Bachelor of Architecture
The five-year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) program is structured with required courses and electives to give students thorough professional preparation and opportunities for study in the liberal arts and advanced study in architecture. This degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.
First-year courses include required study in design, visual and digital media, architectural history and theory, technological systems, writing, and other electives in cultural knowledge and scientific inquiry. The emphasis in first-year design is on developing a fundamental understanding of formal, spatial and material principles in architecture, while obtaining a strong skill base in freehand drawing, descriptive geometry, material techniques, and visual and digital media. First year electives allow students to supplement their background in physics or calculus, begin or advance foreign language study, broaden their skills in the arts, or choose any other subject area from among over forty offered by the University’s undergraduate divisions. In their first semester, students may also participate in one of the many TIDES (Tulane InterDisciplinary Experience) courses offered by the University to engage other students and faculty in an intimate, interactive environment.
Second and Third Years
Second and third-year courses cover the majority of the program requirements. Intensive studio work in architectural design is complemented by study in architectural history and theory, structures, technological systems, digital media and urban studies. In second-year, students are fully immersed in digital design techniques while learning to incorporate knowledge from historic, environmental, social, programmatic and technological studies into the design studio. This is followed by third-year, where, in the second semester, a fully integrated program of coursework allows students a truly synthetic experience in the comprehensive design of a complex architectural project.
The fourth-year curriculum involves advanced architectural design in elective studio courses as well as graduate level seminars in architectural theory, technology, professional concerns, urban studies, and digital media. In the fourth year of study, emphasis is placed on the relationship of architecture to the urban environment, both locally and globally. Students will spend one semester at the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, studying in one of the many programs ranging from urban design, to housing, to design/build. In the fourth-year, students will also have the opportunity for international study through various programs ranging from one week to full semester abroad programs in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Upper level study is intended to be diverse and includes many electives intended to provide significant opportunities for study within architecture as well as in the liberal arts and sciences.
In the fifth year of study, students will develop an advanced thesis through research, analysis and design in one of four curricular streams.
Transfer students with previous college work but without any background in architecture may take an intensive summer curriculum as the equivalent of first-year. The intensive summer program includes no English or general electives because previous college work is a prerequisite. For such students, the Bachelor of Architecture as a first college degree may then be obtained in four additional years.
To help ensure academic breadth within the liberal arts and depth within the field of architecture, students in the Bachelor of Architecture curriculum may take elective credits. Students are required to distribute a portion of these elective credits among courses in the humanities and fine arts (12 credits, including 9 in lecture courses), social sciences (6 credits), science and mathematics (6 credits) and 12 additional university credits. Courses offered by the liberal arts colleges fall into these three categories. All students are required to complete foreign language proficiency (see Liberal Arts and Science section for further information) and to take one elective course with an emphasis on non-Western traditions.
Students in the Bachelor of Architecture curriculum are required to take 3 credits in digital design tools prior to completion of third-year, 3 elective credits in advanced Structure/Technology, 3 elective credits in advanced History/Theory, and 3 elective credits in advanced Professional Practice. Additionally, students have to complete 15 credits of architecture electives. The Director of Undergraduate Advising and Student Affairs may authorize waiver of the distribution requirements in special cases. Students in dual degree programs may also receive special consideration.
Requirements are generally taken in the prescribed year indicated in the curriculum above, but some required courses may be taken in another year to allow strategic placement of electives. Generally, all courses required for the professional degree must be completed prior to entry into fifth year. In special circumstances, the Director of Undergraduate Advising and Student Affairs may waive this requirement.
An architecture student may elect to pursue a minor or major in another division of the University, in addition to the pursuit of the Bachelor of Architecture (non-accelerated program). Anyone who is interested in such a program should contact the appropriate department chair and develop a program of courses in the chosen field. This proposal should be approved by the department chair and forwarded to the Director of Undergraduate Advising and Student Affairs in the School of Architecture. When all requirements are met, the transcript will reflect that a minor or major has been completed. Successfully completed minor or major courses can fulfill the School’s distribution of electives requirement. This does not eliminate other distribution requirements, however, and could require additional courses for graduation.