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Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies

The Architectural Studies (B.A./ARCS) program offers a liberal arts education as a foundation for directed graduate study and careers in a variety of design-related disciplines. The Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies curriculum emphasizes the design of the built environment as a tool to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills valuable in many fields of specialization that interface with design practice. Adding architecture to liberal education, the B.A./ARCS degree gives students the flexibility and incentive to explore important relationships between architecture and related disciplines and prepares them to recognize and pursue creative and innovative work within the field of architecture and beyond.

The Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies degree is directed at three populations:

  1. Students with an interest in environmental design who want to be active members of the larger university community and seek to establish a broad base of knowledge (through a cross-disciplinary, design-based liberal education) before committing to a particular career path
  2. Students who plan to pursue further study in a related environmental design field such as urban planning, urban design, public/business administration, real estate development, real estate law, journalism, construction management, graphic or industrial design, historic preservation or architectural history/theory
  3. Students who plan to pursue a three-year accredited graduate degree in architecture and seek the broadly based undergraduate education valued by such professional degree programs

Studying outside of a formal classroom environment, students often work closely with faculty and other students - exploring the cultural and societal forces that shape the built environment through a core set of courses in design, technology, history, criticism, and context. Studios for B.A./ARCS students are designed to foster interdisciplinary partnerships with art, technology, journalism, fashion, graphics, and digital sciences, offering opportunities for directed media and technique-based explorations.

By the beginning of the junior year, students are given the flexibility to pursue an emphasis in one of five areas of  focus. These areas of focus are intended as suggested territories for further investigation, allowing students to identify potential for specialization and/or future graduate study. Individual advising provides students with a framework to aid in defining goals and establishing tracks for a possible double-major or minor within the degree plan.

Architectural Studies Program Mission Statement

The Architectural Studies (ARCS) program is dedicated to offer a liberal arts based education on the current trends of design-related studies by linking contemporary architecture practice and theory to knowledge of urbanism, environmentalism, literature, media, cultural theory, art, science and technology, as well as philosophy, economics and political science.  The program, leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies, is committed to prepare graduates to seek employment in the construction and development industries, develop careers in cultural theory or pursue a three year graduate professional program in architecture, as well as a variety of other professional programs in areas such as landscape architecture, urban planning, law, and business.

Focuses

architecture + making

The boundaries between architecture, installation art, environmental graphics and industrial design are often hard to locate. Someone with training in more than one of these fields is, therefore, well-placed to make effective and compelling work at a variety of scales. Students who want extensive hands-on engagement in the process of making can combine the ARCS core curriculum with more studio-centered coursework that focuses on craft and visual problem-solving. After graduation, many students who follow this path will want to go on to a Master of Fine Arts program, or to graduate study in architecture, graphics, or industrial design.

architecture + technology

While the use of computers to draw buildings has become the norm, that is only the very beginning of the ways in which digital technology is changing the design process. Information systems also improve the construction process, help us devise new applications for building technologies and environmental systems, and allow for the rapid prototyping and testing of design ideas. Students with strong analytic skills and the ability to communicate complex technical information have a future in emerging and rapidly evolving design-related professions related to construction technology systems management and methods of organization. Students interested in pursuing this focus may choose to combine the ARCS curriculum with studies in digital sciences or technology.

architecture + history

Knowledge about architecture and design grow not just through built and graphic work, but also through inquiry into design history, theory and criticism. Students with strong verbal skills and an interest in scholarship can combine design training, writing and historical study to prepare themselves for graduate study in architectural history and theory or historic preservation. Others may combine the ARCS curriculum with studies in journalism, graphic design, art or other fields that give them the skills and understanding to work in journalism or in museums and galleries.

architecture + society

There are many non-design professionals who play key roles in shaping the built environment, working with designers on a regular basis. Someone who understands design but also has the verbal and analytic skills required for these outside professions is in an excellent position to collaborate with designers on complex projects and contribute to a high-quality outcome. Students can build on the ARCS core curriculum with coursework or minors in other colleges at Kent State to prepare themselves for graduate study and professional work in business, real estate, law, environmental policy, public health and other fields that relate to the built environment.

architecture + cities

Buildings are situated within complex urban and suburban networks of infrastructure, ecology, economics and politics. Students with an interest in these complex issues can combine the ARCS core curriculum with work in geography , sociology, and political science to give themselves a strong qualification for graduate work in urban design, landscape architecture, urban planning or community development. Kent State offers an excellent graduate option through the Master of Urban Design degree offered at the Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (Kent State CUDC), where students engage in intensive study of real-world challenges in urban design practice and research.

*Additional information regarding courses can be found on www.kent.edu/catalog

Course of Study

First Year

 FALL SEMESTER 

AED 10001

Design Thinking I

2

AED 10101

Design Foundations Studio I

3

US 10097

Destination Kent State: First Year Experience

1

XXX xxxxx

Kent Core Requirement

3

XXX xxxxx

Kent Core Requirement

3

XXX xxxxx

Foreign Language

4-5


 SPRING SEMESTER 

AED 10002

Design Thinking II

2

AED 10102

Design Foundations Studio II

3

ARCH 10111

History of Architecture I

3

ARTH 22006

Art History I: Ancient and Medieval Art

3

XXX xxxxx

Foreign Language

4

 Second Year

 FALL SEMESTER 

ARCH 20112

History of Architecture II

3

ARTH 22007

Art History II: Renaissance to Modern Art

3

XXX xxxxx

Kent Core Requirement

3

XXX xxxxx

Kent Core Requirement

3

XXX xxxxx

Foreign Language

3-5

 

 SPRING SEMESTER 

ARCS 20121

Studio for Architectural Studies Majors I

4

ARCH 20113

History of Architecture III

3

PHIL 11009

Principles of Thinking

3

XXX xxxxx

Kent Core Requirement

3

XXX xxxxx

Kent Core Requirement

3

Third Year

 FALL SEMESTER 

ARCS 30121

Structural Typology

3

ARCS 30123

Materials and Processes of Making

3

XXX xxxxx

Kent Core Requirement

3

XXX xxxxx

Kent Core Requirement

3

XXX xxxxx

Kent Core Requirement

3

XXX xxxxx

Non-ARCH Elective

3

 

 Study Abroad option in Florence, Italy

 

 

 SPRING SEMESTER 

ARCS 30022

Urban Design Discourse

3

ARCS 30124

Methods and Theories of Representation

3

ARCS 30421

The Environmental Imperative

3

XXX xxxxx

Non-ARCH Electives

6

 Fourth Year

 FALL SEMESTER 

ARCS 40114

Theory and Criticism in Architectural Media

3

ARCH xxxxx

ARCH Electives (upper division)

6

XXX xxxxx

Non Arch. Electives

6

 

 SPRING SEMESTER 

ARCH xxxxx

ARCH Electives (upper division)

6

XXX xxxxx

Non Arch. Electives

9

 

Admissions

All applications must include the application fee, official American College Test (ACT)/Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores and an official high school transcript which shows class rank and coursework in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades, as well as the courses that are being taken or will be taken in the senior year. Admissions will be limited based on space available. Admission will be based on ACT/SAT scores, GPA and class rank. Students meeting the following criteria should be strong candidates for admission:

  • ACT composite score of 23
  • High school GPA of 3.0
  • Upper 20% high school class rank

Transfer into the Architectural Studies Program will also be an option for students who opt out of the Bachelor of Science in Architecture (professional) program in mid-course. Admission of other transfer students will be based on a review of their academic record.

Advising

Academic advising for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) undergraduate degree programs is provided by the Office of Advising and Academic Services (OAAS).  

Office of Advising and Academic Services
202C Taylor Hall

Office Hours: Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On Call Advising: Monday through Friday
1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m