Architecture : About The Program

About Our Degrees

The bachelor of science in architecture (BS Arch) is a preprofessional baccalaureate degree designed to instill concepts and skills upon which professional architecture studies at the graduate level are based. It allows students to complete prerequisites for eligibility to enter a two-year accredited professional master of architecture (MArch) degree program. In 1994, the department expanded the preprofessional undergraduate architecture degree into a four-year, eight-semester format. This structure provides candidates for the bachelor of science in architecture with a liberal exposure to the applied arts, humanities, social sciences, technologies, and aesthetic expression. The goal is to convey architecture as a field of study and a way of viewing the world. A minimum of 128 semester credit hours is required for the preprofessional bachelor of science in architecture and is a fall-only admission program.

The four-year, preprofessional bachelor of science in architecture, without the accredited first professional master of architecture degree, is not accredited by NAAB. The preprofessional bachelor of science in architecture, as recognized by NAAB, NCARB, and the New York State Education Department, is useful for those who desire a foundation in the field of architecture as preparation for either continued education in an accredited professional master of architecture (MArch) degree program or employment options in architecture-related professions. For additional information on the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), visit For further information on the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), visit For information on architecture with the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions, visit For information on the accredited professional degrees awarded by University at Buffalo Architecture, please visit

Minor in Architecture. The minor in architecture, a non-studio based track offered by the Department of Architecture, provides students with a liberal exposure to the humanities, technology, social sciences, and aesthetic expression through the lenses of the built and the natural environments. The study of architecture offers an indispensable background for students in most fields of study in that it develops skills in critical thinking and making as well as furnishing tools for interpreting and understanding the ways in which we inhabit and shape the material world. In addition, the minor in architecture may enhance and provide additional knowledge for students interested in pursuing a 3+ year accredited professional master of architecture (MArch) degree upon completion of their baccalaureate studies. The minor in architecture is typically completed within five to six semesters.

Acceptance Criteria - Architecture

Minimum GPA of 2.70 overall.
Minimum GPA of 2.70 in architecture and architecture-related courses.
Competitive admission on a space available basis. The preprofessional bachelor of science in architecture is a fall-only admission program.

Acceptance Criteria - Architecture Minor

Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Minimum GPA of 2.5 in two 100/200-level architecture courses.

Architecture and architecture-related courses may include introductory collegiate courses in architecture technology; 2-D and 3-D design; studio art; fine art; interior design; art history; urban environments; urban studies; and drafting. Design studio courses completed at other colleges are accepted as by the department of architecture as transfer elective credit.

Acceptance Information

Freshmen Admission: Visit UB Undergraduate Admissions for application deadlines.
Transfer Admission: Visit UB Transfer Admissions for UB Architecture transfer application deadlines.

Transfer admission applications received after February 28 will be reviewed on a space-only available basis until May 31, as guided by the School of Architecture and Planning's admission statement. No additional transfer application material will be reviewed after May 31. Contact School of Architecture and Planning Academic Services or visit for further information.

Note: Fall semester only admission program; the Department of Architecture is unable to accept and review applications for Spring semester admission. Declared pre-architecture majors are granted provisional admission as School of Architecture and Planning general studies majors.

Applicants with an earned baccalaureate degree should contact School of Architecture and Planning Academic Services prior to applying to the pre´┐Ż]professional bachelor of science in architecture (BS Arch) for alternative academic advisement and information on the accredited professional 3+ year master of architecture (MArch) degree.

Total number of majors currently enrolled (2010-2011): 310
Total number of minors currently enrolled (2010-2011): 90

Admissions Statement

The School of Architecture and Planning has an admission policy that actively encourages applicants from protected groups and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or veteran status. Admission is competitive, and; applicants are reviewed according to the admission criteria. Acceptance of students in the preprofessional, professional, and postprofessional programs is determined on the basis of the applicants' qualifications and experience. However, since the school's size is limited, the programs may exercise discretionary powers of selection. Courses and programs offered by the School of Architecture and Planning may include an instructional support services fee. Contact School of Architecture and Planning Academic Services or visit for additional information on admission and advisement.

Advising Information

All students in the UB School of Architecture and Planning have access to faculty mentors upon admission to the School. In addition, UB School of Architecture and Planning Academic Services is available for assistance. Students are encouraged to consult regularly with advisors and mentors in matters pertaining to academic options, course selection, postbaccalaureate studies, and career opportunities. Students meet with advisors and mentors as often as they choose to explore educational opportunities available within the School of Architecture and Planning and the University at Buffalo, and to plan a course of study that is consistent with their abilities, achievements, interests, and expectations. The ultimate goal of advisement is to empower students to use the tools and resources available to become active and responsible learners, consistent with the UB Student Responsibility Statement. Visit for additional information on academic advisement.

Degree Requirements

Please see Degrees and Policies.

About Our Facilities

The Architecture and Planning Library, located in Hayes Hall, is one of ten libraries within the University at Buffalo. In addition to its book and journal collections, the Architecture and Planning Library collection includes student theses, maps and plans, a vertical file, a collection of CD-ROMs, census materials, and computer-aided design work.

The Digital Media Laboratories comprise two sets of facilities: a central collection of laboratories and computing classrooms, and a collection of distributed facilities located in the graduate and undergraduate architecture and planning studios. A wide variety of software packages is provided to support the specific needs of architecture and planning students. Input and output resources include a variety of specialized devices, including color scanners, a large-format scanner, a slide scanner, a film recorder, several digital cameras, CD-R/CS-RW writers, and large- and small-format digitizers. Hard-copy output is provided through laser printers, color printers, and a large-format color postscript plotter.

The design studios and workshops, located within the School of Architecture and Planning, have more than 63,000 net square feet of studio and studio support space, including four critique rooms, wet cells for plaster and paint work, a full-service plotting and printing facility, and a total of five educational technology classrooms, including a newly renovated 115-seat educational technology lecture hall. Digital technology is distributed throughout the studios located in Crosby and Hayes Halls, reflecting our belief that digital media should be seamlessly integrated with the making and representation of architecture and urban planning. Studio spaces are networked and outfitted with multiple high-end computers supporting a wide range of CAD, GIS, and graphic software programs.

The Architecture and Planning Materials Shop, located in Parker Hall, is available for schoolwide projects and independent work. This complete machine and assembly shop, one of the finest in any U.S. architecture and planning school, contains 7,000 square feet of high-bay space and is supplied with full woodworking capabilities, welding and milling equipment, lathes, sheet-metal machines, a vacuum-forming machine for molding plastic, and a variety of hand tools.

The Visual Resources Center is a joint School of Architecture and Planning and University Libraries facility. It directly supports the curriculum with its ever-growing collection of 31,500 slides, 250 videotapes, and audiovisual equipment. It is linked to the university's other collections through the University Libraries' online computerized index service.

Publications Intersight is a schoolwide, student-edited scholarly journal published biennially. The founders of the journal set out to create a participatory forum for distinguished colleagues, faculty, graduates, and students to express their views and ideas about architecture and planning. The mission of Intersight is to publish writing, research, and design work that articulates a speculative, theoretical, or pedagogical position, and reflects the intellectual life of the UB School of Architecture and Planning.

About Our Courses

Sample Introductory Courses:

  • ARC 121 Introduction to Architecture
  • ARC 211 American Diversity and Design
  • ARC 241 Introduction to Building Technology

The Typical Class Size

Modes of instruction and class size vary according to course content and intended course objectives. Studio work is offered in extended class periods totaling up to 12 hours per week with 15 students per instructor section. In addition to design studio, courses such as Structures 1, Structures 2, Architecture Media, and Construction Technology have strong hands-on components and are taught in workshops and classes containing 25 to 65 students.

In the Department of Architecture, what do graduate teaching assistants do?

They supplement instruction by professors in many courses in the undergraduate program. Often, graduate teaching assistants instruct with professors in studios and conduct recitation or workshop sessions that offer students additional help with their coursework.

For course descriptions, please see Courses.

About Our Faculty

The architecture faculty, diverse in their interests and international in their background, are well known and respected in the profession. Both full and part-time clinical faculty are involved in a variety of activities related to research, design, and scholarship. Many part-time clinical faculty are also licensed practicing architects in the Western New York community.

Visit our Web site at to learn more about the department's faculty.

See a list of our Undergraduate Faculty.

Practical Experience and Special Academic Opportunities

Notable Program Features

Studio Orientation to Architecture (SOAr) Program. The Studio Orientation to Architecture (SOAr) Program is a series of mandatory pre-architecture studio workshops for all first year students admitted to the preprofessional bachelor of science in architecture, and is an integral educational component of the first year design studios. Enrolled first year studio students receive information on the required SOAr program during summer academic orientation. For more information on the SOAr program, contact UB School of Architecture and Planning Academic Services.

Study Abroad. Traveling can enhance architecture students' awareness of the world, bringing them closer to understanding global diversity and appreciating what is universal and unique to a culture. Undergraduate students may participate in the following study abroad programs offered by the Department of Architecture:

Aarhus, Denmark. The University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, and the School of Architecture (Arkitektskolen i Aarhus) in Aarhus, Denmark, have a formal agreement outlining an exchange program for students and faculty. Students may attend classes and studio for one semester or one year abroad in Aarhus while continuing to pay tuition at UB. Aarhus provides housing at no cost to visiting UB students. Individual courses of study are developed by faculty advisors at both institutions. Students participate in the daily activities of one of the ongoing studios in Aarhus. Up to four full-time exchange positions are open each year (eight semester slots). Fluency in Danish is not required.

Antwerp, Belgium. This is an exchange program between the Department of Architecture at UB and the Henry Van de Velde Instituut in Antwerp, Belgium. Selected students spend between one semester and one year studying in Belgium, with an equal number of students attending here at UB. Intensive lessons in Dutch are provided.

Barcelona, Spain. This program offers a summer semester in two months of residence in Barcelona, Spain. The city of Barcelona is used as a design laboratory. Classes, lectures, pin-ups, reviews, and seminars are conducted in the city's parks, squares, streets, cafes, museums, and monuments. Strong ties have been developed to both the Architecture School of the University of Barcelona and the Center for Contemporary Culture, which offer the use of their facilities for studio work, seminars, and presentations. Studio projects and seminar topics and assignments relate directly to the city, its culture, its way of doing architecture, and the messages of which its physical environment speaks. This ten-week graduate program, conducted on site in Barcelona, Spain, begins in late May. Fluency in Spanish is helpful but not required.

Darmstadt, Germany. This official exchange program between the University at Buffalo and the Technische - Hochschule at the University of Darmstadt, Germany, provides opportunities for advanced undergraduate students to continue their studies through coursework, tutorials, supervised independent study, or research though affiliation with an academic program in Darmstadt. Students may apply for one semester (fall or spring) or the full academic year. Darmstadt will provide partially subsidized living accommodations in a university residence hall. Fluency in German is required.

Monteverde, Costa Rica. This eight-week summer course of study offers students the opportunity to live and work on ecological and social projects in a rural, but rapidly developing, region in Costa Rica. This is a multidisciplinary program designed for students from various disciplines, including architecture, planning, landscape architecture, resource management, and international development. Students participate in a seminar on sustainable development, enroll in Spanish language classes, and take an intensive 6-credit studio/internship with one of the many organizations in the Monteverde zone working toward sustainability. There is a final report, plans or a design scheme, or actual environment intervention, depending on the nature of the work. In addition, there is a series of lectures and field trips to local cooperatives, ecologically managed farms, and various forest reserves. This is a semester's worth of credits (12) in a small rural community next to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica. Students work with community residents on various jointly defined projects . The program is sponsored jointly by the UB School of Architecture and Planning, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, and the University of Maryland at College Park Department of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture. Fluency in Spanish is encouraged but not required.

Other in-house study abroad programs, including Ireland, Italy, China, France, and Japan, may be offered on an ad-hoc basis by the Department of Architecture and the UB Office of Study Abroad based upon faculty and student interest. Visit for additional information.

Undergraduate Research and Practical Experience
Research Centers. As a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), the University at Buffalo considers advanced research integral and fundamental to its mission. Consequently, the School of Architecture and Planning faculty are actively involved in the creation of new knowledge through sponsored research, creative design work, and text-based scholarship. This research activity is intertwined with the departmental curricula, allowing students to take full advantage of the faculty's expertise. The Department of Architecture is affiliated with the following centers that afford students opportunities for applied research activities:

The Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access, South Campus, is dedicated to improving the design of environments and products by making them more usable, safe, and appealing to people with a wide range of abilities through their life spans. The center is active in basic and applied research, design development, community service, and education. Current programs focus on home modifications, functional assessment, and universal design. Since 1999, the center has been the home of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Design and the Built Environment; awarded a grant by the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, it is the only federally sponsored research and development center in this field. The IDEA Center receives additional funding from state and local governments and private sources; it runs an active educational program in the university, sponsors continuing education activities for professionals, completes basic and applied research, and offers technical services to the community.

The Center for Architecture and Situated Technologies,South Campus, is dedicated to the examination of new technologies and their relation to the study of architecture. This intention is pursued through analytical, historical, theoretical, and design research methodologies. The Center for Architecture and Situated Technologies' research is located at the intersection of architecture, new media, and computational technologies. CAST investigates possibilities offered by computational systems for rethinking human interaction with (and within) the built environment. Focus areas include learning environments, design environments, responsive architecture, and locative media.

The Urban Design Project, South Campus, is a university center devoted to research, teaching and scholarship in the pursuit of a critical practice of urban design. Founded in 1990, it focuses on issues of community development and urban revitalization while fostering the intellectual exploration of architecture and planning. From 1994 through 1999, the project led the five-year public visioning process for downtown Buffalo and all its council districts. The project also oversaw the master planning and conceptual design development for the facilities supporting the Bosque Eterno de los Ninos and the Instituto de Monteverde in Costa Rica. More recently, it has led the effort to develop the City of Buffalo's Downtown Strategic Plan. The work of the Urban Design Project has encompassed faculty consultations, student internships, studio projects, and supervised thesis investigations dealing with New York sites that range from Niagara Falls to Buffalo to Jamestown and engaging such institutional partners as Buffalo Place, the City of Buffalo, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, the City of Niagara Falls, and the Chautauqua County government, as well as several regional and national architectural and planning firms. Students participate in the UDP through urban design studios, community design internships, and work opportunities related to major research and professional projects.

Honors, Awards, and Scholarships

Matthew W. Del Gaudio Award. The New York Society of Architects presents this award to a graduating student who has demonstrated 'Total Design' excellence, defined by: 'an imaginative solution of an architectural problem that is functionally ideal, structurally feasible, suitably sited, and employing available materials in a practical and aesthetically sound manner.'

Henry Adams Medal. The AIA awards an engraved medal and certificate of merit to the top-ranking graduating student in each architecture program accredited by NAAB. A certificate of merit is awarded to the second-ranking student.

R. Buckminster Fuller Award. Awarded to the graduating senior who is continuing on for graduate studies within the UB School of Architecture and Planning and exemplifies attributes of creativity, inventiveness, and intellectual excellence.

Design Excellence Award. Awarded to students with outstanding studio work.

Academic Achievement Award. Awarded to students with the highest overall GPA.

ARC/King Student Medal for Excellence in Architectural + Environmental Design Research. Awarded to one student based on criteria that acknowledges innovation, integrity, and scholarship in architecture and/or environmental research.

Departmental Honors. Awarded to graduating undergraduate architecture students who achieve a high level of academic excellence, creativity, and distinction within the Department of Architecture.

Extracurricular Activities

The Department of Architecture sponsors a chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), as well as the Graduate Student Association (GSA/Architecture), and the Architecture and Planning Student Association (APSA). These student groups sponsor a variety of events, such as field trips to cities of architectural interest, films and lectures, an annual Beaux-Arts Ball, Lunchtime Lecture Series, GSA Architecture Student Exhibit, Graduate Student Reception, Graduation Brunch, exhibits at local galleries, and annual design and building competitions. GSA also supports funding for scholarly publications, grants for thesis work and conference attendance.

See the UB Student Association.

Complementary Programs and Courses

Note: As a professional school, the School of Architecture and Planning does not participate in undergraduate joint majors, but undergraduate minors are encouraged and recommended for Architecture students.

Minors that Complement Architecture

Courses Outside Architecture that Could Improve Employment Opportunities

Courses in art history, urban and environmental planning, computer art, small business management, small business finance, economics, digital arts, photography, and statistics are particularly useful to architecture students who want to enhance their employment opportunities.

Links to Further Information About this Program

Updated: 13 Nov 2012 06:00:14 EST