Director's Welcome

Learning to think about architecture as both the product of a creative process and as a historical phenomenon are the principal goals of Pitt’s Architectural Studies. We endeavor to create a rigorous curriculum and a supportive learning environment, allowing students to build skills and knowledge while developing close working relationships with peers and faculty. Students will gain a broad understanding of the complexity of architecture as a profession and as an academic discipline, and will be well-positioned by their senior year to apply to accredited, graduate programs in architecture or historic preservation at universities in the United States and Canada. Students considering careers in architecture and historic preservation are encouraged to apply to Architectural Studies by the end of their freshman year at Pitt.

The Architectural Studies curriculum draws primarily on courses offered in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Department of Studio Arts. Students are encouraged to explore related interests through course work in other departments, through off-campus study, and through a range of undergraduate teaching and research opportunities available through Pitt’s Office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity. Students may also opt to complete a certificate program in civil engineering or a minor in historic preservation as a complement to Architectural Studies.

Housed in the Frick Fine Arts Building on Pitt’s Oakland campus, Architectural Studies is located at the heart of Pittsburgh’s cultural core. In addition to the extensive facilities of the University of Pittsburgh, we are situated in close proximity to the rich resources of the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Heinz Architectural Center, the Carnegie Library, and Carnegie Mellon University. Oakland is a public transportation hub, facilitating access to a range of sites, museums, and neighborhoods of outstanding interest. The City of Pittsburgh and the surrounding region offer countless attractions for anyone interested in art, architecture, and design, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob; Henry Hobson Richardson’s  Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail, and Emmanuel Episcopal Church; the Andy Warhol Museum, the Mattress Factory; and the Frick Art and Historical Center.

Each year, Architectural Studies sponsors a number of special events that enrich our experience and extend our knowledge of architecture. In the fall semester, Architectural Studies majors have the option to participate in a field trip to a major North American city and thus to gain a first-hand understanding of important architectural sites outside western Pennsylvania. In the spring semester, specialists from across the continent are invited to Pitt to participate in the annual Architectural Studies symposium. Finally, a number of on-going special projects centered on local sites and collections of exceptional interest allow students to participate in faculty-driven research. 

Pitt’s Architectural Studies program offers unique opportunities for students to develop their passion for architecture and to engage in unparalleled learning experiences on campus and in the community. Current and prospective students, as well as anyone interested in architecture in Pittsburgh, should use this site to explore the program and resources at Pitt; more detailed information about professional architecture education is included under FAQs

Drew Armstrong
Director of Architectural Studies
B.Arch., M.A. (Toronto); M.Phil., Ph.D. (Columbia); Assoc. AIA