Freshman Admissions


students showing building modelAs an architecture student at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities you will be at the forefront of innovative design and architectural studies. Our programs value inquisitive and adaptable thinkers who are willing to engage the fundamentals of architectural practice while challenging its boundaries.

Developing Your Architectural Foundation

The School of Architecture offers two undergraduate architecture degrees: Bachelor of Design in Architecture (B.D.A.) and Bachelor of Science in Architecture (B.S.)   The professional Master of Architecture (M. Arch) is required to become a licensed architect in the state of Minnesota, and throughout the United States.

Working together with a close-knit cohort of fellow students, you will learn the art of design practice, drawing, digital design, and fabrication techniques. While you are developing your skills in studios and workshops, you will study the history and theories of architecture and the ideas, values, and ethics that have shaped and continue to define the profession.

students showing building modelOur programs are designed to support professional goals that span from traditional architectural to emerging design professions.

During your first year at the U of M, you will be a pre-architecture student, and will have the opportunity to explore multiple learning paths. After completing the first-year pre-architecture curriculum, you have the option of choosing between our two degree programs. You can immerse yourself in architecture in year one and then choose the degree program that best matches your professional ambitions.

Bachelor of Science in Architecture (B.S.)

Have a passion for architecture and designing buildings? In the Bachelor of Science in Architecture (B.S.) program, you can expect a rigorous curriculum of technology courses and studio-based education that will prepare you for a career in the field of architecture.

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

students showing building model Interested in bridging your passion for architecture with other design disciplines? One of the most innovative programs at the U of M, the Bachelor of Design in Architecture (B.D.A.) program, will prepare you to respond to the evolving role of architects as design professionals who require new types of expertise.

The B.S. and B.D.A. curriculums are designed to build broad architectural design expertise with courses that may include:

Design Fundamentals I & II

It all starts with a strong foundation—literally and figuratively! In this course, you will focus on core design principles and practices that fuel your interest in architecture. Learn design concepts and develop technical drawing and material manipulation skills that will inform your entire course of study.

Architecture and Ecology

Understanding ecology and how it intersects with building design is key to thriving in the field today. Learn the historical framework for ecological design thinking and how to apply responsible environmental practices to your own building designs.

Design in the Digital Age

Change is the only constant—it is true in everyday life and it is highly evident in the way we practice architecture relative to technology. Study the impact of advancing digital platforms and how designers need to think, act, and respond to stay in sync with technology as it progresses.

You will learn from a world-renowned faculty group that includes leaders in the field and highly respected local practitioners and entrepreneurs. From this strong base, you will gain the knowledge and expertise to address today’s most pressing architectural challenges.

Advancing Technology

At the U of M, you will benefit from cutting-edge technology and developments in architectural design and construction. For example, you will have access to our Virtual Reality Design Lab, which provides a new and exciting platform for students, educators, researchers, and practitioners. In this lab environment, you will discover how immersive virtual reality powerfully intersects with 3D visualization technologies to benefit overall design processes. New technology is constantly being added to our facilities to stay ahead of new practices and expand our engagement in digital design and fabrication.

Study Abroad

Study abroad experiences are designed to enrich your learning by exposing you to diverse cultures and built environments. These study programs highlight the rich relationship between architecture, culture, and place. You can choose to study for a semester at the Rome-Istanbul Program Abroad or at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS).

Additional study abroad options include shorter, month-long courses in destinations across the globe, including Italy, Germany, China, Japan, Brazil, Iceland, Finland, Turkey and Scotland. Through our partnership with UNESCO, you can travel to remote destinations and help document historically and culturally significant sites that are applying for World Heritage status. With a wide range of available choices, you can select your preferred opportunity for travel and benefit from expanding your perspective of architecture—and the world.

The Twin Cities Design Laboratory: Making Connections: Your U of M Advantage

students talkingThe Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul is home to a design culture that produces some of the most robust, innovative, and award-winning architecture projects in the country. With a thriving professional network that extends over a wide range of allied design disciplines, you will benefit from an environment that appreciates and supports progressive design.

Because of the strong community engagement at the U of M, you will grow your network rapidly with access to one of the largest mentoring programs within the University and the College of Design. This opens doors, offering you ample opportunities to align with local practitioners from more than 250 firms throughout the Twin Cities, many of which hire U of M graduates.

Graduates of the program accomplish impressive design career placements and many are accepted into highly competitive Master of Architecture programs both at the U of M and across the country.

Start reaching your goals now! Take the next step toward your future in architecture.

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Explore Other Design Majors:

Apparel Design (BS)
Graphic Design (BFA)
Interior Design (BS)
Landscape Design and Planning (BED)
Product Design (BS)
Retail Merchandising (BS)

Student Quote:

“My semester abroad was incredibly valuable to my education and my future career. Being able to design in a new place, with new student colleagues and professors was more influential than I could have imagined. Architecture is about understanding the surrounding environment and people – it is very easy to understand that when it’s an environment you have grown up in. However, while learning in Copenhagen, the environment and people were entirely new to me, so before I could design properly, I needed to learn about my new environment. This experience really shaped me as a designer."

Margo Fredericks,