Explore the BArch Program

Bachelor of Architecture (BArch)

The Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) program educates students to become imaginative, entrepreneurial, and ethical leaders in the architecture profession. The five-year, nationally accredited, professional Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree engages questions about the built environment across a wide range of topics: building and digital technologies, communication and representation, history and theory, and design inquiry.

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The goal is to train students not only as architects but also as citizens. They learn to become professional architects who are designers and cultural builders responsive to the challenges of contemporary practice. The BArch takes a broadminded approach to the economic, formal, social, technological, and urban dimensions of architecture.

In addition to the core program, the faculty-based initiatives of the Architecture + Civic Engagement Center (ACE), the Arid Lands Institute (ALI), and the Julius Shulman Institute (JSI), expand academic and professional possibilities. Extensive optional study away programs coupled with local community outreach provide opportunities for students to directly engage people and places. Projects address relevant urban, community, societal and environmental concerns, and students become passionate and inspired shapers of the built environment.

Design studios form the core of the architecture curriculum with applied theoretical, technical, and liberal arts study. Students gain craftsmanship in drawing, model making, material construction, employing computer design software, digitally fabricating, and critical writing. Educated to be articulate critical thinkers and highly capable practitioners, our bachelor of architecture students regularly distinguish themselves in design competitions and scholarship awards, are valued as leaders in the workplace, and go on to elite graduate schools.

Hailing from varied backgrounds, our student body reflects Southern California itself and creates a rich atmosphere of cultural diversity. Our dynamic faculty is made up of practicing professionals and accomplished academics. A low student-to-faculty ratio fosters a spirit of collaboration and community, and, together, students and faculty share a belief in the power of architecture to affect positive change.

Studio Culture

As part of a communications course, a group of BArch students at our San Diego location put together this video capturing the spirit of Woodbury’s unique studio culture in the form of a dream sequence.

Apply or Inquire Here

If you’re ready to apply to our BArch program, you can click the big APPLY button to do so electronically. If you have questions, use this contact form to get in touch with one of Woodbury School of Architecture’s dedicated admissions counselors. Someone will get back to you within 24 hours.

Our admissions counselors will be able to answer all your questions about our programs, scholarships, financial aid, transfer credits, portfolios and just about anything else. They can also put you in touch with faculty and students who would be happy to talk to you about Woodbury.

You can initiate a live chat session right now by clicking CHAT.

Chair, Architecture, Los Angeles:

Marc Neveu
Phone: 818-252-5180
Email: marc.neveu@woodbury.edu

Admissions Counselor, Architecture, Los Angeles:

Karina Mardirossian
Phone: 818-252-5222
Email: karina.mardirossian@woodbury.edu

Chair, Architecture, San Diego:

Catherine Herbst
Phone: 619-235-2900
Email: catherine.herbst@woodbury.edu

Admissions Counselor, Architecture, San Diego:

Janet Asuncion
Phone: 619-235-2900 x414
Email: janet.asuncion@woodbury.edu


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Bachelor of Architecture Curriculum

The BArch curriculum has 160 course hours of which 97 are architectural courses, 52 are part of general education, and 11 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 300 hours of work experience, infusing their education with the knowledge gained in a professional architecture or allied design office.

Fall 1 Semester
ARCH 182 Design Studio 1A
Fundamental principles and processes of two- and
three-dimensional design are introduced through the
real scale study of objects and their relationship to
the human body. Methods of perception, technique,
composition, critical evaluation and verbal, written and
graphic presentation are studied through both abstract
and representational assignments using various means
and media. Studio. Prerequisite: none.
ARCH 114 Design Communication 1
Various drawing skills used in two- and three-dimensional
methods and media of representation are introduced.
Methods of perception, technique, composition,
critical evaluation and presentation are studied through
representational assignments. Emphasis is placed on
orthographic projection and documentation and constructed
hard line drawing techniques. Equivalent to
ARIA 114. Studio. Prerequisite: none.
WRIT 111 Academic Writing 1
WRIT 111 is an intensive writing course that introduces
students to university standards for academic writing
and teaches students how to use the writing process
and social processes to write for various audiences.
WRIT 111 students improve their prewriting and
revision abilities and learn to modify the essay form,
integrate their opinions and experiences into essays,
and create multiple-source papers in the MLA format.
WRIT 111 also includes learning to coordinate first- and
third-person narration and critiquing readings for bias
and for other logical fallacies. Seminar. Prerequisite:
WRIT 100, Bridge to Academic Writing or appropriate
placement score.
INDS 1XX Interdisciplinary Core
INDS 101 Journeys
INDS 102 Natures
INDS 103 Conflicts
INDS 104 Knowledges
MATH 149 Intermediate Algebra
This is a beginning course in algebra. Topics include
polynomials, factoring, algebraic expressions, equations
in two variables, quadratic equations, and graphing.
Lecture. Prerequisite: Placement exam or MATH 049,
Elementary Algebra with a grade of “C” or better.
Unrestricted Elective
Spring 1 Semester
ARCH 183 Design Studio 1B
The relationship of architecture to the body is developed
further with an exploration of essential architectural
principles as they relate to a fundamental understanding
of natural elements and human tendencies.
Projects introduce scale, enclosure, architectural elements,
spatial expression and program as form givers.
An emphasis is placed on section, three-dimensional
modeling and orthographic documentation and writing.
Studio. Prerequisite: none.
ARCH 211 Design Communication 2
Various skills used in two- and three-dimensional methods
of representation employing digital media are introduced,
with an emphasis on their use as design tools
that merge traditional and electronic techniques. Studio.
Prerequisite: ARCH 114, Design Communication 1.
MATH 249 College Algebra
This is a course in algebraic functions. Topics include
but are not limited to: relations, functions; inverse
functions;the algebra of functions; polynomial, rational
exponential, and logarithmic functions. Course content
is covered in three realms; symbolic, graphic and the
written word. In addition, each topic includes components
of problem solving and applications. Lecture.
Prerequisite: Placement exam or MATH 149, Intermediate
Algebra with a grade of “C” or better.
WRIT 112 Academic Writing 2
WRIT 112 is an intensive writing course and is the
capstone course in the Writing Program. WRIT 112 students
develop their research and writing skills; practice
MLA and APA documentation formats; and integrate diverse
kinds of documents to explore topics, solve problems,
and develop arguments. WRIT 112 also includes
elements of document design and field research, and
completing research into a subject other than English.
Specifically, the issue of sustainability will be examined
by each student through the lens of his/her major. While
studying sustainability, students will critically think,
read, and write, and study the relationships between
language, knowledge, and power. Seminar. Prerequisite:
WRIT 111, Academic Writing I or appropriate placement
LSCI 105 Information Theory and Practice
This course is an introduction to the production and
dissemination of information and knowledge. Using
networked information systems, traditional scholarly
resources, and evolving delivery systems, students
develop an understanding of concepts underlying the
research process, and skills in retrieval and critical
evaluation of resources appropriate to university level
research. Provides experience in the ethical use and
presentation of research results with correct documentation
styles, and the application of knowledge and skills
to research assigned in other courses.
ARTH 205 History of Contemporary Art
This course focuses on the exploration of the issues in
contemporary art. Sculpture, painting, performance art,
video, mixed media, and other forms from World War II
until the present will be covered, with an emphasis on
current trends in the art world. Lecture. Prerequisite:
Fall 2 Semester
ARCH 281 Design Studio 2A
An in-depth analytical study is made 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. Studio.
Prerequisite: ARCH 182, Design Studio 1A: Principles
and Processes, Bodies and Objects.
ARCH 243 Materials and 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. Lecture. Prerequisite:
ARCH 182, Design Studio 1A: Principles and Processes,
Bodies and Objects.
ARCH 267 World Architecture 1
History and theory of architecture and design that span
a chronological period from prehistory to the nineteenth
century in Western and non-Western societies are
surveyed. The course traces history with a process of
focused explorations into diverse cultures, geographies,
and places that cut through many layers of historical
time. When considered together, these explorations
contribute to an understanding of architecture as a
deeply bound discipline with components that range
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. Equivalent to INAR
164, History I, Ancient-1800. Lecture. Prerequisite:
INDS 10x.
MATH 251 Trigonometry w/ Descriptive Geometry
This is a course in trigonometry and descriptive geometry.
Topics include radian measure, algebraic and
trigonometric functions, inverse functions, trigonometric
identities and equations, vectors, laws of sine and
cosine, vector algebra, orthographic projection, multiview
drawings, visualization, fundamental views of the
point line and plane. Lecture. Prerequisite: MATH 249,
College Algebra with a grade of “C” or better.
ENVT 220 Environmental Studies
This course provides an overview of topics including
ecosystems, biodiversity, mineral and nutrient cycles,
sources of energy, waste and pollution, and environmental
movements and philosophies. Lecture. Prerequisites:
Spring 2 Semester
ARCH 283 Design Studio 2B
Natural and urban site orders are explored and analyzed
using writing, photography, mapping and sectional studies
to develop site planning and building design with a
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. Studio. Prerequisite:
ARCH 183, Design Studio 1B: Natural Tendencies.
ARCH 250 Professional Practice 1
Legal codes and regulations that affect architecture
and influence design are reviewed, including a study of
energy, accessibility, egress and life-safety. The development
of project documentation based on local codes is
studied, with an emphasis on technical documentation,
drawing format organization and outline specifications.
Lecture. Prerequisites: ARCH 211, Design Communication
2 and ARCH 183, Design Studio 1B: Natural
ARCH 268 World Architecture 2
Histories and theories of architecture, urbanism, and
interiors are surveyed in Western and non-Western societies
from 1900 to the present. The focus of this course
is on the formal, aesthetic, cultural, and socio-political dimensions of modernism. Different historiographies
are developed as various approaches in understanding
modern architecture in its varied contexts, including
but not limited to Marxist, Feminist, and Psychoanalytic.
Lecture. Prerequisite: INDS 10x.
PHYS 24X Trig-Based Physics
This course is an introductory level course in mechanics,
waves, heat, optics and electricity. Laboratory.
Prerequisites: ENVT 220, Environmental Studies and
MATH 251, Trigonometry with Descriptive Geometry
with a “C” or better.
COMM 120 Public Speaking
This course provides a study of the oral presentation
of ideas and feelings that blend contemporary communication
theory with traditional approaches to public
address. This course also provides experience in public
speaking, interpersonal communication, and critical
listening skills. Lecture. Prerequisite: none. Offered
spring, summer, and fall. No lab costs.
Fall 3 Semester
ARCH 383 Design Studio 3A
Through critical analysis and comparison of the historical,
contemporary, and multi-cultural evolution of house
and housing, the studio addresses 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. Studio. Prerequisite: ARCH 281, Design
Studio 2A: Program and Space.
ARCH 330 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.
Lecture/Seminar. Prerequisites: ARCH 268, World
Architecture 2 and WRIT 112, Academic Writing II.
ARCH 326 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. Lecture. Prerequisites: MATH 202, Trigonometry
or MATH 251, Trigonometry with Descriptive
Geometry and PHYS 27x, Trig-based Physics.
PHIL 210 Ethical Systems
This course provides an analysis of ethical problems
intrinsic to modern life including an examination of
traditional and contemporary moral theories and their
applications in practical experience. Lecture. Prerequisite:
Social Science Elective
Spring 3 Semester
ARCH 384 Design Studio 3B
Structure, technology, building systems and codes are
explored as design determinants, space makers, 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. The studio has a portfolio development
component that includes lectures and assignments.
Studio. Prerequisite: ARCH 283, Design Studio
2B: Site Orders.
ARCH 2XX Portfolio (Recommended)
ARCH 2743 Portfolio Workshop
In the Portfolio Workshop, students practice communicating
the outcomes of their core architecture education
and produce a portfolio for faculty review. Each course
is repeatable twice for credit. Studio. Pass / Fail.
ARCH 327 Structures 2
Structural analysis and design is studied with respect
to wood and steel structures including tension, compression,
flexural members, columns, connections and
seismic design. Fundamental concepts of reinforced
concrete design are studied, emphasizing the ultimate
strength method. Lecture. Prerequisite: ARCH 326,
Structures 1.
ARCH 425 Environmental Systems
Human comfort, climate analysis, passive and active
systems, heating and cooling, daylighting and acoustics
are reviewed. The survey, with a special emphasis on
sustainable design, provides an understanding of the
basic principles and appropriate application and performance
of building systems including heating, cooling
and ventilation systems; electrical and plumbing distribution
systems; lighting, acoustical, energy, waste, fire
protection, security and hazardous material systems.
Lecture. Prerequisites: PHYS 241, Physics II or PHYS
27x Trig-based Physics and ARCH 281, Design Studio
2A: Program and Space.
Work Experience
Fall 4 Semester
ARCH 487 Studio 4A: Comprehensive
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. The
studio is open to fourth and fifth year students. The last
half of the semester will be devoted to design development.
Studio. Prerequisite: ARCH 384, Design Studio
3B: Structure, Systems, Space and Form; ARCH 326,
Structures 1; and ARCH 425, Environmental Systems.
Corequisite: ARCH 464 Systems Integration.
ARCH 464 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.
Prerequisites: ARCH 243, Materials and Methods; ARCH
425, Environmental Systems; and ARCH 326, Structures
1. Corequisite: ARCH 487, Design Studio 4A.
ARCH 366 Contemporary Issues
The theories and debates that are currently animating
architectural practice and discourse are examined,
including the impacts of context, technology, sustainability,
alternative practice, sociology and philosophy.
Lecture/Seminar. Prerequisite: ARCH 330, Theory of
Social Science Course
Spring 4 Semester
ARCH 489 Studio 4B: Urban Design
This course focuses the architect’s leadership role in
their community on issues of growth, development, and
aesthetics through the study of urban design techniques
and practices related to architecture and urbanism. A
broad array of urban theories, tactics and strategies,
building and space types, landscape and infrastructure
design, and politics and policy making are explored
through the dialectic between the private and public
realms of the diverse urban culture. The studio is open
to fourth and fifth year students. Studio. Prerequisite:
ARCH 384, Design Studio 3B: Structure, Systems, Space
and Form.
ARCH 334 Urban Design Theory
Cultural, sociological, contextual, and formal issues of
urbanism and their influence on the contemporary design
of cities are studied. The course investigates the relationship
between architecture, landscape architecture,
and urban planning. Emphasis is placed on processes of
visual analysis, the role of nature and society, public and
private space, human behavior and the physical environment,
human diversity, and regulation and public policy.
Lecture/Seminar. Prerequisite: ARCH 330, Theory of
Integrative Learning Elective
XXXX 3XX Interdisciplinary Seminar
Fall 5 Semester
ARCH 491 Studio 5A: Topic
The studio intent is to 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. An equivalent summer studio may be substituted
for ARCH 491, Design Studio 5A: Contemporary
Topics Studio. Studio. Prerequisites: ARCH 384, Design
Studio 3B, Structure, Systems, Space and Form.
ARCH 448 Professional Practice 2
Theory and techniques for analyzing and integrating
design methodologies, client or 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. Lecture.
Prerequisites: ARCH 250, Professional Practice 1 and
ARCH 330, Theory of Architecture.
XXXX 3XX Integrative Learning Elective
Unrestricted Elective
Spring 5 Semester
ARCH 492 Degree Project Studio
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 through a rigorous level of
work which is clearly resolved, demonstrating a high
degree of critical thinking, skill and craft. Studio. Prerequisite:
ARCH 448, Professional Practice 2: Research
and Pre-Design; ARCH 491, Design Studio 5A: Contemporary
Topics Studio.
ARCH 450 Professional Practice 3
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. Lecture. Prerequisites: ARCH 366,
Contemporary Issues: Practice and Theory; and ARCH
448, Professional Practice 2: Research and Pre-Design.
Unrestricted Elective
Unrestricted Elective

Student Experiences

  • Transferring into the undergrad architecture program at Woodbury University was one of the best decisions I made towards my career. Within the first week of my studio course I made some of the closest friends who I consider to be family.

    Tony Lopez

    BArch and Business Double Major, 2017
  • There's this energy that floats throughout the studio that I'll always appreciate. Knowing that everyone is there for the same reason, to channel their creativity, to problem solve, to design, is such a unique, engaging, and motivating culture to be a part of. There's nothing like it; it's a workspace, a common area, a personal space, and at times a bedroom, and if you're lucky like me, it's a family, all in one place.

    Jessica Gardner

    BArch 2017
  • The faculty here welcomed me with open arms… I love it here at Woodbury!”

    Gonzalo Botello

    BArch 2014
  • Personally, I'd never had any woodworking experience before coming to Woodbury, but the wood and metal shop employees quickly taught me how to feel comfortable with any machine and always offered their assistance whenever I needed it.

    Esteban Cerna

    BArch 2018
  • One of the best things I have enjoyed at Woodbury is the studio culture. The people in your studio become your best friends and your family. The professors take the time to help develop your architectural and personal skills. The connections I've developed have helped me attain positions in respectable firms and organizations.

    Joshua Alexander Marroquin

    BArch 2016