Architecture

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.

Degree Requirements

The Architecture Major

Click to Open

Mathematics Requirement

MATH 136-Precalculus or MATH 213-Calculus I & Lab are required for all architecture majors and are a prerequisite for required courses in structures. Successful completion of one of these courses also fulfills the University’s Core requirement in mathematics. Students are encouraged to complete the highest level of mathematics that they place into, in recognition of the fact that some Roger Williams University minors and graduate study options at other institutions may require calculus. Students seeking to complete a Minor in Structural Engineering must complete MATH 213 Calculus I and Lab.

Science Requirement

Architecture majors are required to complete PHYS 109-Physics I-Algebra Based and Lab or PHYS 201-Physics I-Calculus Based and Lab or ENGR 210, and either CORE 101 Science or BIO 104-Biology II or NATSC 103-Earth Systems Science and Lab. Both BIO 104 and NATSC 103 count toward the Core Concentration and Minor in Sustainability Studies.

Design

Students are required to complete the five-course Architectural Design Core Studio sequence, and one advanced architectural design studio. The Core consists of five sequential semesters addressing fundamental architectural design issues, and graphic and computer communications skills. An advanced architectural studio or a topical studio in urban issues completes the studio sequence.

SubjectNumberTitle
ARCH113Architectural Design Core Studio I
ARCH114Architectural Design Core Studio II
ARCH213Architectural Design Core Studio III
ARCH214Architectural Design Core Studio IV
ARCH313Architectural Design Core Studio V
ARCH413Advanced Architectural Design Studio
or
ARCH416Advanced Topical Design Studio: Urban

History/Theory

The History/Theory sequence is a combination of required introductory and intermediate courses, and advanced elective options.

SubjectNumberTitle
AAH121-122History of Art and Architecture I-II
ARCH325History of Modern Architecture
ARCH322Theory of Architecture
And one of the following Intermediate Level course options
ARCH324Evolution of Urban Form
ARCH327History of American Architecture
ARCH329History of Landscape Architecture
AAH321Arts and Architecture in the Classical World
AAH322Arts and Architecture in the Medieval World
AAH323Arts and Architecture in the Islamic World
AAH324Arts and Architecture of the Italian Renaissance
AAH330Topics in Art and Architectural History

Students may pursue advanced History/Theory electives from a menu of Architecture Electives options.

Environment and Human Behavior

The Environment and Human Behavior sequence is a two-part structure of required intermediate level courses, and advanced elective options.

SubjectNumberTitle
ARCH321Site and Environment

Students may pursue advanced Environment and Human Behavior electives from a menu of Architecture Electives options.

Technical Systems

The Technical Systems sequence is intended to make students aware of practical and theoretical aspects of the interrelationships between materials, building systems, and structures, an understanding of which is essential for both functional and imaginative design.

SubjectNumberTitle
ARCH335Structure, Form and Order
ARCH231Construction Materials and Assemblies I
ARCH333Building Systems: Equipment for Buildings

Students may pursue advanced Technical Systems courses from a menu of Architecture Elective options.

Practice and Professional Development

SubjectNumberTitle
ARCH101Foundations of Architecture
VARTS101Foundations of Drawing
ARCH287Introduction to Computer Applications in Design

Students may pursue Advanced Practice and Professional Development courses from a menu of Architecture Elective options.

Architecture Electives

Completion of one Architecture Elective is required for graduation. Architecture Electives complement required coursework, providing an enhanced knowledge base in areas of faculty expertise. Students are also eligible to register for graduate level Architecture Electives during their senior year.

SubjectNumberTitle
ARCH430Special Topics in Architecture
ARCH461Introduction to Landscape Architecture
ARCH477Architecture in Context
ARCH484Construction Estimating and Scheduling
ARCH488Computer Applications for Professional Practice
300 level or above Historic Preservation courses
300 level or above Urban and Regional Planning Courses
500 level or above Architecture Electives (with permission)

Electives

Completion of two electives is required for graduation. Students are advised to apply one of these electives to expand the University Core Concentration into a minor.

Students are free to choose from the University’s course offerings to satisfy this requirement. Pre-requisites for MATH 136 Precalculus (Math 117 College Algebra) and prerequisites for WTNG 102 Expository Writing, (WTNG 100 Introduction to Academic Writing) will not count as electives toward the Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree.

Bachelor of Science in Architecture / Master of Architecture 4+1.5-2 Degree Sequence

Click to Open

The Bachelor of Science in Architecture/Master of Architecture 4+1.5-2 degree program is an NAAB-accredited Architecture professional degree sequence. Students can expect to complete the degree program sequence through a program of five and one half or six years of study, though students may accelerate through summer study.

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Architecture/Master of Architecture professional degree program must successfully complete the following required courses and electives, in addition the University Core Curriculum requirements. Students complete a minimum of 10 500-600 level courses and 38 credits at the graduate level.

Mathematics Requirement

Math 136 Precalculus or MATH 213 Calculus I and Lab are required for all Architecture majors, and are a prerequisite for required courses in the structures sequence. Successful completion of one of these courses also fulfills the University’s Core requirement in mathematics. Students are encouraged to complete the highest level of mathematics that they place into, in recognition of the fact that some Roger Williams University minors and graduate study options at other universities may require calculus. Students seeking to complete a Minor in Structural Engineering must complete MATH 213 Calculus I and Lab.

Science Requirement

Architecture majors are required to complete PHYS 109-Physics I-Algebra Based and Lab or PHYS 201-Physics I-Calculus Based and Lab or ENGR 210, and either CORE 101 Science or BIO 104-Biology II or NATSC 103-Earth Systems Science and Lab. Both BIO 104 and NATSC 103 count toward the Core Concentration and Minor in Sustainability Studies.

Design

The design studio sequence consists of core studios, advanced undergraduate studios, comprehensive design studio, graduate studios, and a final graduate thesis design studio. The Core consists of five sequential semesters addressing fundamental architectural design issues, and graphic skills. This is followed by one semester of advanced architectural design studio and one advanced topical studio in urban issues. At the graduate level, students undertake comprehensive design studio, and two additional graduate topical studios, before exploring a thesis topic of their own choosing for the final semester of the professional degree program.

SubjectNumberTitle

 ARCH

 113

 Architectural Design Core Studio I

 ARCH

 114

 Architectural Design Core Studio II

 ARCH

 213

 Architectural Design Core Studio III

 ARCH

 214

 Architectural Design Core Studio IV

 ARCH

 313

 Architectural Design Core Studio V

 ARCH

 413

 Advanced Architectural Design Studio

 ARCH

 416

 Advanced Topical Design Studio: Urban

 ARCH

 513

 Comprehensive Project Design Studio

 ARCH

 515

 Graduate Architectural Design Studio (two studios)

 ARCH

 613

 Graduate Thesis Design Studio

History/Theory

The History/Theory sequence is a three-part structure of required introductory and intermediate courses, and advanced elective options. Students complete a two-course introductory survey of Art and Architectural History, followed by a History of Modern Architecture and Theory of Architecture requirements, one intermediate course in the History of Architecture chosen from a broad menu of options, and one advanced elective option:

SubjectNumberTitle

 AAH

121-122

 History of Art and Architecture I-II

 ARCH

 325

 History of Modern Architecture

 ARCH

 322

 Theory of Architecture

 and one of the following Intermediate Level Course Options

 ARCH

 324

 Evolution of Urban Form

 ARCH

 327

 History of American Architecture

 ARCH

 329

 History of Landscape Architecture

 AAH

 321

 Arts and Architecture in the Classical World

 AAH

 322

 Arts and Architecture in the Medieval World

 AAH

 323

 Arts and Architecture in the Islamic World

 AAH

 324

 Arts and Architecture in the Italian Renaissance

 AAH

 330

 Topics in Art and Architectural History

 HP

 341

 Pre-Industrial America

 HP

 342

 Industrial America

 and one of the following:

 ARCH

 530

 Special Topics in Architecture

 AAH

 530

 Special Topics (selected topics)

 AAH

 560

 The Newport Seminar

 ARCH

 573

 Modernism in the Non-Western World: A Comparative Perspective

 ARCH

 575

 Contemporary Asian Architecture and Urbanism

 ARCH

 576

 Theoretical Origins of Modernism

 ARCH

 577

 The Skyscraper

 HP

 351

 History and Philosophy of Historic Preservation

 HP

 391

 Architecture and Historic Preservation Abroad

 HP

 530

 Special Topics in Historic Preservation

Environment and Human Behavior

Environment and Human Behavior coursework develops student’s skills and understanding relative to environment, social aspects and research methodology.

SubjectNumberTitle

 ARCH

 321

 Site and Environment

 ARCH

 522

 Environmental Design Research

Technical Systems

The Technical Systems sequence gives students an essential understanding of the practical and theoretical interrelationships between the structural, environmental and enclosure systems of a building, and introduces them to various building materials, assemblies and services. Students complete seven required courses, including a three course structures sequence and two courses each in Construction Materials and Assemblies and in Environmental Systems.

SubjectNumberTitle

 ARCH

 335

 Structure, Form and Order

 ARCH

 434

 Design of Structures I

 ARCH

 435

 Design of Structures II

 ARCH

 231-331

 Construction Materials and Assemblies I and II

 ARCH

 332

 Acoustics and Lighting

 ARCH

 333

 Building Systems: Electrical for Buildings

Practice and Professional Development

Practice and Professional Development coursework develops students’ communication skills and understanding of the role of architects within society and in relation to the various participants in the building process. This sequence culminates with the Graduate Thesis Seminar, where students are asked to formulate an independent architectural investigation that engages a set of issues that further their understanding of Architecture as a cultural medium and as a profession.

SubjectNumberTitle

 VARTS

 101

 Foundations of Drawing

 ARCH

 101

 Foundations of Architecture

 ARCH

 287

 Computer Applications in Design

 ARCH

 488

 Computer Applications for Professional Practice

 ARCH

 542

 Professional Practice

 ARCH

 641

 Graduate Thesis Research Seminar

Architecture Electives

In addition to the elective options outlined above in History/Theory, the completion of four Architecture Electives is required for graduation, with a minimum of three at the Graduate Level.

Undergraduate Architecture Electives

SubjectNumberTitle

 ARCH

 430

 Special Topics in Architecture

 ARCH

 461

 Introduction to Landscape Architecture

 ARCH

 477

 Architecture in Context

 ARCH

 484

 Construction Estimating and Scheduling

 300 Level or above Historic Preservation courses

 300 Level or above Urban and Regional Planning courses

Graduate Architecture Electives

Graduate electives are grouped in the areas of Sustainable Design, Urban Design, Digital Media, Historic Preservation, and Urban and Regional Planning.

Sustainable Design: ARCH 521 Sustainable Design Seminar, ARCH 593 Sustainable Paradigms, ARCH 594 Urban Ecology, ARCH 533 Detailing the High-performance Envelope, ARCH 535 Introduction to Proactive Simulation, ARCH 536 Special Topics in Sustainable Design.

Urban Design: ARCH 572 Urban Design Theory, ARCH 594 Urban Ecology, ARCH 524 Evolution of Urban Form, ARCH 529 History of Landscape Architecture, ARCH 561 Landscape Architecture, ARCH 537 Special Topics in Urban Design.

Digital Media: ARCH 587 Advanced Computer Applications in Design, ARCH 588 Digital Manufacturing, ARCH 535 Intro to Proactive Simulation, ARCH 538 Special Topics in Digital Media.

Historic Preservation: HP 501 Fundamentals of Historic Preservation, HP 503 Principles of Architectural Conservation, HP 525 Preservation Economics, HP 530 Special Topics in Historic Preservation, HP 681L Historic Rehabilitation Workshop, HP 582L Architectural Conservation, HP 526 Preservation Law and Regulation.

Urban and Regional Planning: PLAN 501 Intro to Urban and Regional Planning; PLAN 521 GIS for Planning, Design and Construction; PLAN 582L Interdisciplinary Planning Workshop.

Graduate Architecture Electives: AAH 560 The Newport Seminar, ARCH 574 Regionalism in Architecture, ARCH 530 Special Topics in Architecture.

Additional Electives

Completion of two electives outside of the major is required for graduation. Students are advised to apply one of these electives to expand the University Core Concentration into a minor.

Students are free to choose from the University’s course offerings to satisfy this requirement. Prerequisites for MATH 136 Precalculus (MATH 117 College Algebra) and prerequisites for WTNG 102 Expository Writing (WTNG 100 Introduction to Academic Writing) will not count as electives toward the Bachelor of Science/Master of Architecture degree sequence.

The Architecture Minor

Click to Open

Students wishing to explore the ideas and forms associated with architecture, yet not wishing to embark on the major, may elect to minor in this discipline.

The program leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Architectural History is a 12-course, 36-credit major. The courses build upon a two-course introductory sequence, a seven-course intermediate level, two advanced seminars and a senior seminar or thesis. This flexible program is tailored to the particular interests and goals of each student who may, beginning at the intermediate level, develop a six-course concentration in either Art History or Architectural History. Majors are required to complete two years of study in a foreign language.

Introductory Courses

SubjectNumberTitle

 AAH

 121-122

 History of Art and Architecture I-II

Intermediate Courses

SubjetNumberTitle

 AAH

 305

 Theory and Methods of Art and Architectural History

 And six from the following menu of options

 AAH

 311

 History of American Art

 AAH

 312

 History of Modern Art

 AAH

 315

 The History and Theory of Photography

 AAH

 317

 Giotto to Leonardo

 AAH

 318

 Michelangelo to Vasari

 AAH

 320

 The Art of Buon Fresco

 AAH

 321

 Art and Architecture in the Classical World

 AAH

 322

 Art and Architecture in the Medieval World

 AAH

 323

 Art and Architecture in the Islamic World

 ARCH

 324

 Evolution of Urban Form

 ARCH

 325

 History of Modern Architecture

 ARCH

 327

 History of American Architecture

 ARCH

 329

 History of Landscape Architecture

 AAH

 330

 Topics in Art and Architectural History

Advanced Seminars

Three of the following:

SubjectNumberTitle

 AAH

 421

 Issues in Contemporary Art

 AAH

 423

 Nature and Art

 AAH

 430

 Special Topics in Art and Architectural History

 AAH

 530

 Special Topics in Art and Architectural History

 AAH

 560

 The Newport Seminar

 ARCH

 573

 Modernism in the Non-Western World

 ARCH

 575

 Contemporary Asian Architecture and Urbanism

 ARCH

 576

 Theoretical Origins of Modernism

 ARCH

 577

 The Skyscraper

400 level courses in Art and Architectural History from the Institute for Fine and Liberal Arts of the Palazzo Rucellai.

 or

  AAH

  450

  Senior Thesis

Foreign Language Requirement

The B.A. in Art and Architectural History requires students to complete two years of study in a foreign language.

Optional Concentration

Students may elect to pursue a six-course concentration from the intermediate courses and advanced seminars in either Art History or Architectural History.

Art History Concentration: six from AAH 311, AAH 312, AAH 315, AAH 317, AAH 318, AAH 321, AAH 322, AAH 323, AAH 330 (relevant topics), AAH 421, AAH 423, AAH 430 (relevant topics)

Architectural History Concentration: six from ARCH 324, ARCH 325, ARCH 327, ARCH 329, AAH 321, AAH 322, AAH 323, AAH 330 (relevant topics), AAH 423, AAH 430 (relevant topics) ARCH 530 (relevant topics), ARCH 573, ARCH 575, ARCH 576, ARCH 577

The Art and Architectural History Minor

SubjectNumberTitle

 AAH

 121-122

 History of Art and Architecture I–II

Two Intermediate Courses from the Art and Architectural History Major
Two additional courses from the Art and Architectural History Major, a minimum of one at the 400 level or above.

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.

See Portfolio Requirements

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 Architecture

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.

Read full story

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.

First Year Design Studio

A sketch by Adam Clary
A sketch by Adam Clary '21

The First Year Design Studios are a rigorous introduction to the fundamentals of the design process in architecture, including how one develops architecture’s relationships to people, spaces and basic forms of shelter. Valuable learning tools are embedded in the process of design, as a way of working on something, refining it, moving it toward a goal. 

SEE MORE STUDENT WORK

Second Year Design Studio

A design by Connor-Arsenault '20
A design by Connor-Arsenault '20

The Second Year Design Studios concentrate on the exploration of a rational design methodology through the process of analysis, synthesis and transformation. Through combinations of short exercises and comprehensive projects, students are encouraged to develop a conceptual trajectory for their work.

SEE MORE STUDENT WORK

Third Year Design Studio

A interior design by Chrissy Cadigan '19
A interior design by Chrissy Cadigan '19

The third year design studio emphasizes the architectural synthesis of more complex and challenging contexts, programs, design procedures and methodologies. The studio topics often engage with civic or cultural institutions, that serve as symbolic expression of social values and/or as catalysts for dynamic urban influences. 

SEE MORE STUDENT WORK

Fourth Year Design Studio

A full building design by Caroline Buffum '18
A full building design by Caroline Buffum '18

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.

SEE MORE STUDENT WORK

Undergraduate Award & Scholarship Winners

A full building design by Caroline Buffum '18
A full building design by Caroline Buffum '18

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.

SEE MORE STUDENT WORK