The objectives of the Architectural Studies Program were formulated in 1977 by Douglas Jones and launched in 1978 as “an undergraduate, interdisciplinary, non-professional course of study ... providing a humanistic approach to the study of the man-made environment.” In 1981 the program was joined to the Fine Arts Department and professor Fil Hearn was named as director. Since professor Hearn retired in 2006, professor Drew Armstrong has been the program director.
Today, there are over 80 majors and 15 faculty members (full-time and part-time) in the Architectural Studies Program. Energetic majors have formed undergraduate groups such as the AIAS and NOMAS. Projects encourage on-site field-work, archival research, and creative design techniques. The program also offers the Historic Preservation Minor in which students are encouraged to intern at one of the many outstanding Pittsburgh preservation organizations. The Fil Hearn Award for Study Abroad supports study abroad as means to expand the intellectual horizons of undergraduates.