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College of Human Environmental Sciences

Architectural Studies Degree Program

DEGREE. The Architectural Studies emphasis is a four-year, professional baccalaureate program often referred to as a Pre-Architecture program.

ARCHITECTUAL STUDIES EMPHASIS MISSION. The mission of the architectural studies emphasis is to prepare students for success in entry-level jobs in the design and construction industry and also to prepare students for advanced study in professional architecture MArch programs. See Careers in Architectural Studies.

ENVIRONMENT. Our architectural studies emphasis benefits from its enriched University of Missouri research environment in the College of Human Environmental Sciences with an active graduate program.

PHILOSOPHY. Our educational philosophy is grounded in the values of creating sustainable and meaningful interior spaces to integrate aesthetic quality and compassion for the human condition.

WE ARE DISTINCTIVE. We benefit from outstanding faculty advancing study of environment and behavior and faculty advancing study of design with digital media as well as the close connection to the interior design program.

Students in the architectural studies program benefit from the enriched academic research environment and the emphasis on the thinking and making of physical environments that address the needs and aspirations of people. The program strives to blur the boundaries between architecture and interior design by stressing the inside experience of people in buildings.

Opportunity to Continue for M Arch

Following their undergraduate education, students interested in becoming a licensed architect continue their education and complete a Masters of Architecture degree (M Arch) in other architectural programs. Alumni are admitted to many highly ranked graduate programs throughout the U.S.

Missouri residents may benefit from the Reciprocity Agreement with the University of Kansas. Out-of-state tuition can be waived for Missouri residents when enrolled in the M Arch program as a first professional architecture degree. The M Arch is completed in 2 calendar years (based on portfolio and GPA) at KU. Students are encouraged to stay in communication with graduate schools as requirements change.

Opportunity for Employment

The design and construction industry is a large part of our U.S. economy. Projections for 2016 report industry trends will further support this emphasis with trends including: prefab/offsite construction methods will become more popular, BIM will become a necessity, green building will grow, laser scanning technology will gain popularity, remodeling will have a strong year especially in the luxury market, and homebuyers will seek out simple and walkable communities (Peiffer, 2016).

Further Opportunities

For more information on professional advancement and examples of opportunities see Careers in Architectural Studies.

Degree Requirements   MU General Education Requirements (PDF)

Students complete University of Missouri general education coursework that includes physics and calculus. Professional Interior design coursework is in the following content areas: basic creative development, design planning and analysis, design communication, technical knowledge, history of art/architecture/interiors, business, and design theory. View degree requirements

It is the design studio setting where learning by doing is experienced and realized. The studio is a collaborative and cooperative learning environment emphasizing personal intellectual development as well as content learning. Course work includes six studios and coursework centering on the synthesis of functional, technological, social, aesthetic and symbolic attributes architecture that support human needs and their aspirations.

We emphasize a quest for artistic beauty, use, and techniques based on precision, truthfulness and sincerity. We believe that good design bonds among the pleasure of beauty, stimulation of the mind, and reasoned adaptation to existing conditions. In the studio, students address life’s complexities and contradictions in order to create physical spaces that surpass their visual compositions, creating magical mediating structures that evoke in the act of occupying and inhabiting matter, gravity and light to enhance life.

Solving practical problems, studio experiences emphasize: recognizing the contextual relationship of the setting, the building, and its systems; understanding of regulations that govern professional practice; researching users’ needs; applying historical precedent; demonstrating technical knowledge in communicating ideas; developing business and professional skills; and creating responsible environmental design solutions.

After completing three required classes during the Freshman year, students apply for admission to the studio sequence required for all undergraduate professional programs. Applications are made at the end of the spring semester of the freshman year for permission to enroll in Studio I. Application forms with deadlines are available online and from the department.

Solar Decathlon Competition, Washington DC


Student working at Solar Decathlon Competition Photo from USGBC Solar Decathlon Competition, Washington, DC.


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