Holistic, Practical and Liberal Arts-based Education

The Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) program consists of 152 semester credit hours; 97 credits are under the major, and 55 are general education credits. Planned completion for the degree is five years.  As an undergraduate degree we take very seriously the need to simultaneously create potential architectural practitioners and yet well-rounded individuals.  The liberal arts-based core of UMA general education requirements ensure this takes place.

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Community-based Design Studios

Since 2007, our students have worked on 21 different community-based projects of varying scales.  We continue to strengthen our relationships with municipalities and non-profit groups across the state by placing our upper level design studios in community-based projects.  The experience of one-to-one client interaction helps them see the necessity of balancing design intention with client needs; that the architect is not only a practitioner but also an educator; and that the client is an essential part of the team that produces our built environment. See our Community Pages for info on specific projects.

Interdisciplinary and Cluster Courses

We are actively pursuing the greater integration of “Cluster Courses” into our required course work.  These are nine to twelve credit courses, combining different disciplines in order to bring about cross-discipline collaboration within the institution; this in turn creates an atmosphere of greater knowledge and discovery for our students.  The Department of Architecture was at the forefront in development of the first cluster course taught at UMA, and will be at the forefront in making these courses integral to a degree program.

Essential Design

Our pedagogy is rooted in the fundamentals of architectural design, fundamentals that are all too often over-looked for current trends or flashy technology. The architecture curriculum at UMA stresses three major design areas: the awareness and facility of designing spatially, the knowledge for integration of scale into the design, and the power of light as the element that gives space its vitality and sensory content.  When these elements are combined with an intention – the basic theme behind the design – a work of architecture may emerge.  For these reasons the entire first year of design studio is still drawn by hand in pencil and ink.  Subsequent studios take this learning and apply it using digital technology.  See our Design Pages for more info.