Architecture Schools in Illinois with Degree Program Information

Jul 27, 2019

Research architecture degrees in Illinois, which currently has 6 schools offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for these schools and decide which program is right for you.

Essential Information

Illinois has 6 public and private nonprofit schools offering architecture programs. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are available in traditional architecture as well as interior and landscape architecture. Students may opt to earn a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in the field, although not all undergraduate programs will qualify a student for licensing eligibility; they may, however, be able to find entry-level employment related to the industry. Studio courses allowing students hands-on training in drafting programs are common. Concentrations and preceptorships may also be available.

Read on for more detailed profiles of the schools that offer educational programs related to architecture.

Illinois Institute of Technology

Students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in architecture and landscape architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago have access to multimedia and materials labs containing woodworking machinery and current computer software applications. Program options include a NAAB-accredited Bachelor of Architecture program that takes 5 years to complete. Coursework covers sustainable design, architectural history, and engineering principles. Students also participate in studio courses where they can specialize in areas including architecture history and theory, landscape architecture and digital design.

The school's Master of Architecture program is also NAAB-accredited. Additionally, a 1-year Master of Science in Architecture program is available to students who already hold an accredited professional degree. A Ph.D. program is offered as well.

The Illinois Institute of Technology also offers a graduate landscape architecture program that's approved by the LAAB and features courses in digital media, historic preservation, and landscape modeling.

Judson University

Elgin's Judson University offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in architecture. The undergraduate architectural studies program includes classes in sustainable design, architectural history, design techniques, building structures, and architectural theory.

Students who want to apply to the school's NAAB-approved Master of Architecture program must have a bachelor's degree in architecture or a related field and an acceptable design portfolio. The program curriculum allows students to choose a concentration in sustainable design or traditional architecture and urbanism. They can also complete a 1,600-hour preceptorship that satisfies the NCARB Intern Development Program requirement.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

This Chicago-based school offers students the opportunity to study both interior and traditional architecture through its Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects. Its Bachelor of Interior Architecture program prepares graduates for careers in set and lighting design or for matriculation to a professional architecture program. Coursework includes classes in art history, drawing, lighting, and interior design materials. Graduates of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program can also pursue professional graduate programs in architecture.

The school's NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture program allows students to complete the curriculum in either 3.5 or 2 years, depending on their undergraduate education. The longer program includes foundational courses, while the accelerated degree option focuses on studio work. Both of these degree plans are also available with a concentration in interior architecture.

Another option for students interested in this field is the Master of Architecture in Interior Architecture. Coursework for this interdisciplinary program highlights art, architecture and design history. Seminars, labs, and studio classes are also included in the curriculum.

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

The Southern Illinois University campus in Carbondale offers a pre-professional, 4-year architectural studies bachelor's degree program that prepares students for graduate study. Coursework covers architecture technology, sustainable design, and building structures. Students also have access to studios and other facilities, such as a furniture and model shop, resource library and exhibition area.

To meet licensure requirements, students can apply to the NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture program. The curriculum can be completed in either 15, 27 or 39 months, depending on students' previous undergraduate education. Licensed architects who would like to earn a graduate degree by completing the majority of their coursework online can do so in the Online Master of Architecture program.

University of Illinois at Chicago

Students can find undergraduate and graduate architecture degrees at this Chicago university. The pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture program includes classes in drawing, modeling, digital design, and architectural theory as well as a 2-year studio sequence. As seniors, students can also participate in cooperative work experience.

The Master of Architecture program is accredited by the NAAB and typically takes another 3 years to complete. The curriculum can include study abroad opportunities in Barcelona. Other program options include a 1-year post-professional Master of Science in Architecture. This program emphasizes studio work and requires a research project.

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

Numerous options to study architecture are available through this Champaign university. Students who opt to major in architectural studies can complete the school's pre-professional program in 4 years.

The School of Architecture also offers 2 pathways to earn a professional Master of Architecture. The first NAAB-accredited option is for students who hold a bachelor's degree in architectural studies or a related field, while the second option is for students who have a bachelor's degree in another area of study. Additionally, the school offers dual degree options for students who want to study topics ranging from business administration to civil and environmental engineering. A post-professional Master of Science in Architectural Studies program is also available, and it includes 32 hours of elective coursework.

For those who prefer to focus on landscape architecture, a doctoral program in landscape architecture and architecture is also available, and students can focus on one or both disciplines. Areas of specialization for doctoral students include social and cultural factors in design; history and theory; and culture and environment.

Career Requirements

Aspiring architects in Illinois must apply for a license from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Requirements include completion of a professional architecture degree program approved by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Applicants must also complete the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards' (NCARB) Intern Development Program and pass the Architect Registration Examination.

To register as a licensed landscape architect, individuals must complete a program approved by the state or the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB). They must also show proof of sufficient professional experience. Applicants with a bachelor's degree in the field need at least 2 years of full-time experience, while those with a master's degree can qualify with 1 year of full-time experience. Additionally, applicants must pass the Landscape Architect Registration Examination.

Interior architects who would like to become licensed as interior designers must also register with the IDFPR. Requirements include passing scores on an exam administered by either the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) or the Council for Qualification of Residential Interior Designers (CQRID). Applicants must also submit proof of a combined 6 years of education and professional experience. If applicants are state-licensed architects, they can become registered interior designers without taking an exam.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Architecture Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)
Illinois Institute of Technology 4-year, private nonprofit; large city Bachelor of Architecture,
Master of Architecture,
Master of Science in Architecture,
Master of Landscape Architecture,
Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture
Judson University 4-year, private nonprofit; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies,
Master of Architecture
School of the Art Institute of Chicago 4-year, private nonprofit; large city Bachelor of Interior Architecture,
Bachelor of Fine Arts - Architecture Pathway,
Master of Architecture,
Master of Architecture in Interior Architecture
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies,
Master of Architecture
$14,704 in-state; $29,160 out-of-state*
University of Illinois at Chicago 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Architecture,
Master of Architecture,
Master of Science in Architecture
$13,764 in-state; $26,980 out-of-state*
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies,
Master of Architecture,
Master of Science in Architectural Studies,
Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture and Landscape Architecture
$15,094 in-state; $31,664 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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