In the United States, most 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 professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-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 require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:
- B. Arch. (161 undergraduate credits)
- M. Arch. (preprofessional degree + 60 credits)
- M. Arch. (non-preprofessional degree + 111 credits)
Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2018
Undergraduate degrees in architecture generally fall into two categories - professional degrees (usually five years in length) and pre-professional degrees (usually four years in length). The School of Architecture offers both types of undergraduate degrees. The Bachelor of Architecture is a first-professional degree that is evaluated and accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board and contains the required academic coursework to pursue internship, and eventually, licensure. The Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies is a pre-professional degree that contains part of the coursework required for licensure, but must be followed by a professional degree in architecture in order for one to pursue licensure.
A five-year professional degree, the Bachelor of Architecture features a rigorous design-oriented curriculum with a solid foundation in technology and the history of architecture. The curriculum prepares students for the challenges and demands of professional practice.
A four-year pre-professional degree, the Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, with an optional architectural history track, is an excellent platform for future graduate studies in architecture and associated fields. The required coursework is concentrated in the first three years leaving the fourth year to develop the student's career interest.
Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies / Architecture History Track
Students in the Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies may also follow an architectural history track. This degree option requires students to take 18 of their 20 hours of electives in architectural history. Up to 6 hours of related UT coursework, approved by the program director, may be taken to fulfill the elective requirement.
A six-year dual professional degree, the Bachelor of Architecture + Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering, sponsored jointly by the School of Architecture and the Cockrell School of Engineering, is founded upon the mutual interests of both architecture and architectural engineering.
A five-year plus summers dual degree, the Bachelor of Architecture + Bachelor of Arts Plan II Honors, sponsored jointly by the School of Architecture and the College of Liberal Arts, offers the academic and professional advantage of a strong liberal arts background.