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.
The 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:
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
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
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.
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.