Sep 25, 2022  
Undergraduate Catalog | 2020-2021 
Undergraduate Catalog | 2020-2021 Previous Edition

School of Architecture

The mission of the School of Architecture (SoA) is is to advance excellence in architectural education through innovative research, teaching, and design practices.  The School seeks to further the discourse between the theory and practice of architecture through the education and training of students, the work and research of the faculty, and ongoing engagement with the University, the profession, and the community. Architecture in the narrow sense includes important public monuments and, in the broader sense, the constructed environment at all scales.

To prepare undergraduate students to become future community and architectural leaders, the School of Architecture seeks to provide both a liberal and a professional education based on a holistic view of the built environment.  The studio/seminar sequence in the Core Program emphasizes both writing and making to introduce students to alternative and complementary methods of investigating design problems.  The professional degree path in the Advanced Program culminates in studios that emphasize self-direction and provide directed instruction on matters of importance to contemporary practice and theory, and includes courses in advanced building technology, professional practice, and digital practices.


The School of Architecture maintains accredited status through the National Architectural Accrediting Board, which reviews the curriculum, facility, faculty, and program resources annually.  In addition, the NAAB conducts an intensive site visit every eight years.  The School has maintained full accreditation standards as prescribed by this board and includes the following required statement:

“In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.”

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, School of Architecture, offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

  • B.Arch. (158 undergraduate credit hours)
  • M.Arch. (preprofessional degree + 60 graduate credit hours)
  • M.Arch. (non-preprofessional degree + 96 credit hours)
  • M.Arch. (Advanced Standing Track: UNC Charlotte pre-professional B.A. in Architecture + 40 credit hours)

Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2024.

Areas of Academic Focus

The School of Architecture faculty offer expertise and instruction in the following areas:

  1. Architectural Design Studios and Seminars
    Studios and seminars provide both analytical and synthetic educational experiences along with the opportunity to pursue intense study of physical-environmental subject(s).  These courses link humanistic, physical phenomena, social-psychological, behavioral, perceptional, and aesthetic studies.
  2. Architectural History Courses
    These courses provide an understanding of the relationships between culture and its physical architectural manifestations from ancient to contemporary times.
  3. Building Technology Courses
    These courses provide a quantitative and qualitative understanding of building materials, structural theory and design, environmental systems issues and principles, and building systems integration.
  4. Computation Courses
    These courses provide practical and theoretical training on matters of basic and advanced computational practices, including instruction in scripting and digital fabrication.

Architectural Electives and Opportunities

Elective courses provide opportunities for topical study of issues, themes, subdisciplines, and methods, both current and historic to architectural practices: theoretical concerns, urban design, landscape, representation, building technology, digital practice and fabrication, environmental issues, community practice, and constructional/making concerns.  Many electives are organized around the following four themes or concentrations:

  1. Architectural Design, Theory, & Practice
    This concentration focuses on a sophisticated and detailed study of building and site design arising from the representational methods intrinsic to architecture. The areas of focus include: graphic description, historical and/or theoretical inquiries, as well as digital design and fabrication. This concentration includes both investigation and criticism of contemporary practice and practitioners as it pertains to the understanding, design, and making of architecture.
  2. Urbanism
    This concentration focuses on the critical role of architecture in the city – the processes and specific intents of physical interventions in urban landscapes and infrastructures. Through the design of groups of buildings as well as larger scale urban areas, issues of policy, politics, finance, planning, place, and culture are introduced as part of the essential conception and history of the city fabric.
  3. Architectural Technology
    This concentration focuses on emerging issues of sustainable design and the development of innovative building envelopes and systems that utilize both new and traditional materials, technology, and construction methods. Seeking to explore the historical as well as contemporary realms of thermal, tactile and visual issues of architectural technology, students address appropriate material selection, methods of daylighting, and passive and active systems for heating and cooling with consideration of both qualitative and quantitative outcomes.
  4. Digital Design, Fabrication, and Visualization
    This concentration focuses on computation as it affects materiality, process, and interaction. Work in this concentration focuses on the responsible material constraints of digital manufacturing techniques, the ways in which our methodologies are affected by computation, and the ways in which digital technology is changing the expectations for interaction in our designed spaces and urban conditions.
  5. Architectural History and Criticism (minor)
    This minor focuses on interpretive lenses, research methods, and writing strategies for the historical analysis and criticism of architecture.  Work in this minor includes exploring how these activities inform and relate to contemporary architectural practice, as well as how related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities inform an understanding of the built environment.  The minor is open to students of any major and requires completion of 18 credit hours of coursework.  Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all courses counted toward the minor. Students may share up to 9 credit hours between their minor and major.

Independent Studies

When appropriate, students may earn credit by pursuing a self-directed, faculty-approved study of a particular, significant architectural topic or subject.

Research Studies

Students may earn credit through participation in directed faculty research projects.

Education Abroad Programs

The School of Architecture conducts an international, semester-based program in Rome, which provides a fully integrated curriculum, in the Spring semester of the final years of the B.A. in Architecture program.  Additionally, the School offers field-study, Summer programs in a range of countries including, but not limited to, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Eastern Europe, Finland, China, Brazil, and South Korea.  Other exchange arrangements also exist through the Office for International Programs for students to study architecture in the spring of the 4th year at a consortium of universities that have included:  University of Copenhagen (Denmark); Kingston University (London, England); Lund Institute of Technology, (Lunds, Sweden); University of Technology, (Delft, Netherlands); Tongji University, (Shanghai, China), The University of Applied Science, (Aachen, Germany); Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, (Copenhagen, Denmark); and the Henry van de Velde Institute (Antwerp, Belgium).




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