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Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch) Degree

Offered as a first professional degree, the Bachelor of Architecture (Candidacy Status) program provides an intense design education by developing each student's capacity to synthesize critical thought, artistic vision, and responsible leadership. With passionate professional faculty, diverse collaboration teams, emerging technologies and fabrication labs, and sensitivity to sustainable methods – together we will participate in shaping our physical world.

B. Arch (Candidacy Status) Architecture Unit Requirements

Major Coursework
Core 36 units
Major 69 units
Studio Arts & Humanities Breadth
12 units
Liberal Arts 45 units
TOTAL 162 units


ARH 110 Studio 1: Conceptual Design Studio
ARH 150 Studio 2: Spatial Ordering & Form*
ARH 170 Projective Drawing & Perspective
ARH 180 2D Digital Visual Media
ARH 190 Building Information Modeling
ARH 210 Studio 3: Site Operations & Tectonic Systems*
ARH 250 Studio 4: Site Culture & Integral Urbanism*
ARH 475 Professional Practices for Architects
FND 113 Sketching for Communication
* 6 unit courses


ARH 230 Color, Perception & Space
ARH 239 Materials & Methods
ARH 240 Site Design & Mapping
ARH 310 Studio 5: Assembly Buildings & Context*
ARH 320 Structures: Wood & Steel
ARH 330 Structures: Concrete, Masonry, & Tensile Systems
ARH 350 Studio 6: Site Conditions & Building Performance*
ARH 390 3D Digital Modeling
ARH 410 Studio 7: Tectonics & Structure*
ARH 420 Structures: Systems Investigation
ARH 430 Climate & Energy Use: Sustainable Strategies
ARH 440 Building Systems: Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing
ARH 441 Tectonics: Code Analysis & Building Envelope Documentation
ARH 450 Studio 8: Housing & Comprehensive Design*
ARH 510 Studio 9: Mixed Use Urbanism & Research*
ARH 550 Studio 10: Final Thesis Project*
ARH Major Elective
*6 unit courses

Bachelor of Architecture Degree Requirements

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and the following Liberal Arts courses:
  • LA 108 Composition for the Artist
    LA 219 History of Architecture 1
    LA 249 History of Architecture 2
    LA 255 College Math
    LA 271 College Algebra with Geometry
    LA 292 Programming and Culture
    LA 293 Precalculus
    LA 296 Physics for Architects
    LA 319 History of Architecture 3
    LA 449 Urban Design Theory

And the following general education requirements:

  • 2 Written Communications courses
  • 3 History of Architecture courses
  • 1 Social Factors & Historical Awareness course
  • 1 Urban Studies course
  • 1 Cultural Influences & Human Behavior course
  • 1 Math for Environmental Design course
  • 1 Applied Math course
  • 1 Advanced Math course
  • 1 Physics course
  • 1 Architecture Employment Communications & Practices course

After above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Additional Information

For information on the Architecture Registration Exam (ARE) and Intern Development Program (IDP) requirements go to:

B. Arch Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Critical Design Thinking and Representation

  • Develop an intelligent design concept and process
  • Demonstrate strong fundamental design and ordering skills
  • Produce a thorough analysis and study of precedents
  • Compare studio work with global historical precedents
  • Develop a rigorous material logic for model-making
  • Construct drawings and models with a high level of craft
  • Produce architectural drawings with appropriate technical skill
  • Engage a range of design methodologies to advance a design
  • Integrate Landscape Architecture, Art, and Urban Design strategies into the design process
  • Integrate Theory and Design
  • Develop a design identity which synthesizes critical thought, artistic vision, technical skills, and core values

Comprehensive Design Project

  • Develop an innovative concept for the comprehensive design of a building
  • Complete a thorough user & programmatic analysis
  • Graphically analyze the urban and environmental conditions and systems of a site
  • Develop a research-driven strategy for integrating building systems into the design
  • Develop an environmental strategy for the building envelope and material selection
  • Graphically explain the environmental performance systems of the design
  • Employ sustainable strategies in the design
  • Integrate structural systems into the design
  • Produce thorough technical documentation of a building, which defines the relationship between systems
  • Address accessibility and life safety requirements in the design

Visual and Verbal Presentation Skills

  • Clearly explain and defend design projects
  • Create project boards which exhibit logical sequencing and composition
  • Develop intelligent representational strategies in research presentation

Leadership and Community

  • Engage a collaborative process in the development of a design, with a range of design and engineering disciplines.
  • Propose design that demonstrates a commitment to community and social responsibility
  • Demonstrate an ability to design for different cultures
  • Create proposals which demonstrate a knowledge of professional practices and contractual conventions.

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.


Explore our course catalog and take classes based on your interests, either online or in our world-class facilities in San Francisco.

Undergraduate Degree Breakdowns

Bachelor of Architecture (BArch)

Academy of Art University's Bachelor of Architecture (Candidacy Status) program questions, evaluates and promotes excellence in design. It combines exceptional art education and professional practice with new and existing technology to create beautiful and meaningful Architecture that represents the cultural, physical and ecological spirit of a place.

Students are challenged to produce workable and sustainable design solutions within the values and aspirations of a specific society.

Gainful Employment Information

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Jennifer Asselstine

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