Architects must be educated to think critically, to assess holistically, to synthesize comprehensively and to design with environmental responsibility. Marywood’s architecture programs—undergraduate and graduate—recognize that architecture, both as a discipline and as a profession, engages the realms of art and science. Buildings and other physical spaces created by architects combine design innovation and aesthetic with the laws of gravity and the requirements of constructability. Architects create unique and highly inventive realities that emphasize organization, proportion, and beauty, as well as material properties, budgets and structural systems.
Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture (B.E.D.A.) (4-Year)
This degree option focuses on acquiring the skills needed to design buildings and to understand the impact of designs on physical, aesthetic, social, and ecological environments.
Marywood University architecture students will benefit from the University’s liberal arts core curriculum, providing the foundation for a profession in which social responsibilities are integral to the practice of architecture. In addition to courses in the social sciences, math, history, science, religion, and a foreign language, students are exposed to courses in critical thinking, writing and literature. The B.E.D.A. curriculum fully integrates these core competencies with the professional course requirements, including architecture topics in structures, environmental science, building systems and other areas of building technology. Eight design studios, each one semester long, serve as the continuous place of exploration and synthesis.
The B.E.D.A. is a pre-professional degree that prepares graduates to: pursue a professional degree in architecture at Marywood; to undertake graduate study at another institution; to be engaged in architecture as a non-licensed practitioner; or to become involved in a number of related professions. Marywood students who have completed the B.E.D.A. degree may apply to the Master of Architecture program with advanced standing and complete their professional degree in a minimum of one-and-one-half years.
Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) (5-year)
The B.Arch program builds on the pre-professional degree by adding courses in professional practice, environmental law, and a selection of more focused program electives. Students are also prepared for the LEED accreditation exam, a national program certifying advanced knowledge in sustainable design practices. All students will be required to become LEED Accredited Professionals by passing this exam prior to graduation.
The Fifth-Year Thesis Project, involving a comprehensive design project formulated by the student in consultation with a faculty committee selected by the student, serves as the capstone project for the professional degree.
Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) (6-year)
After obtaining the pre-professional degree at Marywood, students pursuing the M.Arch degree will need two years of graduate-level study. Certain qualified students may accelerate their M.Arch program for completion in one-and-a-half years.
Professional electives, along with subjects in architectural theory, enable students to expand their knowledge in selected interest areas as they define and structure their Design Thesis—an extensively researched design investigation demonstrating a comprehensive process of hypothesis, analysis and synthesis.
Courses dealing with practice, environmental law, management and policy, and business are intended to give graduates an added understanding of the expanding professional contexts in which architects are practicing. Professional LEED Accreditation is also required to complete this track.
In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation. Master’s degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
The NAAB grants candidacy status to new programs that have developed viable plans for achieving initial accreditation. Candidacy status indicates that a program should be accredited within six years of achieving candidacy, if its plan is properly implemented. Marywood University’s Five-year Architecture program (B.ARCH.) is in the process of securing accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Following an NAAB visit in October, 2012, the School of Architecture was formally granted Initial Candidacy status for its B.ARCH professional degree program in March, 2013. The next NAAB visit for Continuation of Candidacy will occur in 2014 (most likely in the spring), and the anticipated year for Initial Accreditation is 2016.
Office of University Admissions
School of Architecture