B.Arch. Program

Bachelor of Architecture Program

Howard University offers a professional, five-year Bachelor of Architecture program. The 171-credit hour program has evolved to respond to the challenges that our communities face. Emphasis is placed on student competence in design inquiry/research, architectural history, human behavior and environment, technical systems, digital tools, and professional practice. These core areas are complemented by elective courses in which students can explore their interests beyond the design of the built environment.

Design-thinking processes are introduced to students from the first year and continually reinforced throughout the program. Theory is a vital component of architectural exploration as it presents varied sets of related ideas that predict, describe, and direct the relationships between factors that influence and support the appropriate design decision making process—outcomes.

Faculty are constantly re-examining the meaning of design as it relates to architectural education at Howard. Does design equate to beauty or comprehensive problem-solving and evidence-based solutions? How does design impact the African Diaspora in terms of cultural characteristics and vernacular building practices and styles? Similarly, we evaluate the role of digital tools in the design process. How early should digital tools be introduced in the curriculum, for instance, and what is the role of traditional methods (hand drawing)? Design encompasses a myriad of issues in response to the challenges faced by our society, hence, we reaffirm our niche as educating activist urban community designers and developers who can respond appropriately. We also view our approach to design as inseparable from construction, fabrication, finance, aesthetics, and culture.

Community and Social Responsibility

A long-standing commitment of the Department of Architecture has been to our community. Through coursework that exposes students to the civic responsibility of the architect, the undergraduate program has designated community and social responsibility as an integral component of the curriculum. The academic setting enables students to learn about and participate in the community engagement process. Other elective courses provide hands-on experiences with community groups. These experiences reinforce the social and civic responsibility necessary for today’s practitioners.

The Department encourages and responds to a broad range of community service requests and addresses these through charrettes and projects in the design studios as well as in lecture-format courses. The Department’s involvement in serving as a resource to diverse groups on community-based projects exposes our students to the benefits of responding to issues of need. This outreach was initially operationalized in 2009 with the department’s community design center. This unit provides our students with experiential and service learning, and increase their understanding of the importance of providing technical assistance to individuals and groups in need.

The in-class learning experience is augmented by field trips and extracurricular activities available throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area as well as along the I-95 corridor (Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York). Student organizations, service projects, and our design center also contribute to the learning environment. The location of the Department of Architecture within a dynamic and accessible metropolitan area enables class instruction to extend beyond the campus.

The Bachelor of Architecture degree requires the completion of a minimum of 171 credits. Credit requirements, course listings and descriptions can be found in the Bachelor of Architecture Curriculum.

A major milestone in the offering of architecture education at Howard University is the transition of the undergraduate program to a graduate program. Howard’s proposal for a nomenclature change from a five-year professional Bachelor of Architecture program to a five-year professional Master of Architecture program was approved by the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) at its July 2017 Board of Trustees meeting. Students accepted for the freshman class entering in August 2018, will enter into the Master of Architecture program.


Commemorating the Lives of Esteemed Architecture Faculty

Fri, August 9, 2019

We commemorate the lives of several former Department of Architecture faculty members who have recently passed away. Three former faculty members, Jose J. Mapily (B.Arch. ’65; MCP ’72), Ahmed Elnaggar, Ph.D., and Philip Freelon, FAIA, passed away this July, and Oswald Glean Chase, B.S.Arch., MScs, within the past year. Read More >>

Meet HU Commencement 2019 Student Speaker Renee Whiteley

Thu, May 16, 2019

Class of 2019 Architecture Magna Cum Laude Graduate Renee Whiteley addressed her class and the university community at Howard University’s 151st Commencement Convocation on May 12, 2019. Read More >>


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