Students who elect to major or minor in architectural studies in the Department of Art and Art History should select an advisor who will assist them in mapping a course of study. With interests ranging from architectural history to urban design, majors have enrolled in Off-campus study abroad programs around the globe, including Copenhagen, Dublin, Florence, and Paris. All courses included in the major and minor are designed to contribute to the learning goals of Architectural studies and in various ways to the College’s learning goals.

Architectural Studies Major

The major in Architectural Studies is administered by the Department of Art and Art History. It consists of 44 credits. Six courses compose the core requirements that introduce students to the history of architecture, three-dimensional design thinking, and creative practice. Five electives at the intermediate- and upper-levels offer students the opportunity to shape their major according to their educational goals by clustering courses in a specific area of study or expanding into complementary disciplines. In all cases, the path of study through the major is mapped in close consultation with the faculty advisor. Students are strongly encouraged to consult the Five College Architectural Studies website for the list of courses offered each semester in the Five Colleges.;

Foundational level (4 courses)

The foundation level requirements introduce the historical framework and basic artistic and design skills of architecture. Students must take:

  1. one art history survey course with significant architecture content: 
    • ARTH 101: The Built Environment (recommended); 
    • ARTH 100: Image and Environment: Western Art: 1400-2000 
    • ARTH 105: Arts of Asia 
  2. one art studio foundations course
    • ARTST 120: Drawing 1 
    • ARTST 131: Art Studio Foundations 
  3. two architectural design studios 
    • ARCH 205: Introduction to Architectural Design: “Sculpting Space” 
    • ARCH 225: Principles of Environmental Design 
    • ARCH 216 (Amherst College): Intermediate Architectural Design 

Intermediate level (5 courses)

  1. one architectural history course or art history course with significant architecture content at the 200-level 
  2. one art studio course at the 200-level 
  3. The three remaining courses are electives. Depending on interests and educational goals, a student, may include additional courses in architectural history, art studio, or architectural design. They may also include appropriate courses in computer science, engineering, environmental studies, geography, history, physics, and theatre. 

Capstone Level (2 courses)

  1. Students may elect to fulfill 300-level requirements with coursework in art and architectural history and theory, architectural design, or another appropriate field of study. 
    • Students interested in pursuing design at an advanced level are encouraged to enroll in ARCH 403: Design V at UMass, a 6-credit studio taught in the fall semester. 
  2. Students may also wish to pursue an independent research and/or design project. In this case and working closely with a faculty advisor, they submit a project proposal at the beginning of fall semester and enroll in ARCH 395: Independent Study or an equivalent course. 
    • With approval from their advising committee, students continue the project during the spring semester by enrolling in a second ARCH 395: Independent Study or the Capstone Design studio (ARCH 305 or its equivalent). Consult the guidelines for independent study and honors work.

See the Architectural Studies chapter of the course catalog for detailed information on requirements for the major.

Architectural Studies Minor

The minor requires a minimum of 20 credits which include:

  • 4 credits: 1 art/architectural history survey: ARTH 101 (recommended) or ARTH 100 or 105 
  • 4 credits: 1 foundation-level art studio: ARTST 120 or 131 
  • 4 credits: 1 architectural design studio: ARCH 205 
  • The remaining 8 credits of the minor may be chosen from and combine art/architectural history and theory, art studio, or architecture studio courses above the 100-level.

Specific information on requirements for the minor can be found in the Architectural Studies chapter of the course catalog