Bachelor of Architecture

Bachelor of Architecture (Professional)

Mark Mistur, Associate Professor
Associate Dean

The undergraduate professional program is five years in length and leads to the Bachelor of Architecture, a first professional degree accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The students are highly qualified and undertake their architectural studies from the very beginning of their first year. Situated within the broader context of Rensselaer, the School of Architecture also draws widely upon other professional programs to build a collaborative interdisciplinary approach to design. Upon admission there are no further junctures in the program that require additional admission decisions.

Equipment, Supplies, and Travel: Most studio courses do not require textbooks, but rely heavily on software, printing, and modeling and students should anticipate costs associated with the purchase of materials. First-year students will have an opportunity to purchase a basic kit with the tools, etc. needed for their design studio. A technology fee is assessed to cover some, but not all, of the software and services provided to the students. Travel and field trips to nearby cities are also a regular and strategic part of the design curriculum. Students should also be prepared to cover costs associated with regional travel.

Contact: Lecia O’Dell

Bachelor of Architecture Curriculum Template:

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.

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

First Year


Second Year


Third Year


Fourth Year


Fifth Year

  • Hum. or Soc. Sci. Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • Professional Elective Credit Hours: 2
  • ARCH 4980 – B.Arch. Final Project 1 Credit Hours: 5 (see footnote 6 below)
  • ARCH 4981 – Methods Seminar Credit Hours: 1 (see footnote 6 below)

The degree requires 168 credit hours.
All undergraduate students should develop a Plan of Study with their faculty adviser.

Additional Requirements

In regard to the above template, please note that studios are sequential with the exception of the Design Development studio, which may be taken any time after Architecture Design 4 and before B.Arch. Final Project 1. Students are required to complete eight credits in Math, 12 in Science, and 20 in Humanities 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 dual major, 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 2200 Design Studio, ARCH 2210 Architecture Design 1, ARCH 2220 Architecture Design 2, ARCH 2230 Architecture Design 3, and ARCH 4240 Architecture Design 4, 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 4300 Design Development studio. ARCH 4740 Building Systems and Environment may be taken concurrently with the ARCH 4300 Design Development studio.

ARCH 2110 The Building and Thinking of Architecture 1, ARCH 2120 The Building and Thinking of Architecture 2 are prerequisites to ARCH 2130 Contemporary Design Approaches.

ARCH 2120 The Building and Thinking of Architecture 2 and ARCH 2130 Contemporary Design Approaches are prerequisites to ARCH 4140 Modernity in Culture and Architecture.

ARCH 2110 The Building and Thinking of Architecture 1, ARCH 2120 The Building and Thinking of Architecture 2, ARCH 2130 Contemporary Design Approaches, ARCH 2140 The Building and Thinking of Architecture 3, ARCH 2230 Architecture Design 3, and ARCH 4140 Modernity in Culture and Architecture are prerequisites to ARCH 4040 Cities Lands.

ARCH 4140 Modernity in Culture and Architecture, ARCH 4330 Structures 2, ARCH 4300 Design Development, and ARCH 4560 Materials and Enclosures are prerequisites to ARCH 4690 Case Studies.


  1. Humanities & Social Science Institute communications intensive requirement (see Class Hour Schedule for approved courses); Final Project 1 and Final Project 2 will fulfill the Architecture major communications intensive requirement.
  2. Four credits of the Hum. or Soc. Sci core requirements are embedded within The Building and Thinking of Architecture sequence: ARCH 2110 and ARCH 2120.
  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. In general, the recommended course is MATH 1620 offered only in the spring.
  5. Taken in the same semester as ARCH 4300.
  6. Arch 4980 B.Arch Final Project 1 and ARCH 4981 Methods Seminar (Co-requisite: students in ARCH 4980 are required to co-register for ARCH 4981).  

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Evan Douglis, Professor


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
School of Architecture
110 8th Street - Greene Building
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