Jul 17, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2024-2025 
    
Rensselaer Catalog 2024-2025

Architecture, B.Arch.


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Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch.) Curriculum

This five-year undergraduate professional program is a first professional degree accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board [NAAB]. The program is for a limited number of qualified students committed to the study of architecture. These students are admitted directly to the professional degree program and begin studies in architecture in the first year.

The National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) accredits the Rensselaer School of Architecture’s Bachelor of Architecture program and its Master of Architecture program. Pursuant to the requirement of the NAAB, the following statement is included in the catalog:

“In the United States, most state 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 term, an eight-year term with conditions, or a two-year term of continuing accreditation, or a three-year term of initial accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards. Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a non-accredited undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the non-accredited degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.”

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, School of Architecture offers the following NAAB accredited degree programs:

  • B.Arch. (172 undergraduate credits)
  • M.Arch. (pre-professional Degree + 100 credits)
  • Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2025

The School of Architecture’s (SoA) curriculum includes required courses in Design, History / Theory, Technology, Ecology / Environment & Professional Practice, while encouraging innovative approaches to architecture education and professional preparation through elective courses, study abroad programs, and the All -Institute ARCH program. Additionally, BArch students are required to complete electives in HASS (20 cu), MATH (8 cu), Science (8 cu) and Free electives (8 cu). Through a combination of curricular and extra-curricular activities the SoA curriculum meets or exceeds the following Program Criteria learning outcomes and Student Criteria learning outcomes as defined in the NAAB 2020, Conditions for Accreditation.

PC.1 Career Paths—How the program ensures that students understand the paths to becoming licensed as an architect in the United States and the range of available career opportunities that utilize the discipline’s skills and knowledge.

PC.2 Design—How the program instills in students the role of the design process in shaping the built environment and conveys the methods by which design processes integrate multiple factors, in different settings and scales of development, from buildings to cities.

PC.3 Ecological Knowledge and Responsibility—How the program instills in students a holistic understanding of the dynamic between built and natural environments, enabling future architects to mitigate climate change responsibly by leveraging ecological, advanced building performance, adaptation, and resilience principles in their work and advocacy activities.

PC.4 History and Theory—How the program ensures that students understand the histories and theories of architecture and urbanism, framed by diverse social, cultural, economic, and political forces, nationally and globally.

PC.5 Research and Innovation—How the program prepares students to engage and participate in architectural research to test and evaluate innovations in the field.

PC.6 Leadership and Collaboration—How the program ensures that students understand approaches to leadership in multidisciplinary teams, diverse stakeholder constituents, and dynamic physical and social contexts, and learn how to apply effective collaboration skills to solve complex problems.

PC.7 Learning and Teaching Culture—How the program fosters and ensures a positive and respectful environment that encourages optimism, respect, sharing, engagement, and innovation among its faculty, students, administration, and staff.

PC.8 Social Equity and Inclusion—How the program furthers and deepens students’ understanding of diverse cultural and social contexts and helps them translate that understanding into built environments that equitably support and include people of different backgrounds, resources, and abilities.

SC.1 Health, Safety, and Welfare in the Built Environment—How the program ensures that students understand the impact of the built environment on human health, safety, and welfare at multiple scales, from buildings to cities.

SC.2 Professional Practice—How the program ensures that students understand professional ethics, the regulatory requirements, the fundamental business processes relevant to architecture practice in the United States, and the forces influencing change in these subjects.

SC.3 Regulatory Context—How the program ensures that students understand the fundamental principles of life safety, land use, and current laws and regulations that apply to buildings and sites in the United States, and the evaluative process architects use to comply with those laws and regulations as part of a project.

SC.4 Technical Knowledge—How the program ensures that students understand the established and emerging systems, technologies, and assemblies of building construction, and the methods and criteria architects use to assess those technologies against the design, economics, and performance objectives of projects.

SC.5 Design Synthesis—How the program ensures that students develop the ability to make design decisions within architectural projects while demonstrating synthesis of user requirements, regulatory requirements, site conditions, and accessible design, and consideration of the measurable environmental impacts of their design decisions.

SC.6 Building Integration—How the program ensures that students develop the ability to make design decisions within architectural projects while demonstrating integration of building envelope systems and assemblies, structural systems, environmental control systems, life safety systems, and the measurable outcomes of building performance.

SoA Study Abroad Programs

 
The School of Architecture offers the following Study Abroad programs in Fall 2024 - Spring 2025. Acceptance to the SoA Study Abroad programs is based upon a competitive application process.
 
CASE NY – Fall 2024 & Spring 2025 

Italy – Fall 2024 

Latin America – Spring 2025 

Architectural Minors: 


Architecture Minor  
Architectural History Minor  
Architectural Acoustics Minor  
Lighting Minor  
Environmental Design Minor  

Professional Electives


The School of Architecture offers a range of professional elective courses in technology, design, history / theory, practice and the built environment. Elective courses are open to students in 3rd – 5th year. Course elective listings and the faculty offering electives are subject to change. Please note that some electives are offered only as part of the SoA study abroad programs.

 

TROY, NY

Architectural Acoustics 1 & 2
Art of Structure
Artificial Intelligence Imagining Architecture
Ceramic Upholstery
Ceramic Assemblies
Duchamp Seminar
Deep Viewing- Hitchcock
Human Factors in Lighting
Intense 3d printed Ornament
Lighting Design
Lighting Technologies and Applications
Lighting Workshop
Projecting Light
Sentient Spaces
Skin Deep
Structural Anatomy of Buildings
The Architecture of the Screen

 

CASE NY*

Urban Data 1
Geo Actors 1
Urban data 2
Geo Actors 2
Design Programming
Advanced Design Scripting & Parametrics
Building Information Modeling
Environmental Parametrics
Built Ecologies 1
Built Ecologies 2
*limited enrollment for upstate students

 

LATIN AMERICA only

Local Technologies & Systems
Exploratory Drawing
Latin America Arch /Urbanism
Travel Narratives

 

ITALY only

Global Changemakers
Architecture Of The City
Renaissance & Baroque Architecture in Rome
To Rome With Love
History Of Italian Design
Fashion & Architecture
Introduction to Restoration of Historic Buildings
Elementary Italian
Modern & Contemporary Rome
Environmental Parametrics
Spolia, Archive of Roman Singularities

The five-year B.Arch. program concludes with a year-long individually developed and comprehensive final project in the context of optional research studio and thematic contexts provided by faculty. The first semester of the final project integrates a research seminar. An integrated design research phase continues throughout the first and the second semesters.

The final project is an opportunity to develop a point of view about architecture and its place in the world; to question conventions, habitual responses, and routine approaches to architectural design; and to investigate issues that the student sees as significant to architecture.

A sample template of the B.Arch. curriculum structure is provided below. Please note that special circumstances such as participating in a semester abroad or a semester at CASE in New York City may involve some variation from this template.

First Year


Second Year


Third Year


Fall


Spring


  • Credit Hours: 5
  • MATH Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • ARCH - Professional Elective Credit Hours: 2
  • ARCH - Professional Elective Credit Hours: 2

Summer


The School of Architecture does not require students to complete the RPI-ARCH Summer Semester on campus. AWAY experiences must be completed through completion of one (1) RPI-ARCH AWAY ILE (Individualized Learning Experience) in one of the Summers after either 2nd or 3rd or 4th year, or by completing one (1) of the School of Architecture Study Abroad Program semesters (Fall/Spring).

All BArch students entering the School of Architecture after 2024, are required to complete:

A total of 2 (two) AWAY Experiences:


1 RPI-ARCH AWAY ILEA (Summer)

 

AND

 

A second AWAY experience:

Either ONE SoA Study Abroad Semester (Fall/Spring)
OR
ONE CASE Semester (Fall/Spring)
OR
ONE (additional) RPI-ARCH AWAY ILEA (Summer)

 

Graduation requirement: ADMN 1030 & the ILE Report

For more information please visit the website: https://www.arch.rpi.edu/the-arch-semester-away/

Fourth Year


Fall


Spring


Fifth Year


Fall


Spring


Additional Requirements


The five-year B.Arch. program concludes with a year-long individually developed, Final Project sequence. In the fifth year, students enter a Final Project lottery to choose from themes that are provided by the individual FP instructors. The fall semester of the final project includes a 3-credit design research seminar and a 5-credit vertical design studio that are taught by different instructors and are not thematically connected. The spring term concludes with a 5-credit Final Project design studio, pursuing research that was initiated in the fall FP design research seminar.

All design studios are sequential. Beginning in Fall 24 – Spring 25, the Comprehensive Design studio sequence will occur in the 4th year. ARCH 4820  and ARCH 4830  must be completed before taking ARCH 4910  and ARCH 4920 . The former third year technology courses, ARCH 4560  and ARCH 4740  must now be substituted with ARCH 4320  and ARCH 4325 . ARCH 4320  and ARCH 4325  are co-requisites for ARCH 4820  and ARCH 4830 , and are designed to support the comprehensive design studios in 4th year. Students are required to complete 8 credits in Math, 12 in Science, and 20 in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences from an extensive list of course offerings (see Institute core requirements for greater detail). In addition, students have 12 credits of professional electives, and 12 credits of free electives which may be used to further focus on a concentrated area of study, pursue a minor, or as a means of further broadening exposure to a range of disciplines.

Discipline specific sequences embedded in the curriculum are detailed below.

ARCH 2520  (Fall) is a pre-requisite for ARCH 2810  (Spring)

ARCH 2530  (Spring) is a pre-requisite for ARCH 2820  (Fall)

ARCH 2540  (Fall) is a pre-requisite for ARCH 2830  (Spring)

ARCH 2550  (Spring) is a pre-requisite for ARCH 4770  (Fall)

Technology courses:

ARCH 2330  is sequential and is a prerequisite to ARCH 4330  

ARCH 2360  is sequential and is a prerequisite to ARCH 4320  

ARCH 4320 , & ARCH 4540  are co-requisites to ARCH 4820  

ARCH 2800 , ARCH 2810 , ARCH 2820 , ARCH 2830 , and ARCH 2330 , ARCH 2360 , ARCH 4320 , ARCH 4820  are prerequisites to the ARCH 4830 .

ARCH 4910  is prerequisite to ARCH 4920 .

Technology courses: ARCH 2330  is sequential and prerequisite to ARCH 4330 ; and ARCH 2360  is sequential and prerequisite to ARCH 4740 .

ARCH 2800 , ARCH 2810 , ARCH 2820 , ARCH 2830 , and ARCH 4820 , and ARCH 2330 , ARCH 2360 , ARCH 4330 , ARCH 4740  are prerequisites to the ARCH 4830 . ARCH 4740  may be taken concurrently with the ARCH 4830 .

ARCH 4910  is prerequisite to ARCH 4920 .

Substitutions


As part of the continual improvement of the BArch curriculum, the SoA is substituting two courses in the technology sequence:

OLD SEQUENCE (6 cu):

ARCH 4740  (4 credits) 

ARCH 4560  (2 credits)

 

NEW SEQUENCE (6 cu):

ARCH 4320  (3 credits) / Corequisite with ARCH 4820   

ARCH 4325  (3 credits) / Corequisite with ARCH 4830  

 

COHORT 2020

Spring 24, 4th-year students:

If you have completed ARCH 4820 ​ and are taking, or have completed ARCH 4830  in Spring 24 and you:

  1. A student that has completed:
  1. A student that has completed ARCH 4740  (4 cu):

  • Substitutes ARCH 4325  (3 cu) for ARCH 4560  (2 cu)

  • This will result in 1 additional credit = (7cu)

  1. A student that has completed ARCH 4560  (2 cu)

  • Students will substitute ARCH 4320  (3 cu) and ARCH 4325  (3 cu) for ARCH 4740  (4 cu)

  • This will result in 2 additional credits = (8 cu). In this case the two additional credits of ARCH 4560  will be allocated to a professional elective

 

COHORT 2021

Spring 24, 3rd-year students:

  1. A  student that has completed ARCH 4740  (4 cu):

  • Substitutes ARCH 4325  (3 cu) for ARCH 4560  (2 cu)

  • This will result in 1 additional credit = (7cu)

  1. A student that has completed ARCH 4560  (2 cu)

  • Students will substitute ARCH 4320  (3 cu) and ARCH 4325  (3 cu) for ARCH 4740  (4 cu)

  • This will result in 2 additional credits = (8 cu). ARCH 4320  and ARCH 4325  are designed to provide technical support for the student’s success in ARCH 4820 ​ and ARCH 4830 . In this case the two additional credits of ARCH 4560  will be allocated to a professional elective.

 

COHORT 2022

Spring 24, 2nd-year students:

In Spring 2025 ARCH 4740  (4 credits) and ARCH 4560  (2 credits) = 6 total credits, will be substituted with ARCH 4320  (3 credits) in 4th year with ARCH 4820 ​ and ARCH 4325  (3 credits) in 4th year with ARCH 4830 . This cohort will not be required to take ARCH 4740  or ARCH 4560 . Degree works will be updated to reflect this change.

Footnotes


 

  1. HASS Institute inquiry and communications intensive requirement (see Class Hour Schedule for approved courses); ARCH 4920  will fulfill the Architecture major communications intensive requirement.
     
  2. Four credits of the HASS core requirements are embedded within the Architectural Genealogy and Modernity and Architecture sequence:ARCH 4100   and ARCH 4120 
     
  3. Four credits of the Institute core Science requirements are embedded within the technology sequence: ARCH 2330  , ARCH 2360  , ARCH 4325  , and ARCH 4330  
     
  4. This course is also taught in the Spring Semester
     
  5. Must be taken concurrently with ARCH 4820  
     
  6. Must be taken concurrently with ARCH 4830  
     
  7. HASS Institute inquiry and communications intensive requirement (see Class Hour  Schedule for approved courses); ARCH 4920  will fulfill the Architecture major communications intensive requirement.

The degree requires 172 credit hours.


All undergraduate students should develop a Plan of Study with their faculty adviser.

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