Architect Classes and Courses Overview

Becoming an architect requires earning a degree, gaining experience through an extended internship, and getting licensed. This article gives you an overview of the classes you will take on the path to becoming an architect, through both bachelor's and master's degree programs.

Essential Information

Architecture courses combine instruction in architectural theory and history with hands-on design practice, with some programs including an internship. Students are introduced to the areas of urban planning, building construction, structural design, environmental design and sustainability and then learn to use architectural software to draft their plans. The topics that make up a typical class in architecture can include:

  • Design fundamentals
  • Physics
  • Composition and preservation
  • Socio-architecture
  • Cultural patterns
  • Environmental determinism
  • Urbanism

List of Courses

Introduction to Architecture Class

Introductory architecture classes feature hands-on studio time, workshops and lectures. Students examine examples of architecture throughout history and learn how architects integrate theory and practice in their work. Topics of interest to aspiring architects include composition, preservation and environmental and urban design. Lectures also touch on building construction and sustainability. Students may complete research on the cultural, social and political impacts of architecture.

Design Class

A class in architectural design introduces the tools and concepts that the profession utilizes. The design process requires digital and non-digital representation tools. Students learn to use graphic layouts and physical models when designing structures. They also learn how to draft architectural plans. They may draft with paper and pencil or with computer-aided design (CAD) software.

Urban and Regional Planning Class

Architect classes in urban and regional planning address large-scale planning. Contemporary methods and applications of urban planning are covered. Students discuss topics such as land-use and plan implementation. Architecture is looked at from the broader contexts of urbanism and urban history, and students learn about the relationship of structures to cultural patterns. To deepen their understanding of the relationship between architecture and sociology, students examine particular cities at critical moments in their development. Advanced architect classes based on urban and regional planning may cover theories such as socio-architecture or environmental determinism.

History Class

Students analyze western traditions in art and architecture from prehistoric times through the Middle Ages and to the present. Topics include Egyptian, Greek, Roman, early Christian, Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Students also explore baroque, neoclassical and contemporary styles. Examining historical art and architecture helps students to develop their skills and incorporate traditional styles into their designs. This course is taken in the beginning of an architect program.

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