Our undergraduate program in Architecture is structured around a four-year sequence of required, thematic design studios, from freshman drawing classes to senior explorations of architectural intervention in the city. Students graduating from this program earn either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Architecture.
Admission to the undergraduate program follows the normal PSU admissions process, with no special Architecture School requirements for freshman or sophomore entry.
Admission to the Professional Track (Years 3 and 4 of the program), at the junior level, is selective and contingent upon success in the second-year Portfolio Review: following completion of the nine required undergraduate courses in Architecture (ARCH 100, 101, 120, 121, 230, 231, 232, 280 and 281), students submit a portfolio of their design work, which is evaluated along with their grades in the nine required Architecture courses. Those who are admitted to the Professional Track move forward with the undergraduate Architecture program.
Throughout our program, emphasis is placed on the creative act of design through hands-on creation of drawings, artifacts and models. We strongly encourage students to engage in a wide array of media in evoking imaginative ideas and inventive possibilities. As such, the School's facilities support all forms of fabrication, from concrete and plaster casting to welding and metalworking to woodworking to digital milling.
Design studio is enriched by the association of required and elective lectures and seminars in Humanities and Tectonics. These classes introduce, analyze and discuss the complexities of both the cultural and technological influences upon the making of architecture. The program pursues an understanding of architecture as an embodiment of human values while promoting levels of knowledge appropriate for the construction of plausible works. Ethical responses to the contemporary dilemmas of environmental changes are a paramount concern in the teaching of all levels.
Undergraduate Curriculum*: B.A. or B.S. with a Major in Architecture
Arch 100 Introduction to Architecture (4)
Arch 101 Introduction to Environmental Design (4)
Arch 120, 121 Visual Communication 1, 2 (4, 4)
B.A. or B.S. Requirements (14)
General Education/Freshman Inquiry (15)
Arch 230, 231, 232 Architecture & Cultural History 1, 2, 3 (4, 4, 4)
Arch 280, 281 Design Fundamentals Studio 1, 2 (6, 6)
B.A. or B.S. Requirements (8)
General Education/Sophomore Inquiry (12)
Portfolio Review for entry to Professional Track**
Year 3: Professional Track**
Arch 360, 361, 362 Building Tectonics 1, 2, 3 (4, 4, 4)
Arch 380, 381, 382 Architectural Design Studio 1, 2, 3 (6, 6, 6)
B.A. or B.S. Requirements (4)
General Education/Upper Division Clusters (12)
Year 4: Professional Track**
Arch 46x Building Tectonics elective (4)***
Arch 480, 481, 482 Architectural Design Studio 4, 5, 6 (6, 6, 6)****
Arch 3xx/4xx Architectural upper division electives (must include 4 credits in the Humanities knowledge area [classes numbered Arch 43x]) (8)*****
B.A. or B.S. Requirements (9 if taking ARCH 482, or 15 if not taking ARCH 482)
General Education/Senior Capstone (6)
Total: 180 Quarter Credits Required
See the PSU Bulletin for all course prerequisites.
* Architecture courses taken under the undifferentiated grading option (pass/no pass) will not be accepted toward fulfilling department major requirements. Beginning Fall 2017, students must obtain at least a B- grade in all 100- and 200-level required architecture classes for them to count toward the major. All other classes used to satisfy the major must be graded C- or higher. Students receiving a grade below these minimums in any architectural studio class, or having an outstanding Incomplete (I) in any sequential class, will not be permitted to progress to the next class in the sequence until the minimum grade or higher has been earned in that class, or the Incomplete has been replaced by the minimum allowable grade.
** See the School of Architecture office for portfolio requirements, specifications and submission deadlines. ARCH 100, 101, 120, 121, 230, 231, 232, 280 and 281 are required for portfolio submission for entry to Professional Track. Beginning in Winter 2018, Architecture majors who wish to submit a portfolio for application to the Professional Track must have at least a 3.0 major GPA to be eligible to apply.
*** Math 111 and 112 are recommended as preparation for the Building Structures class, ARCH 467. Calculus and one year of physics are recommended since some graduate architecture schools require it. ARCH 467 is required for students applying to the M.Arch at PSU and recommended for those applying to M.Arch programs at other institutions.
**** For students who choose to graduate using the catalog year 2019-2020 or later, ARCH 482 is required. Students using a catalog year prior to 2019-2020 are not required to take ARCH 482.
***** The requirement for 8 credits of upper division architecture electives must include 4 credits in the Humanities knowledge area (the classes numbered ARCH 43x). Arch 367u should not be taken by Architecture majors and will not count toward upper division Architecture elective credit.