School of Architecture
General Information  |  Departmental Curricula Undergraduate Programs  |  Course Descriptions  |  Faculty
Facilities  |  Academic Information  |  Requirements  |  Academic Regulations  |  
Academic Performance, Probation and Suspension  |  Awards and Honors  |  Graduate Programs

General Information

Reflecting Jefferson’s interest in architecture, courses in architectural drawing and construction were taught at the University as early as 1832. Students now, as then, benefit from the proximity of Jefferson’s classical structures and the availability of his plans and drawings for the University Grounds and other buildings. At the end of World War I, a formal curriculum in architecture began, and from the mid 1950s through the early 1970s the School of Architecture continued to expand its programs. Today a student may receive a baccalaureate in architectural history, urban and environmental planning, and a baccalaureate of science in architecture.

The faculty believes that each student deserves personal attention and guidance. The School of Architecture has a small, carefully selected student body. The school seeks applicants with strong academic records and demonstrated artistic creativity.

A prospective student applies to one of the three undergraduate departments, but can apply to transfer from one program to another during the first or second year.

The undergraduate program in architectural history is one of the few of its kind in the country. The program is directed toward developing knowledge and an understanding of the history of the built environment: architecture, cities, and landscapes. Opportunity is also provided for an introduction to the issues and practices of historic preservation. After attaining this degree, most graduates of this program go on to advanced degrees in architectural history, art history, architecture, landscape architecture, or planning.

The undergraduate program in architecture combines a solid humanities foundation with an emphasis on the role of architecture as cultural expression, and provides three years of studio experience in the development of architectural ideas and the design of built form. Most graduates of this program go on to advanced degrees in architecture and related fields.

The undergraduate professional program in urban and environmental planning is one of less than a dozen such programs in the nation accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board. The study of planning theory, processes, and methods is integrated with the contextual exploration of political and market forces, resource limitations, environmental concerns, and social needs. With the Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning degree, many graduates go directly into professional jobs with governmental agencies or private planning and development firms. Others go on to advanced degrees in planning, architecture, law, public administration, and business.


School of Architecture
Campbell Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400122
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4122



Campbell Hall, the School of Architecture building, was completed in 1970 and is part of a complex of buildings forming a Fine Arts Center that also includes the Department of Art, the Department of Drama, and the Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library. Campbell Hall provides well-equipped studio work areas, exhibition areas, lecture halls, and seminar rooms. The school has two computer-graphics and computer-aided design laboratories with high resolution graphics. These facilities support software applications in computer-aided design, GIS digital mapping and modeling, site analysis, image processing, rendering, animation, structural analysis, lighting analysis, energy analysis, statistics, word processing, spreadsheet, and other areas. They also contain UNIX, Macintosh, and IBM computers with Internet access, and maintain digital voice and video links with other research laboratories in the United States and Europe. The design studio space has network connections for individual computers. Other research support facilities include digital modeling laboratories, a woodworking shop, and a photography darkroom.

The Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library, a branch of the University of Virginia Library system, serves the School of Architecture, the Department of Art and Art History and the Department of Drama. The collections include 155,000 volumes, including technical reports, videos, CD-ROMs, and other electronic resources. We also have an image collection of 200,000 slides and a growing digital image collection. The collections cover all aspects related to architecture, landscape architecture, architectural history, urban and environmental planning, and the visual and performing arts. The Fine Arts Library provides patrons with access to all University Library resources, including government documents, maps, rare books and manuscripts, many other online resources, as well as a gateway to the Internet. Special emphasis is placed on teaching students and faculty to conduct research utilizing online resources. Reference services are provided to the entire University community and to practitioners throughout the Commonwealth and the nation.

Academic Information


The School of Architecture offers three undergraduate programs of instruction under Architectural History, Architecture, and Urban and Environmental Planning. Supporting course work is offered through the cooperation of departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The specific degree requirements for each program depict the general structure and the number of credits necessary for each degree. Evaluation of courses and curricula modification are continuing processes in the school. Therefore, the specific degree requirements are subject to change.

Bachelor of Architectural History This four-year program is one of the few of its kind in the country. Students are offered a liberal arts education with an emphasis on the study of architectural history. This degree program provides an opportunity to study historic preservation, while offering ample opportunity for interaction with the three other departments in the school.

Bachelor of Science (Architecture) The undergraduate degree in architecture offers students an opportunity to combine a foundation in the liberal arts with course work in architecture. The four-year, preprofessional program prepares graduates to pursue a variety of career paths and graduate programs. Students who wish to continue in architecture would complete the requirements of the professional, accredited architecture degree at the graduate level.

Most states require that an individual intending to become an architect hold an accredited degree. There are two types of degrees that are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB): the Bachelor of Architecture, which requires a minimum of five years of study; and the Master of Architecture, which requires a minimum of three years of study following an unrelated bachelor’s degree, or two years following a related preprofessional bachelor’s degree. These professional degrees are structured to educate those who aspire to registration and licensure as architects.

The four-year, preprofessional degree, where offered, is not accredited by NAAB. The preprofessional degree is useful for those who desire a foundation in the field of architecture as preparation for either continued education in a professional degree program or for employment options in architecturally related areas.

Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning The Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning is a professional degree recognized by the Planning Accreditation Board. The program has a strong liberal arts emphasis, and the student is expected to take a majority of the first two years of course work in the College of Arts and Sciences. During the final two years, the student has a wide range of professional seminars and application courses to choose from in the areas of environmental planning, land use planning and growth management, and urban development and housing policy. This course of study is designed to develop an integrative knowledge of environmental and community processes, professional skills, and leadership.

Study Abroad The School of Architecture encourages study abroad by offering programs in Cottbus, Germany and Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as summer programs in Vicenza, Italy and Beijing, China. All students in the School of Architecture are eligible for these programs. For departmental regulations governing participation, contact the director of programs abroad representative in Campbell Hall; (434) 982-4567.



Residence Requirements and Transfer Credits Prospective students must apply to one of the three undergraduate programs. All three programs place substantial emphasis on the liberal arts and include a significant number of courses offered in the College of Arts and Sciences, most of which are taken in the first two years. All three programs also normally require four years for completion and a minimum of two years as a full-time student in the School of Architecture. In some cases, summer session study at the University is also required of transfer applicants.

Credit toward a degree is allowed for work comparable to courses offered at the University, if such work has been completed in an accredited college. Credit is not granted for work completed elsewhere with a grade less than C or its equivalent. The dean of the School of Architecture governs the awarding of transfer credit.

In no case are transfer credits in excess of 60 granted toward an undergraduate degree in the School of Architecture. The school does not accept pass/fail courses for transfer credit.

In exceptional circumstances, the School of Architecture dean may waive an admission or performance requirement when, in the dean’s judgment, such action best serves the intent of the program.

Required Courses A student who enters the School of Architecture without transfer credits must complete, at this University in Charlottesville, all prescribed courses in the curriculum for which she or he is a degree candidate. Students transferring from another college or university must complete, at this University in Charlottesville, all required courses in those subjects not completed at the time of first admission to the School of Architecture. Exceptions may be made to these requirements provided permission is granted in advance by the dean of the School of Architecture.

Candidates for a degree from the School of Architecture must complete the courses in the curriculum for which they are registered, as outlined in the subsequent pages. In addition, candidates must maintain a GPA of at least 2.000 in all courses taken at the school or University and offered for a degree.

The Dean of the School of Architecture may waive a specific course requirement for a degree when, in the dean’s judgment, such action best serves the intent of the program.

Minors A minor in architectural history requires 17 AR H credits, including AR H 101 and AR H 102, and 9 credits of AR H electives. No thesis is required.

A minor in architecture provides students with an opportunity to develop a basic understanding of, and appreciation for, architecture as an important component of culture and the built environment. The minor requirements are under the curricula section.

A minor in urban and environmental planning requires 15 credits of planning courses. Students may choose from among any PLAN course, with no more than 6 credits at the 500 level. Students outside of the school should include at least one plan-making course. PLAN courses taken as a completed Planning Minor do not count against the limit of credits college students can take outside the College.

A minor in historic preservation requires 15 credits, nine of which must be from among the following courses in the foundations of preservation core: AR H 590, 381,382,383, 384, 982; ARCH 511; L AR 512, 513; and PLAN 530. Six credits from among more specialized preservation courses are also required. These include the following: AR H 371, 585; L AR 514, 523, 527; PLAC 534, 565; and PLAN 534, 551. Any other courses will require approval of the director.

A minor in landscape architecture requires a minimum GPA of 3.000, and at least 15 credits in landscape architecture. Among these are: L AR 512; one course of the following: L AR 533, 537; Select at least three from the L AR 510’s or L AR 520’s series (other non-studio L AR courses maybe taken with the permission of the Landscape Architecture Minor Advisor and the course instructor; note that many of the other courses have technical pre-requisites). Students in the Architecture Department are strongly encouraged to take a 400-level studio in Landscape Architecture (subject to availability). Students outside the Architecture department are strongly encouraged to take ARCH 102 Lesson in Making (3) in addition to the courses listed above. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences must submit a "VISTAA" report to their advisor in Landscape Architecture.

Applications for the five minors are available in Campbell Hall, Room 120A. Upon completion of all requirements, the signature of the respective department chair must be obtained.

Intra University Courses ARCH 101, 102; L AR 512; and all AR H courses are recognized as College equivalents. In addition, AR H 100, 101, 102, 180, and 323 count fully as College courses and meet the area requirement in the humanities/fine arts. For students in the School of Architecture the following course limits apply:

  1. Physical Education (PHYE) courses cannot be used for degree credit.
  2. A maximum of 12 degree credits will be granted for (ROTC) courses.
  3. A maximum of 8 degree credits will be granted for Ensemble Music or Dance.
  4. CR/NC grading option - 1 per semester, must be counted as Open elective.

Evaluation Because continuance in the School of Architecture depends on demonstrated ability and promise of professional and academic achievement, each student’s performance is evaluated at the end of every semester.

Program Flexibility Curricular requirements for the first two years of the Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Bachelor of Architectural History, and Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning degree programs are similar, enabling students to transfer from one program to another.

Ownership of Student Work The School of Architecture reserves the right to retain student course work for exhibition and publication with appropriate credits. Teachers who wish to retain student work for their own purposes must gain student consent and provide adequate documentation of the work for the student.

Academic Regulations


Course Load Special permission of the dean’s office is required to register for fewer than 12 credits or more than 19 credits each semester.

Incomplete and Missing Grades A grade of IN (Incomplete) or NG (no grade reported) is not a valid final grade and becomes an F ten days after the end of the examination period unless a student requests an extension and obtains approval using a form signed by the course instructor and approved by the Associate Dean for Students. Students with a written doctor’s medical excuse submitted to the Associate Dean for Students will receive an IN for work remaining at the end of the semester for which that excuse is applicable. An approved grade of IN converts to F four weeks after the end of the examination period. Thesis credit deadlines are handled on a case-by-case basis between the student and the thesis chair. Instructors are not authorized to extend the time for completion of course work without the Associate Dean for Student’s approval. Forms for securing extensions are available in the Student Services Office, 120-A Campbell Hall.

Credit/No Credit Grades Students have the option of receiving a CR (credit) or NC (no credit) in place of the regular grades, A through F, for a given course. This option is selected when students register for courses. Instructors may deny students permission to take courses on a CR/NC basis. If this occurs, students may either change back to the regular grading option, or they may drop the courses entirely. Courses taken for CR/NC may not be used for any major or basic area requirements.

Only one three-credit course of open elective credit may be taken each semester on a CR/NC basis.

Class Standing Students are categorized by class according to the number of credits they have earned as follows: first year: 0-29 credits; second year: 30-59 credits; third year: 60-89 credits; fourth year: 90 or more credits. AP and transfer credits are included in the computation of class standing; credits not completed or completed unsuccessfully are not. Students in the design concentration are classified according to their studio level.

Academic Performance, Probation, and Suspension


Academic Performance Student performance in the undergraduate architecture program’s professional subjects is reviewed by the faculty at the end of every term. Students are expected to achieve at least a C- in ARCH 201, 202, 241, 301, 302, 312, 323, 326, 324, 401, and 541. Grades of D or F in any of these professional courses results in repeating the course. A grade of C in a studio course is grounds for reconsideration of continuing in the studio sequence. If, in the judgment of the faculty, a student has not achieved an appropriate standard of performance in a professional subject, he or she may be required to repeat one or both terms of the course before proceeding with the next level of work in this subject. There is an approved student grievance procedure relative to grades.

Participation in formal reviews is an integral part of a student’s training in architecture. There are few tenable reasons for missing a jury, and the professor must be notified of the reason for an absence. An unexcused absence from a review maybe is deemed by faculty as grounds for failure.

Students majoring in Urban and Environmental Planning or Architectural History must pass their required departmental courses with a minimum grade of C-.

Probation Students are placed on probation if they do not pass at least 12 credits of work in any semester following the first semester, or if their cumulative GPA falls below 2.000 after the completion of the first semester. Enrollment in advanced professional course work is allowed only for students with GPAs of 2.000 or better. A third probation, or probation following suspension, results in a final suspension.

Suspension Students are suspended if they do not pass at least ten credits of work in any semester following their first semester. Students who have been suspended once may appeal to the school’s faculty for readmission. However, this appeal will be considered only after the student has passed a minimum of six credits in this University’s summer session with a grade of at least C in each course. In addition, these courses must be approved by the Dean of the School of Architecture. Courses taken in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies or any other institution are not accepted for degree credit or as a basis for application for readmission. No student suspended a second time will be readmitted.

Awards and Honors


Dean’s List To be eligible for the Dean’s List of Distinguished Students at the end of each semester, students must take a minimum of 12 credits and achieve a grade point average of 3.400 or higher without failure in any course. Courses taken on a CR/NC basis may not be counted toward the 12-credit minimum. Any student receiving an F, NC, IN or NG during the semester is not eligible to be on the dean’s list.

Intermediate Honors A certificate of Intermediate Honors is awarded to the top twenty percent of those students in the School of Architecture who enter the University directly from high school or preparatory school and earn at least 60 credits of course work in their first four regular semesters. The computation is based upon the cumulative grade point average at the end of the fourth semester. No more than twelve of the 60 required credits may be earned on a CR/NC or S/U basis. Advanced placement and transfer credits do not count toward the required credits.

Theses and Commencement Honors Students who have demonstrated high academic achievement in pursuit of the bachelor’s degree are eligible for commencement honors.

Diplomas inscribed "with honors" are awarded to graduates who have earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.600.

Diplomas inscribed "with high honors" are awarded to graduates who have earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.750.

Diplomas inscribed "with highest honors" are awarded to graduates who have earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.900.

Student Honors and Awards Both the school and professional organizations from the fields of architecture, architectural history, and urban and environmental planning recognize outstanding achievements with the following honors and awards.

The American Planning Association Award is presented annually to the graduate and undergraduate students exhibiting outstanding achievement in urban and environmental planning.

The American Institute of Certified Planner Award is presented annually to a graduate and undergraduate student demonstrating outstanding promise as a professional planner.

The Virginia Citizens Planners Association Award is presented annually to a graduate and undergraduate student exhibiting the ideal of service to the public interest through planning.

The Sarah McArthur Nix Traveling Fellowship is awarded to a third-year undergraduate or graduate student from Architecture for a summer of study/travel in France.

The Duncan T. McCrea Memorial Fund awards a prize to an undergraduate student who has demonstrated academic achievement and concern for spiritual values.

The Frederick Doveton Nichols Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement is made each year for outstanding academic achievement to a graduate and an undergraduate student in the Department of Architectural History.

The Carlo Pelliccia Traveling Fellowship for study in Italy is awarded each year.

The Sean Steele-Nicholson Memorial Award, in memory of Sean Steele-Nicholson (BS Arch ‘91), is presented each year at graduation to a student who has exhibited overall excellence in design and scholarship and an enthusiasm, joy, and wonder for architecture, coupled with the ability to instill these qualities in others.

Graduate Programs


The School of Architecture offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture, Master of Architectural History, and Master of Urban and Environmental Planning.

A separate graduate catalog describing each of these programs is available from the Admission Office of the School of Architecture. A Ph.D. in Architectural History is administered through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.


Undergraduate Record Home  |  School of Architecture