Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Architecture

Program Learning Outcomes for the BA Degree with a Major in Architecture

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in Architecture, students will be able to:

  1. Formulate architectural projects that integrate design skills with critical thinking, engaging broader theoretical, social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental issues.
  2. Explore how technology, issues of the environment, and construction inform innovative design solutions.
  3. Strategize how the relationship of architectural concepts, communication and representation techniques, and construction technology can innovate practice.

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in Architecture

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Architecture must complete:

  • A minimum of 17 courses (75 credit hours) to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 130 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 11 courses (45 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.
  • A minimum of 55 credit hours outside of major requirements, 45 of which must be taken outside of the School of Architecture (courses outside of departmental (ARCH) course offerings), and 10 of which may be taken as free electives from any subject code.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the major's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Architecture75
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in Architecture130

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
ARCH 101PRINCIPLES OF ARCHITECTURE I - ORDER6
ARCH 102PRINCIPLES OF ARCHITECTURE II - REPRESENTATION6
ARCH 201PRINCIPLES OF ARCHITECTURE III - ORGANIZATION6
ARCH 202PRINCIPLES OF ARCHITECTURE IV - EFFECTS6
ARCH 207TECHNOLOGY I3
ARCH 225 / HART 225INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURAL THINKING3
ARCH 301INTERMEDIATE PROBLEMS IN ARCHTECTURE I - SITUATION6
ARCH 302INTERMEDIATE PROBLEMS IN ARCHTECTURE II - LEGIBILITY6
ARCH 309TECHNOLOGY II3
ARCH 314TECHNOLOGY III3
ARCH 316TECHNOLOGY IV3
ARCH 345 / HART 345FOUNDATIONS IN THE HISTORY AND THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE I (1450-1850)3
ARCH 346FOUNDATIONS IN THE HISTORY AND THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE II (1850-1950)3
ARCH 352FOUNDATIONS IN THE HISTORY AND THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE III (1950-2000)3
ARCH 401ADVANCED TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURE - THE METROPOLIS6
ARCH 402ADVANCED TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURE - WILLIAM WARD WATKIN6
ARCH 403DEGREE PROJECT SEMINAR3
Elective Requirements
Complete 45 credit hours from any course offerings outside of ARCH course offerings45
Complete 10 additional credit hours as free electives from any course offerings10
Total Credit Hours130

Required Plan-of-Study

Students must complete the required ARCH course offerings below in the sequence and semester prescribed the School of Architecture. 

Plan of Study Grid
1st SemesterCredit Hours
ARCH 101 PRINCIPLES OF ARCHITECTURE I - ORDER 6
ARCH 225 / HART 225 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURAL THINKING 3
 Credit Hours9
2nd Semester
ARCH 102 PRINCIPLES OF ARCHITECTURE II - REPRESENTATION 6
ARCH 345 / HART 345 FOUNDATIONS IN THE HISTORY AND THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE I (1450-1850) 3
 Credit Hours9
3rd Semester
ARCH 201 PRINCIPLES OF ARCHITECTURE III - ORGANIZATION 6
ARCH 207 TECHNOLOGY I 3
ARCH 346 FOUNDATIONS IN THE HISTORY AND THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE II (1850-1950) 3
 Credit Hours12
4th Semester
ARCH 202 PRINCIPLES OF ARCHITECTURE IV - EFFECTS 6
ARCH 309 TECHNOLOGY II 3
ARCH 352 FOUNDATIONS IN THE HISTORY AND THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE III (1950-2000) 3
 Credit Hours12
5th Semester
ARCH 301 INTERMEDIATE PROBLEMS IN ARCHTECTURE I - SITUATION 6
ARCH 314 TECHNOLOGY III 3
 Credit Hours9
6th Semester
ARCH 302 INTERMEDIATE PROBLEMS IN ARCHTECTURE II - LEGIBILITY 6
ARCH 316 TECHNOLOGY IV 3
 Credit Hours9
7th Semester
ARCH 401 ADVANCED TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURE - THE METROPOLIS 6
ARCH 403 DEGREE PROJECT SEMINAR 3
 Credit Hours9
8th Semester
ARCH 402 ADVANCED TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURE - WILLIAM WARD WATKIN 6
 Credit Hours6
 Total Credit Hours75

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in Architecture

The BA degree with a major in Architecture, leading to a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree, is the primary undergraduate architecture program at Rice. Students who apply and are accepted into the University and the School of Architecture enter directly into this program. The required courses for the BA degree with a major in Architecture, leading ultimately to the BArch degree, consist of four integrated sequences in the following areas: Design Studios, History and Theory, Technology, and Practice. Courses in these sequences must be taken in the order and semesters specified by the School of Architecture. 

The curriculum for this professional degree program sequence has three two-year long stages. The first stage provides a foundation sequence in design, history and theory, and technology taken in the first and second years. Students are also expected to fulfill the majority of University general distribution requirements during these two years. The curriculum is designed to provide an intensive focus on architecture, while allowing each student to receive a broad education and to pursue other interests. 

Approval is based on academic performance and demonstrated aptitude indicating that the student is on track for advanced study at the BArch level. While grades are not the exclusive criteria for the decision, the school expects a minimum of a B (3.00) GPA within the required courses for the major and no more than 1 studio course grade in the C (2.00) GPA range. Students apply during the Spring of their second year of architectural study, and are notified after the conclusion of that semester. 

The second intermediate stage occurs in the third and fourth years. Students complete the courses required for the BA degree with a major in Architecture, remaining university requirements, and take electives through which each student can develop his or her particular interests in the field and in other areas. In their fourth year, students pursue a design research sequence through a seminar in the fall that is linked to the spring studio. At the end of this stage, and with the completion of all major and university requirements, students graduate, receiving the degree of a BA degree with a major in Architecture. 

The third and final stage consists of the Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree and includes the year of Preceptorship. The BArch degree program is only open to students who have completed the first four years at the Rice School of Architecture and who apply for admission into this stage of the program during their fourth year. As with the approval for major two years prior, approval is based on satisfactory academic performance and preparation for the advanced studies of the BArch degree. 

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Architecture should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis. 

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the School of Architecture website: http://architecture.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in Architecture

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the School of Architecture's website: http://architecture.rice.edu/.