Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Architecture B.D.A.

School of Architecture
College of Design
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2021
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 72
  • Degree: Bachelor of Design in Architecture
In the Bachelor of Design in Architecture (BDA) program, students take a broad approach to design as it relates to architecture. Students learn to think through architecture, often in ways and with projects not necessarily tied to the traditional building scale or to building systems. Students use the lens of architecture to address a broad range of issues within the discipline and practice of architecture and as a bridge to other disciplines and modes of practice. Students develop verbal and visual skills in architecture, and practice the design process as a dialogue between divergent and convergent making and thinking. They undertake projects that link architecture with explorations in visual media (including film, photography, virtual reality), social, cultural and environmental concerns (preservation, disaster relief, neighborhood needs), focused concerns (daylight, facade, material, or modeling studies), and allied disciplines (set design, landscape architecture, urban studies). All major coursework must be taken A-F.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
Students must complete 30 credits before admission to the program.
Freshman and transfer students are usually admitted to pre-major status before admission to this major.
A GPA above 2.0 is preferred for the following:
  • 2.80 already admitted to the degree-granting college
  • 2.80 transferring from another University of Minnesota college
  • 2.80 transferring from outside the University
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
Required prerequisites
Prerequisite Courses, Primary Core
Student must complete the following classes prior to admission to the BDA program.
ARCH 1281 - Design Fundamentals I [AH] (4.0 cr)
ARCH 2281 - Design Fundamentals II (4.0 cr)
ARCH 1621W - Introduction to Critical Inquiry in Practice [WI] (3.0 cr)
or ARCH 1621V - Introduction to Critical Inquiry in Practice [WI] (3.0 cr)
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
The Architecture BDA requires 9 upper-division (3xxx-level or higher) credits outside College of Design designators. These include: ARCH, ADES, DES, GDES, IDES, LA, PDES, RM. At least 24 upper division credits in the major must be taken at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.
BDA Primary Core
NOTE: Students must complete Arch 2301 prior to Design Core requirements.
Take 3 or more course(s) from the following:
· ARCH 2301 - Drawing and Critical Thinking (4.0 cr)
· ARCH 3412W - Architectural History Since 1750 [HIS, GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 3411W - Architectural History to 1750 [HIS, GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
or ARCH 3411V - Architectural History to 1750 [HIS, GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
Design Core - Design Workshops
Topics of courses will vary each semester. Students repeat the courses in order to complete the 9 credit minimum.
Take 9 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ARCH 3231 - Intensive Applications Design Workshop (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 3232 - Extensive Applications Design Workshop (3.0 cr)
Design Core - Advanced Design Workshops
Topics of courses will vary each semester. Students repeat the courses in order to complete the 9 credit minimum.
Take 9 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ARCH 4231 - Advanced Intensive Applications Design Workshop (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 4291 - Advanced Extensive Applications Design Workshop (3.0 cr)
Architecture Electives
Take 9 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ARCH 3xxx
· ARCH 4xxx
· ARCH 5xxx
· LA 3501 - Environmental Design and Its Biological and Physical Context [ENV] (3.0 cr)
BDA Secondary Core
These courses provide introductions to curricular core areas within the school.
Take 3 or more course(s) totaling 9 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ARCH 3511 - Material Transformations: Technology and Change in the Built Environment [TS] (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 4451 - Contemporary Architectural Thinking (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 4561 - Architecture and Ecology [ENV] (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 4701W - Introduction to Urban Form and Theory [WI] (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 3711W - Environmental Design and the Sociocultural Context [SOCS, CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
or ARCH 3711V - Honors: Environmental Design and the Sociocultural Context [SOCS, CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
Architecture History / Theory Electives
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ARCH 4421W - Architecture and Interpretation: The Cave and the Light [WI] (3.0 cr)
or ARCH 4423 - Gothic Architecture (3.0 cr)
or ARCH 4424 - Renaissance Architecture (3.0 cr)
or ARCH 4425W - Baroque Architecture [WI] (3.0 cr)
or ARCH 4428 - History and Culture of European Cities [HIS, GP] (3.0 cr)
or ARCH 4432 - Modern Architecture (3.0 cr)
or ARCH 4434 - Contemporary Architecture (3.0 cr)
or ARCH 4410 - Topics in Architectural History (1.0-4.0 cr)
Upper-division Electives Outside the College
Take 9 credits upper-division credits (3xxx-level or higher) outside the College of Design designators. These include: ARCH, ADES, DES, GDES, IDES, LA, PDES, RM.
Upper-division Writing Intensive within the major
Students are required to take one upper-division writing intensive course within the major. If that requirement has not been satisfied within the core major requirements, students must choose one course from the following list. Some of these courses may also fulfill other major requirements.
Take 0 - 1 course(s) from the following:
· ARCH 3411V - Architectural History to 1750 [HIS, GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 3411W - Architectural History to 1750 [HIS, GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 3412W - Architectural History Since 1750 [HIS, GP, WI] (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 3711V - Honors: Environmental Design and the Sociocultural Context [SOCS, CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 3711W - Environmental Design and the Sociocultural Context [SOCS, CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 4425W - Baroque Architecture [WI] (3.0 cr)
· ARCH 4701W - Introduction to Urban Form and Theory [WI] (3.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
Accelerated
The accelerated option allows a limited number of qualified undergraduates to complete the BDA and M.Arch in six rather than seven years. Accepted students complete year one of the M.Arch during their senior year. Some M.Arch courses satisfy upper division BDA requirements: graduate technology for 3 cr. BDA secondary core; graduate history for 3 cr. BDA history elective; and graduate design studio for 6 cr. advanced BDA design workshop; remaining graduate credits may satisfy general elective credits. Students accepted must substantially complete BDA requirements before their senior year, and have a program plan in place verifying that undergraduate degree program requirements will be met by the end of the senior year. Accelerated status is granted on a competitive basis. Applications are due to the college registrar January 15 for enrolling in graduate courses the following fall term. Eligibility is based on program GPA (courses with ARCH designator) and overall UMN GPA; preferred program GPA is 3.8 or higher. Application includes: an APAS report, writing samples, three recommendation letters, a design portfolio, and a program plan for completing the BDA degree within the first year of the professional program coursework. Accelerated students apply for M.Arch advanced standing during normal graduate application (see school website) and must be accepted by the School of Architecture and the Graduate School. Students may choose to update and resubmit application materials.
 
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· College of Design

View sample plan(s):
· BDA Sample Plan
· Accelerated Sample Plan

View checkpoint chart:
· Architecture B.D.A.
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ARCH 1281 - Design Fundamentals I (AH)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Using architecture broadly defined, students will develop essential habits of work and mind, as well as an ability to understand the relationship between drawing, making and exploring. The course will introduce and begin to build an understanding of the role of iteration and critique, as well as traditional and contemporary modes of representation in architecture.
ARCH 2281 - Design Fundamentals II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Foundation architectural design studio. Design principles, technical drawing, material manipulation. prereq: 1281, [Arch mjr or pre-arch]
ARCH 1621W - Introduction to Critical Inquiry in Practice (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 1621W/Arch 1621V
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course introduces beginning architecture and landscape architecture students to critical inquiry in disciplinary research and professional practice through guest lectures, readings and discussions. Weekly exercises help develop a beginning-level understanding of the depth and breadth of architectural inquiry in its contemporary context, i.e., as a complex, multi-dimensional, multidisciplinary endeavor with myriad ethical implications. For the final project, students will extend individual curiosity from course materials and presentations into a meaningful proposal for basic or applied research. Students who are engaged in course materials will begin to understand: architecture, landscape architecture and design more broadly as an ecology of practices; the historical, contemporary and projective framework for architecture education; the historical, contemporary and projective framework for architecture as a profession; and specifically how these relate especially in this region.
ARCH 1621V - Introduction to Critical Inquiry in Practice (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 1621W/Arch 1621V
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course introduces beginning architecture and landscape architecture students to critical inquiry in disciplinary research and professional practice through guest lectures, readings, and discussions. Weekly exercises help develop a beginning-level understanding of the depth and breadth of architectural inquiry in its contemporary context, i.e., as a complex, multi-dimensional, multidisciplinary endeavor with myriad ethical implications. For the final project, students will extend individual curiosity from course materials and presentations into a meaningful proposal for basic or applied research. Students who are engaged in course materials will begin to understand: architecture, landscape architecture, and design more broadly as an ecology of practices; the historical, contemporary, and projective framework for architecture education; the historical, contemporary, and projective framework for architecture as a profession; and specifically how these relate especially in this region.
ARCH 2301 - Drawing and Critical Thinking
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 1301/Arch 5371/LA 5301/LA
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course provides an in-depth foundation for understanding how drawing functions as a discipline-specific way of thinking, brings self-critical precision to non-verbal production, and supports processes of conceptual exploration. prereq: Arch 2281 or department consent
ARCH 3412W - Architectural History Since 1750 (HIS, GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Examples of the built environment from the Enlightenment to the present are studied within a broad social, cultural, and political context. Major architectural movements and their associated forms and designs. prereq: Soph or above
ARCH 3411W - Architectural History to 1750 (HIS, GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 3411W/Arch 3411V
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Built environment as a tool to study the human past from ancient times to 1750. Major trends of style and form and the relationships, practices, beliefs that have shaped human behavior. prereq: Soph or above
ARCH 3411V - Architectural History to 1750 (HIS, GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 3411W/Arch 3411V
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
History of architecture/city planning from antiquity to 1750, as illustrated by major monuments from western/non-western cultures. prereq: Soph or above
ARCH 3231 - Intensive Applications Design Workshop
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
BDA design core workshops develop your ability to critically approach a broad range of conditions through the lens of architecture. This course will focus on critical inquiry of tangible architectural attributes such as material (assembly), site (context), or program (need). This workshop foregrounds analysis of measurable, physical and specific conditions, and favors local project sites and/or precedent projects. The course offers a structure for moderately directed learning (including guided peer review), emphasizes iteration and process, and offers an opportunity to discover where and how your own interests align with broader opportunities as an emerging designer in architecture and/or other allied disciplines and design fields.
ARCH 3232 - Extensive Applications Design Workshop
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
BDA design core workshops develop your ability to critically approach a broad range of conditions through the lens of architecture. This course focuses on the critical inquiry of latent or intangible attributes such as architecture's experiential, social, cultural, political, ethical, and poetic dimensions. Students in this course will engage architecture from the point of view of ephemeral conditions, theoretical understandings and operations, spatializing of data, and/or architectural inquiry applied to complex conditions or translations. The course offers a structure for moderately directed learning (including guided peer review), emphasizes iteration and process, and offers an opportunity to discover where and how your own interests align with broader opportunities as an emerging designer in architecture and/or other allied disciplines and design fields.
ARCH 4231 - Advanced Intensive Applications Design Workshop
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
BDA design core workshops develop your ability to critically approach a broad range of conditions through the lens of architecture. This course will focus on the critical inquiry of tangible architectural attributes such as material (assembly), site (context), or program (need). This workshop foregrounds the analysis of more measurable, physical and specific conditions, and will favor local project sites and/or precedent projects. Appropriate to an advanced design workshop, this course provides a structure for more guided, self-directed learning in service of iteratively advancing a design project through the lens of architecture.
ARCH 4291 - Advanced Extensive Applications Design Workshop
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
BDA design core workshops develop your ability to critically approach a broad range of conditions through the lens of architecture. This course focuses on the critical inquiry of latent or intangible attributes such as architecture's experiential, social, cultural, political, ethical, and poetic dimensions. Students in this course will engage architecture from the point of view of ephemeral conditions, theoretical understandings and operations, spatializing of data, and/or architectural inquiry applied to complex conditions or translations. Appropriate to an advanced design workshop, this course provides a structure for more guided, self-directed learning in service of iteratively advancing a design project through the lens of architecture.
LA 3501 - Environmental Design and Its Biological and Physical Context (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring & Summer
Dynamic relationships between environmentally designed places and biological/physical contexts. Integration of created place and biological/physical contexts. Case studies, student design.
ARCH 3511 - Material Transformations: Technology and Change in the Built Environment (TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Surveys development of significant architectural material technologies/their relationships to society/natural environment.
ARCH 4451 - Contemporary Architectural Thinking
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course examines major architectural theories and debates which have informed, catalyzed, or destabilized the discourse of architecture in the past seven decades. Focusing on selected key texts, ideologies, and figures, the course considers the changing role of architectural theory?as a vehicle of thought, a guide for practice, a catalyst for design, and a platform for debate. Topics shows formal or theoretical resonances in the problematics and poetics of architectural productions apropos of the technofantasist neo-avant-gardism, the post-structural semiosis, the postmodern consumerism, conceptual architecture, pop architecture, hippie counterculture, etc.
ARCH 4561 - Architecture and Ecology (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 4501/Arch 4561/Arch 5501
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to theories/practices of ecological approaches to architectural design. Ecological context, implications/opportunities of architecture. Historical/theoretical framework for ecological design thinking. Issues studied at various scales: site/community, building, component.
ARCH 4701W - Introduction to Urban Form and Theory (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Urban form, related issues of design/theory/culture. Thematic history of cities. Lectures, discussions, assignments. prereq: [3411, 3412] or instr consent
ARCH 3711W - Environmental Design and the Sociocultural Context (SOCS, CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 3711W/Arch 3711V
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Designed environment as cultural medium/product of sociocultural process/expression of values, ideas, behavioral patterns. Design/construction as complex political process. prereq: Soph or above
ARCH 3711V - Honors: Environmental Design and the Sociocultural Context (SOCS, CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 3711W/Arch 3711V
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Designed environment as cultural medium and as product of a sociocultural process and expression of values, ideas, and behavioral patterns. Design/construction as complex political process. prereq: Honors, [soph or above]
ARCH 4421W - Architecture and Interpretation: The Cave and the Light (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 4421/Arch 5421
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Historical/hermeneutical investigation of iconography of grotto. Intertwined themes of descent into earth and ascent to light, from earliest strata of human culture to present day. prereq: [3411, 3412] or instr consent
ARCH 4423 - Gothic Architecture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 4423/Arch 5423
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
History of architecture and urban design in Western Europe, from 1150 to 1400. prereq: 3411 or instr consent
ARCH 4424 - Renaissance Architecture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 4424/Arch 5424
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
History of architecture and urban design in Italy, from 1400 to 1600. Emphasizes major figures (Brunelleschi, Alberti, Bramante, Palladio) and evolution of major cities (Rome, Florence, Venice). prereq: 3411 or instr consent
ARCH 4425W - Baroque Architecture (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 4425/Arch 5425
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Architecture and urban design in Italy, from 1600 to 1750. Emphasizes major figures (Bernini, Borromini, Cortona, Guarini) and evolution of major cities (Rome, Turin). prereq: 3411 or instr consent
ARCH 4428 - History and Culture of European Cities (HIS, GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This is a history course aimed at investigating the rich urban, landscape and architectural legacy of European cities, tracing their complex histories through the development of city morphology, and ceremonial and quotidian spaces. The course is location and content and focus will change as location of study program changes. Lectures are in class and also includes several field trips to historic sites and landscapes.
ARCH 4432 - Modern Architecture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 4432/Arch 5432
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Architecture and urban design in Europe and the United States from early 19th century to World War II. prereq: 3412 or instr consent
ARCH 4434 - Contemporary Architecture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 4434/Arch 5434
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Developments, theories, movements, and trends in architecture and urban design from World War II to present. prereq: 3412 or instr consent
ARCH 4410 - Topics in Architectural History
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 24.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Selected topics in Architectural History
ARCH 3411V - Architectural History to 1750 (HIS, GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 3411W/Arch 3411V
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
History of architecture/city planning from antiquity to 1750, as illustrated by major monuments from western/non-western cultures. prereq: Soph or above
ARCH 3411W - Architectural History to 1750 (HIS, GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 3411W/Arch 3411V
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Built environment as a tool to study the human past from ancient times to 1750. Major trends of style and form and the relationships, practices, beliefs that have shaped human behavior. prereq: Soph or above
ARCH 3412W - Architectural History Since 1750 (HIS, GP, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Examples of the built environment from the Enlightenment to the present are studied within a broad social, cultural, and political context. Major architectural movements and their associated forms and designs. prereq: Soph or above
ARCH 3711V - Honors: Environmental Design and the Sociocultural Context (SOCS, CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 3711W/Arch 3711V
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Designed environment as cultural medium and as product of a sociocultural process and expression of values, ideas, and behavioral patterns. Design/construction as complex political process. prereq: Honors, [soph or above]
ARCH 3711W - Environmental Design and the Sociocultural Context (SOCS, CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 3711W/Arch 3711V
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Designed environment as cultural medium/product of sociocultural process/expression of values, ideas, behavioral patterns. Design/construction as complex political process. prereq: Soph or above
ARCH 4425W - Baroque Architecture (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Arch 4425/Arch 5425
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Architecture and urban design in Italy, from 1600 to 1750. Emphasizes major figures (Bernini, Borromini, Cortona, Guarini) and evolution of major cities (Rome, Turin). prereq: 3411 or instr consent
ARCH 4701W - Introduction to Urban Form and Theory (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Urban form, related issues of design/theory/culture. Thematic history of cities. Lectures, discussions, assignments. prereq: [3411, 3412] or instr consent