BA in Architectural Studies

The Architectural Studies program's objective is to enable students to think critically, historically, and as broadly as possible about the built environment and in so doing uniquely enrich a lifelong engagement with the built environment, be it as practicing professionals or as broadly-informed inhabitants of the human-made world.

Students in the program gain an understanding of the built environment from multiple perspectives through the development of basic skills in analyzing, interpreting, engineering, designing, and engaging imaginatively and actively with the current and historical built environment. The built environment is defined broadly, from stage scenery and interior design to civil engineering and urban planning, in order to reflect historical and contemporary experience and to encompass the richness of the Tufts curriculum.

The program's signature multidisciplinary curriculum takes full advantage of Tufts' unique assets as a liberal arts college, including its Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, its studio arts offerings at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, and the university's School of Engineering.

Students successfully use the Architectural Studies program to prepare for graduate study in architecture and related areas. However, an even greater number of majors find careers outside architecture in education, business, law, medicine, and other varied fields. In this, as in its curriculum and general outlook, architectural studies at Tufts exemplifies the liberal arts approach to higher education.

Program Requirements and Policies

  • Twelve courses in total are required for the major in Architectural Studies. Students take classes in multiple disciplines from architectural history and studio design to engineering, the humanities, and social sciences. 
  • Majors complete a capstone project in their final semester, which can be an independent research project or an internship in a professional office.
  • A course cannot fulfill both the core and elective requirement.
  • All courses used in fulfillment of a major must be taken for a letter grade (not pass/fail).
  • Upper-level architectural history course MUST be taken at Tufts

Course Requirements

The major requires seven core courses, whose subject matter is exclusively or predominantly related to the built environment:

  • One lower level course in the history of art and architecture (with architectural focus strongly preferred)
  • History of Art and Architecture FAH 15, FAH 25, FAH 92 special topics related to architecture, FAH 95
  • FAH 8: Introduction to Architecture, 1400 to the present
  • FAH 96: Design: Architectural
  • Engineering core class
    • Engineering 1-08, 5, 23, 39, or 80; Engineering Psychology 61; or Engineering Science 5, 18, 25; or GIS 101, CEE 188 (Building Info. Modeling)
  • Humanities/Social Science core class
    • Anthropology 20, 186; English 116; History 123, 143, 161; Political Science 15, 195; Sociology 113, 180; UEP 101, 105, 113, 178, 181.
    • Please note special topics courses with significant urban, architectural, or spatial content may be eligible, please see advisor for approval prior to registration
  • FAH 98: Integrated Project Seminar

The additional five courses are electives with subject matter or methodologies highly relevant to the study of the built environment. Students choose five courses from at least three of the following disciplines:

  • Architectural and Art History: Archaeology 26; FAH 2, 15/115, 19, 21/ 121, 25/125, 28/128, 34/134, 92/192 special topics in architecture, 95/195, 103, 104, 105, 106, 120, 123, 127, 193, 196, 198 UG Seminar in Architecture, 199, 119
  • Studio Art: DRWM 26, 63, 77; GRAC 39; GRAM 20, 21; PAIM 54, 93; Drama 20, 21, 29, 93, 94, 125 
  • Humanities/Social Sciences: Anthropology 20, 42, 128, 183, 186; Economics 30, 127; English 116, 123, 143, 161; Philosophy 52, 186; Political Science 15, 195; Psychology 27, 53, 130; Sociology 113, 180; UEP 101, 105, 113, 173, 178, 181f
  • Engineering: Civil and Environmental Engineering 22, 24, 25, 187, 188; Engineering 01, 61, 161; Engineering Science 5, 9, 18, 25, 51; Environmental Studies 193; GIS 101, 102

Recommended Sequence:

  • Freshman-Sophomore years: FAH 8: Introduction to Architecture; lower level course in history of art and architecture
  • Freshman-Junior years: engineering core class; humanities/social science core class; studio art elective GRAM 20, DRWM 26
  • Sophomore-Senior years: FAH 96: Architectural Design, Architectural History core class; multidisciplinary electives
  • Senior year: FAH 98: Integrative Senior Project

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