Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  1.  What university education do I need to become a licensed architect?

    Individuals who wish to become licensed architects in the United States and Canada must complete an accredited, professional degree in architecture. There are a number of paths you can take towards that goal:

    (a) 4-year B.A. in any subject + 3.5-year M.Arch. degree at an accredited program.
    (b) 4-year B.Sc. in architecture + 2-year M.Arch. degree at an accredited program.
    (c) 5-year B.Arch. at an accredited program.

  2. Does Pitt offer an accredited professional degree in architecture?

    No. The University of Pittsburgh does not have a professional School of Architecture. However, required coursework for our B.A. and B.S. in Architectural degrees satisfies accreditation requirements for students who go on to  complete professional M.Arch. degrees at other universities. Concretely, this means that our alumni are routinely offered advanced standing and have   courses waived in graduate school. Students who have completed our B.S. in Architecture enter 2-year M.Arch. programs at other universities.

  3. Where does Architectural Studies fit into the University of Pittsburgh?

    The Architectural Studies program is housed in the Department of History of Art and Architecture in the School of Arts and Sciences.

  4. Is there a portfolio review for admission to Pitt's Architectural Studies program?

    No; however, the development of a portfolio of creative work is a key element for admission to most graduate programs in architecture.

  5. What can I do with a B.A. in Architectural Studies?

    Our program is intended to prepare students to apply to any first-professional M.Arch. or Masters of Historical Preservation in the United States or Canada.

  6. What are students who graduate from Pitt with a B.A. in Architectural Studies or B.S. in Architecture doing after graduation?

    Alumni information will be added soon.

For High School Students

  1. What should I study in high school to prepare for a career in architecture?

    Students should be well-rounded, inquisitive, and have excellent communication skills. Communication takes several forms in architectural practice: (a) you should be at ease expressing ideas orally in a group of people; (b) you should be able to write a well-structured, clearly articulated argument; (c) you should be able to present ideas using a variety of media (including drawing, sketching, photograph, and three-dimensional model making.

    Three areas where we recommend students demonstrate they have committed continual and substantial effort throughout high school are: (a) gaining proficiency in a foreign language; (b) gaining competence in math (it is highly recommended that students complete courses in calculus and physics); (c) pursuring work in creative fields such as art and music.

  2. Should I take physics and / or calculus in high school?

    Architectural Studies majors are required to take a semester of college physics, usually PHYS 0110 or PHYS 0174 | Introduction to Physics. In addition, we highly recommend that  students who intend to apply to graduate programs complete at least one semester of college-level calculus. It is ideal if students take calculus or at least pre-calculus in high school.

For Current Pitt Students Who are Potential Majors

  1. How does a current Pitt student declare Architectural Studies as their major?

    The earliest a student can declare a major in the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences is after completing their first year of coursework (in some cases, students declare in the spring term of their first year). Your general advisor in the main Arts & Sciences advising office in Thackeray Hall should be notified of your intentions so the proper paperwork can be completed. In general, students can declare a major, or change a major, by visiting the Student Records office in 140 Thackeray Hall or the Advising Center in 201 Thackeray Hall. Students who are committed to declaring Architectural Studies as a major should initiate this process as early as possible so that in the fall term of their second year they can enroll in courses that are restricted to official Architectural Studies majors.

  2. If a Pitt student is thinking about declaring Architectural Studies as their major, what courses should they take to get a feel for the program?
    •  ARC 0110 | Approaches to the Built Environment
    •  ARC 0112 | Architecture of the Pre-Modern World
    •  ARC 0116 | Modern Architecture
    •  ARC 0150 | Introduction to Western Architecture  
    •  ARC 0201 | Foundation Studio (6-credits)
    •  SA 0130 | Foundation Drawing
    •  PHYS 0110 or PHYS 0174 | Introduction to Physics

    A suggested term-by-term schedule of courses for students pursuing the 54-credit B.A. in Architectural Studies is provided here.

    A suggested term-by-term schedule of courses for students pursing the 72-credit B.S. in Architecture is provided here.

For Students Interested in Transferring to Pitt

General questions about transferring into the University of Pittsburgh can be answered here. Any students who is admitted to the School of Arts & Sciences at the Oakland campus can pursue degrees in Architectural Studies. There are no separate admissions criteria for the Architectural Studies program.

  1. What classes will transfer from my current school and be accepted for credit at Pitt?

    All questions pertaining to transcripts and whether prior coursework will be accepted at Pitt can only be answered by the Office of Student Records at 140 Thackeray Hall. This office will also determine if past coursework can be applied toward the General Education requirements in the School of Arts & Sciences. The Office of Student Records can be contacted at 412-624-676.

    Students who transfer into the Architectural Studies program will be asked to complete the gateway courses ARC 0110 | Approaches to the Built Environment and ARC 0201 | Foundation Studio. Students who wish to have past coursework considered for transfer credit to replace these and other requirements will be asked to submit a portfolio of graphic and design work along with syllabi and graded assignments for each past course they wish to use as substitutes. The portfolio should clearly identify the courses in which the work was produced. These materials should be sent to the program director, Drew Armstrong, at For a student to receive a degree from the University of Pittsburgh, they must complete at least 60 credits of their degree requirements at Pitt.

  2. Will credits from non-American universities transfer to the University of Pittsburgh?

    Pitt usually accepts credits from international programs, but you should check with the Office of Admissions. The website that helps guide international transfer students can be found here.