Bachelor’s Program

Nationally accredited (NAAB) and internationally recognized, our five-year undergraduate program in Architecture leads to a professional degree: the Bachelor of Architecture (BArch). 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.


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.

View the curriculum

Learning outcomes

Graduates are able to:

  • use critical thinking to build abstract relationships and understand the impact of ideas.
  • use and experiment with the representational techniques of the discipline.
  • investigate architectural form using spatial principles and material properties.
  • comprehend technical aspects of building practices, systems and materials and apply this knowledge to architectural solutions.
  • synthesize a range of complex variables into an integrated design solution.
  • understand principles for the practice of architecture, including advocacy, ethical actions and project management.
  • develop a creative process and frame theoretical questions through making.
  • conduct advanced research, including gathering and assessing information and establishing research methods.

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. Architecture majors benefit from a strong visual and humanities-based education within a progressive professional curriculum, as well as immersion in a community of creative individuals—and potential collaborators—who are passionate about disciplines as diverse as animation, graphic design, printmaking and sculpture.

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.