Architecture Degrees in Sacramento, CA with Course Descriptions

There are five schools within 100 miles of Sacramento that have architecture degree programs. Read an overview of the programs, requirements and admission info at three of these schools to find out which is right for you.

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Sacramento-Area Architecture Schools

One school in Sacramento has an architecture program, and it offers only an associate's degree, so students must transfer their credits to 4-year schools if they'd like to complete professional architecture degrees. The closest schools with those programs are more than an hour's drive from the city. This article looks at three school options and the programs they offer. Pertinent information about the schools, such as enrollment figures, tuition and the graduation rates, is compiled into a table at the end of the article.

  • Cosumnes River College, about 14 miles from downtown Sacramento, offers an associate's degree program in architecture.
  • The University of California - Berkeley is approximately 78 miles from the Sacramento city center. It offers a variety of architecture programs, including a bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree program in architecture and a research-intensive Master of Science in Architecture.
  • California College of the Arts has state-of-the-art facilities where students can pursue professional bachelor's and master's degree programs in architecture. This school is about 82 miles from downtown Sacramento.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Architectural History
  • Architectural Technology
  • Environmental Design
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  • Urban and Regional Planning

Comparison of Schools

Individuals need to be aware of several facts when choosing a school. This table presents important data about these three schools that students can use when deciding on a program.

Cosumnes River College University of California - Berkeley California College of the Arts
School Type 2-year, public 4-year, public 4-year, private non-profit
Total Enrollment (2014) 14,467* 37,565* 1,998*
Campus Setting Large City Midsize City Large City
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-16) $1,104 in-state, $7,440 out-of-state* $13,431 in-state, $38,139 out-of-state* $43,708*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2013-14) 76%* 62%* 79%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate N/A - Open Admissions 16% (2014)* 64% (2014)*
Undergraduate Retention Rate (2013-2014) 73% for full-time students* 96% for full-time students* 80% for full-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 26% (Students began in 2011)* 91% (Students began in 2008)* 54% (Students began in 2008)*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

Cosumnes River College

Although architects must have a professional bachelor's or master's degree - typically from a professionally-accredited program, the highly competitive associate's degree program at Los Rios Community College District's Cosumnes River College can provide students with a foundation and experience in the field. Students can participate in the Design Village Competition. They can also join organizations such as the American Institute of Architects and the Construction Specifications Institute.

Associate in Science in Architecture

Through this degree program, students acquire experience in architectural drafting, design, construction techniques, and energy systems. They also take courses in math, physics, and construction management. This program is not a pre-professional degree; it prepares students for careers in the fields of drafting, planning, construction administration or architecture, some of which may require additional education. Students enrolled in the Architectural Transfer Program can transfer their credits to a 4-year program at the University of California - Berkeley or California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo, so it's essential that they speak with a guidance counselor to make sure they complete the necessary requirements.

University of California - Berkeley

The University of California - Berkeley's College of Environmental Design offers a variety of degree programs in landscape architecture and environmental planning, city and regional planning, environmental design, and architecture. Students can compete for prizes, awards, fellowships, scholarships, and grants. The Department of Architecture has summer residential programs in foreign countries, including an architectural design and furniture design program in Denmark. It also has architecture travel studios available throughout California and the U.S., and in foreign countries, including Thailand, Brazil, Italy, China, Peru, and Japan.

Bachelor of Arts in Architecture

Through the pre-professional bachelor's degree program in architecture, students complete courses in both architecture and environmental design. Courses include digital design methods and theories, the basics of architectural design, architectural history, and architectural case studies. They also study acoustics and building structure. Minors are available in environmental design and urbanism in developing countries, social and cultural factors in environmental design, sustainable design, and history of the built environment.

Master of Architecture

The Master of Architecture is a professional degree program in architecture that prepares students to earn their architectural licenses. The length of the program varies depending on students' previous education or training in architecture; those without an architectural background must complete a 3-year program, those with a pre-professional bachelor's degree in architecture complete a 2-year program, and those with a professional bachelor's degree in architecture take a 1-year program. Students take courses in architectural design that train them to solve problems in building design. They take classes in building science, building structures, architectural theories, and architectural history. They also acquire professional practice in architecture, and in the last year of the program, they can complete an intensive research studio or develop a thesis.

Master of Science in Architecture

Designed to supplement a professional architecture degree, the Master of Science in Architecture is not a professional degree program, but a research program. Students select from courses in building science and sustainability, urbanism and environmental design in developing countries, architecture and urbanism in historical context, social and cultural processes in urbanism and architecture, and design methods, theories, and practices. Typically, students complete this program to conduct research within sub-specialties of architecture. The program takes 1.5 to two years to complete, and graduates can apply for the Ph.D. in Architecture.

Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture

This architecture research program is designed for people who want to teach architecture, work for the government or become an architectural consultant in a way that requires significant research experience. Students select a major area in building science and sustainability, social processes in architecture and urbanism, design methods and theories, environmental design and urbanism in developing countries or architectural history and urbanism. They must also complete two minors from a doctoral field related to architecture, such as art history, regional and urban planning, business administration or anthropology. The program also has a foreign language requirement.

California College of the Arts

At California College of the Arts, students have the opportunity to complete interdisciplinary studies in artistic programs. Students can interact with professionals and explore architectural issues through the Alliance for Multiculturalism in Architecture and the American institute of Architecture Students. They can also participate in summer study abroad programs in Berlin, Germany or Chile and Argentina that have an architectural emphasis. The college has architecture research and design labs, four computer labs, and architecture internship opportunities.

Bachelor of Architecture

The Bachelor of Architecture is a 5-year, professional program that's been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, which means students can take the national licensing exam and become a registered architect after completing it and an internship. Students complete four architectural studios. They explore materials, structures, building technology, and architectural theory; they conduct architectural analyses and study architectural drawing. Students also acquire professional architectural practice and have the opportunity to complete an internship.

Master of Architecture

The Master of Architecture program at California College of the Arts is committed to helping students think of innovative methods for applying architectural studies. The 3-year first professional architecture program is designed for individuals who have previously earned a degree in another field; students who already have bachelor's degrees in architecture may receive advanced standing based on their previous coursework and portfolio. Students research both craft and design in architecture, explore architectural theory and history, complete design studio experiences, and study methods of construction technology. They also acquire practical experience in architecture.

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