2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog


A. Swartz, Chairperson


Architectural education attends to the critical 21st century environmental and social challenges in our communities while educating students in analytical and creative thinking, intellectual inquiry, ideation, hands-on making, and communication. We seek to inspire our students with the grounding of a rigorous education that fosters the creative and intellectual confidence, ethical grounding, and self-awareness to allow them to succeed in their disciplinary aspirations in a rapidly changing world. Three undergraduate degree programs in architecture are offered.  Each of these is tailored to different student educational pursuits and professional aspirations. 

The five-year Bachelor of Architecture program provides a professionally oriented undergraduate education resulting in an accredited professional degree (a necessary requirement for professional licensure). The B.Arch degree balances the intensity of a professional degree program with a broader, well rounded, and diverse undergraduate university education.  This B.Arch degree program also provides a foundation for other career paths and/or educational pursuits at the graduate level. This degree program is currently eligible for initial candidacy and accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.  The university expects to host a visit for initial accreditation in Fall 2020.  See * below.

The four-year undergraduate degree program Bachelor of Arts (includes a foreign language concentration) or Bachelor of Science (no foreign language concentration) with a major in architecture provide a “pre-professional” undergraduate architecture education.  This degree path prepares students to pursue a graduate professional M.Arch degree in architecture (a necessary requirement for professional licensure). This degree is the pre-professional component of the department’s NAAB accredited Master of Architecture degree.  Note that the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited professional degree. See ** below.

The four-year undergraduate major BS in Environmental Design provides students with an immersive exposure to the discipline of architecture, while preparing them for leadership roles in allied environmental design disciplines.  While benefitting from lessons in critical thinking, communication and design process inherent in an architectural education, this degree suits students who have broader educational and career aspirations, perhaps leading to careers (with or without additional graduate education) in the construction industry, interior design, industrial design, business management, communications, marketing, or business, to name a few.  This degree does not directly lead to professional licensure as an architect although the three-year professional Master of Architecture program would be an option for students in this track.

Approval to pursue any of the departmental undergraduate degrees involves admission to the university http://cms.bsu.edu/admissions/undergraduate-admissions/information-for/high-school-students and acceptance into the College of Architecture and Planning http://cms.bsu.edu/academics/collegesanddepartments/cap/applications-financial-aid/undergraduate AND admission into the Department of Architecture Department after the first year at CAP.

Admission Standards

Portfolio of CAP first year work including design, design communication media work and writing examples (reviewed by committee for admission)

A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 overall in the CAP first-year courses

Note:  transfer requests into the undergraduate program are addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Retention Standards:

Students in the B.Arch and BA/BS undergraduate degree programs receiving grades BELOW C- in two consecutive Professional Studies (per NAAB) required courses (i.e., ARCH 201, 202; ARCH 214, 314; ARCH 218, 318 etc.), must repeat the sequence of both courses.

In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

The NAAB grants candidacy status to new programs that have developed viable plans for achieving initial accreditation.  Candidacy status indicates that a program expects to achieve initial accreditation within six years of achieving candidacy, if its plan is properly implemented.

In order to meet the education requirement set forth by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, an applicant for an NCARB Certificate must hold a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by the NAAB; the degree must have been awarded not more than two years prior to initial accreditation.  However, meeting the education requirement for the NCARB Certificate may not be equivalent to meeting the education requirement for registration in a specific jurisdiction.  Please contact NCARB for more information.

* Ball State University, Department of Architecture, has achieved Initial Candidacy for the following NAAB-accredited degree program:

B.Arch (154 undergraduate credits)

Projected visit for Initial Accreditation:  Fall 2020

Projected Initial Accreditation:  Spring 2021 for prior B.Arch class of 2020

** Ball State University’s Department of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

M.Arch (pre-professional degree + 48 graduate credits)

M.Arch (non-pre-professional degree + 106 credits)

Next accreditation visit for both programs: 2021

Approval to pursue any of the departmental graduate degrees involves admission to the university’s Graduate School as well as admission to the department.