Architecture

Major: Architecture
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Architecture Degree (BArch)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 227.0
Co-op Options: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 04.0201
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 17-1011

About the Program

The practice of architecture requires a unique skillset—creative thinking and aesthetic sensitivity balanced with technical knowledge, cultural understanding, and social responsibility. Critical thinking and communication skills are needed. Drexel’s Bachelor of Architecture program encompasses foundation courses in the applied and social sciences, the humanities, and a wide range of professional architecture courses to prepare students for careers in architecture and related fields. At the heart of the curriculum are the design studios where students are challenged to apply their knowledge acquired from the above disciplines to consequential design problems.

Drexel’s work/study program is an experiential-based learning model that complements and provides an alternative to traditional full-time academic architecture programs. The Drexel model provides a practical, high-quality education to those students who seek early exposure to daily architectural practice as well as an affordable alternative to students who could not otherwise be able to enter the profession.

At Drexel there are two paths to an accredited Bachelor of Architecture degree, serving two distinct populations: the 2+4 option and the part-time evening option.

The Architecture program's Architecture Student Handbook includes scheduling guidelines, studio advancement requirements, and general studio policies.

Accreditation

In the United States, most 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 US 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 eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture programs may require a pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission; however, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Drexel University, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Department of Architecture + Interiors offers the following NAAB-accredited degree program(s):

2+4 Option:                                          6-year program (2 years full-time, 4 years part-time)
                                                                   Bachelor of Architecture            
                                                                   227.0 undergraduate quarter-term credits             

Part-Time Evening Option:                  7-year part-time program
                                                                   Bachelor of Architecture    
                                                                   227.0 undergraduate quarter-term credits             

Next accreditation visit for both tracks: 2026

About the 2+4 Option

The 2+4 option is an accelerated route designed for well-prepared students entering the major directly after graduating from high school. In this program, two years of full-time coursework address the basic principles of architectural design and satisfy fundamental University core requirements in the arts and sciences as well as those job-related skills that are needed for entry-level professional positions in architecture or related fields. A comprehensive review of performance will take place after each year to ensure that students are making sufficient progress in all areas. After successfully completing the minimum requirements of the full-time phase, students find full-time employment in the building industry, including architecture firms, while continuing their academic program part-time in the evening for four additional years. 

About the Part-time Evening Program

The part-time evening option is one of only two part-time evening architectural programs in the United States leading to an accredited Bachelor of Architecture degree. Designed for non-traditional and transfer students, this program offers all courses part-time in the evening, enabling students to work full-time. The evening program sequence is seven years, but transfer students with university-level design credits can reduce its length by meeting specific program requirements through transcript and portfolio review.

By combining work and study, all Drexel Architecture students may be able to simultaneously satisfy their required internship for licensure—now called the Architectural Experience Program (AXP)—while completing their professional degree, thus qualifying for the registration exam on graduation in most jurisdictions.

Additional Information

For more information, visit the Architecture program website. For advising and transfer information please review the Architecture program's curriculum page.

The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) Program

In August of 2015, Drexel was approved by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) for participation in the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) Program. IPAL provides students the opportunity to achieve licensure upon graduation—an important innovation affording students the chance to jump start their careers through a curriculum of education, work experience, and licensure examinations. Students follow either of the two options leading to the Bachelor of Architecture degree while preparing for and sitting for licensing exams during the summers following the third, fourth, and fifth year of study. Drexel is part of a selective group of schools in the country to offer this opportunity, an initiative spearheaded by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Students seeking access to this track need permission from the program director and the IPAL faculty advisor.

Note: Architecture vs Architectural Engineering

Because Drexel University offers two programs with "architecture" in their titles, it is useful to point out the significant differences between them:

  • Architects design buildings to meet people's spatial, organizational, and aesthetic needs; they also coordinate the building design process. All states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) require individuals to be licensed (registered) before they may call themselves architects or contract to provide architectural services. Many architecture school graduates work in the field even though they are not licensed or while they are in the process of becoming licensed. But they may not call themselves an architect.

    A licensed architect is required to take legal responsibility for all work. Licensure requirements usually include:
    • A professional degree in architecture
    • A period of practical training or internship
    • Passage of all divisions of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE)
       
  • Architectural engineers specialize in the design of engineering systems within buildings. Architectural engineers earn Bachelor of Science degrees and become professional engineers with the required experience and state examinations. Students whose interests are focused on the technological and engineering aspects of buildings should review Drexel's major in Architectural Engineering offered by the College of Engineering.

Degree Requirements (2 + 4 Option)

General Education Requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
MATH 102Introduction to Analysis II4.0
PHIL 317Ethics and Design Professions3.0
PHYS 182Applied Physics I3.0
PHYS 183Applied Physics II3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
Arts and Humanties-students elect a minimum of 6 credits6.0
Natural Science-students elect a minimum of 3 credits3.0
Social Science-students elect a minimum of 9 credits9.0
Free electives30.0
Studios (must be taken in order)
ARCH 181Architecture Studio 1A4.0
ARCH 182Architecture Studio 1B4.0
ARCH 183Architecture Studio 1C4.0
ARCH 281Architecture Studio 2A4.0
ARCH 282Architecture Studio 2B4.0
ARCH 283Architecture Studio 2C4.0
ARCH 381Architecture Studio 3A4.0
ARCH 382Architecture Studio 3B4.0
ARCH 383Architecture Studio 3C4.0
ARCH 481Architecture Studio 4A4.0
ARCH 482Architecture Studio 4B4.0
ARCH 483Architecture Studio 4C4.0
ARCH 487Architecture Studio 5A4.0
ARCH 488Architecture Studio 5B4.0
ARCH 489Architecture Studio 5C4.0
ARCH 493Senior Project I4.0
ARCH 494Senior Project II4.0
ARCH 495Senior Project III4.0
Required Professional Courses (2 + 4 Option)
ARCH 141Architecture and Society I3.0
ARCH 142Architecture and Society II3.0
ARCH 143Architecture and Society III3.0
ARCH 144Architecture and Society IV3.0
ARCH 211Architectural Representation I2.0
ARCH 212Architectural Representation II2.0
ARCH 213Architectural Representation III2.0
ARCH 221Materials & Methods I1.5
ARCH 222Materials & Methods II1.5
ARCH 223Materials & Methods III1.5
ARCH 224Architectural Representation IV2.0
ARCH 225Architectural Representation V2.0
ARCH 226Architectural Representation VI2.0
ARCH 251Structural Systems I1.5
ARCH 252Structural Systems II1.5
ARCH 253Structural Systems III1.5
ARCH 291Building Systems I1.5
ARCH 292Building Systems II1.5
ARCH 293Building Systems III1.5
ARCH 324Materials & Methods IV1.5
ARCH 325Materials & Methods V1.5
ARCH 326Materials & Methods VI1.5
ARCH 335Professional Practice I3.0
ARCH 336Professional Practice II3.0
ARCH 354Structural Systems IV1.5
ARCH 355Structural Systems V1.5
ARCH 356Structural Systems VI1.5
ARCH 394Building Systems IV1.5
ARCH 395Building Systems V1.5
ARCH 396Building Systems VI1.5
ARCH 431 [WI] Architectural Programming3.0
History and Theory Electives
Select three of the following:9.0
American Architecture & Urbanism
Theories of Architecture I
Theories of Architecture II
Theories of Architecture III
History of Modern Architecture
History of Philadelphia Architecture
Intensive Architectural Studies
Studies in Vernacular Architecture
Contemporary Architecture
Environmental Psychology and Design Theory
Urban Design Seminar
Special Topics in Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Professional Electives
Select three of the following:9.0
The Development Process
Advanced Drawing
Computer Applications in Architecture
Computer Applications in Architecture II
Emerging Architectural Technology
Building Enclosure Design
Energy and Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
An approved Construction Management (CMGT) course
Total Credits227.0

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Sample Plan of Study (2 + 4) Option

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARCH 1413.0ARCH 1423.0ARCH 1433.0VACATION
ARCH 1814.0ARCH 1824.0ARCH 1834.0 
ARCH 2112.0ARCH 2122.0ARCH 2132.0 
ENGL 101 or 1113.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0CIVC 1011.0 
MATH 1014.0MATH 1024.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
UNIV A1011.0UNIV A1011.0PHYS 1823.0 
 17 17 16 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARCH 2211.5ARCH 1443.0ARCH 2231.5VACATION
ARCH 2242.0ARCH 2221.5ARCH 2262.0Students may opt to begin evening classses this quarter
ARCH 2511.5ARCH 2252.0ARCH 2531.5 
ARCH 2814.0ARCH 2521.5ARCH 2834.0 
Free Elective3.0ARCH 2824.0PHYS 1833.0 
Arts & Humanities Elective 3.0Free Elective3.0Natural Science Elective3.0 
Social Science Elective3.0Humanities Elective3.0Free Elective3.0 
 18 18 18 0
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARCH 2911.5ARCH 2921.5ARCH 2931.5Social Science Elective3.0
ARCH 3541.5ARCH 3551.5ARCH 3561.5Free Electives6.0
ARCH 3814.0ARCH 3824.0ARCH 3834.0 
History/Theory Elective3.0Free Elective3.0Social Science Elective3.0 
 10 10 10 9
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARCH 3241.5ARCH 3251.5ARCH 3261.5ARCH 4313.0
ARCH 3941.5ARCH 3951.5ARCH 3961.5History/Theory Elective3.0
ARCH 4814.0ARCH 4824.0ARCH 4834.0Professional Elective 3.0
 Free Elective3.0  
 7 10 7 9
Fifth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARCH 3353.0ARCH 3363.0ARCH 4894.0Professional Elective3.0
ARCH 4874.0ARCH 4884.0PHIL 3173.0Free Elective3.0
   History/Theory Elective3.0
 7 7 7 9
Sixth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
ARCH 4934.0ARCH 4944.0ARCH 4954.0 
Free Elective3.0Professional Elective3.0Free Elective3.0 
 7 7 7 
Total Credits 227

Degree Requirements (Part-time Evening Option) 

General Education Requirements
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
MATH 171Introduction to Analysis A3.0
MATH 172Introduction to Analysis B3.0
MATH 173Introduction to Analysis C3.0
PHIL 317Ethics and Design Professions3.0
PHYS 182Applied Physics I3.0
PHYS 183Applied Physics II3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
Arts and Humanities-students elect a minimum of 6 credits6.0
Social Science-students elect a minimum of 6 credits9.0
Natural Science-students elect a minimum of 3 credits3.0
Free electives24.0
Studios (Must be taken in order)
ARCH 107Foundation Design I2.0
ARCH 108Foundation Design II2.0
ARCH 109Foundation Design III2.0
ARCH 181Architecture Studio 1A4.0
ARCH 182Architecture Studio 1B4.0
ARCH 183Architecture Studio 1C4.0
ARCH 281Architecture Studio 2A4.0
ARCH 282Architecture Studio 2B4.0
ARCH 283Architecture Studio 2C4.0
ARCH 381Architecture Studio 3A4.0
ARCH 382Architecture Studio 3B4.0
ARCH 383Architecture Studio 3C4.0
ARCH 481Architecture Studio 4A4.0
ARCH 482Architecture Studio 4B4.0
ARCH 483Architecture Studio 4C4.0
ARCH 487Architecture Studio 5A4.0
ARCH 488Architecture Studio 5B4.0
ARCH 489Architecture Studio 5C4.0
ARCH 493Senior Project I4.0
ARCH 494Senior Project II4.0
ARCH 495Senior Project III4.0
Required Professional Courses (Part-time Evening Option)
ARCH 141Architecture and Society I3.0
ARCH 142Architecture and Society II3.0
ARCH 143Architecture and Society III3.0
ARCH 144Architecture and Society IV3.0
ARCH 211Architectural Representation I2.0
ARCH 212Architectural Representation II2.0
ARCH 213Architectural Representation III2.0
ARCH 221Materials & Methods I1.5
ARCH 222Materials & Methods II1.5
ARCH 223Materials & Methods III1.5
ARCH 224Architectural Representation IV2.0
ARCH 225Architectural Representation V2.0
ARCH 226Architectural Representation VI2.0
ARCH 251Structural Systems I1.5
ARCH 252Structural Systems II1.5
ARCH 253Structural Systems III1.5
ARCH 291Building Systems I1.5
ARCH 292Building Systems II1.5
ARCH 293Building Systems III1.5
ARCH 324Materials & Methods IV1.5
ARCH 325Materials & Methods V1.5
ARCH 326Materials & Methods VI1.5
ARCH 335Professional Practice I3.0
ARCH 336Professional Practice II3.0
ARCH 354Structural Systems IV1.5
ARCH 355Structural Systems V1.5
ARCH 356Structural Systems VI1.5
ARCH 394Building Systems IV1.5
ARCH 395Building Systems V1.5
ARCH 396Building Systems VI1.5
ARCH 431 [WI] Architectural Programming3.0
History and Theory Electives
Select three of the following:9.0
American Architecture & Urbanism
Theories of Architecture I
Theories of Architecture II
Theories of Architecture III
History of Philadelphia Architecture
Intensive Architectural Studies
Studies in Vernacular Architecture
Contemporary Architecture
Environmental Psychology and Design Theory
Urban Design Seminar
Special Topics in Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Professional Electives
Select three of the following:9.0
The Development Process
Advanced Drawing
Computer Applications in Architecture
Computer Applications in Architecture II
Emerging Architectural Technology
Building Enclosure Design
Energy and Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Total Credits227.0

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.


Sample Plan of Study (Part-time Evening Option)

This curriculum format is adjustable to each student's academic situation. Transfer credit evaluation, prior architectural experience, and other considerations may restructure the student's yearly program schedule.

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARCH 1072.0ARCH 1082.0ARCH 1092.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0
ARCH 1413.0ARCH 1423.0ARCH 1433.0MATH 1733.0
ENGL 101 or 1113.0MATH 1713.0MATH 1723.0Natural Science Elective3.0
UNIV A1011.0UNIV A1011.0  
 9 9 8 9
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARCH 1814.0ARCH 1443.0ARCH 1834.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0
ARCH 2112.0ARCH 1824.0ARCH 2132.0Humanities Elective3.0
Social Science Elective3.0ARCH 2122.0PHYS 1823.0Free Elective3.0
 9 9 9 9
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARCH 2211.5ARCH 2221.5ARCH 2231.5ARCH 2262.0
ARCH 2242.0ARCH 2252.0ARCH 2531.5Free Elective3.0
ARCH 2511.5ARCH 2521.5ARCH 2834.0Humanities Elective3.0
ARCH 2814.0ARCH 2824.0PHYS 1833.0 
 9 9 10 8
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARCH 2911.5ARCH 2921.5ARCH 2931.5Free Electives6.0
ARCH 3814.0ARCH 3551.5ARCH 3561.5Social Science Elective3.0
ARCH 3541.5ARCH 3824.0ARCH 3834.0 
History/Theory Elective3.0Free Elective3.0Social Science Elective3.0 
 10 10 10 9
Fifth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARCH 3241.5ARCH 3251.5ARCH 3261.5ARCH 4313.0
ARCH 3941.5ARCH 3951.5ARCH 3961.5History/Theory Elective3.0
ARCH 4814.0ARCH 4824.0ARCH 4834.0Professional Elective3.0
 7 7 7 9
Sixth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
ARCH 3353.0ARCH 3363.0PHIL 3173.0History/Theory Elective3.0
ARCH 4874.0ARCH 4884.0ARCH 4894.0Free Elective3.0
   Professional Elective3.0
 7 7 7 9
Seventh Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
ARCH 4934.0ARCH 4944.0ARCH 4954.0 
Free Elective3.0Professional Elective3.0Free Elective3.0 
 7 7 7 
Total Credits 227


Opportunities

Drexel’s work/study program is an experiential-based learning model that complements and provides an alternative to traditional full-time academic architecture programs. The Drexel model provides a practical, high-quality education to those students who seek early exposure to daily architectural practice as well as an affordable alternative to students who could not otherwise be able to enter the profession.

Ordinarily, Drexel's architecture graduates continue working for the firms that employed them during the work-study phase of their studies. In time, some architects reach positions of associate or partner in these offices while others choose to launch their own firms. Urban design, historic preservation, interior design, and facilities management are some of the related careers that architectural graduates also pursue with similar patterns of success.

The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure Initiative (IPAL) provides students the opportunity to achieve licensure upon graduation—an important innovation affording students the chance to jump start their careers through a curriculum of education, work experience, and licensure examinations. Students follow either of Drexel's two options leading to the Bachelor of Architecture degree while preparing for and sitting for licensing exams during the summers following the third, fourth, and fifth year of study. Our Architecture Program is part of a selective group of schools in the country to offer this opportunity, an initiative spearheaded by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

Drexel is located in University City, a Philadelphia neighborhood that includes several centers of education and research. Philadelphia itself offers an unparalleled collection of landmark architecture and urban planning that spans 300 years of development. The region has always been home to architectural firms of national and international prominence. A rich and varied environment combined with an accomplished and supportive professional community make Philadelphia an ideal laboratory for the study of architecture. All of the faculty in the program are active in the Philadelphia architecture community, many in leadership positions at firms.

Students seeking support for resume and portfolio development may schedule an appointment with the Associate Director for Student Placement by contacting the Architecture program. Job listings exclusively for Drexel Architecture students can be found on the Architecture Opportunities site. Firms seeking Drexel interns may contact students directly by finding student links to resume, work samples, and web portfolios at this site.

Facilities

The Department's offices, studios, and teaching facilities are located on floors 3, 3A, 4 and 4A of the URBN Center at 3501 Market Street. The Hybrid Making Lab on the first floor is open to all Westphal students and has state-of-the-art fabricating equipment, accessible to students after required training. The Westphal Print Center is a full-service, low-cost facility located on the ground floor and is accessible to students from on and off campus. A full wood working shop is located in the Visual Studies Arts Annex at 3220 Cherry Street.

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