Penn State University

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Department of Architecture

Bachelor of Architecture Degree

The Department of Architecture is a member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.  The major provides for the education of architects at the professional and pre-professional levels.

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 a 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 pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree program:

B. Arch. (162 undergraduate credits)

Next accreditation visit for the Bachelor of Architecture program: 2013/2014 (Excerpt from NAAB Conditions for Accreditation, 2009 Edition).

The Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) professional program is a five-year curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Architecture degree requiring 162 credits and contains additional intensive academic studies in architectural and related subjects required for professional development.  This program prepares those who seek careers as practicing architects.  It is also professional preparation for those entering related design fields.  Graduates holding a Bachelor of Architecture first professional degree are eligible, after appropriate internship experience, for admission to the professional state licensing examination, and subsequent registration as architects. The Bachelor of Architecture degree in Architecture requires 45 credits of general education, including work in the areas of communications skills, natural science, quantification, art history, arts, social and behavioral sciences, humanities, and the health sciences and physical activity.

Incorporated into the program is a one-semester required study abroad at our Rome, Italy facility located in the Piazza del Collogio Romano.  This opportunity is part of the fourth-year of studies.

Upon entry to the Department of Architecture, students are enrolled in the Bachelor of Architecture degree (5-year, 162 credits, professional). Students may opt to change their major to the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Architecture (4-year, 135 credits, non-professional) at any point of their studies. See "Bachelor of Science" degree for more information.

Penn State students in good standing who choose at any point in the curriculum not to enroll in architecture design courses will have an academic hold placed on their registration. Students wishing to resume the studio sequence must have these holds cleared by November 15 for spring and April 15 for fall semester courses.


A. Professional core courses: 69 credits

Arch design 42 credits

Visual communications 3 credits

Structural and environment control systems 6 credits*

Design and planning theories 6 credits

 Architectural History 12 credits

B. Professional area studies: 21 credits

Architectural environmental control systems 9 credits

Architectural building materials 6 credits

 Architectural and planning theories 6 credits

C. Professional degree studies: 18 credits

 Architectural professional practice 3 credits

Integrated building systems 3 credits

 Architecture design thesis 12 credits

D. Supporting Courses: 15 credits

*6 credits are also included as part of the General Education courses

 **3 credits are also included as part of the General Education courses.


Click the following for a list of NAAB Student Performance and the NAAB Matrix and Bachelor of Architecture Curriculum Diagram. For additional information from NAAB, you may view the NAAB Guide to Student Performance Criteria and the NAAB Conditions of Accreditation.

Notice: The University may make changes in policies, procedures, and educational offerings at any time.

To learn how to apply now, click here.