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Design and Architectural Studies, BS

The BS in Architectural Studies and Design teaches students the rigorous design methods of architecture while also offering a flexible curriculum focused on key contemporary topics. Combine a knowledge of architectural, urban and environmental issues with the design of messages, interactions and experiences.

The Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Design teaches students the rigorous design methods of architecture while also offering a flexible curriculum focused on key contemporary topics related to the built environment. After a common sequence of design, history, and technology courses, students may choose from a rich array of electives in the School of Architecture and throughout the university. The culmination of the major is a single capstone course required for all students.

Students will emerge with a strong portfolio, a foundational grounding in architectural design, and will be well equipped for further graduate education or work experience in design-related fields and creative industries. The Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies can be completed in four years. Students in this major participate in one six-month co-op and have the option of a second four-month summer co-op. Students also have the option to study abroad in Segovia, Spain for a semester.

Students integrate the study of architecture with strategies of Graphic and Information Design, Interaction Design or Experience Design. A flexible curriculum focused on key contemporary topics related to the built environment is combined with a broad understanding of the principles and systems of perception, communication, and action. Students integrate text and image to visualize concepts and data, create navigable interfaces and systems that allow audiences to take an active role to achieve meaningful goals, and take a holistic and integrative approach that focuses on the quality of the human experience in concrete situations. Students emerge with a strong portfolio suited to further graduate education or experience in architecture and design-related fields.

Learning Outcomes

Architectural Studies learning outcomes

Students with a degree in architectural studies will have:

  1. Thorough 2D and 3D representation and modelling skills for deciphering and designing the built environment.
  2. Awareness of how global socio-cultural contexts influence the built environment, and how the built environment influences global communities.
  3. Thorough knowledge of sustainable and resilient design goals, strategies, and methods.
  4. Skills of communication and collaboration necessary for managing complex projects.
  5. Understanding of fundamental construction systems and techniques that shape the built environment.
  6. Critical ability to analyze and decipher complex environments.
  7. Exposure to the diverse range of professional opportunities and avenues for design of the built environment.
  8. Understanding of ethical responsibilities for designing the built environment.

Design learning outcomes

  1. Apply iterative design processes to create, revise, evaluate, and develop effective prototypes and innovative solutions.
  2. Engage human-centered design research methods and systems thinking to identify and understand values, goals, motivations of intended audiences as a mode of inquiry, question framing and guide to action.
  3. Develop a high level of craft and technical skills in a relevant range of media and tools and effectively weigh applicability for intended audiences and outcomes.
  4. Develop and realize intent, concept and content with awareness of context and consequence.
  5. Implement visual patterns incorporating text, image, diagram including temporal and spatial representations to recognize, categorize, and articulate significant form and meaning
  6. Employ and embody ethical practices, team and cross-disciplinary collaboration, and effective communication and presentation skills.
  7. Apply relevant communication theories and principles and appreciate the pervasive and long-term impact of design decisions on people and societies.

Co-op Opportunities

  • Landing Studio
  • Bergmeyer Associates Inc
  • Ann Beha Architects
  • Elkus Manfredi Architects
  • William Rawn Associates
  • Maryann Thompson Architects
  • Hacin + Associates
  • BOS/UA
  • Oudens Ello Architecture
  • Gensler
  • Massport
  • Cummings Properties LLC
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • MIT facilities
  • design and media sectors
  • news and publishing sectors
  • arts sectors
  • food and beverage sectors
  • fashion and travel sectors
  • government and civic sectors
  • health care and pharmaceutical sectors
  • educational sector
  • financial and business sector

Career Opportunities

  • Architect
  • Facilities manager
  • Owner representative
  • Interior architect
  • Construction manager
  • Construction supervisor
  • Building surveyor
  • Surveyor
  • Building conservation
  • Creative Developer
  • Designer
  • Director of Development
  • Experience Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Interaction Designer
  • Interface Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Software Designer
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • UI/UX Designer
  • User Interface Engineer
  • Web Developer & Designer

Multidisciplinary Skills

  • AutoCAD
  • Revit
  • Rhino
  • InDesign
  • 3D printing
  • Design
  • Computer literacy
  • Knowledge of building laws/codes
  • Building construction
  • Industrial design
  • building construction
  • collaboration
  • creative problem-solving
  • critical thinking
  • data analysis
  • data visualization
  • design research
  • design software
  • experience mapping
  • fabrication
  • facilitation
  • graphic representation
  • human factors
  • information design
  • interviews
  • leadership
  • listening
  • observation
  • personas
  • problem framing
  • programming
  • project management
  • rapid prototyping
  • semiotics
  • sketching
  • software
  • technical skills
  • typography
  • user stories
  • user testing
  • verbal and written communication
  • visual synthesis
  • visualization


Additional resources

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