The Department of Architecture offers two undergraduate courses of study. They provide a broad undergraduate education for students who have clear professional goals and for those who desire a solid foundation for a number of possible careers. Course 4 leads to the Bachelor of Science in Architecture, and Course 4-B leads to the Bachelor of Science in Architecture Studies.
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 of architecture 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 provides 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. Approximately 250 students register in the department each year, of whom about 30 are undergraduates. The Department offers over 100 courses annually (graduate + undergraduate) taught by a faculty of 55.
Download a copy of the Undergraduate Student Handbook
Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BSA)
Students graduating from the Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BSA) often choose to go 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 holds an accredited degree. There are two types of degrees that are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB): 1) the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.), which requires a minimum of five years of study, and 2) the Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), which requires a minimum of three years of study following an unrelated bachelor’s degree.
These professional degrees are structured to educate those who aspire to registration/licensure as architects. At MIT, M.Arch. is the professional degree program. MIT undergraduates who wish to study architecture do so while satisfying the General Institute Requirements (GIRS), 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 BSA degree 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 Department offers four minors
Students who successfully complete a minor program will have the field of study specified on their student transcript, thus giving recognition of focused work in the discipline.
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.