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.
Minor or Major in Another Division
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. 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 Student Affairs in the School of Architecture.
STEM OPT Eligibility
Beginning in fall 2019, the Tulane School of Architecture’s professional Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch.), Master of Architecture (M. Arch I.) degrees and the new post-professional Master of Science in Architectural Research and Design (M.S.Arc.) degree* will be classified under Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology (CIP code 04.0902).
Consequently, international students graduating with B. Arch., M. Arch I. or M.S. Arc. degree from Tulane on or after 2019-2020 academic year will be eligible for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ STEM OPT extension program. This allows international students to remain in the U.S. for up to 36 months after graduation to receive practical training through work experience in the field of architecture.
Visit the Tulane OISS webpage on STEM OPT Extension for more information.