A trio of architecture students stand at a drafting table and talk.
Undergraduate, Adult Degree | In-Person

Architecture (B.Arch) | Adult Degree

Master the skills to be a licensed architect with a B.Arch degree from Belmont University, home to the only architecture program in Nashville in candidacy for NAAB accreditation.

Why Major in Architecture? 

Architecture has an impact on us all. As an architect, you’ll play a key role in creating functional, vibrant spaces that provide shelter, community and beauty.

At Belmont, you’ll dive deep into the professional skills you need to design homes, businesses, churches and more. You’ll also build the skills you need to think critically, courageously and compassionately to engage and transform the world.

Our program, the first and only one of its kind in the region, puts you in the heart of Nashville, a fast-growing center of commerce and industry where new buildings and innovative design are everywhere. You’ll also have opportunities to see some of the world’s most celebrated architecture through study abroad programs.

When you graduate, you’ll be ready to make your voice heard. You can influence the future of the industry and fulfill your purpose in building communities and creating a world that is both more beautiful and more just.

Am I an Adult Student? 

What makes Adult Degree Programs special?

Your Success is Personal: Our students are not one-sized fits all, and neither is our commitment to you. Your path to a college degree is unique, and we take your success as personally as you do. Our staff and faculty will be with you from the first point of contact all the way through graduation and beyond, providing personalized guidance and assistance so you don’t have to go it alone.

Education Designed to Elevate Your Career: Whatever adult degree program option you choose, a career-focused curriculum will help you elevate your current career or prepare you for new professional or personal opportunities. 

Unique Tuition Discount for Adult Degree Program Students: Belmont is dedicated to offering access to high-quality education for busy adults. Students in Belmont’s Adult Degree Program receive more than a 40% discount off of the tuition cost that traditional Belmont students pay for the very same quality, private school education.

What You'll Learn 

The B.Arch. is a five-year program that prepares you to start your career and prepare for licensure. You’ll get:

  • A solid grounding in topics like the history of architecture and environmental science
  • Fundamental skills like manual drafting, drawing and digital representation
  • Freedom to explore your interests with electives across the university that are of interest to you – like graphic design, illustration, interior design and more.
Two male students look over another student's shoulder as they work together from a laptop.

Career Possibilities

An architecture degree from Belmont can open the door to fulfilling careers in architecture, government agencies, nonprofits, international organizations and more.

Here are just a few career paths that you can consider pursuing post-grad in the design industry:

  • Building architect
  • Building Officials & Inspector
  • Government/Institutional facilities management
  • Architectural drafter
  • Project manager
  • Building Industry leadership
  • Urban Designer
  • Building/Design Consultant
  • Environmental design leadership
  • Entrepreneur
  • Client/Planning Consultant
  • Architectural historian
  • Restoration specialist

Student Testimonial

"Being an adult student studying architecture has been an amazing experience. This being my second time to get an undergraduate degree, Belmont has been extremely helpful to make it as seamless as possible. The Adult Degree Program at Belmont allows me to get a discount to my courses yet get the exact same program as the rest of my classmates. Even though I am older than the rest of the class, I still feel right at home and that I belong alongside the rest of the underclassmen. The Architecture program is spectacular considering it is such a young program. We are all building the future of the program together which is a priceless experience for me."

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Program Details


The bachelor of architecture (B.Arch.) does not require you to complete a minor. The degree requires 155 credit hours of coursework:

  • BELL core requirements: 46 hours
  • Major requirements: 91 hours
  • Electives: 18 hours

See All Program Requirements

Courses You'll Take

  • ARC 1001, Manual Drafting
    The development of basic manual drafting skills in a studio setting, introducing the components of plan, elevation, and section drawing and requiring the use of drafting tools and instruments.
  • ARC 1003, Foundations Studio
    A fundamental approach to architectural and interior design through a sequenced investigation of design elements and principles that develop skills which will inform the complete relationships between geometries, composition, and systematic strategies. Analysis of case studies and use of analytical diagramming to further inform design solutions presented with three-dimensional modeling and drawing.
  • ARC 1015, Craft, Profession, Vocation: Architectural Practices Past, Present, and Future
    History and current conditions of the profession of architecture. Investigation options for career goals within a study of vocational fulfillment in the Christian tradition of service. Students will establish an e-portfolio, attend guest lectures and participate in field trips.
  • ARC 1020, Shop Fabrication & Sustainability
    Materials, fabrication methods, assembly and finishing explored through safe use of hand and power tools in a shop setting. Study of sustainability issues related to materials commonly used to fabricate models and projects for art and design disciplines.
  • ARC 2021, Architecture Studio I: Architectural Design Methods
    Introduction to methods of architectural design communicated through orthographic drawings and principles of composition based in traditional and modernist precedent studies. Emphasizes problem-solving through an iterative process, including planning, properties of materials, and basic structural assemblies as design elements.
  • ARC 2022, Architecture Studio 2: Architectural Design Methods
    Increasing facility with methods of architectural design communicated through orthographic, axonometric, and perspective drawings and principles of composition based in traditional and modernist precedent studies. Emphasizes problem-solving through an iterative process, including planning, properties of materials, structural assemblies as design elements, and the importance of physical context. Concludes with mid-semester e-portfolio review.
  • ARC 2031, History of Architecture before 1400
    Architecture from Prehistory to ca. 1400, emphasizing Western and Christian culture with an introduction to Asian, African, Pre-Columbian American, Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu traditions. Underscoring the traditional values that shape the arts and architecture and investigating connections between culture, ecology and buildings.
  • ARC 2032, History of Architecture after 1400
    The historical development of architecture after ca. 1400 in locations around the world, including Europe, the Americas, Persian Gulf, and East Asia. Emphasizing aesthetic and architectural theory, building technology, and values that shape architecture, investigating connections between culture, ecology, and buildings, especially related to global building traditions introduced in ARC 2031.
  • ARC 2051, Digital Representation I
    Two and three dimensional computer-aided drafting, utilizing architectural line weights and line types to produce communicative documentation. Introduction to various presentation methods, interface with printing ad page setup, and computer rendering principles.
  • ART 2850, Portfolio Practices
    Through inquiry, reflection and integration, students will bring coherence to, synthesize, and integrate learning experiences inside and outside of the classroom in the context of a liberal arts university by producing an electronic portfolio for both academic and professional purposes. This course will introduce students to the basis of documenting, curating, reflecting on, and showcasing learned proficiencies as shown through such artifacts as visual and written work. The course will emphasize both visual and written/reflective components of creating and critique. Students will also be introduced to professional practices in preparation for an internship.
  • ARC 3023, Architecture Studio 3: Integrated Design
    First studio for integrated architectural design (structures). Requires responsiveness to context, to principles of composition, and to a given program for a small civic building. Includes studies of traditional/vernacular and post-industrial structural materials and methods in relationship to building forms and planning.
  • ARC 3024, Architecture Studio 4: Integrated Design
    Second studio for integrated architectural design (history). Requires responsiveness to context, principles of composition, and a given program. Includes studies of historic, regional historic typologies in relationship to building form and planning to solve contemporary residential problems.
  • ARC 3033, History of Architecture in the United States
    History of architectural development in the United States in global context and with the regional emphasis. Includes considerations of aesthetic and architectural theory, building technology, and the cultural values that shape architecture with special focus on vernacular typologies in the Southeastern United States in general and Nashville in particular.
  • ARC 3041, Structures I
    Structural design, performance and properties of vernacular and industrial building materials (including wood, masonry, and steel) through an analysis of assemblies. Includes strength of materials, concepts of statics, tension, compression and bending. Addresses sustainability via embodied energy, life-cycle costs, and the impact of construction on the environment. Includes exercises in convention of graphic representation for construction documentation.
  • ARC 3042, Structures 2
    Steel, concrete, and enclosure technology in the context of long-span and high-rise structures. Concepts of tension/compression, bending and sheer stress, combined stresses, load resolution, and member sizing. Addresses sustainability and the impact of construction materials on the environment. Includes exercises in conventions of graphic representation for construction documentation.
  • ARC 4015, Senior Capstone for Architecture
    Completion of the BELL Core, taking in the final year of the program. Investigation of intersections of architectural and general studies, requires reflection on artifacts collected in the eportfolio and addresses them of vocational fulfillment in the Christian tradition of service established in ARC 1015.
  • ARC 4025, Architecture Studio 5: Integrated Design
    Third studio for integrated architectural design (inclusive design, interior design). Emphasizes principles of composition and responsiveness to a given program. Includes studies of culture, equity, and inclusive design in relationship to building form and planning. Collaborates with an interior design studio.
  • ARC 4026, Architecture Studio 6: Integrated Design
    Fourth studio for integrated architectural design (environmental systems, theory). Emphasizes principles of composition and responsiveness to a given program for a public building (usually a performing arts space). Includes studies of traditional and advanced passive environmental systems design and ecologically-oriented architectural theory in relationship to building form and planning.
  • ARC 4034, Theories of Architecture and the Environment after 1400
    Architectural theory surveyed from the Renaissance through the present day. Connections to industrialization and globalism, and ecological responses to them, are particularly sought.
  • ARC 4043, Environmental Systems 1
    Relationships between architecture and the environment with an emphasis on passive systems to control climate (air, temperature, water, light, and sound). Other concepts include architecture as embodied energy and energy consumer; sustainability issues include life-cycle costs and carbon footprint analysis. Includes exercises in conventions of graphic representation for construction documentation.
  • ARC 4044, Environmental Systems 2
    Relationships between architecture and the environment with an emphasis on active systems to control climate (air, temperature, water, light, and sound). Other concepts include environmental systems within integrated design strategies and sustainability issues related to energy conservation and life cycle costs. Includes exercises in conventions of graphic representation for construction documentation.
  • ARC 4507, Professional Practice I
    The business, law, and ethics of architecture. Conventional and alternative paths to professional practice; emphasizes collaborative leadership, including advocacy for civic life in local communities and for equity among all architectural workers. Addresses the history of the AIA and alternate voices (e.g. Architecture Lobby) and regulatory bodies (including NCARB).
  • ARC 4508, Professional Practice 2
    Protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public through responsible and ethical practices. Includes architectural programming, code searches (e.g., occupancy and zoning codes, ADAA and universal design), project scheduling, cost estimating, case study research, and the impact of regulations on design, performance, and sustainability (usually directed toward a project in the concurrent Comprehensive Design Studio).
  • ARC 4518, Comprehensive Design Seminar
    Aligned with ARC 4528 to provide a formal setting in which to reflect and focus on the integrative design process, the challenges and potentials of achieving full synthesis and integration in a project. Deliberation in the place and nature of innovation within the many demands of an architectural design.
  • ARC 4527, Architecture Studio 7: Comprehensive Design
    First studio for comprehensive architectural design. Requires program development and wide-ranging response to needs of planning and composition, based in studies of equity, history, and environmental systems, usually in the context of a healthcare project. Emphasizes integration with professional practices by addressing collaboration in teams, concerns for regulatory standards.
  • ARC 4528, Architecture Studio 8: Comprehensieve Design
    Second studio for comprehensive architectural design. Requires program development and wide-ranging response to needs of planning and composition, based in studies of equity, history, and environmental systems. Emphasizes integration with professional practice by synthesizing various requirements of architectural design including systems, assemblies, user and regulatory requirements, site conditions, ecological concerns, and accessibility.
  • ART 1030, Drawing I
    This course is an introduction to the visual language of drawing. Emphasis is placed on learning to see by stressing intense looking, critical judgment, and precise measuring through direct observation. Each class will include hands on projects and homework assignments that heighten the students’ ability to accurately create the illusion of three-dimensional forms in space on a two-dimensional picture plane. Demonstrations using a variety of media will be used to reinforce topics such as, composition, space, sighting, contour line, point perspective, and rendering value.

National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) Accreditation

In the United States, most architecture registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program before licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture and the Doctor of Architecture.

The NAAB grants candidacy status to new programs that have developed viable plans for achieving initial accreditation. Candidacy status indicates a program expects to achieve initial accreditation within six years of achieving candidacy, if its plan is properly implemented.

In order to meet the education requirement set forth by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, an applicant for an NCARB Certificate must hold a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by the NAAB; the degree must have been awarded not more than two years prior to initial accreditation. However, meeting the education requirement for the NCARB Certificate may not be equivalent to meeting the education requirement for registration in a specific jurisdiction.

Belmont University is currently seeking candidacy status for the following professional degree program in architecture:

  • B. Arch. (155 undergraduate credits)
  • Year Candidacy Awarded: 2020
  • Next Visit: Candidacy (Fall, 2021)
  • Projected Year to Achieve Initial Accreditation: 2025
  • Earliest Graduation Date projected to meet NCARB education requirement: 2025
  • Eligibility Decision Letter (Dec. 28, 2020)
  • Architecture Program Report: Candidacy (Sept. 20, 2021)

Belmont’s B.Arch. will abide by the following documents:

The admission decision process for the Adult Degree Program is different from what someone might experience right out of high school. To be eligible for an Adult Degree program,  applicants must be 24 years or older or provide evidence of two years or more of military service, marriage or having a family of your own.

Even if you struggled academically when you first attended college, the Belmont Admissions Committee looks at more than just your academic history. We also consider your professional experience and personal accomplishments as we review your application materials.

Learn more about Adult Degree Admissions & Financial Aid

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Application Deadlines

Apply by August 1

Start on August 23

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Tuition & Aid Info

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Adult Degree Program

Sarah Cullen
Admissions Coordinator
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