Architecture Colleges in Tennessee with Degree and School Info

Tennessee has two universities that offer architecture programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition information and program options for these two schools to make an informed educational decision.

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Essential Information

Students seeking degrees in architecture in Tennessee will find only two schools available. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the University of Memphis both offer bachelor's and master's degree programs in architecture. Students may choose between pre-professional and licensing-eligible programs. At least one of the bachelor's degree programs takes five years to complete. In addition to classroom instruction, students may utilize design and drafting equipment in school labs. Master's degree-seeking students should expect to complete a thesis or senior project.


University of Memphis

Located in Memphis, this school offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Architecture and an NAAB accredited Master of Architecture (M.Arch). Students in the BFA program must complete a core of architecture courses that include design, graphics, architectural history, and industry technology, before they can be admitted to the major. The BFA is a pre-professional program that prepares students for advanced education, rather than state licensure.

The M.Arch program includes design studios, architectural seminars, and courses covering industry technology, theory, and professional practices. The program is offered in two formats. The first professional M.Arch prepares students for state licensure. The post-professional option is designed for students who have previously earned a professional degree and wish to pursue architectural research or work in academia. Students studying architecture through the Department of Architecture have 24-hour access to design labs and may use the school's computer labs.

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

The Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee offers a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) and a Master of Architecture (M.Arch) that are fully accredited by the NAAB. In 2015-16, the school added several Masters of Science in Architecture programs. The B.Arch is a five-year program that centers on professional studio courses and includes classes in architectural history, technology, and subfields. This program prepares students for state licensure.

Students seeking graduate education in architecture can pursue a professional or post-professional degree. The professional M.Arch prepares students for the ARE and allows them to concentrate their studies in one of four areas: Conservation and Stewardship, High-Performance Buildings, Sustainable Design, or Urban Design. The post-professional option is research-centered and offers the same concentration options as the professional program, as well as a student-designed option. The School of Architecture employs 35 faculty members and gives students access to the campus' laser cutters, three-dimensional digital modeling tools, and advanced computers.

Career Requirements

To practice as an architect in Tennessee, candidates must gain licensure through the state's Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners. In order to be eligible, prospective architects must complete an undergraduate degree, gain hands-on experience through the National Council of Architectural Registration Board's (NCARB) Intern Development Program (IDP) and pass the NCARB Architect Registration Examination (ARE). The IDP requires 5,600 hours of experience under the supervision of an approved architectural practitioner. The ARE exam uses multiple choice and graphic vignette sections to assess a candidate's knowledge and skills of architecture, design, and construction.

Architectural candidates in Tennessee may complete a degree program that is not accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB); however, students graduating from unaccredited programs must gain additional experience in the field.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Architecture Degree Program Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)* Graduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*
University of Memphis Four-year, public; large city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture
Master of Architecture
$9,317 (in-state)
$21,029 (out-of-state)
$10,697 (in-state)
$19,481 (out-of-state)
University of Tennessee - Knoxville Four-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Architecture
Master of Architecture
Master of Science in Architecture
$13,006 (in-state)
$31,426 (out-of-state)
$13,120 (in-state)
$31,308 (out-of-state)

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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