The School of Architecture, Design, and Planning offers two undergraduate degree programs in architecture: a BA in Architectural Studies and a Masters of Architecture. The BA in Architectural Studies program is a four-year academic program that provides students with a combined educational background in the liberal arts and architectural studies; the BA is not a professionally credentialed degree, but is an excellent foundation for graduate studies. Undergraduate students interested in attaining a professional degree in architecture should pursue the M.Arch. program. The M.Arch. program is a five-year, NAAB accredited program that prepares students for professional practice in architecture. Masters of Arts and PhDs in Architecture are also offered.
Undergraduate students with a combined interest in architecture and engineering might also consider exploring the Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering program, housed in the School of Engineering.
Sample of Related Skills
- Demonstrate competence in a range of representational techniques including physical and digital modeling, drawing, and analytical diagramming
- Compile a portfolio or original architectural and 3-D design proposals
- Understand urban context evaluation, site design, building program development and concept design leading to a level of design development
- Recognize the diverse needs, values, behavioral norms, physical ability, and social and spatial patterns that characterize different cultures and individuals and the implication of this diversity for the societal roles and responsibilities of architects
- Understand principles of sustainability in making architecture and urban design decisions that conserve natural and built resources, including culturally important buildings and sites, and in the creation of healthful buildings and communities
- Prepare a comprehensive program for an architectural project, including assessment of client and user needs, a critical review of appropriate precedents, an inventory of space and equipment requirements, an analysis of site conditions, a review of the relevant laws and standards and assessment of their implication for the project, and a definition of site selection and design assessment criteria.
- Assess, select, and conceptually integrate structural systems, building envelope systems, environmental systems, life-safety systems, and building service systems into building design
Popular Career Paths
Architectural Design: Specializes in the professional planning and design of residential, commercial, and public buildings and structures; requires professional degree and credentials.
Education & Research: Includes teaching and conducting research for colleges and universities and leading architecture-based educational programs and tours for museums, historical societies, and other non-profits.
Engineering & Construction: Involves the design, construction, material sales, and management of various building projects; requires further education, training, and credentials in engineering or construction management.
Environmental & Sustainable Design: Specializes in "green" design and renovation of residential, commercial, and public buildings and structures.
Facility & Property Management: Includes management of building facilities and property operations for public organizations, private corporations, or real estate owners.
Historical Preservation: Works with the preservation, restoration, or adaptive reuse of historical buildings and structures.
Landscape: Includes the planning and design of land use for residential, commercial, public, and natural spaces; requires further education, training, and credentials in landscape architecture.
Urban Planning: Involves the planning of land use by urban, suburban, and rural communities; requires further education, training, and credentials in urban planning.
Explore More Career Paths
- American Institute of Architecture Students - affiliated with AIA, this organization is for current architecture students
Jobs to Consider
- Architectural Engineer
- Architectural Historian
- Architectural Journalist
- Architectural Tour Guide
- Building Conservation/Preservation Specialist
- Building Contractor
- Building Inspector
- Building Sustainability Specialist
- Facilities & Operations Manager
- Civil Engineer
- Construction Manager
- Cost Estimator
- Interior Architect
- Landscape Architect
- Physical Plant Director
- Project Manager
- Property Manager
- Urban Planner
Places to Seek Employment
- Architecture Firms
- Architectural Journals & Magazines
- Construction Firms & Contractors
- Educational Institutions & Museums
- Engineering Firms
- Historical Societies
- Local, State, and Federal Governments
- Non-Profits & Community Development Agencies
- Preservation & Restoration Organizations
- Private Corporations
- Real Estate Developers
- Self-Employment (Private Practice/Contracting)
Job and Internship Search Resources
- American Institute of Architects - professional association for practicing architects that provides career-specific information including resources for students and current job listings; connect with the Kansas City AIA Chapter
- Architect Magazine - award-winning architecture magazine; includes job listings
- Architectural Digest - popular magazine focusing on architecture and design; includes job listings with AD
- Architectural Record - architecture magazine with related resources and online job board
- Shop Architecture - an industry focused jobsite for jobs relating to architecture and interior design
- Arkitectum - job board for architects and interior designers
- Government & Non-Profit Resources - more resources from career.ku.edu
- InsideArch - searchable online database of architecture firm reviews submitted by employees and interns
- International Facility Management Association - organization for facility management professionals; includes internship and job postings
- Kansas City Chamber of Commerce - search the KC Chamber's business directory for local architecture firms and consultants
- National Building Museum - premier museum offering exhibits and educational programs on architecture, construction and engineering, interior and landscape design, and urban planning; includes online internship, fellowship, and job postings
- National Council of Architectural Registration Boards - oversees standards of professional credentialing in architecture; includes information on the Intern Development Program, the Architect Registration Exam, and licensure/certifications
- National Trust for Historic Preservation - non-profit organization dedicated to saving America's historic buildings and neighborhoods; includes job and internship postings
- Preservation Directory - online directory of historical preservation resources; includes job listings
- U.S. Green Building Council - non-profit organization promoting energy-efficient and sustainable building design and construction; includes an environmental job board and information on the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) professional credentials
Career Exploration Hub
- Identify areas of interest related to your major so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields.
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent studies, internships, part-time jobsstudent organization involvement, or volunteering
- Register for Hire Jayhawks and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
- Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center.
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest.
- Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals.
- Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills.
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest.