The Tulane School of Architecture offers a professional, five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree, a four-year non-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree, and a Minor in Architectural Studies.
The Bachleor of Architecture (B.Arch.) is a five-year, NAAB Accredited, undergraduate degree program. Students graduate with a professional architecture degree – the most direct route to working as a licensed architect – while also having some freedom to explore other subjects. Our program emphasizes hands-on projects in the community, study abroad, and trusting students to discover their own direction through options studios, an independent fifth-year thesis, and a broad education in a variety of methods.
Tulane architecture students balance the creativity of the design studio with the practicality of on-site work and courses in engineering and professional practice. Work in the design studio begins the first semester and is the through-line of the major; first-year studio focuses on a variety of design fundamentals and training of the eye and hand, with the design of buildings beginning later. Students render their ideas at first by hand, then digitally starting late in the first year. A culture of open exchange typifies the studio environment, with students working both alone and in groups and defending their work verbally during the three-year foundations curriculum. In the fourth and fifth years, students move on to options studios and a thesis project.
Options studios give students the chance to narrow their focus through both theoretical design challenges and design/build projects in the New Orleans community under the supervision of the Tulane City Center, the School of Architecture’s outreach arm. The City Center’s work with local nonprofits has resulted in the construction and renovation of medical centers, museums, urban farms, a skate park, farmer’s markets, and more, with students involved in every stage of progress from design to planning to construction. Students also design and build a house each year for a local family in need through the URBANbuild program. Another branch of our school, the Tulane Regional Urban Design Center, enlists students and graduates to work with growing communities in Louisiana, the Gulf Coast, and China to plan their future.
Study abroad is strongly encouraged, usually during the fourth year. Most students will participate in group study led by Tulane faculty, most frequently in Rome. Other recent programs have taken place in Japan, Italy, Finland, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Guatemala, Mexico, and Brazil. Study abroad and other student experiences are documented on the School of Architecture’s Instagram page.
The Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BSA) degree is a 4-year undergraduate course of study. This program offers an integrated curriculum in the liberal arts and architecture designed to promote an understanding of design as a cultural expression while providing a strong preparation for graduate professional study in architecture or an array of other potential career paths. Many graduates of this program will choose work or graduate education in a wide variety of areas including law, business, real estate, preservation, planning, and landscape architecture. BSA recipients who choose to pursue a graduate degree in architecture will be able to complete their master’s degree in two years rather than three and a half years, the time required for most bachelor’s degree recipients.
Students interested in studying architecture to a lighter degree should consider our Minor in Architectural Studies. Applicants who are uncertain of their level of interest are encouraged to start at the B.Arch. level and step down their commitment later, as this is the option that provides maximum flexibility.
A portfolio is strongly recommended for entry into the B.Arch. program; one is also encouraged for the BSA program. For more information on portfolio submission visit our Portfolios & Auditions page.