Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Architecture - Overview

Department of Architecture

Contact Information

School of Architecture and Planning
126 Hayes Hall
South Campus
Buffalo, NY 14214-3087

Phone: 716.829.3483
Fax: 716.829.3256
Web Address: http://ap.buffalo.edu/academics/undergraduate-degrees.html
Despina Stratigakos
Interim Chair
R. J. Multari
Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education
Debra Eggebrecht
Assistant to the Chair


Architecture is the study of designing and building structures, and architects are professionals with specialized knowledge about the design of built and natural environments. These projects can be as small as an entrance way and as large as an entire college campus - and everything in between. In University at Buffalo Architecture, students are educated in the ways to transform ideas and concepts to develop images, plans, models, and designs of buildings and landscapes for our natural and constructed environments. A University at Buffalo Architecture education prepares students to see the full implications of what architecture does for the built environment by proposing future forms of habitation that are innovative in their aesthetic and physical contribution and that can inspire the imagination.

University at Buffalo Architecture's undergraduate pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BS Arch) is formulated around a studio-based curriculum that emphasizes thinking through making. University at Buffalo Architecture boasts one of the largest material shops for an architecture and urban planning school that includes conventional and digital fabrication technologies. Students work directly with materials and tools, producing models that help them connect the formal basis of architecture with its physical construction. The undergraduate pre-professional BS Arch studios develop design thinking and crafting skills that allow students to communicate their ideas through multiple media. In addition, the design studios are supported by lectures and seminars in history, theory, and building technologies of architecture. These courses help students understand that architecture is a multi-disciplinary profession that combines knowledge from the humanities, fine arts, and engineering technology. We pride ourselves with a hands on curriculum that teaches students how to effectively connect the applied arts with applied technologies through design.

University at Buffalo Architecture offers the only accredited professional master of architecture (MArch) degree in the State University of New York system, along with an undergraduate pre-professional Bachelor of Science in architecture (BS Arch), as well as an undergraduate minor. Founded in 1969, the department offers introductory courses for non-majors, as well as undergraduate pre-professional, graduate professional, and advanced graduate training in the field of architecture. Additional degree programs include a dual master of architecture plus master of urban planning (MArch + MUP), a dual master of architecture plus master of business administration (MArch + MBA), a dual master of architecture plus master of fine arts in media arts production (MArch + MFA), and an advanced master of science in architecture (MS Arch). In conjunction with the University at Buffalo Urban and Regional Planning, University at Buffalo Architecture offers SUNY's only advanced graduate certificate (Adv Crt) in historic preservation, and a joint proposal for a MS Arch real estate development concentration is awaiting final approval from SUNY and the NYS Education Department.

Incoming University at Buffalo Architecture students should prepare themselves where possible in the areas of freehand and figure drawing, manual drafting, sculpting, studio art, technical drawing, and 2-D and 3-D design. In addition, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture recommends introductory courses in urban environments, art, and world history for those interested in architecture.

Ideally, the beginning architecture student will have a high school experience with a strong proficiency in oral and written communication; a breadth of knowledge in the humanities; a solid background in the physical sciences, including mathematics; an ability to "conceptualize;" and the ability to draw and sketch.

Architects must be able to graphically communicate their ideas visually to their clients; therefore, design and drawing ability is helpful for such communication. More important is a visual orientation and the ability to conceptualize and understand spatial relationships. Good communication skills, the ability to work independently or as part of a team, and creativity are important qualities for anyone interested in becoming an architect.

Many of the building technology courses and design studios required by University at Buffalo Architecture depend upon prior knowledge of physics and calculus, and physics and calculus are prerequisites for the structures/construction courses in architecture. Architecture students are placed into mathematics, physics, and English courses based upon the following criteria: SAT/ACT scores; Advanced Placement scores; or college courses completed while in high school. Students may fulfill these prerequisites with successful completion of Advanced Placement high school calculus and Advanced Placement high school physics, or successful completion of introductory college calculus and introductory college physics.

Basic computing skills, including familiarity with personal computers, word processing, online library research, and desktop publishing are prerequisites to beginning the sophomore year. Students who are unable to demonstrate the necessary competence may be required to seek remedial help before continuing in the undergraduate program. In accordance with UB computing policies, it is the responsibility of all architecture students to have access to a computer.

NAAB Statement on Accreditation
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 8-year, 6-year, 3-year, or 2-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 consist of a preprofessional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree. The University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning's Department of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:
  • M Arch (pre-professional undergraduate degree + 64 graduate credits
  • M Arch (non-pre-professional undergraduate degree + 112 graduate credits)
Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2023

The University at Buffalo is the only campus in the State University of New York system to offer the accredited professional master of architecture (MArch) degree.

Last updated: August 18 2022 17:03:08