Architectural tectonics, also called architectonics, is the study of architectural design theory, with a focus on construction and assembly. Courses in architectural tectonics are offered through professional degree programs in architecture at both the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Students learn about structure, building materials and sustainability.
Bachelor's degree programs typically take 4-5 years to complete, whereas master's degree programs take 1-3 years to complete, depending on whether a prior professional or pre-professional degree was earned. Internship experiences are often available or required. Programs may prepare graduates for work in residential and commercial construction, as well as in the architectural and engineering services fields. Aspiring architects must also go on to earn licenses by passing a board-administered examination.
Bachelor's Degrees in Architecture
Architectural tectonics courses cover the theories behind why structures are built in certain ways, taking into account building styles and materials. Some Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) professional degree programs and Bachelor of Science in Architecture pre-professional degree programs offer specific concentrations in architectonics. Students develop graphic skills and learn about using building materials to create functional spaces. Architectural tectonic studies focus on designing building layouts that are structurally sound. Course topics may include:
- History of building technology
- Environmental systems design
- Building physics
- Structural systems planning
- Architectonics studio
Master's Degree in Architecture
Students in M.Arch. programs prepare for professional careers as architects by studying the relationship between architectural design elements and the construction strategies for placing those elements. Graduate students learn about sustainable architecture, the properties of building materials and the joints formed in structural systems. Graduate programs teach students about tectonics and site analysis. Coursework might cover:
- Construction material selection
- Design preservation
- Tectonics of modern architecture
- Structural stability
- History of architectural form
According to the BLS, there were 93,720 architects employed across various fields, as of 2015. The vast majority of architects were employed in the architectural, engineering and design services fields; others worked in the residential and nonresidential building construction industries. Jobs available to M.Arch. degree holders include:
- Urban planning consultant
- Historic building preservationist
- Construction project manager
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment of architects would grow 7% from 2014-2024, which is as fast as the average for all occupations. In 2015, the BLS reported that architects earned a median annual wage of $76,100. In order to obtain a license to work as an architect, individuals must complete a B.Arch. or Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) professional degree program.
Continuing Education and Licensure Information
After graduating from a professional degree program, a certain amount of supervised internship experience is required before one can obtain a license. Individuals must also pass the Architect Registration Exam, administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards in order to become a licensed architect.
Individuals interested in studying architectural tectonics can take classes in this area while earning a professional bachelor's or master's degree in architecture. However, graduates will need to complete a professional internship and obtain licensure to practice.