College of Design

First-Year Guide: Architecture

The U of M offers two degree options for architecture. You begin your academic path in architecture with one year in pre-architecture status, at the end of which you apply for admission to either the B.D.A. or B.S. program. We strongly encourage you to work with your academic adviser to determine which option is best given your individual academic interests and career goals.



Architecture Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Design in Architecture (B.D.A.):

The B.D.A. is a flexible degree in design thinking through architecture. It includes a required architectural core, architectural electives, and design workshops. The B.D.A. is the best option for those interested in exploring the breadth of the architectural discipline.


  • Bachelor of Science in Architecture (B.S.):

The B.S. is a sequenced, pre-professional degree in architecture that includes rigorous architecture design studios and a technology sequence. The B.S. is the best option for students interested in pursuing a traditional approach to architecture.


Summer Courses

Most of the major-specific courses are offered only during the academic year, so we recommend that you not depend on using summers to move ahead in your major program.



Review of Transfer Work

Students who wish to submit transfer studio work for review in lieu of requirements must do so after admission to the program and prior to their orientation session. Please note that approved work from studio courses taken at other universities rarely shortens the length of the program.


Related Links


Architecture Program



Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

[directions and maps]

Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

[directions and maps]

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