208 Gould Hall, Box 355720
Advising for the first two years of the program is done through the Undergraduate Gateway Center, 141 Mary Gates Hall.
The Department of Architecture offers the following programs of study:
- Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in architecture
- Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in architectural design
- A dual-degree program leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in architectural design and the Bachelor of Science degree in construction management
- A minor in architecture
The Bachelor of Arts (with a major in architecture) is a four-year, undergraduate degree program in architecture in which students explore the factors that shape our built environment. The program provides a liberal arts foundation in the discipline of architecture, which covers spatial reasoning, aesthetics, political and economic structures, socio-cultural influences, urbanism, landscape, and ecology, and gives students the opportunity to concentrate their studies through a sequence of courses investigating history and theory, materials and making, or sustainable technologies. Students in the Bachelor of Arts (with a major in architecture) program can prepare for graduate study in architecture and related fields such as construction management, landscape architecture, real estate, and urban planning, as well as careers in other fields.
The Bachelor of Arts (with a major in architecture) consists of two, two-year sequences. Years one and two include 14 credits of preparatory architectural coursework in addition to at least 76 credits devoted to satisfying the UW�s general education requirements. These include coursework in the Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals and Societies (I&S), mathematics, science, and other areas of knowledge. The intent of these first two years is to help students build their skills in communication and critical thinking; gain broad exposure to other disciplines in order to make more informed academic and career decisions; and provide the broad academic foundation essential to successful study in architecture. All interested UW students are welcome to participate in this first two-year sequence.
The second two-year sequence begins in the junior year. Upper-division admission to the program requires the completion of architecture prerequisites and a minimum of 90 credits, and occurs through a selection process at the beginning of spring quarter of the sophomore year. Years three and four include 29 credits of required courses, including the capstone, 38 credits of discipline-specific selectives and electives, and 23 credits of upper-division electives. Students can focus their studies by choosing a concentration of history and theory, materials and making, or sustainable technologies, or a combination of these.
The Bachelor of Arts (with a major in architectural design) is a pre-professional degree that prepares candidates for admission with advanced standing to professional architectural programs. It is also good preparation for other roles in society that benefit from an understanding of and exposure to architectural design and problem solving such as government, development, management, planning, art, graphic design, and digital arts. Students develop visual literacy and complex problem solving through the design process, including researching historical precedents, analyzing theoretical texts, and on-site understanding of the physical built and natural environment. International study programs (Rome, Scandinavia, India, Mexico, Japan) provide further opportunities for students to engage built environments within global/local and contemporary/historical cultural contexts. A focus on sustainable technologies and the craft and making of architecture play an important role throughout the program.
The Bachelor of Arts (with a major in architectural design) is for students who are interested in the architecture profession and who may continue their studies by earning a graduate professional degree in architecture. The master�s degree in architecture is a professional degree and generally takes two or more years to complete if the student enters with the pre-professional Bachelor of Arts (with a major in architectural design).
The college also offers a design and construction concurrent degree (Bachelor of Arts with a major in architectural design, BS in construction management), awarded after completion of 225 credits. Students interested in this double degree must complete the prerequisites for the architectural design major, be admitted to architectural design, and then apply to construction management while completing the architectural design major. This is a five-year program. In addition, the College of Built Environments offers three other bachelor degrees: the BLA in landscape architecture, a five-year professional degree; the BS in construction management, a four-year professional degree; and the BA in community, environment, and planning, a four-year interdisciplinary degree.
Bachelor of Arts (with a major in architecture)
Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: See Department Admission Requirements below.
Department Admission Requirements
Applicants are considered for autumn admission only. Admission is competitive. Admission groups are freshmen/sophomore admission (F/S A) and upper-division admission (UA). Consult department website for more information and application form.
The department enrolls freshman-year students directly out of high school, prior to their completion of any university-level prerequisites. All freshmen indicating architecture on their UW application are considered for freshman admission to the BA (with a major in architecture) program; no additional application materials are required. Students admitted as freshmen must complete all preparatory and general education requirements listed under upper-division admission as well as all major requirements in order to earn a degree.
Application deadline is the first Monday of spring quarter. Admission decisions are based on an applicant�s academic performance and potential, extent and quality of relevant experience, and personal motivation. Completion of prerequisite requirements does not guarantee admission. Students admitted as sophomores must complete all preparatory and general education requirements listed under upper-division admission as well as all major requirements in order to earn a degree.
Transfer students may apply for admission at the beginning of the sophomore year or the beginning of the junior year. Application deadlines are the same as for sophomore or upper-division admission. Admission decisions are based on an applicant�s academic performance and potential, extent and quality of relevant experience, and personal motivation. Transfer students must also submit a separate application to the UW.
- Sophomore-year transfer students must complete all preparatory architectural coursework and general education requirements listed under upper-division admission requirements, as well as all major requirements, in order to earn a degree.
- Junior-year transfer students must complete all general education requirements and are strongly encouraged to complete all preparatory architectural coursework before entry into the program. These courses can be taken through UW Educational Outreach, on a non-matriculated basis, prior to admission to the UW. These, as well as all major requirements, must be completed in order for a student to earn a degree.
Upper-Division Admission Requirements (UA)
- Junior Standing (90 or more credits completed by the quarter of admission), to include the following:
- Preparatory Architectural Coursework (19 credits): ARCH 200, ARCH 231, ARCH 350, ARCH 351, ARCH 352
- General Education Requirements: minimum of 71 credits selected from Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA) (20 credits); Individuals and Societies (I&S) (20 credits); Natural World (NW) (20 credits), including 5 credits of mathematics (MATH 112 or MATH 124); additional Areas of Knowledge (6 credits); electives (3 credits). Composition/writing (10 credits total) may be met by freshman English composition courses and/or other general education courses designated �W,� with a minimum 2.0 grade for each course; diversity (3 credits) may be satisfied by general education courses designated DIV.
- Minimum 2.80 college/university GPA
- Department Application (See department website)
- Transcripts of all college-level work. Unofficial transcripts are accepted.
- Application Deadline: First Monday of spring quarter. For enrolled UW students, all prerequisite requirements must be completed or under way by the application deadline, and all prerequisite requirements must be completed by the time the student enters the program in autumn quarter. Admission decisions are based on an applicant�s academic performance and potential, extent and quality of relevant experience, and personal motivation. Completion of prerequisite requirements does not guarantee admission.
- Coursework (91 or more credits completed during years three and four): ARCH 331, ARCH 332, ARCH 361, ARCH 362, ARCH 468, ARCH 469. One history and theory selective course (3 credits), one craft and fabrication selective (3 credits), and one sustainable technologies selective (3 credits). Three Department of Architecture areas of concentration courses (at least 9 credits), two approved electives offered with College of Built Environment programs (at least 6 credits), five approved Department of Architecture electives (at least 15 credits), and at least 23 credits of approved upper-division electives. Selective and concentration courses are chosen from approved lists maintained by the department.
- Capstone (ARCH 469) completed in residence through the UW
- Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA for all courses presented for the major
Bachelor of Arts (with a major in architectural design)
Department Admission Requirements
- 90 credits to include the following:
- Preparatory Architectural Coursework (19 credits): ARCH 350, ARCH 351, ARCH 352 (9 credits); ARCH 200, ARCH 201 (10 credits). Note: These courses can be taken through UW Extension on a nonmatriculated basis, prior to admission to the UW, or they can be taken in the sophomore year on campus.
- General Education Requirements (70 credits): English composition (5 credits); Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA) (20 credits); Individuals and Societies (I&S) (20 credits); Natural World (NW) (20 credits, including MATH 112, MATH 124, or MATH 145); additional Areas of Knowledge (5 credits).
- Electives (1 credits)
- While the cumulative GPA is an important factor in the admission evaluation, the committee places emphasis on the evaluation of performance in the preparatory architectural coursework the student has completed. It is to the student's advantage to take as many of these courses as possible before applying.
- Application deadline: May 15 for autumn quarter only. Prerequisite courses must be completed by the time the student enters the program in autumn quarter.
90 credits as follows:
- Preprofessional Coursework (69 credits): ARCH 300, ARCH 301, ARCH 302, ARCH 315, ARCH 320, ARCH 321, ARCH 322, ARCH 362, ARCH 380, ARCH 400, ARCH 401, ARCH 402, ARCH 431, CM 313. One selective course in each of the following areas: (1) graphics/media; (2) history/theory; (3) building science/materials. Selective courses to be chosen from approved lists maintained by the department.
- 21 credits of approved upper-division electives.
- The final 45 credits must be completed as a matriculated student in residence through the UW.
- Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all work done in residence.
Dual-degree majors first apply to the architectural design program and must meet architectural design admission requirements. Admitted architectural design students apply to the construction management program during spring quarter of their junior year (first year in the architecture program). For architectural design students, construction management prerequisites are waived, but such students must take CM 313 and CM 323 prior to the construction management application deadline, April 1.
Dual Degree Program Requirements
142 credits, as follows:
- Architecture Foundation Courses (60 credits): ARCH 300, ARCH 301, ARCH 302, ARCH 315, ARCH 320, ARCH 321, ARCH 322, ARCH 362, ARCH 380, ARCH 400, ARCH 401, ARCH 402, ARCH 431
- Architecture Selectives (6 credits): 3 credits of graphic/media selective chosen from among the following BIM-recommended courses: ARCH 316, ARCH 410, ARCH 412, ARCH 413, ARCH 415, ARCH 418, ARCH 478, ARCH 481, ARCH 482, ARCH 484, ARCH 485, ARCH 486, ARCH 498. 3 credits of history/theory selective from among the following courses: ARCH 441, ARCH 442, ARCH 450, ARCH 452, ARCH 455, ARCH 457
- Construction Management Courses (76 credits): CM 301; CM 310, CM 311, CM 312, CM 313, CM 321, CM 322, CM 323, CM 331, CM 332, CM 333, CM 334, CM 335, CM 410, CM 411, CM 412, CM 414, CM 421, CM 422, CM 423, CM 426, CM 431 (capstone experience), CM 432, and CM 434
- Additional Major Requirement: Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in upper-division college courses completed in the College of Built Environments. Minimum 2.0 in CM 431
Note: A minimum of 225 credits is required to complete a dual degree.
Minor Requirements: 25 credits to include a minimum of 20 credits in ARCH courses (at least 9 credits at the upper-division level) and 5 additional upper-division credits from courses in the College of Built Environments.
Student Outcomes and Opportunities
- Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes:
- The architecture program emphasizes a broad liberal arts foundation followed by a focus on architectural history and theory, materials and making, and sustainable technologies. Specific goals for student learning include an understanding of the sequences and history of human building activities; social, political, legal, and economic influences on design and construction; various architectural theories and current thought about the aesthetics of design; construction materials and their properties; relationships of buildings to their sites and ecological contexts; sustainable technologies used in building construction.
- The architectural design program emphasizes a broad liberal arts foundation followed by a focus on entry-level courses in architectural design, theory, the technology of building, and materials. Specific goals for student learning include an understanding of the organization of three-dimensional space in response to specific human needs; the sequences and history of human building activities; various architectural theories and current thought about the aesthetics of design; construction materials and their properties; building systems and their integration for human comfort; structural principles, relationships of buildings to their sites; social, political, legal, and economic influences of design and construction. Specific goals in the area of personal development include an ability to visualize three dimensions and think spatially; graphic, verbal, and written communication skills for design development and presentation; an ability to think critically and exercise self-criticism.
- Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
- Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Internships are available and vary according to individual interests within the program. See adviser for details.
- Department Scholarships: A limited number of department scholarships are available to eligible students entering their final year of the major.
- Student Organizations/Associations: AIAS (American Institute of Architectural Students)
Of Special Note:
Most states require that an individual intending to become an architect hold an architecture degree accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The NAAB accredits three types of degrees: (1) the Bachelor of Architecture (BArch), which requires a minimum of five years of architectural study (this degree is not offered at the University of Washington), (2) the Master of Architecture (MArch), which requires a minimum of three years of study following an unrelated bachelor's degree or two years following a related pre-professional bachelor's degree, and (3) the Doctor of Architecture (this degree is not offered at the University of Washington). These professional degrees are structured to educate those who aspire to registration and licensure to practice as architects.
The UW's four-year, Bachelor of Arts degree in architectural design is a pre-professional degree and is not accredited by NAAB. The pre-professional degree is useful to those desiring a foundation in the field of architecture as preparation for either continued education in a professional degree program or for employment options in fields related to architecture.
Architectural education at the University of Washington requires a minimum of six or seven years of higher education to attain the first professional degree, the Master of Architecture. The curriculum is divided into three two-year segments of coursework with a pre-professional Bachelor of Arts degree (with a major in architectural design) awarded at the completion of the second two-year segment. The professional degree, Master of Architecture, is awarded only upon completion of the third segment. (Students with the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture or bachelor�s degrees in unrelated fields take an additional year of coursework).
Graduate Program Coordinator
208 Gould, Box 355720
The Department of Architecture offers two graduate level degrees: the Master of Architecture (MArch) and the Master of Science in architecture (MS Arch).
The MArch is a National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)-accredited professional degree program that educates students already grounded in the sciences or liberal arts to become registered, licensed architects. Applicants interested in entering the profession of architecture should apply to the MArch program, which has three tracks:
- 2+year accredited MArch for candidates holding a BA or BS in architectural design
- 3+year accredited MArch for candidates holding a bachelor�s degree in a discipline other than architecture
- accredited dual degree, MArch/MLA, for candidates with or without prior architecture or landscape architecture degrees
- MArch in high performance building, a 1-year non-accredited post-professional program for candidates holding an accredited BArch or MArch
The MS Arch is a non-accredited advanced research-oriented degree for candidates who hold a bachelor�s degree from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds. The MS in architecture has two distinct degree streams:
- MS Arch in design computing
- MS Arch in architectural history and theory
Master of Architecture
The MArch degree, accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), is the only professional degree offered by the University of Washington. Completion of the department�s 2+year or 3+year MArch degree program satisfies the educational requirement for licensing (and registration) as an architect.Candidates for the 2+year MArch degree usually complete seven full-time quarters of study including the master�s thesis. This program requires 95 credits of coursework, including: 30 credits of design studio, 31 credits of core courses, 21 credits of electives, 4 credits of thesis preparation, and 9 credits of thesis. MArch students may choose to pursue one of three transcripted degree options: history, theory, and criticism; materials and fabrication; and sustainable systems and design. These options are integral to the 95 credits required for the MArch degree and involve 6 credits of studio, 6 credits of core courses, 9 credits of dedicated electives, and an option-related focus in the 4-credit thesis preparation course. Students may also choose to pursue certificate programs in the Department of Architecture and the College of Built Environments.
Candidates for the 3+year MArch degree begin the program with three quarters (51 credits) of preparatory coursework and an optional paid summer internship administered by the department. They then join the 2+year MArch group to complete the remaining 95 course credits for the degree, as described above.
Students in 2+ and 3+year MArch degree can also pursue a formal concurrent Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA); and can devise other informal concurrent degrees with departments in the College of Built Environments.
Candidates for the post-professional MArch degree in high-performance building usually complete three full-time quarters of study, including the master�s thesis. This program requires 46 credits of coursework including: 6 credits of studio, 15 credits of core courses, 12 credits of electives, 4 credits of thesis preparation, and 9 credits of thesis.
- Completed MArch application form
- Transcripts from baccalaureate (or higher) degree(s). The admissions committee places primary emphasis on more recent and architecturally related coursework and expects a minimum 3.00 (B) (or higher) GPA in the last 90 graded quarter hours or last 60 semester hours.
- GRE test scores from within the last five years
- Portfolio of work in visual arts and/or design. The portfolio is of primary significance for all candidates.
- Statement of purpose describing the candidate�s professional aspirations and the extent to which the program can be expected to prepare him or her for those objectives
- Written recommendations from three persons who can evaluate the applicant's past record and future promise of success in the program
95-146 credits, as follows:
- Preparatory-year requirements (for students in the 3+year MArch program only): ARCH 303, ARCH 304, ARCH 305, ARCH 310, ARCH 311, ARCH 312, ARCH 323, ARCH 324, ARCH 331, ARCH 332, ARCH 350, ARCH 351, ARCH 352, ARCH 360
- First-year requirements ARCH 500, ARCH 501, ARCH 502, ARCH 521, ARCH 531, ARCH 533, ARCH 570, ARCH 590, ARCH 591, one architectural history and theory selective, elective.
- Second-year requirements: ARCH 503, ARCH 504, ARCH 571, ARCH 595 or ARCH 599, one professional practice selective, electives.
- Final year requirement: ARCH 700, and one elective
1-Year MArch in High Performance Building Degree Requirements
46 credits, as follows:
- Core Curriculum: ARCH 503, ARCH 526, ARCH 530, ARCH 533
- Selectives: 6 credits of building technology courses
- Electives: 12 credits of electives
- Thesis: 4 credits of ARCH 599; 9 credits of ARCH 700
Master of Science
The Master of Science (MS) in architecture program offers advanced, specialized study in two areas of specialization: design computing and architectural history and theory.
Candidates in the design computing stream pursue research in areas that include design methods, augmented and virtual environments, building simulation and analysis, digital fabrication, human computer interfaces for design, collaboration and community in design, and other related topics. Students work in the Design Machine Group (DMG), a collaborative research studio that fosters innovation and actively seeks ideas that shape the future of design and information technology. The 45 credits of coursework includes: 11 core credits, 21 credits of design computing electives, 4 credits of thesis preparation, and 9 credits of thesis.
Candidates in the history and theory stream pursue advanced research on the history and theory of architecture applying a variety of historical and critical lenses. The program is broadly conceived to encompass the architectural, cultural, and political forces that have shaped modernity in architecture, including all of its contemporary manifestations. The 45 credits of coursework include: 11 core credits, 21 credits of history and theory electives, 4 credits of thesis preparation, and 9 credits of thesis.
- Completed MS in Architecture application form
- Transcripts from baccalaureate (or higher) degree(s) with a minimum 3.00 (B) (or higher) GPA in the last 90 graded quarter hours or last 60 semester hours of coursework
- GRE test scores taken within the last five years
- Portfolio of work showing evidence of the applicant's preparation for study in design computing, or a writing sample that shows evidence of applicant�s preparation for study in the history and theory of architecture.
- Statement of purpose that clearly articulates the applicant�s goals and the extent to which the program can be expected to prepare him or her for those objectives. The statement should also describe the applicant's background and experience appropriate to the program and must also include a proposed research focus.
- Written recommendations from three persons who can evaluate the applicant's past record and future promise of success in the MS in Architecture program
Design Computing Stream Degree Requirements
45 credits, as follows:
- Core Curriculum: ARCH 587, ARCH 588, ARCH 597
- Electives: 21 credits to be chosen from design computing courses, or other approved courses.
- Thesis: 4 credits of ARCH 599; 9 credits of ARCH 700
History and Theory Stream Degree Requirements
45 credits, as follows:
- Core Curriculum: ARCH 560, ARCH 597, B E 552
- Electives: 21 credits of architectural history and theory courses, or other approved courses.
- Thesis: 4 credits of ARCH 599; 9 credits of ARCH 700
Two interdisciplinary certificate programs offered by the College of Built Environments are available to MArch students in the areas of historic preservation and urban design.
The department also offers certificates in design computing and lighting design.
The department offers architecture in Rome, Italy, at the University of Washington Rome Center; architecture in Mexico City, Mexico; and architecture in Chandigarh, India. Other programs include travel to Scandinavia, Germany, Japan, and Australia.
Each spring quarter the department awards scholarships and assistantships for the following academic year. These are more typically available to students already enrolled in the architecture program at the time of awarding, although some financial aid is offered to newly entering students. Other financial aid and assistantship possibilities may be found through the Graduate School�s Fellowships, Assistantships, and Awards and the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Minimum required score:
The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.Book IELTS
Minimum required score:
The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).
Minimum required score:
The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).