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College of Architecture and Environmental Design

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

304 Taylor Hall
Tel: 330-672-2789 | Fax: 330-672-3809


The Architectural Studies (B.A./ARCS) program offers a liberal arts education as a foundation for directed graduate study and careers in a variety of design-related disciplines. The Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies curriculum emphasizes the design of the built environment as a tool to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills valuable in many fields of specialization that interface with design practice. Adding architecture to liberal education, the B.A./ARCS degree gives students the flexibility and incentive to explore important relationships between architecture and related disciplines and prepares them to recognize and pursue creative and innovative work within the field of architecture and beyond.  Studying outside of a formal classroom environment, students often work closely with faculty and other students – exploring the cultural and societal forces that shape the built environment through a core set of courses in design, technology, history, criticism and context. Studios for B.A./ARCS students are designed to foster interdisciplinary partnerships with art, technology, journalism, fashion, graphics and digital sciences offering  opportunities for directed media and technique-based explorations. By the beginning of the junior year, students are given the flexibility to pursue an emphasis in one of five areas of focus. These areas of focus are intended as suggested territories for further investigation, allowing students to identify potential for specialization and/or future graduate study. Individual advising provides students with a framework to aid in defining goals and establishing tracks for a possible double-major or minor within the degree plan.

Career Opportunities

Architecture + Making
The boundaries between architecture, installation art, environmental graphics and industrial design are often hard to locate. Someone with training in more than one of these fields is, therefore, well placed to make effective and compelling work at a variety of scales. Students who want extensive hands-on engagement in the process of making can combine the ARCS core curriculum with more studio centered coursework that focuses on craft and visual problem solving. After graduation, many students who follow this path will want to go on to a Master of Fine Arts program or graduate study in architecture, graphics or industrial design.

Architecture + Information Systems
While the use of computers to draw buildings has become the norm, that is only the very beginning of the ways in which digital technology is changing the design process. Information systems also improve the construction process, help us devise new applications for building technologies and environmental systems, and allow for the rapid prototyping and testing of design ideas. Students with strong analytic skills and the ability to communicate complex technical information have a future in emerging and rapidly evolving design-related professions related to construction technology, systems management and methods of organization. Students interested in pursuing this focus may choose to combine the ARCS curriculum with studies in digital sciences or technology.

Architecture + History/Theory
Knowledge about architecture and design grows not just through built and graphic work, but also through inquiry into design history, theory and criticism. Students with strong verbal skills and an interest in scholarship can combine design training, writing and historical study to prepare themselves for graduate study in architectural history and theory or historic preservation. Others may combine the ARCS curriculum with studies in journalism, graphic design, art or other fields that give them the skills and understanding to work in journalism or in museums and galleries.

Architecture + Society
There are many nondesign professionals who play key roles in shaping the built environment, working with designers on a regular basis. Someone who understands design but also has the verbal and analytic skills required for these outside professions is in an excellent position to collaborate with designers on complex projects and contribute to a high-quality outcome. Students can build on the ARCs core curriculum with coursework or minors in other colleges at Kent State to prepare themselves for graduate study and professional work in business, real estate, law, environmental policy, public health and other fields that relate to the built environment.

Architecture + Cities
Buildings are situated within complex urban and suburban networks of infrastructure, ecology, economics and politics. Students with an interest in these complex issues can combine the ARCS core curriculum with work in geography, sociology and political science to give themselves a strong qualification for graduate work in urban design, landscape architecture, urban planning or community development. Kent State offers an excellent graduate option through the Master of Urban Design degree offered at the Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (KSU CUDC), where students engage in intensive study of real-world challenges in urban design practice and research. Students may also combine work at the CUDC with the urban planning programs of the nationally ranked College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.

Admission Requirements

Application deadline is January 31. All applications must include the $40 application fee, official American College Test (ACT)/Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores and an official high school transcript which shows class rank and coursework in  9th, 10th and 11th grades, as well as the courses that are being taken or will be taken in the senior year. Transcripts that do not show class rank and senior courses cannot be considered. All completed applications received by the deadline will be reviewed.

Applicants will be considered based on the following criteria:

  • High school GPA.
  • High school class rank.
  • ACT/SAT scores.

Applicants will be notified of their admission status by March 1. Those offered admission must notify the college of their acceptance by April 1.

High school students who have applied to the architecture professional program (B.S. in Arch.) or the interior design program and have not been accepted may qualify for admission into the Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies nonprofessional program.

General Admission for Transfer Students: General admissions for transfer students: Generally, a transfer applicant who has taken 12 or more semester hours with a college cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale may be admitted. An applicant who has taken fewer than 12 semester hours will be evaluated on both collegiate and high school records. For more information on admissions, visit the Admissions website for transfer students

Also, see transfer student admissions for selective programs:

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 125 credit hours and 39 upper-division credit hours, including all required coursework. Minimum 2.250 GPA in the major and 2.000 cumulative GPA.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

1. Demonstrate abilities in communication, design thinking skills, visual thinking skills, investigation and research skills, fundamental design skills, historical traditions and cultural diversity.  Develop a capacity to utilize and interpret literature and data related to environments and their design.

2. Demonstrate an introductory understanding of technical considerations in design, urban design and architecture.  This includes introduction to systems, operations, construction techniques, facilities management and computing technologies.

3. Display a broad and diverse understanding of the architecture and disciplines involved in the design of physical environments.

4. Demonstrate an ability to manage, advocate, and act legally, ethically and critically.  Establish collaborative skills, promote an understanding of human behavior, foster a research mentality.  Institute an understanding of leadership skills.

Study Abroad/Away Opportunities

The college offers full-semester programs abroad for qualified fourth-year Architectural Studies majors. The study abroad program is housed in the 13th-century Palazzo dei Cerchi, located in the heart of historic Florence, Italy. The program is open to all students who have made satisfactory progress toward completion of their undergraduate program

Advanced Degree Programs

Urban Design (M.U.D)