Architectural Studies, The B.A. Path

The B.A. in Architectural Studies is designed to serve as a platform or foundational degree for students who plan to specialize in architecture and other disciplines that focus on the design, planning and construction of the built environment.  It exposes students to ideas and practices currently followed in all of the School’s design disciplines and it focuses on many of the business, communications and organizational skills that are not covered in the technical requirements of the graduate curricula.  Students at KU who start in the B.A. in Architectural Studies, co-enroll in graduate professional degrees and take courses that count toward the B.A. and the graduate professional degree.

Some students may opt to complete the 124-credit B.A. without continuing and completing the additional year (or two) required to finish one of the professional degree paths.  The four-year, 124-credit course of study that leads to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Architectural Studies prepares students for graduate education in many other fields such as law, business, government, facility management, and public administration that are enhanced by a broad knowledge of architecture.  It also prepares them for work in a number of fields related to architecture.

Students who complete the B.A. and later wish to become licensed architects may pursue a professionally accredited Master of Architecture degree.  This educational path may include KU’s accredited M.Arch III or it may include a three-year M.Arch III at one of the many other architecture schools that offer this graduate professional degree.

NOTE:  Students admitted to the B.A. Architectural Studies degree prior to 2014 must follow the 4-year, 124-credit curriculum in place at the time of their admission. (see the KU Academic Catalog for 2013).

Undergraduate Admission

First-year and transfer students may be admitted to the B.A. in architectural studies degree program. Contact:

University of Kansas
Michael Swann, Associate Dean,
School of Architecture, Design and Planning
Marvin Hall
1465 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 206
Lawrence, KS 66045-7626

For undergraduate applications, write to:

KU Office of Admissions
KU Visitor Center
1502 Iowa St.
Lawrence, KS 66044-7576


Applications for fall semester should be submitted during the student’s senior year in high school. The priority application deadline is November 1, and the final application deadline is February 1. Completed applications are reviewed, and applicants are notified of their admission status. A complete application includes sixth-semester transcript, rank in class, ACT scores, and a list of courses in progress. Applications received after February 1 are considered but are less likely to be accepted due to space limitations.

Transfer students should apply by October 1 for the spring semester and by the priority deadline of November 1 for the summer and fall terms. The final application deadline is February 1. Space limitations apply to transfer students. Transfer applications received after February 1 are likely to be denied for reasons not connected with the applicant’s academic qualifications. The School of Architecture, Design and Planning encourages applications from women and members of minority groups.

High School Students

High school students are encouraged to apply for admission if they have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and have a minimum ACT of 23 or a minimum SAT of 1050 and if they will meet the following preparation thresholds by the time they graduate:

  • 3 or more years of math ending with calculus (preferred),
  • 3 or more years of natural science including physics,
  • 3 or more art/drawing classes. Art/drawing classes are preferred over additional drafting or technical courses (1 semester of drafting is adequate),
  • 2 or more years of foreign language (recommended).

Although students who do not meet these minimum thresholds may apply to the Department of Architecture, they are encouraged to enroll in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for a preliminary year of study.

During the first semester of this preliminary year, students should complete:

MATH 105Introduction to Topics in Mathematics3
or MATH 115 Calculus I
ENGL 101Composition3
ARCH 103Introduction to Architecture3

During the second semester, students should complete:

PHSX 114College Physics I1-4
ENGL 102Critical Reading and Writing3

Students already at the University of Kansas may apply to the B.A. in Architectural Studies program by February 1 for admission the following fall. Students must have a cumulative college GPA of 3.0 or higher and space must be available to be admitted to the B.A. in Architectural Studies program.

Transfer Students

Transfer students may be admitted if space is available and if they have an overall grade-point average of at least 3.0.

International Students

The School of Architecture, Design and Planning admits only exceptional students from other countries. Standards for admission are set according to the traditions and grading policies of those countries. In some countries, for example, the grade of A is almost never given, while in other countries the A grade is more frequently seen. The number of students admitted depends on the space available on February 1.

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

Requirements for the B.A. in Architectural Studies

A minimum of 124 hours is required, including 45 hours of courses numbered 300 or above.

Students must follow the degree curriculum as stated under B.A. Architectural Studies.

Credit for ROTC Courses

Students may enter the Reserve Officers Training Corps to train for commissions as regular or reserve officers. An allowance of 6 hours of military science, aerospace studies, or naval science may be substituted for free electives in the M.Arch. program. A student who enters one of the ROTC programs but discontinues military training and does not receive a commission may not apply credits for ROTC courses toward a degree in architecture. If a student does not receive a commission because of circumstances beyond his or her control (such as a medical discharge), he or she may use ROTC credits as part of the requirements for the degree as indicated above.

Activity Courses

The School of Architecture, Design and Planning does not accept physical education activity courses for fulfilling graduation requirements.

4-Year Graduation Plan for students admitted 2014

B.A. in Architectural Studies

Suggested Undergraduate Curriculum

ARCH 1033ARCH 1043
ARCH 1086ARCH 1096
MATH 115, 105, or 3653ENGL 102 or 1053
ENGL 1013Free Elective 13
 KU Core Goal 3 Nat. Science(Geog 104 or Phsx 114 suggested)3-4
 15 18-19
ARCH 3803ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3
ARCH 5403ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3
ARCH Urban Design/Sustainability Elective3ARCH 5413
Free Elective 23Free Elective 33
ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3KU Core Class, Goal 4.13
 15 15
ARCH 509 or ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3-6ARCH 509 or ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3-6
Free Elective 43Free Elective 73
KU Core Class, Goal 3, Social Sciences3Free Elective 83
Free Elective 53Free Elective 93
Free Elective 63 
 15-18 12-15
ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3
ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3
ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3ARCH Professional Enrichment Elective3
Free Elective 103Free Elective 123
Free Elective 113Free Elective 133
 15 15
Total Hours: 120-127

Bachelor of Architectural Studies conferred.