A female architecture presents her pinned up boards during reviews to the jury.

Architecture, B.Arch.

B.Arch. in Architecture

Design. Innovate. Make. Build a better future.

The scope of architecture goes well beyond designing buildings–it is about improving human life. The five-year professional Bachelor of Architecture program at Penn State blends traditions and new ways of drawing, model-making, community outreach, public service, and hands-on construction to prepare our students for future leadership roles in architecture and design.

Earn a Bachelor of Architecture at Penn State

The B.Arch. program is the fastest route to an accredited degree, allowing students to pursue licensure after completing the required internship.

Consistently ranked as a leading architecture program in the United States, the B.Arch. curriculum at Penn State is accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB). Students enter directly into the program, meaning there are no gateways or quotas, and design instruction begins on day one.

The program is housed in the Stuckeman Family Building with expansive light-filled studio spaces that foster student and faculty interaction. Our studios provide a secure environment for our students on campus and allows them to learn closely from peers and faculty alike.

While we are a supportive and inclusive community, students receive all of the benefits of attending a Tier-1 research university including access to top-notch facilities, resources, and equipment as well as to electives, minors, clubs, spectator and intramural sports, the performing arts, and other activities. The opportunities are virtually endless.

Next Steps

Is the B.Arch. right for you?

Not only is our program designed to produce the next generation of architects and designers of the built environment, it is also structured to provide students with opportunities for discovery and interdisciplinary scholarship.

With a required semester of study abroad in Rome or Copenhagen or other available options, our B.Arch. students learn to think of design–and life–on a global scale. They are exposed to new cultures, new environments, new ways of thinking about design and their place in the world.

The relationships our faculty have cultivated through their research and practice also allows our students to work with industry and practicing professionals, as well as peers and faculty from a variety of disciplines–from engineering and environmental science to art and the social sciences. Learn more about our Studio Culture.

Many US states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map. (Available July 2020.)

A male architecture student points to the base of his model on the floor as he explains the working foundation during reviews to the jury.

Level Up

Explore these opportunities; make the most of your education at Penn State.

Required semester abroad options

  • Rome
    Students will be taking courses at The Pantheon Institute, which is located in the two most revered piazzas in all of Rome, Piazza Del Collegio Romano and Piazza della Rotonda. They will be housed in an institutional complex at Santa Maria in Cappella in Trastevere.
  • Copenhagen
    Copenhagen matches 16th-century architecture with modern and inventive urban spaces–well-planned bike lanes, harbor baths, skate parks, food markets, and more.
  • Korea/Japan
    Students will experience contemporary urban life in two of the world’s most populated cities in Tokyo and Seoul, and gain first-hand exposure to non-western architectural traditions and construction technologies in East Asia.

B.Arch. students often minor in the following

Get involved in our student groups, including

Design your career at Penn State.

Architectural Registration Exam pass rates above national average in all six divisions.

  • Ranked in the top 20 of DesignIntelligence B.Arch. rankings since inception.
  • Annual Stuckeman School Career Day boasts 81 companies from 13 states.
  • Thirty-six faculty members with various awards, backgrounds, practices, and specialties.
  • On-site wood and metal shop and digital fabrication resources.
  • Access to renowned design leaders in Stuckeman School Lecture and Exhibit Series.
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alumni spotlight

Ryan Jacobs

Ryan Jacobs is a College of Arts & Architecture Alumni that graduated in 2016 majoring in Art History with a double minor in Architectural History and Architecture Studies. Upon graduating Penn State he enrolled at Virginia Tech to attain a Master’s in Architecture. His thesis, “The Troupes of Theatre”, combined both of his passions for architecture and theatre. After finishing his graduate studies, returned to PA and works at PWWG Architects in downtown Pittsburgh.

B.Arch. national ranking for 2019–20


DesignIntelligence ranked Penn State’s Bachelor of Architecture as one of the nation’s top professional degree programs. Take advantage of the opportunities here on your way to the top.

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faculty spotlight

Pep Avilés

Stuckeman Career Development Professor in Design

Pep Avilés is a historian, architect, and professor specializing in postwar and contemporary architecture. His academic research explores the impact media had on the materiality of architecture and the redefinition of modernism after World War II.

Avilés’ work has been sponsored by the Canadian Center for Architecture, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Getty Research Center, and has been exhibited at the Centre de Cultura Contemporànea de Barcelona (2017) and the Oslo Architecture Triennale (2019), among others. He is the founding editor of the journal Faktur: Documents and Architecture.

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