The B.A. in Architectural Studies is designed to serve as a platform or foundational degree for students who plan to specialize in architecture and other disciplines that focus on the design, planning and construction of the built environment. It exposes students to ideas and practices currently followed in all of the School’s design disciplines and it focuses on many of the business, communications and organizational skills that are not covered in the technical requirements of the graduate curricula. Students at KU who start in the B.A. in Architectural Studies, co-enroll in graduate professional degrees and take courses that count toward the B.A. and the graduate professional degree.
All B.A. students take a core of classes in architecture, design and planning. The core involves a sequence of skill-based studios, survey courses within each of the School’s disciplines, and courses in architectural history and theory.
This degree core is supplemented with classes that fulfill KU’s Core Curriculum, additional courses that meet the requirements of any one of KU’s Undergraduate Certificate Programs, and advanced professional enrichment courses that fulfill requirements in the graduate professional degrees. From the very beginning, each student works with an advisor to make sure that appropriate progress is being made both toward the completion of the B.A. degree and, if designated, the graduate professional degree.
Some students may opt to complete the 124-credit B.A. without continuing and completing the additional year (or two) required to finish one of the professional degree paths. The four-year, 124-credit course of study that leads to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Architectural Studies prepares students for graduate education in many other fields such as law, business, government, facility management, and public administration that are enhanced by a broad knowledge of architecture. It also prepares them for work in a number of fields related to architecture.
Most of these fields of specialization extend beyond the traditional realms of formal architectural design, building technology and construction. Architectural specializations have emerged in space planning, acoustics, lighting, historic preservation, energy conservation, land use planning, urban design, computer application, environmental impact assessment, life safety regulation, and post-construction evaluation. New specializations continue to appear because of new social needs and improved technologies.
B.A. Architectural Studies graduates have used different concentrations of professional enrichment courses to find employment in a broad range of fields in both the public and private sectors. Within the federal and state governments, B.A. graduates have gone to work in facility management, space planning, historic preservation consulting and other offices that deal with the public building stock. At the local and municipal level, they have found employment in economic development agencies, heritage and community centers, and similar public organizations that promote improvement, preservation or modification of the built environment.
Some have also gone to work in not-for-profit and development agencies and private-public and federally-funded organizations that promote community economic growth and development involving extensive planning, survey work, housing analyses, community organization, and other “grass roots” tasks.
Within the private sector, B.A. graduates have combined their training in architecture with course work in communications, project management and organizational behavior to land jobs in facility management, property management, building materials supply and sales, architectural services marketing, and historic preservation surveying, research and consulting.
Students who complete the B.A. and later wish to become licensed architects may pursue a professionally accredited Master of Architecture degree. This educational path may include KU’s accredited M.Arch. III or it may include a three-year M.Arch. III at one of the many other architecture schools that offer this graduate professional degree.