The Bachelor of Science, Architectural Studies (BSAS) is a four-year undergraduate pre-professional program that prepares students for graduate studies in architecture and related design and construction fields. The primary goal of the BSAS program is to introduce students to architecture as both a technical and cultural practice. Students accrue skills in architectural thinking, design, visualization, fabrication, prototyping and simulation. The program lays a foundation of unique problem-solving skills empowering students to change the world.

The four-year BSAS program is comprised of a three-year core, followed by one year of specialized and individualized study. Over the course of their studies, BSAS students enroll in a variety of design studios, lectures and seminars to accrue skills in architectural making, thinking, design, visualization, digital fabrication, prototyping, and simulation. In addition to learning essential analytical and creative-problem solving skills through design, students are required to complete courses in architectural systems (structures, construction and environmental/building technology), behavioral, social and cultural factors in design, and the role of criticism in contemporary architecture and urbanism. In their fourth year, students select from a wide range of architectural electives and advanced studios, allowing them the opportunity to craft a curriculum based on their areas of interest.

Graduates of the BSAS program can continue their studies at the UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning by applying to the Master of Architecture (M.Arch)Master of Science in Architecture (M.S.), or Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program.

Admission Standards

New Freshmen

New freshman admission to the School of Architecture and Urban Planning is based on an overall assessment of both academic and non-academic qualifications. The primary review factors for admission are the strength and quality of the high school curriculum, high school class percentile, grade point average, and the ACT or SAT. For preferential consideration, applications (including ACT or SAT scores) must be completed no later than March 1 (for summer/fall term) or December 1 (for spring term). Applications not complete by the priority date or not meeting these admission criteria will be considered on a space-available basis.

See general freshman admission requirements of the University for additional information.

Academically qualified international student applicants must have a TOEFL score of at least 79 (iBT) or IELTS score of 6.0, or may be admitted following successful completion of the Intensive English Program at UWM, as demonstrated by an appropriate TOEFL score.

Transfer Students

Transfer students are admitted on a selective basis. Preference is given to students whose applications are completed, including all required supporting documents, no later than April 1 (for the following summer/fall term) or November 1 (for the following spring term) and who have completed (or will have completed by the anticipated enrollment date) at least 24 degree credits with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale). In addition, transfer applicants must meet the same high school English and mathematics course requirements as new freshman applicants. International transfer student applicants also must meet the minimum TOEFL requirement.

Students enrolled in other UWM schools or colleges who wish to enter the architecture program will also be considered for admission on the basis of the criteria listed above. Interested students should schedule an appointment with Emily Zahasky, Undergraduate Advisor, (414) 229-4015.

Second Degree Students

Second-degree candidates enrolled in architecture courses are classified as seniors in architecture. They are not subject to the University's General Education Requirements; however, they must complete (or have completed) the Mathematics and Physics Competency Requirements. Admission to the School as a second-degree candidate requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) on the previous undergraduate record. Applications must be completed no later than March 1 (for the summer/fall term) or October 1 (for the spring term). For information on second-degree requirements, students should schedule an appointment with Emily Zahasky, Undergraduate Advisor, (414) 229-4015.

Level 1 (Pre-Architecture)

Students applying to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and declaring a primary interest in architectural studies on their application forms will be designated as Architectural Studies Level 1 (Pre-Architecture) students. They will be advised by the School's undergraduate advisor in the Student Advising Office. The policies and procedures of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning apply to admitted students, even though they may be enrolled in courses in another school or college at UWM.

Pre-Architecture students are not automatically accepted into the Level 2 program.

Level 2 (Architectural Studies)

Entrance into Level 2 requires the following standards: completion of a minimum of 30 credits (sophomore standing); a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 in both the overall college record and required Level 1 architecture courses (ARCH 111, ARCH 151, ARCH 112, ARCH 152,  or their equivalent). Because enrollment is contingent upon available staffing and facilities, satisfaction of the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to Level 2. The academic quality of the student's Level 1 studies are carefully reviewed by the School's BSAS Committee. Admission to the University does not guarantee acceptance by the Department of Architecture.

Enrollment priority is given to students with the highest cumulative GPAs for admission into ARCH 211 , the first introductory core studio in Level 2.

Transfer students applying to Level 2 must demonstrate that they have taken the equivalent of the Level 1 program of study (ARCH 111ARCH 151ARCH 112, and ARCH 152.

Advanced students transferring from another architectural or related program (design, engineering, landscape architecture) may petition the BSAS Committee for advanced standing. Students must show that prior coursework parallels coursework in the Level 2 program. A minimum of two semesters of work, consisting of at least 30 credits in total, must be completed in residency for the bachelor's degree.

BSAS Requirements

The minimum credits needed to graduate from this program is 120. Completion of this degree does not guarantee admission to graduate programs in architecture at UWM.

For the BSAS degree, at least the last 30 credits must be earned in residency at UWM. The minimum cumulative GPA required for all UWM credits and for all architecture credits attempted is 2.5.

Level 1 Architecture Courses (first year) 1
ARCH 111Design I3
ARCH 151History & Theory I3
ARCH 112Design II3
ARCH 152History & Theory II3
Competency Requirements
Oral and Written Communication Competency - Part A: Complete ENGLISH 102 with a grade of C or higher or place beyond ENGLISH 102 on the English Placement Exam (EPT) or other appropriate test, as determined by the English Department
Oral and Written Communication Competency - Part B: Complete at least one OWC - B course 3
Quantitative Literacy Competency - Part A: Placement code of a 40 on the Math Placement Test or other appropriate test, as determined by the Mathematical Sciences Department
Quantitative Literacy Competency - Part B: Complete at least one QL-B course 3
Select a college-level physics course from the following (or higher):2-4
Quantitative Preparation for Physics
Physics in Everyday Life
General Physics I (Non-Calculus Treatment)
Foreign Language0-8
Satisfied by one of the following:
Complete two years of a single foreign language in high school
Complete two semesters of a single foreign language in college
Demonstrate ability by examination
Directed Electives 4,5
Arts 2 3
Social Sciences 66
Natural Sciences, to include a lab 6
Level 2 Introductory Core Studios (second year)
ARCH 211Design III6
ARCH 212Design IV6
Level 2 Core Studios (third year)
ARCH 311Design V6
ARCH 312Design VI6
Level 2 Core Lectures
ARCH 271Representation I3
ARCH 272Representation II3
ARCH 321Building Technology I3
ARCH 352History & Theory III3
ARCH 322Building Technology II3
ARCH 353History & Theory IV3
Level 2 Electives
Select 24 Arch elective credits at the 300 level or above 724
Select 9 elective credits at the 300 level or above9
Select additional elective credits from any area and any level as needed 82
Total Credits120-134

In addition, the Department occasionally offers a special topics course (ARCH 190) for experimental coursework.


ARCH 111 will count towards the student's GER Art's distribution requirements. 


See Schedule of Classes for this listing.


One course must satisfy the GER Cultural Diversity Requirement. A list of courses is provided in the online Schedule of Classes each semester under "General Education Requirements". One course must satisfy the Service Learning Requirement. A list of courses is provided in the online Schedule of Classes each semester.


The Department requires courses outside the department to give students a foundation in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. These courses satisfy the distribution area of the UWM General Education Requirements (GER).


Students are required to take URBPLAN 140 OR URBPLAN 141​ before graduation. Both courses count as GER Social Sciences distribution for the BSAS degree.


This coursework must be completed in the Department of Architecture. Twelve credits within this requirement must be ARCH 600.


Additional elective credits required depends on prior coursework. Consult your advisor.

Plan of Study

The study of architecture at UWM consists of three levels that lead to the accredited professional degree of Master of Architecture. Students can enter the program at various levels depending on their background. Students with previous non-professional baccalaureate degrees should visit the Master of Architecture (M.Arch)Master of Science in Architecture (M.S.), or Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program pages for additional information.

All undergraduate students are required to meet the UWM General Education Requirements.

Level 1 (Pre-Architecture)

Freshman year should be taken at UWM. If taken at another institution whose credits are accepted for transfer by UWM, the student is expected to achieve equivalent background and skills. Significant differences in courses will require that additional coursework be completed prior to Level 2 admission.

Level 2 (Architectural Studies)

Sophomore, junior, and senior years, taken in the Department of Architecture. This period provides a general introduction to the problems and techniques of architectural design. Students who are accepted into Level 2 and complete the program receive the Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies. This is not an accredited professional degree. It can provide, however, a foundation for employment as a non-professional in architecture or in fields related to architecture, construction, design, and planning, or for graduate study in architecture or in other disciplines concerned with the physical environment.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Semester 1Credits
ARCH 111 Design I 3
ARCH 151 History & Theory I 3
ARCH 140 Introduction to Architectural Careers 1
ENGLISH 102 College Writing and Research 3
MATH 105 Introduction to College Algebra 3
GER Course 3
Semester 2
ARCH 112 Design II 3
ARCH 152 History & Theory II 3
MATH 115 Precalculus 4
Physics in Everyday Life
or General Physics I (Non-Calculus Treatment)
GER Course 3
Year 2
Semester 1
ARCH 271 Representation I 3
ARCH 211 Design III 6
GER Course 3
GER Course 3
Semester 2
ARCH 272 Representation II 3
ARCH 212 Design IV 6
GER Course 3
GER Course 3
Year 3
Semester 1
ARCH 321 Building Technology I 3
ARCH 353 History & Theory IV 3
ARCH 311 Design V 6
GER Course 3
Semester 2
ARCH 352 History & Theory III 3
ARCH 322 Building Technology II 3
ARCH 312 Design VI 6
ARCH Elective 3
Year 4
Semester 1
ARCH 600 Design Elective: 6
ARCH Elective 2 3
ARCH Elective 2 3
Elective at the 300 level or above 3
Semester 2
ARCH Elective 2 3
ARCH Elective 2 3
ARCH Elective 2 3
Elective at the 300 level or above 3
Elective at the 300 level or above 3
 Total Credits122-123

Elective studios are a form of creative project-based research.


Elective seminars and workshops are 3-credit classes investigating architectural issues through critical reading, thorough research, student discussions, and scholarly production.

Honors and High Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major are granted to students who have earned a GPA of 3.500 or above for courses in the major and 3.250 GPA on the last 60 credits taken in residence at UWM (Level 2).

High Honors in the Major are granted to students who have earned a GPA of 3.750 or above for courses in the major and 3.500 GPA on the last 60 credits taken in residence at UWM (Level 2).

Dean's Honors are granted to graduating seniors with the two highest cum GPAs (Level 2).

College of the Arts and Architecture Dean's Honor List

GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.

Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction

Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.

Commencement Honors

Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).

Final Honors

Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.


The Department of Architecture provides the following opportunities for students and faculty to develop coursework with a special focus.

The Independent Studies course (ARCH 392) rewards students with credits for worthwhile activities originated by the students, such as special reading or research programs, community service, or independent design projects. To be eligible, students in the Department of Architecture must have completed one semester of work and must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in their work in the Department. Students in other UWM departments must have the permission of their own departments and the Department of Architecture.

The Directed Research course (ARCH 391) offers an opportunity for students to participate in current research projects of architecture faculty. Eligibility and approval for registration are at the discretion of the faculty members in charge of the projects.

The Special Topics course (ARCH 601) permits individual faculty members to develop special subjects on a one-semester basis. Special Topics courses are announced at registration for the following semester.

The Department has developed a semester-long Study Abroad Program that allows students to combine foreign travel and study under the tutelage of one or more departmental faculty member(s). The location of the program may vary from year to year. Admission to the program is selective, based on the student's previous academic performance.