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Bachelor of Science in Architecture

Program Overview

The pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture program is only available to students currently admitted to the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) program at Penn State. Students studying architecture who choose not to pursue the five-year professional degree or licensure can pursue the four-year B.S. in Architecture. Students thinking of changing from the B.Arch. to the B.S. in Architecture should speak with their assigned academic adviser to understand career implications

The B.S. program is a four-year curriculum requiring 135 credits. The curriculum consists of a foundation core of design, introductory studies in architecture and environmental design at various scales, programming and implementation techniques, architectural data systems application, architectural theories in design and methodology, and research.

This program helps prepare those who intend to enter related environmental design professions. B.S. graduates are trained and eligible for immediate participation as paraprofessionals in the environmental design field, may continue their studies in intensive and specialized professional training for the first professional degree, or may continue with further graduate studies.

Incorporated into the program is a one-semester required study abroad program. Students can choose between an option in Rome, Italy or Copenhagen, Denmark. These opportunities are part of the fourth-year of studies. More information on each of these programs can be found on the Global Programs website


The Bachelor of Science degree requires 45 credits in general education and 95 credits in the major. 

A minimum of 135 credits is required.

A. Professional core courses: 69 credits

  • Architectural design 42 credits
  • Visual communications 3 credits
  • Structural and environment control systems 6 credits*
  • Design and planning theories 6 credits
  • Architectural History 12 credits**

B. Professional area studies: 21 credits

  • Architectural environmental control systems 9 credits
  • Architectural building materials 6 credits
  • Architectural and planning theories 6 credits

C. Supporting Courses 6 credits

*Please note that the preprofessional leading to a B.S. degree is a nonaccredited degree. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania only the professional degree (B.Arch.5 years) is recognized for licensure application. The students applying for entry into the Department of Architecture should check with the state of their residence for similar regulations concerning requirements for licensure application.

*6 are also included as part of the General Education courses

**3 credits are also included as part of the General Education courses

Continuation into the third year will be determined by departmental review and evaluation at the end of the fourth semester.

Notice: The University may make changes in policies, procedures, and educational offerings at any time.



Robert Reed Drawing Workshops

Cathy Braasch, assistant professor of architecture, was so moved by the passion of the late artist and educator Robert Reed that she has set out to share his life, work, and pedagogy with a whole new generation of students through the Robert Reed Drawing Workshops at Penn State and in New York at Hunter College and the Whitney Museum for American Art. Read the story.

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Department of Architecture
121 Stuckeman Family Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814.865.9535
Fax: 814.863.8137
Program Assistant: Jennifer Howard