A degree in Architecture combines rigorous professional training in design, history, planning and technology with a broad liberal arts education. Our students have the opportunity to study Architecture in Europe and get their work critiqued by accomplished professionals through RWU’s one-of-a-kind Teaching Firm in Residence Program. When you complete this accredited program, you’ll be prepared to take the next step toward becoming a professional architect.

The four-year Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree serves both as a non-professional liberal arts degree, and as preparation for further graduate study in architecture and related fields. Students completing a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree may apply to professional Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture and Doctor of Architecture professional degree programs in order to fulfill their educational requirements toward professional registration in architecture.

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Degree Requirements


Arch work example

Portfolio Requirements

A portfolio of two and/or three-dimensional work demonstrating evidence of an applicant’s creative potential is required for all applicants for admission to the B.S. in Architecture program.

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To read more about our academic offerings, or to view full course descriptions, please refer to our University Catalog.

Headshot of Vincent Pacifico

Designing His Own Experiences

Vincent Pacifico, RWU Class of 2017

Between the personal attention from faculty members and a dedicated studio space guaranteed to every architecture student, Vincent Pacifico ’17 knew that Roger Williams University was the perfect fit for him. “It felt like a family here in the architecture program, where everyone is connected and the professors are warm and welcoming,” he says.

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Student Work

The Architecture Design Core Studios I, II, III, & IV are crafted in a progressive learning sequence based on themes. The themes have basis in the humanities, where architecture and its various modes of expression, can be understood as means to document, record, process and re-cast the human experience to the built environment. Students are immersed in the studio learning environment where they develop critical thinking, design communication and representation skills, building practices, technical skills, professional practices and asked to contribute to the making of a global knowledge of architecture. Through this understanding we approach the studio as place to practice, to ply one’s craft, and develop the discipline necessary to lead the profession of Architecture.

image detailing student work in Core Design StudiosCore Design Studios

An introduction to fundamental design concepts and principles. Students begin to form a vocabulary for making spaces and forms that includes human scale, proportion, site, structure, enclosure, materiality and typology. Students generate a point of view by considering a number of ethical issues that affect their work and its relationship to the communities they are designing for. Lastly, students learn the skills necessary to make and communicate their ideas.



an image from an Advanced Option Studios project by Antoinette RadiciAdvanced Option Studios

Advanced Architectural Design Studios offer students a number of thematically focused directed studios that range in subject matter based on the interest of the faculty.  Topics vary semester to semester, and include such issues as housing, sustainable design, contemporary technologies, interior architecture and preservation architecture.



Urban Studios

an image in an Urban Studios project by Sean Smith & Katie Shea

An examination of the role of Architecture as a critical component of the larger built environment and of the public realm, taking on issues and concerns impacting local and/or global communities.  The role of architecture in relation to Urban Design, Preservation, Planning and Landscape Architecture is explored in relation to the various formal and informal constituencies that influence the shape of the urban fabric. These studios include those offered abroad in Barcelona and Florence.



an image in a Graduate Options Studios project by Alyssa HessGraduate Option Studios

Working closely with faculty members, including the Teaching Firms in Residence, students are asked to address current issues and themes.  Recent topics have included contemporary interventions in historic cities, innovation incubator facilities, speculative affordable housing, adaptive reuse, college campus design, tourism and habitat regeneration, ecological design, exploration of the legacies of slavery and the slave trade, and an interfaith community chapel. 



Undergraduate Award & Scholarship Winners

The Fourth Year Design studios begin to explore architecture and urban design questions with a greater sense of depth within a framework of different design methodologies.  They examine specific topics in the architectural design process, as well as the role of Architecture as a critical component of the larger built environment and of the public realm.