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BFA Program

Architecture BFA students gain pre-professional knowledge of the field through community projects, hands-on learning and making, and technical skill building.

As an undergraduate studying Architecture at MassArt, you’ll be immersed in rich learning experiences that focus on design, fabrication, and problem solving. You’ll gain practical skills, community-based project experiences, and a deep understanding of the relationship of culture, environment, and the built world.

In coursework, students are exposed to a wide range of technical skills and tools. They dig into the nuts and bolts of the field, producing technical drawings, interpreting building codes, and outlining material specifications. They design buildings, interiors, exhibitions, and furniture – all while balancing the needs of clients and the constraints of the surrounding environment. 

Our program features small class sizes and a collaborative community of undergraduate and graduate critical thinkers and designers, partnering within and across levels. At MassArt, we continue to understand architecture to be, above all, a social art. We aim to cultivate students who will engage with these departmental learning goals, build meaning within the department and studio culture, and learn to responsibly engage in their communities.

Architecture at MassArt is fundamentally a social art, embracing a hands-on approach to drawing and building. Paul Hajian Professor, Architecture

MassArt Architecture students also know the importance of understanding the broader social context of the built environment. In projects and research, they explore racial justice, social equity, accessibility, sustainability, and civic engagement as central components of architectural practice. 

Upon completion of the program, students are ready to work in a range of positions within architecture firms. Many also go on to get their Master of Architecture degree at MassArt, with an additional five semesters of study, following the four-year undergraduate program.

Alumni Success

Alumni from the Architecture program have acquired positions at the following firms & organizations:

  • Shepley Bullfinch, Perkins + Will, Gensler (Boston), Goody Clancy Architects, Populous, Grimshaw, Snøhetta (NY), Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), Cambridge Seven Associates, URS/AECOM, Studio G Architects, Stantec (Boston), Toyo Sekkei, among others.
  • URS/AECOM, M+W Group, Shuco USA/NY, Broad Institute, Cameron Roberts Advisors, and more.

BFA Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Architecture BFA Program are expected to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes, which are necessary and part of successful entry into professional design practice.

  • Demonstrate ability to work in local community contexts.
  • Understand architecture through constant analysis, fabrication, and exploration of the material consequences of design.
  • Demonstrate abilities to work collaboratively across disciplines.
  • Take appropriate risks to explore possibilities.
  • Understand the realities and limitations of modern practice, accounting for environmental consequences and factors in sustainability.
  • Blend art, design, and applied science in the design of energy efficient built environments.
  • Understand building details, and state-of-the-art digital tools support design, presentation and modeling.

  • Contribute to the department’s inclusive culture by actively participating on committees, through mentoring, and reviews.

  • Produce work that clearly exhibits the diverse canons of building design, so that each of these vocabularies inform building production, ideation, and performance.
  • Demonstrate the use of ordering systems, diagramming, and research in urban and building precedents to develop upper-level solutions.
  • Ground projects in parallel and divergent histories of architecture and the cultural norms of a variety of indigenous, vernacular, local, and regional settings in terms of their political, economic, social, ecological, and technological factors.
  • Understand social equity broadly, including social justice, accessibility, and civic engagement as it relates to architectural design.
  • Understand the relationship of culture, environment and the built world.
  • Use quality investigative research, writing, and graphic analysis in the design process.

  • Assess user needs as well as site and building constraints in the pre-design process.
  • Interpret current building codes and regulations and apply to projects.
  • Make technically precise drawings that reflect the complexities of a design, using digital and analog techniques.
  • Outline material specifications and construction of models illustrating and identifying project assembly, systems, and components appropriate for a building design.
  • Understand and use principle structural systems, gravitational, seismic, and lateral forces along with basic physics and mathematical principles.

  • Make design decisions within a complex architectural project while demonstrating broad integration and consideration of environmental stewardship, technical documentation, accessibility, site conditions, life safety, environmental systems, structural systems, and building envelope systems and assemblies.
  • Understand and conduct research in the following three areas:
    1.  Research in Building Science and as Scientific Inquiry—addressing materials, technical details, climate, and ideas in construction that support innovation in sustainability.
    2.  Research in the Humanities—including the social systems, historic and therapeutic nature of applied humanistic theories to design problems.
    3.  Research in the Artistic Realm—those practice-based issues that address qualitative, rather than quantitative, issues in design.

  • Understand the architect’s responsibility in all projects regardless of locale.
  • Understand the ethics of professional practice.
Architecture, Studios

Architecture students have access to multiple fabrication studios, shops, digital labs and individual studio spaces within a collaborative work environment.

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621 Huntington Ave,
Boston, MA 02115

(617) 879-7000