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Architectural Design Major: Information and Requirements

Architectural design is a broad program that can include any field that requires an expertise in spatial and material design theories. A variety of specific concentrations are offered within the area of architectural design.

Essential Information

A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architectural Design degree program is designed to prepare students for careers in architecture, interior design, urban design, and landscape architecture. Prerequisites for this program include a high school diploma and completion of courses in college mathematics, art history, English, communications, and social studies. In addition to classroom lectures, architectural design majors typically spend a great deal of time in a design studio, creating models and representations of full-scale design projects, and may have to complete an internship before graduation.


Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architectural Design

Architectural design majors gain a theoretical background in design and architecture and learn to conceptualize a building or interior space. Courses included in an architectural design program are a mix of theoretical discussions and hands-on studio time. Some examples of core courses include:

  • 2D integrated studio and 3D design studio
  • Drawing studio
  • World art and design
  • Elements of space and surface
  • History of world architecture
  • Environment and architecture

Popular Careers

Design is a broad field and includes several different career opportunities. Architectural design majors might pursue any of the following careers:

  • Architect
  • Landscape architect
  • Interior designer
  • City planner
  • Urban designer
  • Environmental artist
  • Exhibition designer

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Students who go on to earn a professional degree in architecture can find work as architects. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2014 and 2024, job opportunities for architects were projected to grow 7% (as fast as the average). As of May 2015, the median salary for an architect was $76,100.

Continuing Education Options

Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in architectural design have several continuing education options available. They might choose to pursue an advanced architectural education with a Master of Architecture degree program. Many graduate programs in architecture include concentrations, such as a Master of Architecture in Urban Design or a Master of Architecture in Sustainable Design. Other 2-year degree programs available in similar fields include a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design or a master's degree in landscape design.

Architectural design is a broad major that can prepare students to specialize in a wide variety of design fields. A bachelor's degree in this topic prepares students for further study at the master's level.

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