Bachelor of Architecture

Bachelor of Architecture (Professional)

Rhett Russo, Assistant Professor
Undergraduate Chair

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The five-year undergraduate program seeks applicants curious about the acquisition of knowledge, the creative and
scientific aspects of buildings, the importance of ecological design, the power of learning, the value of hard work, and the transformative opportunities afforded the next generation of architects committed to changing the world. Conceived as a supportive and inspiring environment for the beginning student of architecture, the program offers a comprehensive curriculum comprised of architectural design, history/theory, and technology courses as preparation for our graduates to become future leaders in the profession.

The School has an extensive international study abroad program enabling students to spend one full semester in Italy, India or China. In addition, the School also offers a semester-long program in New York City for undergraduate students to study at the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE), a unique educational and research consortium between Rensselaer and the renowned architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), as an opportunity to pursue research on next-generation sustainable architecture.

The Bachelor of Architecture from Rensselaer is a professional degree fully accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board. Graduates of the School are distinguished by being creatively independent, technologically astute, progressive, professionally ambitious with a strong sense of social responsibility, and prepared for career advancement at any level.

Contact: Lecia O’Dell
518-276-8478


Bachelor of Architecture

The five-year B.Arch. program concludes with a year-long individually developed and comprehensive final project in the context of optional research studio and thematic contexts provided by faculty. The first semester of the final project integrates a Research Methods seminar.  An integrated design research phase continues throughout the first and the second semesters.The final project is an opportunity to develop a point of view about architecture and its place in the world; to question conventions, habitual responses, and routine approaches to architectural design; and to investigate issues that the student sees as significant to architecture.

The Bachelor of Architecture degree requires 171 credit hours. All undergraduate students should develop a Plan of Study with their faculty adviser.

A sample template of the B.Arch. curriculum structure is provided below. Please note that special circumstances such as participating in a semester abroad or a semester at CASE in New York City may involve some variation from this template.

Pre-Fall 2014 curriculum could be found here – Pre-Fall 2017 curriculum could be found here


First Year

Fall

HASS Approved Inquiry & Communication Intensive Course – Credit Hours: 4 (see footnote 1 below)
ARCH 2150 – The Ethos of Architecture – Credit Hours: 3
ARCH 2160 – Architectural Media – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 2510 – Materials and Design – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 2520 – Digital Constructs 1 – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 2800 – Architectural Design Studio 1 – Credit Hours: 5

Spring

MATH Elective – Credit Hours: 4
ARCH 2370 – Energy, Comfort and Ecology – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 2530 – Digital Constructs 2 – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 2810 – Architectural Design Studio 2 – Credit Hours: 5
ARCH 4090 – Architectural Case Studies – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 4100 – An Architectural Genealogy – Credit Hours: 3 (See footnote 2 below)

Second Year

Fall

ARCH 2330 – Structures 1 – Credit Hours: 3 (See footnote 3 below)
ARCH 2350 – Construction Systems – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 2540 – Digital Constructs 3 – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 2820 – Architectural Design Studio 3 – Credit Hours: 5
ARCH 4050 – Cities and Their Territories – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 4120 – Cloud Atlas: 20th Century Architecture, Culture & Civilization – Credit Hours: 3 See footnote 2 below.

Spring

ARCH 2360 – Environmental and Ecological Systems – Credit Hours: 4 (See footnote 3 below)
ARCH 2550 – Digital Constructs 4 – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 2830 – Architectural Design Studio 4 – Credit Hours: 5
ARCH 4150 – Contemporary Design Approaches – Credit Hours: 3
PHYS 1050 – General Physics – Credit Hours: 4

Third Year

Fall

HASS Elective – Credit Hours: 4
MATH Elective – Credit Hours: 4
ARCH 4330 – Structures 2 – Credit Hours: 3 (See footnote 3 below)
ARCH 4560 – Materials and Enclosures – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 4820 – Integrated Design Schematic – Credit Hours: 5

Spring

Science Elective – Credit Hours: 4
ARCH 4540 – Professional Practice 1 – Credit Hours: 2 (See footnote 4 below)
ARCH 4590 – Entrepreneurship and Architecture – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 4740 – Building Systems and Environment – Credit Hours: 4 (See footnote 3 below)
ARCH 4830 – Integrated Design Development – Credit Hours: 5

Fourth Year

Summer Arch*

HASS Elective – Credit Hours: 4
HASS Elective – Credit Hours: 4
Science Elective – Credit Hours: 4
ARCH 4770 – Architectural Design Studio 5 – Credit Hours: 5

Fall OR Spring

Professional Elective – Credit Hours: 2
Professional Elective – Credit Hours: 2
Elective – Credit Hours: 4
HASS Elective – Credit Hours: 4
ARCH 4550 – Professional Practice 2 – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 4780 – Architectural Design Studio 6 – Credit Hours: 5

Fifth Year

Fall

HASS Elective – Credit Hours: 4
Professional Elective – Credit Hours: 4
Elective – Credit Hours: 4
ARCH 4790 – Architectural Design Studio 7 – Credit Hours: 5
ARCH 4910 – Final Project Design Research Seminar – Credit Hours: 3

Spring

Professional Elective – Credit Hours: 2
Elective – Credit Hours: 4
Professional Elective – Credit Hours: 2
ARCH 4920 – Final Project Design Studio – Credit Hours: 5 (See footnote 1 below)


Additional Requirements

In regard to the above template, please note that studios are sequential with the exception of the Integrated Design Development, which may be taken any time after Integrated Design Schematic and before Final Project Design Studio. Students are required to complete eight credits in Math, 12 in Science, and 20 in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences from an extensive list of course offerings (see Institute core requirements for greater detail). In addition, students have 12 credits of professional electives, and 12 credits of free electives which may be used to further focus on a concentrated area of study, pursue a minor, or as a means of further broadening exposure to a range of disciplines.

Discipline specific sequences embedded in the curriculum are detailed below.

Technology courses: ARCH 2330 Structures 1 is sequential and prerequisite to ARCH 4330 Structures 2; and ARCH 2360 Environmental and Ecological Systems is sequential and prerequisite to ARCH 4740 Building Systems and Environment.

ARCH 2800 Architectural Design Studio 1, ARCH 2810 Architectural Design Studio 2, ARCH 2820 Architectural Design Studio 3, ARCH 2830 Architectural Design Studio 4, and ARCH 4820 Integrated Design Schematic Studio, and ARCH 2330 Structures 1, ARCH 2360 Environmental and Ecological Systems, ARCH 4330 Structures 2, ARCH 4740 Building Systems and Environment are prerequisites to the ARCH 4830 Integrated Design Development. ARCH 4740 Building Systems and Environment may be taken concurrently with the ARCH 4830 Integrated Design Development.

ARCH 4910 Final Project Design Research Seminar is prerequisite to ARCH 4920 Final Project Design Studio.

For SummerArch and study abroad options visit the Architecture web site.


Footnotes

  1. HASS Institute inquiry and communications intensive requirement (see Class Hour Schedule for approved courses); Final Project Design Studio will fulfill the Architecture major communications intensive requirement.
  2. Four credits of the HASS core requirements are embedded within the Architectural Genealogy and Cloud Atlas: 20th Century Architecture, Culture & Civilization sequence: ARCH 4100 and ARCH 4120.
  3. Four credits of the Institute core Science requirements are embedded within the technology sequence: ARCH 2330, ARCH 2360, ARCH 4330, and ARCH 4740.
  4. Taken in the same semester as ARCH 4830.

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Dean

Evan Douglis, Professor

Address

School of Architecture
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street - Greene Bldg.
Troy, NY 12180 - USA

Main Phones

Front Desk: (+1) 518-276-6466
Dean's Office: (+1) 518-276-6460
Undergrad Admissions: (+1) 518-276-8478
Graduate Admissions: (+1) 518-276-6877

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