Architecture

Undergraduate

  • BArch | 5-year program

    Nationally accredited (NAAB) and internationally recognized, RISD’s undergraduate program in Architecture leads to a professional degree: the Bachelor of Architecture. The program prepares students to enter the profession by first addressing the knowledge required for making architecture and second, by underscoring the complexities of the discipline and the responsibilities inherent in practicing architecture.

  • Inspiring Community

    RISD’s Architecture program has the distinct advantage of being integrated into a college known for the breadth and depth of its fine arts and design offerings, meaning that students benefit from a strong visual and humanities-based education within a progressive professional curriculum. Architecture majors also appreciate being immersed in a community of creative individuals who are passionate about disciplines as diverse as animation, graphic design, printmaking and sculpture.

  • Curriculum

    Through a program that builds on itself, students learn to think critically; to produce architecture through both reflection and invention; to build using a variety of materials; to understand the technical aspects of architecture; to communicate ideas through drawing, model making, writing and speaking; and to be socially and ethically engaged in society. After exposure to the fundamentals of the field – design, material performance, digital and manual representation, and architectural history – students move on to solidify work by focusing on architectural, urban design and environmental issues, engaging in advanced topics in architectural history and responding to complex architectural design problems.

    Foundation Studies

    • Fall
    • Drawing I
    • Design I
    • Spatial Dynamics I
    • Liberal Arts courses
    • Wintersession
    • Non-major studio elective
    • Spring
    • Drawing II
    • Design II
    • Spatial Dynamics II
    • Liberal Arts courses

    Sophomore

    • Fall
    • The Making of Design Principles
    • Structural Analysis
    • Architecture Projection
    • World Architecture from Pre-History to Pre-Modern
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Architectural Analysis
    • Architectural Design
    • Modern Architecture
    • Wood Structures

    Junior

    • Fall
    • Urban Design Principles
    • Steel Structures
    • Elective
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Concrete Structures
    • Advanced Studio
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Elective

    Senior

    • Fall
    • Advanced Studio
    • Environmental Design I
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Elective
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Advanced Studio
    • Environmental Design II
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Elective

    Fifth Year

    • Fall
    • Advanced Studio
    • Degree Project seminar
    • Integrated Building Systems
    • Elective
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Principles of Professional Practice
    • Degree Project
    • Elective

  • Degree Project

    In the final year of the program, students focus on an intensive investigation and analysis of building systems, professional practice and design as part of a self-determined degree project.

  • Application Requirements

    1. application form + fee
    2. official academic transcripts
    3. test scores: SAT or ACT and TOEFL or IELTS if English is not your first language
    4. portfolio of work 12–20 examples
    5. drawings 2 RISD-assigned samples
    6. writing samples 2 RISD-assigned pieces
    7. optional: letters of recommendation 1–3 suggested

    All freshman applicants apply to RISD as opposed to a specific department and begin with a required year of Foundation Studies. Students select a major midway through the first year but don’t begin those programs until sophomore year.

    For more information or to begin the application process, visit the Apply page.