Bachelor of Fine Arts Architecture

B.F.A. Architecture is an interdisciplinary major that integrates architecture and design. The program (housed in the Department of Art, Architecture, and Art History) has an interdepartmental curriculum including coursework in studio arts, art history, environmental design, landscape architecture and regional planning, engineering, and building materials. This degree provides students broad exposure to aspects of building and material science as well as a variety of cultural, environmental, and historical perspectives, preparing them to make innovative and integrated contributions as architects and designers.

Concentrations

There are two concentrations: Architecture Studies and Design Studies.

The Architecture Studies concentration is intended for students who plan to pursue a professional graduate degree in architecture. It requires more courses in architecture studios, architectural history, and technology, and more directed electives related to design.

The Design Studies concentration is intended for students with a broader interest in the design fields, including interior design. It has more flexibility in requirements for studio, history, technology, and directed electives related to design. Because it has fewer requirements, it will also allow students to double major.

In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may consist of a preprofessional undergraduate degree (such as the BFA Architecture) and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Requirements

The Architecture major will require the following core courses applicable to every student (courses carry the ARCH-DES designation unless otherwise noted):

  • Math/Physics: 3 courses
    • MATH 104 Algebra/Analytic Geometry/Trigonometry
    • MATH 127 Calculus for Life & Social Sciences I
    • PHYS 131/133 Physics I plus Lab
  • Foundations: Choose 4 courses
    • ART 110 Basic Studio/Drawing
    • ART 120 Drawing Composition
    • ART 131 Two Dimensional Design I
    • ART 142 Three Dimensional Design I
    • Other 100 and 200 level studios approved by the Program
  • Design/Graphics: 4 courses
    • 300 Design I (4 cr)
    • 301 Design II (4 cr)
    • 540 Analysis and Representation I
    • 541 Analysis and Representation II
  • History/Theory: 3 courses
    • One survey course (ART-HIST 100, 110, or 115)
    • ART-HIST 118 History of Architecture and the Built Environment
    • 370 Junior Year Writing

The Architectural Studies concentration will require the following additional courses:

  • Design/Graphics: 3 courses
    • 400 Design III (4 cr)
    • 401 Design IV (4 cr)
    • 403 Design V (5 cr) –or— 404 Design VI (6 cr)
  • History/Theory: 2 courses
    • ART-HIST 343 20th Century Architecture
    • Additional architecture history course approved by the adviser
  • Technology: 2 courses
    • BCT 211 Energy Efficient Housing
    • BCT 313 Principles of Light Frame Structure Technology
  • Directed electives: minimum 9 credits
    • Courses in architecture related fields developed in consultation with and approved by the faculty adviser.

The Design Studies concentration will require the following additional courses:

  • Design/Graphics: 1 course
    • Design or art studio approved by the adviser
  • History/Theory: 1 course
    • Design history course approved by the adviser
  • Technology: 1 course from the following list
    • BCT 211 Energy Efficient Housing
    • BCT 313 Principles of Light Frame Structure Technology
    • 510 Furniture Design and Technology
  • Directed Electives: minimum 9 credits
    • Courses in design related fields developed in consultation with and approved by the faculty adviser.

Other Requirements of the Major

  • Grades: Majors must earn a cumulative GP of 2.00 or better in all courses required for the major.
  • Computers: Students are required to provide their own laptop computers and software, to specifications provided by Program, for all ARCH-DES design and graphics classes.

Admission to the Major

Admission to the Architecture major will require successful portfolio reviews in addition to fulfillment of the standard University admission requirements.

High school seniors with exceptional visual arts backgrounds can apply directly to the Architecture major when they apply for admission to the University, subject to portfolio review.

UMass students in other majors (or undeclared status) can apply directly to the Architecture and Design majors while taking foundations level studios and art history surveys, subject to portfolio review.

External transfer students with strong visual arts backgrounds can apply directly to the major when applying to the University, subject to portfolio review.