What is Architecture?
Architecture is the culturally responsible design and production of buildings that are useful, durable, meaningful, inspiring, and responsive to their physical and social contexts. Architecture is an art, a technical craft and an ethical practice. A registered architect (RA) is licensed by a state, with the responsibility to provide for the public’s health, safety and welfare within the built environment. A person who wants to erect a new building or alter an existing structure hires an architect to design the building and the outdoor spaces surrounding it and to observe the construction of the project as the owner’s representative.
Complex building projects require comprehensive design teams to carry out design and construction. Architects can play leadership roles in teams made up of interior designers, civil, mechanical and electrical engineers, construction managers, facility managers, building contractors, urban designers and landscape architects. Some architects specialize in the design of a particular building type, such as residences, shopping facilities, hospitals, schools, houses of worship or office buildings. Others focus on one of the specific areas of responsibility within an architectural firm: design, office management, marketing and public relations, construction documentation, site observation or computer applications.
People who are successful in architecture have visual and kinesthetic/tactile learning styles. The design of a building involves the synthesis of a variety of diverse requirements and values into a coherent creation. Among such requirements and values are functional suitability, aesthetics, technical performance, economic resources and constraints, social and cultural issues, environmental concerns and human comfort.
Architects must be intrigued by the design of buildings, enjoy putting things together, and not be intimidated by the need to generate alternate solutions to complex problems. They must possess strong communication skills and be comfortable in meeting with many different types of people, as well as being attentive listeners. Architects must have excellent time- and project-management skills, and understand business planning. They need to know how to create informative and persuasive proposals and maintain good client relationships.
Most graduates work in architectural firms, which often employ other design professionals as well. While the great majority of architectural offices have fewer than 10 employees, in which architects typically assume a wide range of responsibilities, architects in large firms may focus on more specialized roles such as design, technical support, business management and marketing, facility programming or historic preservation. An architectural degree can also lead to a career in interior design, urban design and planning, engineering, construction, real estate development or university teaching.
Majoring in Architecture
The pre-professional bachelor of science in architecture program at UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) teaches knowledge of the social, technical and symbolic content of the natural and built environments, the skills to modify those environments, and the judgment to assess the value of modifications. Most architecture graduates continue their education in a professional master of architecture program. The B.S. in architecture program can also be beneficial in preparing students for many related fields that require an ability to solve problems and increase values in complex situations by creating appropriate and supportive structure.
The four-year, pre-professional bachelor of science in architecture program prepares students to enter UC’s three-year professional master of architecture program, which leads to licensing as a practicing architect. The NAAB has continuously accredited the University of Cincinnati’s professional degree in architecture since 1948.
The curriculum is comprehensive from the beginning. Because architects must be able to integrate practical, technical and aesthetic factors in designing buildings, students are introduced immediately to that challenge. They become practiced over the extent of the program in giving coherence to increasingly complex and demanding situations.
The curriculum is structured around four primary elements: 1) a core program of required architectural lectures, seminars and design studios that introduce students to fundamental professional knowledge and skills, 2) a series of general education elective courses, which allows students to broaden their education, 3) four quarters of cooperative work experience in a wide range of professional firms, and 4) a two-quarter capstone studio project in which students demonstrate their acquired knowledge and skills.
Minoring in Architecture
Architecture is not offered as a minor.
This curriculum information is intended as a general information guide for students considering enrollment in this program. These online tools are designed to assist you, but are not a substitute for planning with an academic or faculty advisor.
If you are currently confirmed or enrolled, you can check your degree requirements online. If you are considering transferring to this major from another school, use u.select to see how credits you have earned will transfer to UC. See course descriptions by college.
To view an updated curriculum, please visit http://daap.uc.edu/academics/said/architecture.html.
UC Advantages and Special Opportunities
The city of Cincinnati, once called the "Queen City of the West" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, provides an excellent array of cultural resources for students who intend to pursue a degree in the visual arts. It offers the energy and assets of a larger city, along with quiet neighborhoods steeped in rich traditions. Cincinnati offers live music venues that range from top-notch symphony and opera companies to a growing pop and rock community. Home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Taft Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center, the city also enjoys the presence of numerous art galleries and a strong support system among practicing artists. Cincinnati is situated within driving distance of Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and New York City, allowing DAAP students to take advantage of the rich cultural resources of these cities as well.
DAAP is one of the most comprehensive colleges of its type in the country. A collection of nationally respected design and art programs is housed in a unique and educationally stimulating architectural setting. Architecture students have opportunities to enroll in courses in a range of related disciplines and to participate in interdisciplinary studios or special projects.
- Students learn creative and technical skills in the studio environment, taught by a passionate faculty who interact with their students on a daily basis. The goal is to guide students as they grow both intellectually and professionally.
- Other educational opportunities include organized travel quarters, foreign study quarters and student exchange programs in England, Germany and Denmark. Many architecture students also pursue joint degrees and certificate programs within the college and the university.
- The DAAP College Library has an outstanding collection of books, periodicals and visual resources supporting architecture, planning, design, art history and related subjects. Access to library holdings is provided by an automated online catalogue, UCLID, which provides access to the University of Cincinnati Library information database, and through OhioLINK, the holdings of other academic libraries throughout Ohio.
- The Computer Graphics Center is a state-of-the-art university facility with hardware that includes PCs, Apple computers and peripherals such as scanners, plotters and digital video-editing suites. Students have access to sophisticated graphics equipment and receive hands-on instruction to augment the use of laptops in the classroom. All computing equipment is linked by high-speed Ethernet to facilitate access across the campus.
- The college supports a Rapid Prototyping Center, which is the home of state-of-the-art equipment that allows students to create communication aids for their design projects. Using CAD (computer-aided design) models, students are able to create physical models using three basic methods: 3-D printing, large format laser-cutting and CNC (computer numeric control) devices, including a Kuomo CNC Router. This facility is intended for all DAAP students to use in creating large-scale design.
- Co-op Education: Co-op (also called professional practice or cooperative education) gives special character to architectural education at the University of Cincinnati, which invented the concept 100 years ago. Salaried practical experience arranged from a roster of over 500 firms all over the U.S. and overseas complements students’ growing academic understanding of the discipline. Our graduates’ advanced professional experience and self-reliance make them singularly valuable to employers. Moreover, state licensing boards grant them substantial credit toward the three years of internship that are required to take the architectural registration examination.
- Computer Requirements: All undergraduate students entering the School of Architecture and Interior Design in the architecture program are required to purchase a personal laptop computer. Each discipline has its own specific requirements for hardware and software. You can review the current requirements at http://daap.uc.edu/admissions/computer_requirements.html. Please note that these requirements may be slightly altered as equipment evolves. The requirements listed on the Web site will always be the most recent and accurate. Therefore, students new to DAAP are encouraged to delay their computer purchase until the summer prior to entering to make the most informed computer purchase. Many of our programs have additional technology requirements for students in the later years of study.
Admission RequirementsFreshmen Priority Deadline: December 1 by 5 p.m. EST
Admission criteria for architecture varies based on the relative strength of test scores, class rank and GPA. Please see the Freshman Class Profile for this major in the Quick Facts sidebar on this page for the range of academic credentials typically accepted into this program. Test scores in the lower range may be acceptable with higher class rank and/or GPA. Submission of an art portfolio is not required.
Consideration of the applicants’ personal statements and statements of co-curricular activities will be factored into the final admission decisions. All applicants meeting the above criteria and the priority deadline will be notified of admission decisions by January 15. Please do not call prior to this date regarding a decision on your application.Applications received after December 1
: Applicants who submit a complete application may be reviewed for admission on a space-available basis with notification after January 15. The academic credentials of the pool of applicants seeking admission to architecture vary each year. Architecture is a highly selective program and has a limited number of spaces available.
Freshmen applying to this program should also have completed the following college-preparatory subjects:
- 4 units of college prep English
- 4 units of college prep math, including one unit of pre-calculus, calculus, or advanced math
- 1 unit of physics
- 1 additional unit of science
- 2 units of social studies
- 2 units in one language
- 1 unit of fine arts
- 2 additional college prep subjects
Transferring to UC Requirements
Students seeking to transfer from another regionally accredited university or college must have at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average in previous college work to be considered for admission. For priority consideration, complete transfer applications should be received by March 1 for the following fall quarter. All applicants must have completed the equivalent of the fourth year in college-prep math (pre-calculus, calculus or advanced math) and one unit of physics to be considered. If offered admission, transfer students from other architecture, art or design programs seeking advanced standing must submit a design portfolio to the school for evaluation.
Changing Majors within UC Requirements
Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and programs at UC must have at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average in previous college work to be considered for admission. For priority consideration, complete transfer applications should be received by March 1 for the following fall quarter. All applicants must have completed the equivalent of the fourth year in college-prep math (pre-calculus, calculus or advanced math) and one unit of physics to be considered.
To earn a B.S. in architecture, students must complete 127 credit hours. They also must receive satisfactory evaluations for four quarters (or three semesters) of professional practice (co-op). To be eligible for graduation they must achieve a minimum overall grade point average of 2.0 (C) and maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average in the final year. Graduation with honors requires a 3.6 grade point average. Courses in physical education, performance and ROTC are not accepted as elective credits toward degree requirements in architecture.
Application DeadlinesThe Priority Deadline for freshmen applicants
is December 1 by 5 p.m. EST. Students submitting a complete application by November 15 will be considered for admission. Applicants who submit a complete application after December 1 may be reviewed for admission on a space-available basis with notification after January 15.
Students seeking transfer from another college or program at UC or another regionally accredited university or college should submit a complete application for admission by the priority deadline of March 1 for the following academic year.
The University of Cincinnati is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The architecture program of the University of Cincinnati has been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) continuously since 1948, and its courses satisfy requirements maintained by various state architectural registration boards.
In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licenser. The 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.
Master's degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. Students with an undergraduate degree in disciplines other than architecture may also seek an accredited master's degree. The pre-professional undergraduate degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.