Architectural Studies

College of Built Environments

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Architectural Studies is a four-year, undergraduate degree program in which students explore the many factors that shape our built environment. The program provides a liberal studies approach to the study of architecture that explores socio-cultural influences, urbanism, spatial reasoning, aesthetics, political and economic structures, landscape, construction, building technologies, and ecology. The program engages students in the experience of architecture as a complex, multi-faceted discipline. It also offers the opportunity to focus their studies through a series of courses concentrating on one of three areas:

History and Theory—exploration of the cultural contexts, impacts, and legacies of architecture and the built environment.
Materials and Making—exploration of design with attention to the inherent qualities of the materials employed, and an understanding of potential processes for making objects, furniture, and architectural elements.
Sustainable Development—exploration of design and construction that is conscientious in it use of resources and technologies, and is designed to use and support natural systems and to promote social justice.

The Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies program offers limited freshman admission. For the majority of students, they are admitted to the program after successful completion of UW’s General Education Requirements and the required Architecture courses in Years One and Two.

Major category: Capacity-constrained

Minor available

Topic: Arts, Engineering-option

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission. Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline: First Monday of spring quarter
  • Please contact the department for details about the application process.

This major is capacity-constrained. Completion of prerequisites does not guarantee admission.
  • A separate departmental application is required for this major. For more information, visit the Architecture website.
  • Non-UW students may register for the prerequisite architecture courses (ARCH 200, 231, 350, 351, 352) as non-matriculated students through UW Extension.

Courses required for the major:

  • ARCH 200 – Design and Representation I (autumn only)
  • ARCH 231 – Making and Craft (spring only)
  • ARCH 350 – Architecture of the Ancient World (autumn only)
  • ARCH 351 – Architecture of the Medieval and Early Modern World (winter only)
  • ARCH 352 – History of Modern Architecture (spring only)


Completion of 90 credits including English composition (5 credits); Arts & Humanities (20 credits); Social Sciences (20 credits); Natural Sciences (20 credits including MATH 112, 124, or 145); and additional Areas of Inquiry (5 credits)

Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 109
Total from Washington community colleges: 13

Entering transfer GPA (from WA community colleges):

3.75 – 4.00: 2
3.50 – 3.74: 5
3.25 – 3.49: 2
3.00 – 3.24: 3
2.75 – 2.99: 0
2.50 – 2.74: 1
2.49 and below: 0

Career outcomes