Pre-Architecture * : Overview

Department of Architecture

Contact Information

School of Architecture and Planning
114 Diefendorf Hall
South Campus
Buffalo, NY 14214-8032

Phone: 716.829.3483
Fax: 716.829.3256
Web Address:
Omar Khan
R. J. Multari
Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education
Debra Eggebrecht
Assistant to the Chair


Architecture is the applied art and techniques of designing and building structures, and architects are professionals with specialized knowledge about the design of built and natural environments. People need places to eat, work, live and play. Architects transform these needs into concepts and then develop the concepts into building images that can be constructed by others. These projects can be as small as an entrance way and as large as an entire college campus and everything in between.

At University at Buffalo Architecture, students are educated in the ways to transform ideas and concepts to develop images, plans, models, and designs of buildings and related landscapes for our natural and constructed environments.

The UB School of Architecture Planning offers the only accredited professional master of architecture (MArch) degree in the State University of New York system, along with an undergraduate pre-professional bachelor of science in architecture (BSArch), as well as an undergraduate architecture minor.

Paths To The Professional Degree in Architecture

There are two paths to obtaining the professional degree in architecture at the University at Buffalo:

1. Obtaining a pre-professional bachelor of science in architecture degree plus an accredited professional master of architecture degree, commonly referred to as the "four-plus-two" track; or,
2. Obtaining a four-year non-architecture baccalaureate degree, completing the architecture minor, and pursing the three-plus year professional Master of Architecture degree track.

The pre-professional baccalaureate degree plus professional master's degree is a predominant route to obtaining a professional architecture degree. This route normally requires six years to complete, followed by a three-year professional development program in an architecture firm. The flexibility in the program is readily apparent. At the end of four years the student has a college degree and may decide to continue in architecture and get the professional master's degree, spend a year or two working for an architect, or change disciplines and pursue study in other design-related professions including landscape architecture, urban planning and design, industrial design, interior design, digital arts, or graphic design.

The non-architecture baccalaureate degree with the three-plus year professional master's degree in architecture is an additional academic route available. This route normally requires a minimum of 7 year of collegiate study (a four-year undergraduate degree plus a three-plus year Master of Architecture degree), followed by a three-year professional development program in an architecture firm. This route is usually taken by those who have embarked on collegiate studies other than architecture and later decide to study architecture.

Many people enter the profession this way; their average age is in the mid-twenties and their undergraduate backgrounds range across every imaginable discipline including environmental design, urban studies, art history, fine arts, photography, engineering, management, music, philosophy, digital arts, mathematics, geography, biomedical sciences, geology, environmental affairs, and history. Students entering the profession this way are usually quite mature and serious about their studies. Like the two-year Master of Architecture degree, the three-plus year Master of Architecture offered by the University at Buffalo is a fully accredited professional architecture degree. In addition, the minor in architecture may enhance and provide additional knowledge for students interested in pursuing a three-plus year accredited professional master of architecture (MArch) degree upon completion of their baccalaureate studies. The minor in architecture is typically completed within five to six semesters.

Incoming students should prepare themselves in the areas of freehand drawing, manual drafting, figure drawing, sculpting, studio art, technical drawing, and 2-D and 3-D design. Graphic techniques, model making, ceramics production, metal working, as well as many other visual skills are taught in the in the Department of Architecture, but students who have some earlier preparation may find it easier to succeed in design studio coursework. In addition, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture recommends introductory courses in urban studies, studio art, and world history for those interested in architecture.

Pre-architecture students at the University at Buffalo are advised to complete the following courses:

ARC 121 Introduction to Architecture
ARC 211 American Diversity and Design
ARC 318 Design Methods: Architectural Sketching
MTH 121 Survey of Calculus and Its Applications I or MTH 131 Calculus for Management
PHY 101/AP 101 College Physics I
END 120 Introduction to Urban Environments
END 212 Urban and Environmental Planning
END 279 Exploring the Design of Buffalo Niagara
ART 105 Studio 1: Art & Everyday and/or ART 110 Studio 2: Constructed Body and ART 111 Drawing Fundamentals

Updated: 13 Oct 2015 06:27:39 EDT