The mission of the School of Architecture (SoA) is is to advance excellence in architectural education through innovative research, teaching, and design practices. The School seeks to further the discourse between the theory and practice of architecture through the education and training of students, the work and research of the faculty, and ongoing engagement with the University, the profession, and the community. Architecture in the narrow sense includes important public monuments and, in the broader sense, the constructed environment at all scales.
To prepare undergraduate students to become future community and architectural leaders, the School of Architecture seeks to provide both a liberal and a professional education based on a holistic view of the built environment. The studio/seminar sequence in the Core Program emphasizes both writing and making to introduce students to alternative and complementary methods of investigating design problems. The professional degree path in the Advanced Program culminates in studios that emphasize self-direction and provide directed instruction on matters of importance to contemporary practice and theory, and includes courses in advanced building technology and digital practices.
All students must first apply to the University and submit a second online application to the School of Architecture. The SoA Undergraduate Admission Review includes an evaluation of the UNC Charlotte and SoA applications by a faculty committee, and a personal interview of selected applicants, including a presentation of their creative work. All SoA admission decisions are completed by April 1 for entry beginning in the Fall semester.
Undergraduate admission to the School of Architecture is to the Four-Year Bachelor of Arts in Architecture-a pre-professional foundation degree that serves two primary academic tracks that culminate in professional accredited degrees. The first track is the “4+1” one-year Bachelor of Architecture degree (professionally accredited). The second track is the “4+2” two-year Master of Architecture degree (professionally accredited), including further options for dual-degrees and post-professional graduate studies in Urban Design, Geography, Business/Real Estate Development, and Computing and Information Systems. Students who do not intend to pursue an accredited professional architecture degree may elect a modified undergraduate curriculum that allows greater academic flexibility.
Students who maintain a minimum grade point average (3.0 in architectural studies through the Fourth Year) are automatically recommended for acceptance into the undergraduate fifth-year Bachelor of Architecture program; students who maintain a minimum grade point average (3.25 in architectural studies through the Fourth Year) are automatically recommended for acceptance into the graduate Master of Architecture program. Students with an “automatic admit” to the BArch or MArch programs may enter the fall semester following completion of the B.A. degree program, or may defer one year and enroll in the subsequent academic year. Students who do not have minimum GPA for the “automatic admit” must submit a separate application for admission to the fifth-year Bachelor of Architecture or the graduate Master of Architecture program.
The School of Architecture maintains accredited status through the National Architectural Accrediting Board, which reviews the curriculum, facility, faculty, and program resources annually. In addition, the NAAB conducts an intensive site visit every six years. The School has maintained full accreditation standards as prescribed by this board and includes the following required statement:
“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.”
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, School of Architecture, offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:
- B. Arch. (158 undergraduate credit hours)
- M. Arch. (preprofessional degree + 60 graduate credit hours)
- M. Arch. (non-preprofessional degree + 96 credit hours)
Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2024.
Areas of Academic Focus
The School of Architecture faculty offer expertise and instruction in the following areas:
Architectural Design Studios and Seminars
Studios and seminars provide both analytical and synthetic educational experiences along with the opportunity to pursue intense study of physical-environmental subject(s). These courses link humanistic, physical phenomena, social-psychological, behavioral, perceptional, and aesthetic studies.
Architectural History Courses
These courses provide an understanding of the relationships between culture and its physical architectural manifestations from ancient to contemporary times.
Building Technology Courses
These courses provide a quantitative and qualitative understanding of building materials, structural theory and design, environmental systems issues and principles, and building systems integration.
These courses provide practical and theoretical training on matters of basic and advanced computational practices, including instruction in scripting and digital fabrication.
Architectural Electives and Opportunities
Elective courses provide opportunities for topical study of issues, themes, subdisciplines, and methods, both current and historic to architectural practices: theoretical concerns, urban design, landscape, representation, building technology, digital practice and fabrication, environmental issues, community practice, and constructional/making concerns. Many electives are organized around the following four themes or concentrations:
- Architectural Design, Theory, & Practice
This concentration focuses on a sophisticated and detailed study of building and site design arising from the re-presentational methods intrinsic to architecture. The areas of focus include: graphic description, historical and/or theoretical inquiries, as well as digital design and fabrication. This concentration includes both investigation and criticism of contemporary practice and practitioners as it pertains to the understanding, design, and making of architecture.
This concentration focuses on the critical role of architecture in the city – the processes and specific intents of physical interventions in urban landscapes and infrastructures. Through the design of groups of buildings as well as larger scale urban areas, issues of policy, politics, finance, planning, place, and culture are introduced as part of the essential conception and history of the city fabric.
- Architectural Technology
This concentration focuses on emerging issues of sustainable design and the development of innovative building envelopes and systems that utilize both new and traditional materials, technology, and construction methods. Seeking to explore the historical as well as contemporary realms of thermal, tactile and visual issues of architectural technology, students address appropriate material selection, methods of daylighting, and passive and active systems for heating and cooling with consideration of both qualitative and quantitative outcomes.
- Digital Design, Fabrication, and Visualization
This concentration focuses on computation as it affects materiality, process, and interaction. Work in this concentration focuses on the responsible material constraints of digital manufacturing techniques, the ways in which our methodologies are affected by computation, and the ways in which digital technology is changing the expectations for interaction in our designed spaces and urban conditions.
When appropriate, a student may earn credit by pursuing a self-directed, faculty-approved study of a particular, significant architectural topic or subject.
A student may earn credit through participation in directed faculty research projects.
General University Requirements and Directed Electives
Courses to meet the University’s General Education requirements and elective studies are incorporated in the curriculum structure.
Foreign Language Requirement
All students who earn a degree in the School of Architecture are required to be proficient in the language of their choice through the 1202 level.
Proficiency can be demonstrated in the following ways: (1) Completing the required coursework (Foreign Language 1201 and 1202; 4 credit hours each) at UNC Charlotte; (2) Completing three years of the same language in high school through Level Three; (3) Achieving a satisfactory score on a foreign language placement test; (4) Approved transfer or transient credit earned at other accredited institutions; or (5) A combination of the above methods (e.g., placing out of or earning transfer or transient credit for 1201 and completing the 1202 course, completing 1201 and placing out of or earning transfer or transient credit for 1202).
Education Abroad Programs
The School conducts international field-study summer programs in a range of countries including, but not limited to, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Eastern Europe, Finland, China, Brazil, and South Korea. In addition, exchange arrangements exist through the Office for International Programs for students to study architecture in the spring of the 4th year at a consortium of universities that have included: University of Copenhagen (Denmark); Kingston University (London, England); Lund Institute of Technology, (Lunds, Sweden); University of Technology, (Delft, Netherlands); Tongji University, (Shanghai, China), The University of Applied Science, (Aachen, Germany); Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, (Copenhagen, Denmark); and the Henry van de Velde Institute (Antwerp, Belgium).
The advising program consists of two tiers: Staff Academic Advisor (Core Program advising) and Associate Director (Advanced Program advising).