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Architecture: The UDC Edge

As the only urban, land-grant university in the country, UDC’s Architecture program reflects UDC’s unique commitment to the community by providing students with hands-on opportunities to sharpen their skills in a real-world environment.

For more than 20 years, in partnership with the government of the District of Columbia, our Architectural Research Institute (ARI) has been the clinical arm of the UDC Architecture program. The Institute provides students with an office-style learning environment for offering affordable architectural services to low- and middle-income D.C. citizens, such as:

  • Housing rehabilitation
  • Home repairs/upgrades
  • Accessibility solutions
  • Energy efficiency improvements

Bachelor's Degree (BS) in Architecture

When you look at an empty lot, do you mentally lay the brick for a new, stunning structure? Or, when you look at a building, do you suddenly develop X-ray vision that helps you see beyond the façade and through to the structural core? If either of these is true, a bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of the District Columbia may be the right next step for you.

Whether you're creatively inclined or more detail-oriented, our curriculum can accommodate you. How? Because at UDC, you learn by doing. By coupling real-world projects in the D.C. community with exploration of cutting-edge theory and technique and a focus on sustainable practices, we prepare future architects to enter the industry as knowledgeable, experienced and creative problem solvers.

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Curriculum and Requirements in the Architecture Program

Housed in the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES), our architecture program—a UDC Academic Center of Excellence—gives you a well-rounded approach to the field in the context of these relevant issues:

We also focus on the following areas:

  • Sustainable energy, including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles
  • Urban community planning and design
  • Computer-assisted design (CAD) training

We welcome all kinds of students, whether you're coming straight out of high school or looking to make a career transition.

To complete the bachelor's degree in architecture, students take courses in five categories:

  • Architecture and Urban Design Studios
  • Architecture History and Professional Ethics
  • General Education and Electives
  • Engineering and related subjects
  • Science, Mathematics and Computers

You can complement your coursework with courses in other University departments, such as Environmental Science and Civil Engineering, as well as take courses toward a master's degree in architecture at UDC.

Student Organizations and Activities in the Architecture Program

We work closely with the UDC chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students to facilitate experiential learning opportunities, such as visits to lower Manhattan and Frank Lloyd Wright's historic Fallingwater house in Pennsylvania.

You will also participate in professional internships, community projects, design competitions, field trips and site visits, in addition to working with the University's Extension Service and other community-focused research institutes to apply your learning in the D.C. area.

Faculty Spotlight: Architecture Program

Career Pathways and Prospects

UDC students graduate college ready to make their mark in the industry, equipped with:

  • Marketable IT and computer-assisted design (CAD) skills
  • A solid foundation in ethical and sustainable community design and planning
  • Real-world experience through the Architectural Research Institute and the intern development program
  • The ability to identify, analyze and solve problems—a skillset that transcends the field of architecture

You may go on to get a master’s degree in architecture in three semesters from UDC, which enables you to seek professional licensure in the field.

More than 90 percent of students find employment in fields such as architecture, construction, drafting, design and sustainability, with the other 10 percent starting their own businesses or continuing on to graduate school.

Contact Information

E: CAUSES@udc.edu | T: 202.274.5054 | F: 202.274.5062