B.A. in Architectural Studies

Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies

Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies (B.A.)
Program Duration: 
Two years

UCLA Architecture and Urban Design offers a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies. The B.A. in Architectural Studies is a two-year major that begins in the junior year of residence.

This undergraduate major features coursework in three areas: Critical Studies, Design and Technology. The curriculum introduces the fundamental ordering systems of architecture: form, space, tectonics and program and their relationships to political, social and cultural constructs. The critical studies sequence builds a foundation in critical thinking that engages historical and contemporary disciplinary contexts. These strong critical thinking skills are practiced in the design studio as assignments that introduce longstanding disciplinary questions, engage the social role of architecture, and respond to particular audiences, geographic contexts and programmatic activities. Critical thinking drives the technology sequence with assignments that question emerging technologies, conventional and innovative material assemblies, and the role of architectural representation.

Students learn in intimate studio and seminar settings from faculty scholars, designers and professionals. The expectations of students are demanding, but the department community is supportive, intellectually engaging and highly motivated. Central to the pedagogy are two objectives.

  • The first provides an understanding of Architecture and Urban Design as a humanist discipline, which engages cultural and social studies, and the history of architecture and cities. 
  • The second provides, at the same time for interested students, a preparation for graduate professional studies.

Students will experience the design process in a studio setting developing projects that engage issues raised by the academic coursework. In studio, students will develop the ability to think critically about their ideas and explore the creative process in architecture and urban design in relation to these ideas. The direct experience of design is crucial to an understanding of architecture and urban design and their relation to contemporary social, political, and cultural events. This provides a strong foundation for those students who elect to continue to graduate studies in architecture but also allow student to pursue degrees in related fields such as art history, design, fine arts, engineering, environmental design and urban studies and more.

PLEASE NOTE: Admission to the Architectural Studies major is not open to Freshman students. Freshmen are welcome to apply to UCLA with a different or undeclared majorand then apply to change their major to Architectural Studies during the Winter Quarter of their Sophomore year, preferably after having completed some of the pre-major courses.