School of Architecture

Bachelor of Architecture

Making A Difference Through Design

The Bachelor of Architecture, or BArch program, offers a five-year course of study leading to a NAAB-accredited professional architecture degree. Woodbury’s program provides students the knowledge and skills required for a career as a professional architect, as well as personalized attention, small class sizes, and a general understanding of the profound social and cultural power of design at local and global scales.

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Making at Woodbury

Woodbury School of Architecture’s Making Complex is a platform for experimentation and advanced fabrication. Discover how Woodbury is exploring new technologies to rethink the future of architecture and push the boundaries of design.

Faculty

Woodbury’s faculty are architects, designers, academics and policy makers practicing in Los Angeles, San Diego and Tijuana. This internationally recognized and award-winning group works closely with students, teaching the skills required to push the limits of practice and explore disciplinary possibilities in both theoretical and professional arenas. Through individual attention, we foster close mentoring relationships between faculty, staff and students.

Faculty Directory 

Facilities

The Burbank/Los Angeles facility takes full advantage of Woodbury’s academic offerings, student support services, comprehensive library and residential campus life. At the same time, it offers specialized facilities, including a wood/metal shop, a materials resource library, a digital fabrication lab, a lighting lab, computing facilities, a render farm and 24-hour access to studios, including a 15,000-square foot architecture building.

Making Complex

Careers

Woodbury’s School of Architecture supports students in building a strong foundation for professional practice to investigate the nature of practice itself. All undergraduate students are required to complete work experience in their discipline or allied profession as a degree requirement.  Visit our SOA Career Services page for more information.

School of Architecture Careers

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Woodbury Prize

Half-Tuition Scholarships

We offer transfer students an incredible opportunity to lower the costs of their education. The Woodbury Prize scholarship pays half of all tuition fees for the duration of a student’s enrollment in the program. All transfer students who are accepted into our Architecture (BArch) and Interior Architecture (BFA) undergraduate programs are automatically considered for the Woodbury Prize. Past scholarship recipients have included students transferring from Pasadena City College, Glendale Community College, College of the Canyons, ELAC, and many other community colleges. Our professional faculty are available to review portfolios and provide input to all prospective students. To find out more about our scholarships or to have your portfolio reviewed, even if you have not yet applied, please contact the Admissions office.

IPAL Initiative

Learn more about the IPAL initiative from Woodbury students and local architects in Los Angeles.

Woodbury’s Bachelor of Architecture program is among the first 14 programs nationwide to have been accepted for participation in the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative.

IPAL Program

Architecture Course Details

The BArch curriculum has 160 course hours of which 99 are architectural courses, 49 are part of general education, and 12 are unrestricted electives. A portfolio review is required when students advance from the third-year design studios into the upper-division studios. Students are also required to complete 160 hours of work experience, infusing their education with the knowledge gained in a professional architecture or allied design office. Click here to find out more about transfer articulations, and you can also review the program worksheet.

Course Requirements

Phase 1: Years One and Two
Ground Work provides an intellectual and technical foundation for the production of architecture. Students are introduced to conventions of representation and construction. Conventional understandings are then transformed into contemporary design proposals through the acquisition of advanced skill sets. Design problems are inward in orientation as they absorb and explore the tenets of the discipline.

ARCH 101 STUDIO ONE
Studio One provides a technical and ethical foundation for engaging in the study of architecture. Students learn fundamental skills for generating, representing, and archiving three-dimensional form with precision and clarity using a wide range of tools. Students are introduced to fundamental media used in the generation, production, and representation of three-dimensional form. Qualitative issues of mass, space, and circulation are foregrounded in the production of a 1,000–5,000 sq. ft. project.

ARCH 102 STUDIO TWO
Studio Two provides an intellectual and conceptual foundation for engaging in the study of architecture. Students learn fundamental skills for analyzing, generating, and representing tectonic systems with precision and clarity in a wide range of media including drawings, diagrams, and physical models. Students are introduced to digital design and fabrication tools and learn to develop productive workflows between the two. Qualitative issues of mass, space, circulation, frame, and enclosure are foregrounded in the production of a 5,000–10,000 sq. ft. project.

ARCH 122 BUILDING ONE: INTRODUCTION TO MATERIALS & METHODS
Each major material—wood, masonry, steel, concrete, and glass—is placed within a fundamental context of physical properties, historical evolution, structural behavior, sustainable design, contemporary methods of construction and detailing, building envelope systems, and new and future products. Their influence on design with respect to durability, building cost, lifecycle cost, and scheduling is evaluated.

ARCH 201 STUDIO THREE
An in-depth analytical study of everyday domestic, work, and recreational rituals through written research and case study, with an emphasis on spatial accommodation of program through materiality, finish, structure, and form. Projects set in limited contexts emphasize the influence of internally driven relationships, with a special focus on hybrid programming.

ARCH 241 CRITICISM ONE: WORLD ARCHITECTURE & URBANISM
A survey of the history and theory of architecture and urbanism in Western and non-Western societies spanning a chronological period from pre-history to the nineteenth century. This course traces history via focused explorations into diverse cultures, geographies, and places, examining many layers of historical time. When considered together, these explorations contribute to an understanding of architecture as a deeply bound discipline with components ranging from the artifacts of everyday life and ritual, to building traditions and practices, to the larger forces of geography and the design of entire cities. Analytical drawing and modeling exercises link representational media to historic comprehension. Equivalent to IDES 164, Interior Design History I (Ancient–1800).

ARCH 202 STUDIO FOUR
Natural and urban site orders are explored and analyzed using writing, photography, mapping, and sectional studies to develop site planning and building design with special emphasis given to the relationship between program and external context. Projects focus on influences of adjacencies and environment, through the development of clear systems of movement, space, structure, energy efficiency, and daylight.

ARCH 242 CRITICISM TWO: WORLD ARCHITECTURE & URBANISM II
Histories and theories of architecture, urbanism, and interiors in Western and non-Western societies from 1900 to the present are surveyed. The focus of this course is on the formal, aesthetic, cultural, and socio-political dimensions of modernism. Different historiographies are developed into various approaches toward understanding modern architecture in its varied contexts, including, but not limited to Marxist, Feminist, and Psychoanalytic readings. Analytical drawing and modeling exercises link representational media to historic comprehension.

ARCH 262 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE 1
Introduction of design development and documentation phase of a project, are studied, with an emphasis on technical documentation, project organization, outline specifications, and relevant design tools (hand to software) for communicating design to contractors. Studies related to accessibility, egress, life-safety, LEED certification, and Zero Net Energy are included, as well as overview of the technical, regulatory, and ethical roles of architects given the political, technological, and ecological conditions of our world.

 

Phase 2: Years Three and Four
Field Work cracks the foundation to reveal the broad spectrum of architectural possibilities that emerge when foundational knowledge engages contemporary culture. Students are introduced to the technology of building in relationship to environmental, structural, and material systems. Design problems are outward in orientation as they leverage disciplinary intelligence against a wide range of civic conditions.

ARCH 301 STUDIO FIVE
Through critical analysis and comparison of the historical, contemporary, and multi-cultural evolution of the house and housing, this studio addresses the form and meaning of the dwelling with a discussion that juxtaposes interior vs. exterior space, public vs. private space, community vs. the individual, and traditional vs. non-traditional families. The studio focus is divided between the single-family dwelling and multiple-unit housing typologies. The course includes a sustainable materials and systems component that includes lectures and written research assignments.

ARCH 321 BUILDING TWO: INTRODUCTION TO STRUCTURES
Fundamental architectural structures, forces, force systems, and resultants are introduced. Concepts of forces and stresses on trusses, beams, columns, and statically determinate structures are presented. Topics include equilibrium, behavior of structures subject to vertical and lateral forces, and strength properties. Structural analysis and design as it relates to wood structures is introduced.

ARCH 341 CRITICISM THREE: THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE
The concepts, philosophies, ideologies, models, and polemics that have influenced or been the genesis of architectural expression and form are surveyed and analyzed.

ARCH 302 STUDIO SIX
Structure, technology, building systems, and codes are explored as design determinants, spacemakers, and form-givers in this synthesis studio. Building typologies, long-span structural systems, environmental systems, and electronic media are analyzed as they relate to design development. This studio has a portfolio development component that includes lectures and assignments.

ARCH 322 BUILDING THREE: ADVANCED STRUCTURES
Systems of tension, compression, and flexing are analyzed and documented. Structural proposals are generated through applied research methods that test the relationship between form, geometry, and material. Issues of optimization are studied and tested.

ARCH 342 CRITICISM FOUR: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES
The theories and debates currently animating architectural practice and discourse are examined, including the impacts of context, technology, sustainability, alternative practice, sociology, and philosophy.

ARCH 362 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE 2
Legal codes, regulations, and financial and environmental contexts that affect architecture and influence design are evaluated. Design delivery and project and firm management are studied, including understanding the client role in architecture, program preparation, an analysis of documents, services, professional contracts and fees, project budget and cost estimating, global markets, and professional ethics. Development of portfolio for capstone project.

ARCH 401 STUDIO SEVEN
Students produce a comprehensive architectural project based upon a building program and site that includes the development of programmed space, demonstrating an understanding of structural and environmental systems, life-safety provisions, wall sections, building assemblies, and the principles of sustainability. This studio is open to fourth- and fifth year students. The last half of the semester is devoted to design development.

ARCH 421 BUILDING FOUR: INTRODUCTION TO SYSTEMS INTEGRATION
The interrelationships of the properties of materials, structures, environmental systems, building envelope systems, construction technology, building cost control, and life-cycle costs as they influence design development and decision making are examined. A comprehensive and integrative process is presented. Lecture.

ARCH 402 STUDIO EIGHT
This Topic Studio explores and tests architectural design as it relates to one or more issues relevant to contemporary architectural discourse.

ARCH 422 BUILDING FIVE: ADVANCED SYSTEMS INTEGRATION
In-depth design development of an architectural project is undertaken. Students learn to synthesize the relationships between formal and material systems in pursuit of environmental properties on both the interior and exterior of the building. Emphasis is placed on sustainable systems.

ARCH 462 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE 3
This course will explore mission- or issue-based approaches of architectural firm types, based on the numerous concerns that students must consider to prepare for the future of an architectural practice. The course will survey a range of global issues and trends, and discuss how particular topics can be addressed within a firm’s ethos. The goal of the course is to research and create an initiative on how we can improve existing problems that the architectural profession needs to address. Various metrics for sustainability, energy-efficiency modeling space, and policies regarding energy and housing are presented and discussed.

Phase 3: Year Five
Frame Work narrows intellectual and technical expertise around individual interests. Students are introduced to research methods that aim to synchronize abstract concepts with modes of practice. Design problems are simultaneously inward and outward in orientation as they define a personal approach for engaging a professional audience. This new curriculum intersects NAAB criteria PC.5 and SC.2 (Comprehensive Design) in a forward-thinking manner.

ARCH 430 STUDIO NINE
Students will explore and test architectural design as it relates to one or more special contemporary issues. The studio is open to both fourth- and fifth-year students.

ARCH 441 CRITICISM FIVE: DEGREE PROJECT RESEARCH
Theory and techniques for analyzing and integrating design methodologies, client/user needs, and site conditions into criteria for preparing for an architectural project are studied. The theoretical and practical context for the Degree Project is researched and developed. Along with the completion of a substantiated written position of intent, a project site is selected, program written, and design methodology articulated.

ARCH 462 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE 3
This course will explore mission- or issue-based approaches of architectural firm types, based on the numerous concerns that students must consider to prepare for the future of an architectural practice. The course will survey a range of global issues and trends, and discuss how particular topics can be addressed within a firm’s ethos. The goal of the course is to research and create an initiative on how we can improve existing problems that the architectural profession needs to address. Various metrics for sustainability, energy-efficiency modeling space, and policies regarding energy and housing are presented and discussed.

ARCH 431 STUDIO TEN
Through a rigorous level of clearly resolved work, students must demonstrate the application of theoretical research and positioning, plus the ability to integrate site, program, and other design issues in a self-initiated architectural design project incorporating a high degree of critical thinking, skill, and craft.

ARCH 475 INTERNATIONAL STUDY SUMMER STUDIO
This upper-division studio occurs in a foreign host city, employing existing buildings and sites found there; the study of “new” and “old” is explored tectonically through program, structure, materials, and details. Design development is stressed, along with cultural/ social concerns.

ARCH 375 URBAN ENVIRONMENT: FOREIGN STUDY
Using a foreign host city as the classroom, this course examines the numerous factors that contributed to shaping the city. Through “primary source” experiences and readings, the students examine the urban environment of the host city historically and typologically.

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Woodbury’s B.Arch Officially Designated as STEM

All architecture and interior design programs at Woodbury have been designated as STEM degrees. The School of Architecture received approvals internally from the University Curriculum Committee and Office of Academic Affairs, and externally from WASC (WSCUC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Starting in the fall of 2020, students enrolling in the following programs will graduate with STEM-designated degrees:

Master of Architecture
Master of Science in Architecture
Master of Science in Architecture in Real Estate Development
Master of Interior Design
Bachelor of Architecture
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design

All international students enrolled in these programs can now apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT (Optional Practice Training) for a total of 36 months.

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Accreditation

NAAB

The BArch program at Woodbury School of Architecture is NAAB accredited.

WSCUC

Woodbury University is accredited by WSCUC: Senior College and University Commission (formerly WASC). For more information about School of Architecture accreditation visit the About page.

Accreditation