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The architect must combine an understanding of society, artistic skill, and technological knowledge to shape places and spaces that enrich human life. Not only do the physical requirements need to be satisfied, but also there must be beauty to engage the human spirit. All of this requires a creative thought process that can balance and organize needs that are quite varied in nature. Clear, responsible, sensitive, and comprehensive thinking is demanded of the architect who is to integrate a wide range of factors into a design that is meaningful. For this reason an architect’s education must range from the practical aspects of building construction to the study of environmental, social, and aesthetic issues.

Central to the study of architecture is the sequence of architectural studio courses. Students are assigned architectural problems, which may be hypothetical, realistic, or theoretical, and find their own solutions to them with frequent individual consultations with instructors. As the student progresses, the projects become larger and more complex or the solution becomes more detailed. In this way, knowledge and experience acquired in other classes are brought to bear on the principal responsibility of the architect and the architecture student, that of shaping separate considerations into a single design.

Selective Admission

Admission into the first-year Pre-Architecture Program is open to any student enrolled at NDSU. Transfer students are evaluated on the basis of courses taken and grades received. Upon completion of the first year, a selected number of students are admitted to the second year of the program on the basis of institutional GPA attained and performance in first-year environmental design courses.

The Program

At the end of the third year of study, students may apply to the Master of Architecture degree program. The Bachelor of Science in Architecture is granted after the fourth year of study, and the professional Master of Architecture degree at the end of the fifth year of study. The program is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, and the M.Arch. degree is recognized by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards as a professional degree.

The total number of credits required for the professional degree is 168, and the bachelor degree requirement is 136.


In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Special Notice

Students who are admitted into the second year of the program will be required to purchase a laptop computer before the beginning of the spring semester. Information on type of computer, software, purchase, and financing arrangements will be distributed to admitted students prior to purchase.

Major Requirements

Major: Architecture

Degree Type: B.S.Arch
Required Degree Credits to Graduate: 136

General Education Requirements

First Year Experience (F):
UNIV 189Skills For Academic Success (Students transferring in 24 or more credits do not need to take UNIV 189.)1
Communication (C):
ENGL 110College Composition I3
ENGL 120College Composition II3
ENGL 326Writing in the Design Professions3
or ENGL 357 Visual Culture and Language
COMM 110Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
Quantitative Reasoning (R): Select from current general education list3
Science & Technology (S):
PHYS 120Fundamentals of Physics3
or PHYS 220 Physics for Designers
Select from current general education list. A one-credit lab must be taken as a co-requisite with a general education science/technology course unless the course includes an embedded lab experience equivalent to a one-credit list.7
Humanities & Fine Arts (A): No grades below 'C' allowed for these two courses.
ENVD 101Introduction to Environmental Design3
ARCH 321History and Theory of Architecture I3
Social & Behavioral Sciences (B):
PSYC 111Introduction to Psychology3
ANTH 111Introduction to Anthropology3
Wellness (W): Select from current general education list2
Cultural Diversity (D):
ANTH 111Introduction to Anthropology3
Global Perspectives (G):
ARCH 321History and Theory of Architecture I3
Total Credits40

Major Requirements

No grades of 'D' allowed for Major Requirements

General Education Requirements40
Architecture Requirements
ENVD 130Drawing for Environmental Designers3
ENVD 172Environmental Design Fundamentals4
ARCH 231Architectural Drawing3
ARCH 232Design Technology3
ARCH 233Math for Designers1
ARCH 271Architectural Design I6
ARCH 272Architectural Design II6
ARCH 322History of Architecture II3
ARCH 323History and Theory of Architecture III3
ARCH 341Site Design for Architects3
ARCH 344Architectural Structures I3
ARCH 351Materials & Construction4
ARCH 371Architectural Design III6
ARCH 372Architectural Design IV6
ARCH 443Architectural Structures II3
ARCH 450Architectural Detailing3
ARCH 453Environmental Control Systems: Passive Principles3
ARCH 454Environmental Control System: Active System3
ARCH 461Urban Design3
ARCH 471Architectural Design V (capstone)6
ARCH 472Architectural Design VI6
or ARCH 474 International Design Studio
Elective Requirements
SOC 110Introduction to Sociology3
PHIL 101Introduction to Philosophy3
Degree Electives: Potential of 9 credits to reach 136 (3 credits must be non-major).9
Total Credits136
Architecture - Graduate Level
ARCH 763Programming/Thesis Prep3
ARCH 781Professional Practice3
ARCH 771Advanced Architectural Design6
ARCH 772Design Thesis8
Select 12 credits from the following: (May be repeated, except for identical course offering)12
Non-Western Architectural Traditions
Historic Preservation
Architectural Technology
Architecture or the Recent Past
Current Architectural Theory
Vernacular Architectural Traditions
Sociocultural Issues
Professional Topics in Architecture
Total Credits32

Degree Requirements and Notes

  • Courses listed on this curriculum guide will lead to both a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree and to an Masters of Architecture degree.
  • If a student receives a grade of “D” or “F” in studio, he/she will be required to repeat the studio class the following year, before advancing to the next studio course.  If a student receives two consecutive “C” grades in studio, they will not be allowed to advance to the next studio level without retaking one of the previous studios. 
  • A student must complete at least 60 semester credits of professional level course work in his/her program while in residence and enrolled in the college. Students transferring into the college from programs with professional accreditation are exempt from this residency requirement but are subject to the residency requirement of NDSU.
First Year
ENVD 1013ENVD 172 or 1304-3
ENVD 130 or 1723-4ENGL 1203
ENGL 1103COMM 1103
ARCH 3213ARCH 3223
PHIL 1013Quantitative Reasoning Requirement3
UNIV 1891Wellness Requirement2
 16-17 18-17
Second Year
ARCH 2716ARCH 2726
ARCH 2313ARCH 2323
ARCH 2331ARCH 3443
Science/Tech General Eduction Requirement3PSYC 1113
ARCH 3233PHYS 120 or 2203
 16 18
Third Year
ARCH 3716ARCH 3726
ARCH 3413ARCH 4503
ARCH 3514ARCH 4543
ARCH 4533ARCH 4613
Science/Tech General Eduction Lab Requirement1ENGL 326 or 3573
 17 18
Fourth Year
ARCH 4716ARCH 472, 474, or 4756
ARCH 4433SOC 1103
ANTH 1113Elective3
Science/Tech General Education Requirement3Elective3
 18 15
Total Credits: 136