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Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Architecture is a four-year pre-professional degree. The minimum number of semester credit hours required for the degree, including Core Curriculum requirements, is 121, at least 39 of which must be at the upper-division level. Students are advised to complete the B.S. in Architecture coursework in the order indicated in the “Recommended Curriculum” issued by the College of Architecture for their catalog year.

The B.S. in Architecture is a program that provides students with the opportunity to prepare for the continuation of studies in a professional graduate program to earn a Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree. Completion of the B.S. in Architecture degree allows the graduate to pursue limited architectural practice but does not, in itself, fully prepare the graduate for architectural licensure. Students in the B.S. in Architecture program are advised that the certification for architectural registration and professional practice by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) requires, in virtually all cases, an accredited professional degree and broad architectural education such as that provided by the Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program at UTSA.

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 two types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture and the Master of Architecture. A program may be granted a six-year, three-year, or two year term of accreditation, depending on its degree of conformance with established educational standards.

Master’s accredited degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree, which when earned sequentially, comprise an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional undergraduate degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

External Transfer Students: All transfer students are required to submit a bound portfolio (maximum size 8.5 inches by 11 inches) to the College of Architecture as soon as admittance to the University is approved. Portfolios must be received at the College of Architecture prior to the first Monday in May for Fall Semester admission. The portfolio must clearly demonstrate creative and communicative skills in written and graphic form. A complete transcript of all professional courses accompanied by the catalog descriptions from the originating institutions must be included. Do not send slides or original work. A postage-paid, self-addressed return envelope must be included for return of the work to the candidate. The portfolio will be reviewed to determine the student’s placement within the curricular sequence.

Admission to the Major in Architecture: Available openings within the Architecture Program in the second to fourth year courses are limited and, therefore, admission is competitive and is based on the grade point average (GPA) of the 28 semester credit hours required in the Foundation Year of the College of Architecture. Students must complete all 28 hours of Foundation Year courses to be considered for acceptance into the Architecture Program.

Acceptance to the Architecture Program is reviewed and granted only after the completion of the Spring Semester each year.

Laptop Initiative: The Laptop Initiative program requires that students entering the Architecture Program (second year) have their own laptop (notebook) computer and required software. Digital technology will be integrated into the studio work and will be necessary in order to fulfill project requirements. The computer should be upgradeable in order to be of productive use for the duration of the academic program. A copy of the recommended minimum laptop specifications is available in the College of Architecture or online at

Student Work: The College of Architecture reserves the right to retain, exhibit, and reproduce work submitted by students. Work submitted for grading is the property of the College of Architecture and remains such until it is returned to the student.

All candidates seeking this degree must fulfill the Core Curriculum requirements and the degree requirements, which are listed below.

Core Curriculum Requirements (42 semester credit hours)
Students seeking the Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture must fulfill University Core Curriculum requirements in the same manner as other students. The courses listed below satisfy both degree requirements and Core Curriculum requirements; however, if these courses are taken to satisfy both requirements, then students may need to take additional courses in order to meet the minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree. For a complete listing of courses that satisfy Core Curriculum requirements, see pages 3-5 of this catalog.

MAT 1093 should be used to satisfy the core requirement in Mathematics. PHY 1603 or PHY 1903 should be used to satisfy the core requirement in Natural Sciences. One of the following courses may be used to satisfy the remaining core requirement in Natural Sciences: ANT 2033, ANT 2043, AST 1013, CHE 1073, CHE 1103, ES 2013, GEO 1013, GEO 1103, GRG 2613, or PHY 1623. ARC 2413 or ARC 2423 should be used to satisfy the core requirement in Visual and Performing Arts. ARC 1413 or ARC 1513 should be used to satisfy the core requirement in World Society and Issues.

Degree Requirements

  1. Foundation Year sequence (28 semester credit hours):

    1. 13 semester credit hours of mathematics, science, and writing Core Curriculum courses:

      MAT  1093  Precalculus

      PHY  1603, 1611  Algebra-based Physics I and Laboratory
      PHY  1903, 1911  Engineering Physics I and Laboratory

      WRC  1013  Freshman Composition I
      WRC  1023  Freshman Composition II

    2. 15 semester credit hours of required courses completed with a grade of “C-” or better in each course:

      COA  1113  Introduction to the Built Environment
      COA  1133  Building Technology I
      COA  1213  Design I
      COA  1223  Design II
      COA  1313  Design Visualization

  2. Architecture Program sequence (66 semester credit hours):

    1. 54 semester credit hours of required architectural courses. Must be completed with a grade of “C-” or better in each course:

      ARC  2116  Design III
      ARC  2126  Design IV
      ARC  2223  Building Technology II
      ARC  2413  History of Architecture: Prehistory through Medieval
      ARC  2423  History of Architecture: Renaissance through Nineteenth Century
      ARC  3216  Architecture Studio I
      ARC  3226  Architecture Studio II
      ARC  3233  Building Technology III
      ARC  3343  Building Technology IV
      ARC  3353  Building Technology V
      ARC  3433  Topics in Architecture and Thought
      ARC  3613  History of Modern Architecture
      ARC  4246  Architecture Systems Studio

    2. 12 semester credit hours of electives

      It is recommended that the electives should include 6 semester credit hours of foreign language courses.

B.S. in Architecture — Recommended Four-Year Academic Plan

FOUNDATION YEAR (Pre-Architecture/PRA)
Fall Spring
COA 1113 3 COA 1133 3
COA 1213 3 COA 1223 3
COA 1313 3 PHY 1603/1611 or PHY 1903/1911 (core) 4
MAT 1093 (core) 3 WRC 1023 (core) 3
WRC 1013 (core) 3
Total semester hours 15 Total semester hours 13
Fall Spring
ARC 1413 or 1513 (core) 3 ARC 2126 6
ARC 2116 6 ARC 2423 3
ARC 2223 3 ARC 3233 3
ARC 2413 (major and core) 3 Economics core 3
Total semester hours 15 Total semester hours 15
Fall Spring
ARC 3216 6 ARC 3226 6
ARC 3343 3 ARC 3353 3
ARC 3613 3 ARC 3433 3
POL 1013 (core) 3 POL 1133 or 1213 (core) 3
U.S. History & Diversity core 3 U.S. History & Diversity core 3
Total semester hours 18 Total semester hours 18
Fall Spring
ARC 4246 6 Elective 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
Elective 3 Natural Sciences core 3
Literature core 3 Social & Behavioral Science core 3
Total semester hours 15 Total semester hours 12

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