Architecture Undergraduate Programs
Overview of Architecture at Drexel Westphal
The practice of architecture requires a unique skill set—creative thinking and aesthetic sensitivity balanced with technical knowledge, cultural understanding, and social responsibility--all coupled with the ability to communicate effectively. Drexel’s undergraduate architecture curriculum encompasses foundation courses in the applied and social sciences, the humanities, and a wide range of professional architecture courses to prepare students for careers in architecture and related fields. At the heart of the curriculum are the design studios, in which students are challenged to apply knowledge acquired from the above disciplines to consequential design problems.
Drexel Westphal’s Architecture program offers two distinct degree options for students interested in pursuing a career in architecture:
- Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.): NAAB-accredited architecture degree leading to professional licensure that combines full- and part-time study and incorporates extensive early exposure to architectural practice
- Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies (BS): full-time architecture studies degree with flexible options to combine your studies with related fields; can be a precursor to a dual BS/MS degree at Drexel University or a professional NAAB-accredited M.Arch. degree at another institution; provides the opportunity to take advantage of Drexel’s renowned co-op program
Which undergraduate Architecture degree is right for me?
Bachelor of Architecture
Drexel Westphal’s Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree is designed to help you develop a comprehensive knowledge of the discipline of architecture, as well as foundational professional knowledge and a basic understanding of related fields. The NAAB-accredited B.Arch. degree at Drexel University is suitable for students who seek to earn a professional undergraduate degree that leads to professional licensure and affords them early exposure to architectural practice. While our B.Arch. degree does not participate in Drexel's signature co-op program, our students' opportunity to gain professional work experience and complete all or most of their Architectural Experience Program (AXP) requirements prior to graduation far exceeds the practice exposure of co-op. Depending on the degree path (read on to learn more about the 2+4 Option and the Part-Time Evening Option), the B.Arch. can be completed in six to seven years. Students enrolled into the B.Arch. degree have the option to pursue the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) to complete the Architectural Registration Examination (ARE) and achieve professional licensure upon graduation. Due to its curriculum structure, the B.Arch. degree cannot accommodate international students on J1 visas.
The B.Arch. degree program may be right for students who:
- Plan to pursue a career as a licensed architect
- Wish to complete professional experience requirements for licensure alongside their education thus pursuing an expedited path to licensure
- Seek a rigorous, studio-based education in architecture
- Are prepared for a part-time architecture program that integrates professional exposure into their plan of study
Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies
Drexel University’s Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies (BS in Arch. Studies) degree is a four-year, pre-professional degree. Students develop a comprehensive knowledge of the discipline of architecture, hone design skills, and expand their architectural understanding. If you’re unsure about becoming a licensed architect, this degree provides flexible avenues to combine your studies with related fields. Our BS in Architectural Studies degree can be a precursor to a dual BS/MS degree at Drexel University or a professional NAAB-accredited M.Arch. degree. The BS in Arch. Studies is a full-time degree program, which also welcomes international students. We offer both a co-op and a non-co-op option for this degree.
The BS in Architectural Studies may be right for students who:
- Are interested in the fields of architecture and design, but are not sure if they want to become licensed architects
- Hold J1 visas or are international students seeking a degree in architecture
- Are considering post-graduate education in architecture or a related field, such as an accredited professional M.Arch. degree
- Wish to complete a full-time, four-year pre-professional architecture degree
- Are interested in combining an architectural education with other disciplines, like digital media, construction management, design, or other fields
- Want to participate in Drexel’s cooperative education (co-op) program in architecture or a related field
- Seek a customizable curriculum that prepares students for innovative professional paths
Need help understanding the differences in undergraduate architecture degrees? Deciding which education option is the best fit for you? Our Admissions team is here to answer your questions and help you choose a path to your career in architecture. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.895.1738.
What are the pathways to a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree at Drexel?
The mission of the Drexel Bachelor of Architecture degree is to pursue architecture as a professional discipline by combining the rigors of the academy with the realities of contemporary architectural practice. The program does this by providing a strong, broadly based curriculum in the arts, design, humanities, social and applied sciences coupled with professional courses taught by faculty who reflect the broad diversity of architectural and design practices today.
Drexel Architecture’s work/study program is an experience-based learning model that complements and provides an alternative to traditional programs. The Drexel model provides a practical, high-quality education to those students who seek early exposure to daily architectural practice as well as an affordable alternative to students who could not otherwise be able to enter the profession.
At Drexel, there are two paths to an accredited Bachelor of Architecture degree, serving two distinct populations:
The 2+4 Option is an accelerated route designed for a class of well-prepared students entering directly from high school. In this program, two years of full-time coursework address the basic principles of architectural design and satisfy fundamental university core requirements in the arts and sciences as well as those job-related skills that are needed for entry-level professional positions. A comprehensive review of performance will take place after each year to ensure that students are making sufficient progress in all areas.
After successfully completing the minimum requirements of the full-time phase, students find professional employment in the building industry, including architecture firms, while continuing their academic program part-time in the evening for four additional years. By combining work and study, Drexel students may be able to simultaneously satisfy their required internship for licensure (IDP) while completing their professional degree, thus qualifying for the registration exam on graduation in most jurisdictions.
Information on admissions to the 2+4 Option
Part-Time Evening Option
The Part-Time Evening Option is one of only two part-time evening architecture programs in the United States, and it leads to an accredited Bachelor of Architecture degree. Designed for non-traditional and transfer students, this program offers all courses part-time in the evening, enabling students to work full-time. The part-time evening sequence is seven years, but transfer students with university-level design credits can reduce its length by meeting specific program requirements through transcript and portfolio review. All part-time evening courses are offered
after 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
Information on Transfer Admission Requirements
How Can I Become a Licensed Architect?
Bachelor of Architecture students may be able to receive credit in the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) for work experience obtained before graduation, which is part of most state licensure requirements. The Bachelor of Architecture program is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
For more information on both B.Arch. pathways also visit the Drexel University Undergraduate Architecture Catalog.
In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 8-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.
Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
At Drexel University, in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, the Department of Architecture, Design & Urbanism the following NAAB-accredited degree program:
Bachelor of Architecture 227 credits, (equivalent to 150 semester credits)
Next accreditation visit for the Program: 2026
Drexel University Architecture Program Accreditation Reports and Documents
Learn more about Drexel Architecture
Need help deciding which undergraduate Architecture degree is best for you? Want to tour the Architecture facilities at Drexel Westphal, or learn more about how our program prepares students for architecture careers?
The Westphal Admissions team is available to answer questions, organize a tour, or connect you with faculty. Contact us at email@example.com or 215.895.1738.