculated student in residence at the UW.
Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all work done in residence.
Dual-degree majors first apply to the architecture program and must meet architecture admission requirements. Admitted architecture students apply to the construction management program during spring quarter of their junior year (first year in the architecture program). For architecture 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:
- Architecture Foundation Courses (60 credits): ARCH 300, ARCH 301, ARCH 302, ARCH 315, ARCH 320, ARCH 321, ARCH 322, ARCH 380, ARCH 400, ARCH 401, ARCH 402, ARCH 431, ARCH 460.
- Architecture Selectives (6 credits): 3 credits of graphic/media selective chosen from among the following BIM-recommended courses: ARCH 316, ARCH 410, ARCH 412, ARCH 413, ARCH 415, ARCH 418, ARCH 478, ARCH 481, ARCH 482, ARCH 484, ARCH 485, ARCH 486, ARCH 498. 3 credits of history/theory selective from among the following courses: ARCH 441, ARCH 442, ARCH 450, ARCH 452, ARCH 455, ARCH 457.
- Construction Management Courses (64 credits): CM 310, CM 311, CM 312, CM 313, CM 321, CM 322, CM 323, CM 331, CM 332, CM 333, CM 334, CM 410, CM 411, CM 412, CM 421, CM 422, CM 423, CM 431 (capstone experience), CM 432, CM 433, B CMU 301.
- Construction/Construction Science Electives (6 credits): Two of the following courses: CM 415, CM 420, CM 425, or ARCH 420.
- Approved Electives (3 credits): may be chosen from among CM or ARCH courses.
- Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all work done in residence.
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
Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The architectural studies program emphasizes a broad liberal arts foundation followed by a focus on entry-level courses in architectural design, theory, the technology of building, and materials. Specific goals for student learning include an understanding of the organization of three-dimensional space in response to specific human needs; the sequences and history of human building activities; various architectural theories and current thought about the aesthetics of design; construction materials and their properties; building systems and their integration for human comfort; structural principles, relationships of buildings to their sites; social, political, legal, and economic influences of design and construction. Specific goals in the area of personal development include an ability to visualize three dimensions and think spatially; graphic, verbal, and written communication skills for design development and presentation; an ability to think critically and exercise self-criticism.
Instructional and Research Facilities: Departmental and College facilities include the following:
Design Machine Group, a collaborative design and computing research lab and studio aimed at fostering and developing ideas that will shape the future of design and information technology.
UW Rome Center, housed in the Palazzo Pio on the Campo de Fiori of Rome, provides studio and classroom spaces for students participating in Italian studies programs.
The Integrated Design Lab is an extension of the Department of Architecture. Faculty and students in the lab focus on integrated daylighting, electric lighting, energy simulation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The lab provides regional design teams access to the best building-performance knowledge available, project-by-project support, and education & training on how to design, construct and operate the healthiest, most productive and energy efficient buildings in North America.
Photography Laboratory: A large and well-equipped laboratory for black-and-white photography operated by the department for the College provides studio and darkroom facilities for use by photography classes, design studio classes, special instruction, and independent activity.
Wood and Metal Shop: Large and well-equipped wood- and metal-working shops are available for student and class projects.
Honors Options Available: For Interdisciplinary Honors, see University Honors Program.
Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Internships are available and vary according to individual interests within the program. See adviser for details.
Department Scholarships: A limited number of department scholarships are available to eligible students entering their final year of the major.
Student Organizations/Associations: AIAS (American Institute of Architectural Students)
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
208 Gould, Box 355720
The Department of Architecture offers two graduate level degrees: the Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree, a professionally accredited architecture degree; and the Master of Science (M.S.) degree with streams in Design Computing and Architectural History and Theory. The M.S. is 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 and registration as an architect. The accredited M.Arch. 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), enroll in the 2+year program, which requires seven quarters of study; (2) persons with an undergraduate degree in an unrelated field enroll in the 3+year program, which requires ten quarters of study.
The 2+year M.Arch. program typically requires 95 credits of coursework, including 30 credits of design studio, 41 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.
The 3+year M.Arch. program includes, in addition to the requirements of the 2+year program, three quarters (51 credits) 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, students in the 3+year program merge with students in the 2+year program.
The department offers an advanced M.Arch. 1+year 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 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 thesis, and can be completed in four or five quarters.
Those seeking advanced study of design computing or architectural history and theory should apply to the Master of Science (M.S.) in Architecture degree program, not the post-professional M.Arch.
In evaluating applicants, the admissions committee considers the following material:
- Scholastic record and aptitude as evidenced by transcripts from a baccalaureate (or higher) degree and GRE test scores, to be taken within the last five years. The committee places primary emphasis on more recent and architecturally-related coursework, with the expectation of a minimum grade point average of 3.00 (B) or better in the last 90 graded quarter hours or last 60 semester hours.
- A portfolio of work in visual arts and/or design. The portfolio must show evidence of the applicant's potential for study in architecture. For the 2+year program this should include models and freehand, technical, and digital drawings of architectural projects. If possible it should also include other examples of design and artistic work, such as furniture, painting, and/or photography. For the 3+year program the portfolio can include a wide range of design and artistic work, such as drawing (freehand and technical), computer graphics, painting, sculpture, furniture, and/or photography.
- The statement of purpose should articulate the applicant's goals in the profession of architecture and the extent to which the M.Arch. program can be expected to prepare him/her for those objectives. The statement of purpose is particularly significant for those applying for the 1+year post-professional M.Arch. program; candidates for this program should include a proposed area of study and anticipated schedule of coursework, and should identify faculty who will be involved in the study.
- The applicant's background and experience in architecture and related fields.
- Written recommendations from three persons who can evaluate the applicant's past record and future promise of success in the program.
95-146 credits, as follows:
For students in the 3+year program the preparatory year (51 credits): ARCH 303 (6), ARCH 304 (6), ARCH 305 (6), ARCH 310 (3), ARCH 311 (3), ARCH 312 (3), ARCH 232 (3), ARCH 324 (3), ARCH 331 (3), ARCH 332 (3), ARCH 350 (3), ARCH 351 (3), ARCH 352 (3), ARCH 360 (3)
First-year requirements for the 2+ and 3+year programs: ARCH 500 (6), ARCH 501 (6), ARCH 502 (6), ARCH 521 (4), ARCH 531 (3), ARCH 532 (3), ARCH 533 (3), ARCH 570 (3), ARCH 590 (3), ARCH 591 (3), graduate seminar selectives (6)
Second-year requirements for the 2+ and 3+year programs: ARCH 503 (6), ARCH 504 (6), ARCH 571 (4) ARCH 595/ARCH 599 (4), design technology selective (3), professional practice selective (3), electives (12)
Final-year requirements for all M.Arch. programs: ARCH 700 (9), elective (3)
Master of Science
The Master of Science (M.S.) in Architecture offers an advanced, specialized degree, with research concentrations in Design Computing or History and Theory. Students in the M.S. program in Design Computing participate in hands-on, active exploration of design, computing, and the built environment. Students in this program work in the Design Machine Group (DMG), a collaborative research studio environment aimed at fostering and developing ideas that will shape the future of design and information technology. Students in the History and Theory stream examine the architectural, cultural, and political forces that have shaped the continuing discourse of modernity in architecture. Students follow a curriculum that builds research skills, preparing them to do advanced scholarly work in the field. They work closely with faculty advisors to select courses that best suit their research interests and to prepare a clear and focused thesis topic.
In evaluating applicants, the admissions committee considers the following material:
- Scholastic record and aptitude as evidenced by transcripts from a baccalaureate (or higher) degree and GRE test scores, to be taken within the last five years. The committee places primary emphasis on more recent coursework, with the expectation of a minimum grade point average of 3.00 (B) or better in the last 90 graded quarter hours or last 60 semester hours.
- A portfolio of work in design in architecture or an allied discipline (or similar work appropriate to the program). In addition to drawings, models, and/or other examples of design work, the portfolio should include evidence of the applicant's preparation for the proposed area of study. Applicants to the design computing stream may include research papers, software authored, and other similar projects. Applicants to the history and theory stream must submit a 10-15 page writing sample (usually a research paper).
- The applicant's statement of purpose. This statement should clearly articulate the candidate's goals and the extent to which the MS in Architecture program can be expected to prepare him/her for those objectives. The statement should also describe the applicant's background and experience in architecture or an allied discipline (or related experience appropriate to the program), as well as preparation for advanced work in design computing, or the history and theory of architecture, as appropriate. This statement must also include a proposed research focus.
- Written recommendations from three persons who can evaluate the applicant's past record and future promise of success in the M.S. with emphasis in design computing.
45 credits, as follows:
Core Curriculum, Design Computing: ARCH 587 (3), ARCH 588 (3), ARCH 599 (3), ARCH 700
Core Curriculum, Architectural History and Theory: ARCH 560 (3), ARCH 597 (3), ARCH 599 (3), ARCH 700, B E 552 (3)
Additional Coursework: 22 credits, numbered 400 and above, chosen in consultation with faculty advisers
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 of Architecture offers many opportunities for international study. Each fall the department offers full-time study, including design studio, coursework, and field study, at the University of Washington Rome Center. The department also offers a summer program in Scandinavia every three years. Students can also take part in exchanges with universities in Scandinavia (through the Valle Scholarship Program and the Scan/Design fellowship program); Kobe, Japan; and Liverpool, England. Architecture students can also take advantage of the many international study programs offered by departments in the College of Built Environments, as well as exchanges offered by the University of Washington's Office of International Education.
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.
Instructional and Research Facilities
- Design Machine Group, a collaborative design and computing research lab and studio aimed at fostering and developing ideas that will shape the future of design and information technology.
- UW Rome Center, housed in the Palazzo Pio on the Campo dei Fiori of Rome, provides studio and classroom spaces for students participating in Italian studies programs.
- The Integrated Design Lab is an extension of the Department of Architecture. Faculty and students in the lab focus on integrated daylighting, electric lighting, energy simulation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The lab provides regional design teams access to the best building-performance knowledge available, project-by-project support, and education & training on how to design, construct and operate the healthiest, most productive and energy efficient buildings in North America.
- Photography Laboratory: A large and well-equipped laboratory for black-and-white photography operated by the department for the College provides studio and darkroom facilities for use by photography classes, design studio classes, special instruction, and independent activity.
- Wood and Metal Shop: Large and well-equipped wood- and metal-working shops are available for student and class projects.
Academic Planning Worksheet
Departmental Web Page