The Undergraduate Program provides both a deep and broad education in the field of architecture within the context of a leading school of science and technology. Situated in MIT's rich and intense educational environment, the program emphasizes the interconnected relationship between architectural design; building technology; computation; history, theory, and criticism; and art. The Department's extensive offerings reflect the program's commitment to the cultural, social, political, technological and ecological issues of the built environment. Committed to a rigorous and interdisciplinary approach throughout the program, our students are challenged to be creative, innovative, and responsible leaders in the field.
Our curriculum is carefully structured to establish an intellectual and disciplinary context for students to develop an understanding of architecture as a form of contemporary cultural production tied to larger social, economic and political issues. The range of studios, lectures, workshops and seminars provide an active learning environment in which individual creativity and criticality can be nurtured. The program is continually evolving to engage new ways of thinking about architecture and architectural education.
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Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BSA)
The Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BSA), also called Course 4, includes five different discipline streams:
- Architecture Design
- Art, Culture and Technology
- Building Technology
- Design and Computation
- History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art
The majority of undergraduates in the department choose Architectural Design with many going on to graduate school to earn a Master of Architecture. Others enter into related fields or the profession.
Most states require that an individual intending to become an architect hold an accredited degree. There are two types of degrees that are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB): 1) the Bachelor of Architecture (BArch), which requires a minimum of five years of study, and 2) the Master of Architecture (MArch), which requires a minimum of three years of study following an unrelated bachelor's degree or two years following a related pre-professional bachelor's degree. These professional degrees are structured to educate those who aspire to registration/licensure as architects. At MIT, MArch is the professional degree program and the BSA is considered a pre-professional degree.
MIT undergraduates who wish to study architecture do so while satisfying the General Institute Requirements (GIR), which give them the exposure to the humanities and sciences needed to provide a well rounded education as a foundation to their architectural education. The four-year pre-professional degree (MIT's Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a focus in architectural design) is not accredited by the NAAB but is structured to provide a strong foundation for those pursuing the field of architecture as preparation for either continued education in a professional architecture degree program or related field such as landscape architecture, urban planning, visual arts, media arts and architecture or art history.
Bachelor of Science in Architecture Studies (SBAS)
The Department also offers an interdisciplinary program, the Bachelor of Science in Architecture Studies (SBAS), Course 4-B, for students whose educational objectives cross departmental boundaries. Course 4-B allows students to tailor plans of study to their individual needs.
The HASS concentration is an integral part of the General Institute Requirements. The two HASS Concentrations offered by the Department of Architecture are:
In consultation with the Concentration Field Advisor, students develop a program of four related subjects to promote increased knowledge in that particular field.