|School of Architecture
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400122
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4122
Instruction in architecture was an essential aspect of Thomas Jefferson’s vision for the University of Virginia from the very beginning — it was built into the fabric of the Academical Village and the Lawn. In 1919, the McIntire School of Art and Architecture was created and the first class of eleven students started classes in September of that year. Since then, the School has grown to over 600 students in four disciplinary areas: architectural history, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban and environmental planning. Today, the School offers 3 undergraduate degrees (in architectural history, architecture, and urban and environmental planning), and 6 undergraduate minors.
The School Today
The mission of the School of Architecture is to educate the next generation of innovative leaders who will envision courageous new futures and build a world that is more compelling, resilient, sustainable, and equitable.
The undergraduate program in architecture history focuses on the historic development of buildings, landscapes, and urban form through critical analysis of social and cultural contexts. After attaining this degree, many graduates pursue work with museums, non-profits, and other cultural organizations, as well as in the areas of preservation and cultural heritage. Others seek advanced degrees in architectural history, art history, architecture, landscape architecture, or planning.
The undergraduate program in architecture offers two pre-professional concentrations that are centered around a studio-based curriculum: one that focuses on the development of architectural ideas and the design of the built form and the second, a design-thinking track, that addresses broader issues of design and entrepreneurship. Both combine a solid humanities foundation with an emphasis on the role of architecture and design as cultural expression. Many graduates of this program go on to advanced degrees in architecture and related fields.
The undergraduate professional program in urban and environmental planning is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board. Students in this major explore the impact that global urbanization has on the built environment and develop strategies of design, policy, and community engagement to ensure healthy cities for the future. With the Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning degree, many graduates go directly into the profession with governmental agencies or private planning and development firms. Others go on to advanced degrees in planning, architecture, community development, law, public administration, and business.
For all students, the first year includes shared foundation courses. Advanced courses are structured to promote a well-rounded liberal arts education and a rigorous studio or research-based curriculum that synthesizes inquiry and application. Each of the three majors has a corresponding minor. Multidisciplinary minors in historic preservation and global sustainability also are offered, and students have many opportunities to participate in international study abroad programs.
The School of Architecture encourages study abroad by offering summer and semester-long programs in:
Students also have the option of a study abroad opportunity in the fall semester in Barcelona, Spain, and Venice, Italy.
To study abroad, students must be in good academic standing. Further, to earn degree credit students must have a cumulative UVA GPA of no less than 2.50 at either the point of application or at the end of the term prior to the commencement of study abroad. These standards apply both to UVA study programs and study abroad programs under the auspices of another institution or organization.
Several programs administered by the School of Architecture are competitive, and priority is given to applicants who have demonstrated academic excellence as reflected in a higher GPA.
The School of Architecture offers a fall/semester program in Barcelona and Venice. Both Semester Abroad Programs are a fall option for fourth-year students in the Department of Architecture, Architectural History, Urban, and Environmental Planning, subject to advisor approval. Students complete 12 to 15 credits over the course of the semester. The program includes courses in architectural design, drawing, urban, art and architectural history, and Catalan and Venetian building traditions. Housing will be in shared apartments, and courses will be taught by UVA Faculty in collaboration with faculty at institutions in Barcelona and Venice.
Applicants to Exchange Programs (semester programs) should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. For additional departmental regulations governing participation in an Exchange Program, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for an appropriate academic department.
Applicants to Exchange Programs (semester programs) should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.
For additional departmental regulations governing participation in an Exchange Program, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for an appropriate academic department.
All undergraduates who complete their degree in good academic standing are invited to continue their studies and complete their graduate degree at UVA. Students who complete their 7th semester with a 3.3 GPA or higher are eligible to apply for the direct admission process into the corresponding graduate program. To be eligible for the direct admission process into graduate programs in Architecture (MArch) and Landscape Architecture (MLA), undergraduate architecture students must also achieve a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA in the seven design studios, beginning with ARCH 1030 and ending with ARCH 4020 or ARCH 4021. These graduates can defer their admission for up to two years allowing them to enroll immediately or in either of the next, two entering classes. In this way, Historians and Planners can earn the graduate degree (MArH and MUEP) in five years, Architects earn the professional graduate degree (MArch or MLA) in six years.