B.Arch. Curriculum

For students who matriculated in fall 2010, click here to see the curriculum.

* Elective courses may be switched between different semesters, as long as total distribution requirements are met (except that the First-Year Writing Seminar should be taken in the first year).

First Year

Fall Semester
Credits
ARCH 1101 Design I
Introduction to design as a conceptual discipline directed at the analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and transformation of the physical environment. Exercises are aimed at developing an understanding of the issues, elements, and processes of environmental design.
6
ARCH 1501 Representation I: Freehand Architectural Drawing
Introduction to freehand drawing as an analytical tool within the design process.
3
ARCH 1611 Environmental Systems I: Site and Sustainability
This course examines the relationships between building, site, landscape and sustainability through the lens of ecology and systems thinking. Topics include: basic concepts of sustainability, energetic processes, climate, spatial data visualization, global warming, solar geometry, landscape processes, microclimates, site strategies and grading, building footprint & sustainable building metrics.
3
ARCH 1801 History of Architecture I
The history of the built environment as social and cultural expression from the earliest to more recent times. Themes, theories, and ideas in architecture and urban design are explored, beginning with the earliest written records.
3
Out-of-College Elective (First Year Writing Seminar suggested)
3
Total18
Spring Semester
Credits
ARCH 1102 Design II
Continuation of . Covers human, social, technical, and aesthetic factors related to space and form. Design problems range from those of the immediate environment of the individual to that of small social groups.
6
ARCH 1502 Representation II: Media of Representation
The understanding of representational and fabrication techniques as generative tools in the design process.
3
ARCH 1612 Structural Concepts
Fundamental concepts of structural behavior. Statics and strength of materials. Introduction to and analysis of simple structural systems.
3
ARCH 1802 History of Architecture II
The history of the built environment as social and cultural expression from more recent times to the present. Architecture and urban design themes, theories, and ideas are addressed in greater detail leading to the present time.
3
Free Out-of-Department Elective*
3
Total18

Second Year

Fall Semester
Credits
ARCH 2101 Design III
Students develop an understanding of context and precedent in the construction of architectural form, and are introduced to contextual and programmatic densities in addition to circulatory, spatial, and organizational strategies in the design process.
6
ARCH 2301 Architectural Analysis I: Buildings, Drawings, and Texts
Agendas and approaches to the making and "reading" of space and form in 20th- and 21st-century architecture. The analysis of canonical works and texts, with frequent reference to relevant works prior to the 20th century, and with an emphasis on buildings and drawings as the vehicles of study, with occasional citations from painting, film, literature, and other critical works.
3
ARCH 2613 Structural Systems
Behavior and design of overall structural systems for buildings. Particular focus on systems used for resisting lateral loads (rigid frames, braced frames and shear walls) and for spanning long distances (trusses and space frames; cables and membranes; and arches, domes, and shells).
3
ARCH 2614 Building Technology I: Materials and Methods
Building construction is examined from the following standpoints: life safety (including fire safety and zoning constraints on site planning); building service systems (plumbing, electrical, vertical transportation, security, fire protection); materials, sustainability, and life-cycle analysis; accessibility; technical documentation and outline specifications.
3
Free Out-of-Department Elective*
3
Total18
Spring Semester
Credits
ARCH 2102 Design IV
In this Integrative Design Studio, the requirements of building systems are seen to both support and inform architectural concepts and form. One of the key design experiences during this semester will be the interaction of these concepts and building systems. Questions of energy, thermal comfort, sustainability, structure, material, and life safety will be addressed.
6
ARCH 2615 Building Technology II: Structural Elements
Concepts and procedures for the design, manufacture, and construction of structural components (e.g., walls, columns, beams, slabs) in steel, concrete, masonry, and timber.
3
ARCH 2616 Environmental Systems II: Building Dynamics
This course examines the design and analysis of the building envelope, with a focus on the material and energetic transformations taking place at the boundary between architecture and environment. Topics include: comfort, building thermodynamics, envelope assemblies, thermal modeling, active and passive control systems, daylighting and architectural acoustics.
3
Out-of-Department Elective (MQR suggested)*
3
Free Out-of-Department Elective*
3
Total18

Third Year

During the third year, half the class is at Cornell in Rome each semester taking the core studio and ARCH 3301. Those not in Rome are primarily in Ithaca taking the Ithaca-based design studio.

Rome: Fall or Spring Semester
Credits
ARCH 3101 - Design V (Fall) / ARCH 3102 - Design VI (Spring)
Design and development of complex architectural projects situated in urban contexts and developed with regard to program, site, building, and representation.
6
ARCH 3301 Architectural Analysis II: Architecture, the City, and Landscape
Agendas and approaches to the making and reading of urban conditions and landscape designs. The analysis canonical works and texts, with emphasis on architecture within and without the city as vehicles of study, and with frequent reference to urban and landscape theories and designs, as well as to representations of the city and garden from other media and disciplines.
3
Out-of-Department Elective (art suggested)*
3
Departmental Elective (architectural history suggested)*
3
Total15
Ithaca: Fall or Spring Semester
Credits
ARCH 3101 - Design V (Fall) / ARCH 3102 - Design VI (Spring)
Design and development of complex architectural projects situated in urban contexts and developed with regard to program, site, building, and representation.
6
Free Departmental Elective*
3
Free Departmental Elective*
3
Free Out-of-Department Elective*
3
Free Out-of-Department Elective*
3
Total18

Fourth Year

Fall Semester
Credits
ARCH 4101 Design VII
Advanced programs in architectural design, with options in, but not limited to, urban design, architectural technology, computational design, ecology, culture, and representation.
6
Departmental Elective (architectural history suggested)*
3
Departmental Elective (theory suggested)*
3
Out-of-Department Elective (MQR or PBS suggested)*
3
Free Out-of-Department Elective*
3
Total18
Spring Semester
Credits
ARCH 4102 Design VIII
Advanced programs in architectural design, with options including, but not limited to, urban design, architectural technology, computational design, ecology, culture, and representation.
6
ARCH 5201 Professional Practice
Examination of organizational and management theories and practices for delivering professional design services. Includes a historic overview of the profession and a review of the architect's responsibilities from the pre-contract phase through cost estimating and specifications to construction. Application of computer technology in preparing specifications.
3
Departmental Elective*
3
Out-of-Department Elective (humanities suggested)*
3
Free Out-of-Department Elective*
3
Free Out-of-Department Elective*
3
Total21

Notes:

  • ARCH 5201 can be taken in the fourth or fifth year without petition.
  • The required directed elective (RDE) is a free departmental or free out-of-department elective. It can be taken in the 4102 or 5101 semester without petition. The RDE must be completed before thesis.

Fifth Year

Fall Semester
Credits
ARCH 5101 Design IX
Advanced programs in architectural design, with options in, but not limited to, urban design, architectural technology, computational design, ecology, culture, and representation.
6
Out-of-Department Elective (humanities suggested)*
3
Free Departmental Elective*
3
Free Departmental Elective*
3
Free Out-of-Department Elective*
3
Total18
Spring Semester
Credits
ARCH 5902 Design X Thesis
Prerequisite: ARCH 5101 and Required Directed Elective. Enrollment limited to: B.Arch. students. Requirement for B.Arch. candidates who must satisfactorily complete a thesis.
8
Free Departmental Elective*
3
Free Out-of-Department Elective*
3
Free Out-of-Department Elective*
3
Total17