Bachelor of Science in Architecture

Degree Description

The four-year Bachelor of Science in Architecture program is a pre-professional education in architecture within the broader context of liberal arts courses provided by the University. Consisting of an eight-semester studio sequence in architecture and urbanism supported by coursework in technology and theory, the program provides an intensive introduction to the discipline of architecture.

The pre-professional degree is for those who want a foundation in the field of architecture as preparation for either continued education in a professional degree program or employment in architecturally related areas. Qualified graduates from the Bachelor of Science in Architecture program may apply for advanced standing in a first professional Master of Architecture degree program such as that offered by the School of Architecture. Additionally, the design skills and critical and analytical ability that a student develops through this disciplinary study are of value for study or work in landscape architecture, urban design and planning, public policy, history/theory, law, or business.

Year 1: Operations

The first year studio curriculum introduces various techniques in drawing, model building, and digital production as organizers and generators of both architectural (first semester) and urban form (second semester). Critical observation, inquiry, and thinking methodologies are introduced through a sequence of short assignments that build on one another and focus on architectural concepts such as form, space, proportion and scale.

Year 2: Technologies

In the second year, the focus in the design studio shifts to technologies within architecture. First semester studio assignments focus on an accretive conceptual investigation of fundamental principles of the making of buildings, including structure, enclosure, circulation, program, site, and light. The assignments, which build on the techniques introduced in the first year, provide a means for the student to speculate on what typologies, such as a Mixed Use Tower, could be. Second semester studio projects address complex concepts and principles of module and materiality, construction, and aggregation through physical models and advanced digital modeling. In addition to design studio, the student takes a concurrent two-semester sequence in architectural theory/criticism - in which there is a focus on oral and written communication - as well as a two semester art/architecture history sequence.

Year 3: Urbanisms

The third year curriculum orients toward the larger scales and increasing complexity of urbanism. The fall semester studio explores metropolitan public space through the design of a programmatically complex urban landscape. The theory/history class investigates different agendas and strategies that architecture has employed in relation to the existing city and the city's ability to act as catalyst for ideas and speculation; the concurrent technology class introduces means of deploying and conveying constructional logic with an emphasis on developing an aesthetic means of graphically communicating constructional information. In the spring, the design studio speculates on the urban interior through the development of a large mixed-use building. The theory/history class introduces critical and generative approaches to twentieth-century architecture and theory. The spring technology class builds on the lessons of the fall with a focus on a technical understanding of building construction.

Year 4: Options

The fall and spring semesters of fourth year offers the student an "option" of the emphasis of their design studio, based on their individual interests and the project options offered by the studio faculty. In their varied topical interests, option studios range from the scale of a faŤade or house to urban design. In the fall the student is offered an "option" of emphasis in seminars on contemporary practices. A year-long structures sequence runs concurrently with the studio.

Off-Campus Programs

Co-Op Program: The School of Architecture's Cooperative Work Study Program provides upper level undergraduate students with employment opportunities in which they gain valuable professional experience and explore potential job opportunities in architecture and related disciplines.

Participation is limited to Illinois residents enrolled in the fourth year of the undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree program. Students work a maximum of 16 hours per week, with longer hours permitted during vacation/holiday periods or upon discussion with program coordinator; this limitation ensures that co-op work does not interfere with academic studies. Applications are accepted on a semester-by-semester basis. Acceptance will be based on demonstrated academic achievement (minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale), faculty recommendation, and current co-op employer needs. Co-op participants are ambassadors of the School of Architecture to the professional community and are held to professional ethics and standards.

BS Arch Admission Information

Transfer Student Admission Information