Architectural Studies Requirements

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The most basic human response to the Earth’s environment has been the development of methods which increase the probability of survival. The most obvious of these was the creation of shelters by which the impact of climate and the changing seasons could be controlled. From this simple reaction, architecture has evolved, which reflects and promotes the cultural, economic, and philosophical trends of our societies.

The four-year curriculum in architectural studies offers the beginning level of education for those who intend to pursue a career in this profession or a related field. A structured sequencing of courses is included, which provides for a gradual interactive development of required knowledge and skills. This pre-professional preparation is combined with the University Core Curriculum courses to provide a comprehensive scholarly foundation for advancement.

The Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies (BSAS) is a four-year pre-professional program that prepares graduates for careers in architecture and related fields or to enter masters level programs. In addition, the School of Architecture offers a 1.5 year Master of Architecture (MArch) degree that is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The BSAS degree combined with the MArch degree is designed to fulfill accreditation requirements. 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 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 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 NAAB grants candidacy status to new programs that have developed viable plans for achieving initial accreditation. Candidacy status indicates that a program should be accredited within six years of achieving candidacy, if its plan is properly implemented. Graduates with a BSAS degree are prepared for entry-level positions in architecture and related fields at a limited level. Ultimately, most graduates will continue their education in a professional-level Master of Architecture program in order to satisfy education requirements for licensure.

Students also are eligible for participation in the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) sponsored by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. A wide variety of employment options exist. Some areas include design, planning, preservation, government regulation, construction, building products, and facilities management.

The amount of material to be covered, the fast pace of assignments, and the pressure of critical reviews combine to produce a highly charged and energetic atmosphere. Successful students must be able to handle multiple projects simultaneously and demonstrate an ability to manage their time wisely.

To support students in their educational endeavors, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are provided dedicated studio space. Program facilities include a resource library, model/furniture shop, a dedicated computer graphics laboratory, a digital fabrication lab, and virtual reality facilities. The computer graphics laboratory will provide access to input/output devices. Each student is required to purchase or lease a laptop computer and software that meets program specifications prior to starting the program. Laptop and software specifications are found on the school's website. 

While facilities are provided for use, cost for supplies, individual equipment, and field trips necessary to the successful completion of the program are borne by the student. Due to variation in individual materials used, it is impossible to predict the exact costs for each student. A reasonable estimate of additional expenses is in the range of $1,000 to $2,000 per academic year.

The Architectural Studies program maintains the right to retain student work for exhibition or for records and accreditation purposes. Students are advised to assemble photographic and digital files of their work for their portfolios.

Students are encouraged to participate in professional related student organizations, which include the American Institute of Architecture Students, Construction Specifications Institute, and Illuminating Engineering Society. Additional activities designed to enhance the overall quality of education include the University Honors Program, travel study programs, workshops and guest lectures.

Prospective students attending another college or university prior to transferring to Southern Illinois University Carbondale should concentrate on completing courses articulated or approved as substitutes for Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s University Core Curriculum requirements. Prior to taking courses that appear to equate to the professional sequence, the applicant should consult with the school director or designated representative.

Students must pass all Architectural Studies prefix courses with a minimum grade of C- in order to satisfy prerequisites and to graduate. If a student receives a grade of F three times in the same course, the course cannot be taken again. Students cannot repeat Architectural Studies Prefix courses in which they received a grade of C or better.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Architectural Studies Degree Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum - As per University requirements for baccalaureate degrees, but must include HIST 101A, HIST 101B. 1 39
Requirements for Major in Architectural Studies (9) + 87
MATH 111 2 (3) + 1
PHYS 203A (3)
PHYS 253A 1
HORT 328A, HORT 328B 2 + 2
Electives 9
ARC 121, ARC 122, ARC 231, ARC 232, ARC 242, ARC 251, ARC 252, ARC 271, ARC 341, ARC 342, ARC 351, ARC 352, ARC 361, ARC 362, ARC 381, ARC 451, ARC 452, ARC 462, ARC 481, ARC 482 (3) + 72
Total 126

1 ARC 231, ARC 232, MATH 111 and PHYS 203A will apply toward nine credit hours of University Core Curriculum requirements making a total of 39 credit hours in that area.

2 MATH 108 and MATH 109 substitute for MATH 111. Credit hours will be (3) + 3. Total credit hours for the degree remains 126 when the extra credit hours are counted as an architecture elective.

Construction Management and Operations Minor

A minor in Construction Management and Operations consists of 15 credit hours, which must include ARC 210 and/or ARC 310 along with other selections from ARC 213, ARC 410, ARC 411, ARC 412, and ARC 413. ARC 210 or ARC 310 must be satisfied before taking the upper division 400-level courses. Students must earn a minimum grade of C- in each course taken to satisfy the requirements of the minor, and students must earn a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for those minor courses. An advisor within the School of Architecture must be consulted before selecting this field as a minor.