Bachelor of Architecture: Degree Overview

Oct 10, 2019

The Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) is the first professional degree in architecture. Students develop their drawing and design techniques and also learn how to consider the community and environment surrounding their designs.

Essential Information

Most Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) programs teach students about architectural theory, history and practice. These 5-year programs can help prepare individuals to qualify for licensure. This type of program is one of three professional architecture programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), the only architecture program-accrediting agency in the United States. The fifth year of the curriculum involves professional practice, allowing students to get hands-on experience in the field and to put their skills into action. Besides a high school diploma, a portfolio of work is often required to enroll.

Bachelor of Architecture

The first year of study requires foundational courses in architecture, and the next three years involve professional core classes. During this time, students will learn about various design and structural concepts, and they'll apply what they've learned to their final year. Common course topics may include:

  • Visual communications
  • Design theories
  • Architecture history
  • Building materials
  • Construction
  • Structural elements

Career Outlook and Salary Info

To become licensed as an architect, individuals must complete a professional degree program in architecture, such as the B.Arch., and pass the Architect Registration Examination. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), architects can expect an average employment growth of 8% from 2018-2028 ( The BLS reported a median annual wage for architects of $79,380 in 2018.

Continuing Education

Some states may require architects to maintain their licensure by taking annual classes or attending regular seminars, workshops and conferences. Professionals may choose to continue their education in architecture by pursuing a Master of Architecture or Doctor of Architecture. These professional architecture degree programs are also accredited by the NAAB.

The Bachelor of Architecture is a 5-year professional program that provides students with the architectural knowledge and skills, as well as the hands-on experiences, needed to become a licensed architect.

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