Architectural Studies prepares students for a life in the design professions.

History | Theory | Design

Architectural Studies combines design and liberal arts courses to give students the skills they need to understand and transform the built environment in a more sustainable and equitable way. Many students augment their architectural education in study abroad programs. Ultimately, our majors graduate with the ability to draw effectively, read critically, and design creatively.

What will I take as an architectural studies major?

The major gives you a strong grounding in architecture, but also leaves you the flexibility to explore a variety of other interests. Speak with your academic advisor about your interests and future goals. They will help you choose the right classes for you. Here’s some general guidance:

  • Start with Architecture Across Cultures or Elements of Architecture. An Introduction to Drawing course will prepare you for studio courses.
  • Our Architectural Design studio sequence happens spring semester of sophomore year and fall of junior year.
  • Senior Portfolio, which will help you prepare a design portfolio for graduate school or job applications, happens fall semester of your senior year.
  • Many of our majors study abroad during the spring semester of their junior year. Take the opportunity to experience architecture and art on location in London, Paris, Rome, or another great world city.

One Major, Many Futures

An Architectural Studies degree from IC provides a path to careers in the design professions. Our graduates work in all corners of the building industry, with jobs in architecture firms, real estate developers, lighting consultants, and environmental consultants. Many of our alumni have gone on to professional graduate programs in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, historic preservation, urban design, and city planning. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Our program is designed to prepare students to apply to any first-professional Master of Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture, Master of Historical Preservation, Master of Urban Planning degree, and other built environment related degrees offered in the United States or Canada. Graduates of our program have been accepted to and enrolled in master’s programs at the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, The Ohio State University, Pratt Institute, Northeastern University, and Buffalo University, among others. 

Our program prepares students for a wide range of careers in the building industry, from city planning and project management to heritage conservation. Our Alumni work in real estate, planning, sustainability, architectural lighting, building materials sales, and development and marketing. 

No, a portfolio is not required for entry into our program. Because the development of a portfolio of creative work is a key element for admission to most graduate programs in architecture, our Architectural Studies curriculum will help you prepare to create one.  

No. However, as some graduate schools of architecture require these courses, we recommend that you work with your academic advisor to determine if you should take them. 

Students take courses in both architectural design and studio art--including a two-studio architectural design sequence, several semesters of drawing, 2D design or graphic design, and a portfolio preparation course.  Students take required courses in architectural history, and we also offer additional hands-on design and theory-oriented courses. Our degree requirements can be found here

Yes. Our curriculum is designed for majors to combine their architectural studies with other disciplines of interest; students have double majored or minored in Studio Art, Environmental Studies, English, Languages, History, Math, and Biology, among others. 

Yes. We encourage study abroad and have arranged our curriculum so that students can travel in the spring semester of their junior year without missing required courses. Our students have gone to London, Rome, Barcelona, Dublin, and Sydney, and credits received abroad are applied to their IC degree. 

Yes. Ithaca College supports student athletes by making sure that coursework and practice schedules do not overlap; our majors have been active members of many teams, including field hockey, baseball, football, lacrosse, softball, track, swimming, and tennis. 

Yes. Upper-level students have acted as Teaching Assistants in our Architectural Design Studio; the department also employs Gallery Assistants in our Handwerker Gallery.  

No. Ithaca College does not have a professional School of Architecture, it offers a B.A. in Architectural Studies, which is an undergraduate degree focused on architectural history and design in the context of a comprehensive liberal arts education.  

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 9 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 3-3.5 year Master of Architecture program in order to receive a Master of Architecture degree from an NAAB accredited program. 

Our Alumni

Recent alumni are pursuing graduate studies or working in a variety of design fields.

Jennifer Lema, ’21, University at Buffalo, Master of Architecture.

Roshard Hercules, ’21, City College New York, Master of Architecture.

Alianna Becera, ’20, Junior Architectural Designer, LHP Architects, NYC.

Justina Bethune, ’20, Cornell University, Master of Urban Planning.

Alex Baker, ’18, Northeastern University, Master of Architecture.

Jill Gonchar, ’18, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Master of Architecture.

Josie Hover, ’18, AEI Consultants, Boston, MA.

Hali Keller, ’18, University of Miami, Master of Architecture.

Taylor Brady, ’17: Leasing and Operations Manager, GP Properties Management LLC.

Shelby Klooster, ’16, Lighting Designer, RDG Planning Design.

Michael Rizk, ’16, Architectural Designer, CPL, Rochester, NY.

Logan Weaver, ’16, University of Pennsylvania, Master of Architecture.

Stephanie Sang, ’13, Asst. Professor, Architecture, Michael Graves College of Architecture, Union, NJ.


Contact: David Salomon, Architectural Studies Coordinator