The BS in Architectural Studies teaches students the rigorous design methods of architecture while also offering a flexible curriculum focused on key contemporary topics.
After a common sequence of design, history, and technology courses students choose one of the three tracks within the major: Sustainability, Design & Culture, or Real Estate Development & Design. Specialized courses in each of these tracks supplement a rich array of electives in the School of Architecture and throughout the University.
In all 3 tracks students will emerge with a strong portfolio, a foundational grounding in architectural design, and will be well-equipped for further graduate education or work experience in design-related fields and creative industries. The BS in Architectural Studies can be completed in four years, and students are eligible for the two-year Master of Architecture program at Northeastern.
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Amanda Reeser Lawrence, PhD
Students in the Sustainability Track learn about the issues and practices of architectural design as it relates to natural systems; they explore building technologies and systems, design principles, and key historical and theoretical texts. This program prepares students for careers related to sustainability in the built environment: for example, working with the LEED process in building design, in environmental policy with government or non-governmental organizations, or within the business realm by greening operations or developing new products or services. Graduates of this track have many options for further study at the graduate level including the increasing number of Master of Sustainable Design programs around country, or Northeastern’s own Masters of Science in Sustainable Building Systems.
For the Full Course Sequence for the Sustainability Track click here
Students in the Design & Culture Track learn about the unique ways in which architects and designers frame problems and propose solutions and how this related to culture more broadly. Students learn key principles of design thinking, including a detailed understanding of the “designer’s toolkit” and its application in other disciplines. Students learn to think critically about architecture, design, and culture; to ask questions and develop their own perspectives on the production of architecture and design; and to apply design thinking in different scenarios and situations. This program prepares students for the increasing number of careers that utilized design thinking and innovation principles, as well as with cultural institutions or media outlets. Graduates of this track have many options for further graduate study; including a Master of Architecture degree or other graduate degrees related to Design, Media, or Cultural studies.
For the Full Course Sequence for the Design & Culture Track click here.
Students in the Real Estate Development & Design track learn the key principles of Real Estate Development as they relate to the design profession. Students learn about property types, terminology, and core concepts in the real estate industry, develop a set of analytical tools and techniques for evaluating real estate investment and development, and explore innovation and entrepreneurship in real estate development and design practice. This program prepares students for careers in the real estate sector, with firms that undertake real estate developments as in-house designers/architects and/or as project managers, or for local and regional governments. Graduates of this track also have many options for further graduate study, including a Master of Architecture Degree, or graduate degrees in Business, Urban Planning, or Public Policy/Administration.
For the Full Course Sequence for the Real Estate Development & Design Track click here.
Can I still become an architect?
Yes. The BS in Architecture Studies is designed so that students can still go on to become licensed architects. Students in the program are eligible for the two-year Master of Architecture degree at Northeastern. They may also apply to Master of Architecture programs at other institutions. (Note that a degree from an accredited school of architecture is NOT equivalent to architectural licensure. The requirements for licensure vary from state to state as well as internationally, but typically include schooling, internship, and examinations.)
Can I switch from the BS in Architecture into the BS in Architectural Studies?
Yes. The program was designed to accommodate students who are interested in architecture but desire a less studio-intensive curriculum and more flexibility in their schedule. The first three semesters of coursework for the BS in Architecture include all the required courses for the BS in Architecture track, so it relatively easy to transfer during this time. Students wishing to transfer from the BS in Architecture to the BS in Architectural Studies at any point should consult with their advisors and with the School of Architecture to discuss their options.
Why should I choose this over the BS in Architecture? What are the main differences?
The main differences between the BS in Architecture major and the BS in Architectural Studies have to do with flexibility and number of credit hours. The BS in Architectural Studies requires 128 credits vs. the 145 for the BS in Architecture. There are five required studios in the BS in Architectural Studies track, and it can be completed in four years, while the BS in Architecture is a five-year program with 7 required studios. Note that the BS in Architecture, together with the one-year Master of Architecture at Northeastern, is an accredited degree while the BS in Architectural Studies is not.
Can I transfer to this major after my freshman year?
Yes. All potential transfers should meet with their advisors and with the School of Architecture to discuss their options.
What kinds of jobs can I get with this degree?
Students with a BS in Architectural Studies are well prepared for many career possibilities related to the track that they choose. See the track descriptions above for more specific discussion of potential career possibilities.
What type of graduate work would I do with this degree?
All students in the BS in Architectural Studies track are eligible for the two-year Master of Architecture Program at Northeastern. Depending upon which of the three tracks is chosen within the major—Sustainability, Real Estate Development & Design, or Design & Culture—there are also other graduate degree options. See the detailed track descriptions above for more specific discussion of possible graduate degrees
How many co-ops are there?
The BS in Architectural Studies has one required six month co-op and an optional summer 4-month co-op.
Can I study abroad in Berlin like the BS in Architecture students?
Yes. Study abroad in Berlin is optional, and is scheduled in the Fall of the fourth year.