Architectural Studies (B.A.)

Our B.A. in architectural studies taps into a burgeoning societal interest in the built environment and its relationships to both nature and culture. By combining your architectural education with the rich array of courses in the liberal arts at Ithaca, you’ll become a more conscientious and informed architect, urban designer, landscape architect, historic preservationist, or city planner.

There’s a heightened awareness worldwide of the power of good architecture and urban form to express cultural aspirations and improve daily lives. People are also paying attention to the close relationship between human building activity and the sustainability of our ecosystems.

Our curriculum reflects these current directions in the field of architectural education, as well as the College’s commitment to sustainability education. You’ll take courses in architectural theory and history, and you’ll be exposed to the broader artistic contexts within which architecture is created through at least two non-architecture courses in art history. Physics and calculus will train you in the fundamental tools for understanding the physical behavior of structures and materials. Liberal arts courses such as Environmental Sentinels, Urban Sociology, and Environmental Politics will introduce you to building sustainable communities.

Studio work—drawing and two- or three-dimensional design in the art department, as well as a two-course sequence in architectural design followed by a senior portfolio course -- will teach you how to develop and critique design projects and give you structured guidance in how to explain and present your own work.

Professional practice in the design-related fields requires a combination of education and experience, following specific formulas that vary by specialty and by state. To sit for the licensing exam to become an architect, for example, you’ll need several years of practice in a professional setting or the M.Arch. I degree, an increasingly popular and widely offered master’s in architecture for students without prior professional design degrees.

The B.A. in architectural studies is a degree that does not qualify students to practice architecture. Students who want to practice architecture and become licensed architects may pursue an NAAB-accredited master of architecture program after completion of the B.A. in architectural studies or the student may submit experience to the New York State Education Department that is acceptable to the New York State Board for Architecture totaling nine years after completion of the B.A. in architectural studies. Graduates of the B.A. in architectural studies would most likely need to pursue a three- to three-and-a-half-year master of architecture program in order to receive a master of architecture degree from an NAAB-accredited program.