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Why Major in Architectural Studies?
Belmont’s architecture program guides you to identify your unique professional and interpersonal skills as you develop a voice of distinction and positive influence for pursuing your purpose in life. Your focus on purpose reveals your own vocational path toward imagining, designing and realizing a better world through both leadership and service.
While the five-year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) professional program puts you in the most direct route to licensure, the Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies (B.S.A.S.) is offered as a non-accredited degree that includes the first four years of the architecture core curriculum and provides a firm foundation for further graduate studies, interdisciplinary paths in practice and more. At Belmont, you experience integrated and collaborative courses to develop your capacity to think critically, courageously and compassionately to engage in transforming the world.
Belmont’s distinguished liberal arts education welcomes you to co-create a sense of belonging as you engage with the faculty in a Christ-centered community and develop diverse ways of thinking about the practice of architecture.
What You'll Learn
The B.S. in Architectural Studies is a four-year program that provides a highly integrated, comprehensive education that will prepare you with the critical thinking and practical skills needed to succeed in the professional setting. You will 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
An architectural studies degree from Belmont can open the door to fulfilling careers in architecture and beyond. This program sets the stage for graduate-level education.
A few career paths that you can consider pursuing in the design industry:
- Design Entrepreneur/Strategist
- Project Management
- Architectural Technician
- Building Industry Leadership
- Community Building Leadership
Post-graduate degree path options:
- Historic Preservation
- Landscape Architecture
- Urban Design/Planning
- Construction Law
- Business Management
- Real Estate Development
The bachelor of science in Architectural Studies (B.S.A.S) does not require you to complete a minor. The degree requires 128 credit hours of coursework:
- BELL core requirements: 55 hours
- Major requirements: 70 hours
- Electives: 3 hours
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 that 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.
- 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.
- ARC 2021, Architecture Studio 1: 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 relation 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 II
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 (fourth of the B.S.A.S. and fifth of the B.Arch.). Investigation of intersections of architectural and general studies, requires reflection on artifacts collected in the e-portfolio 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 I
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 II
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.
Go beyond the classroom and experience architecture for yourself. In Nashville and around the world, you’ll find opportunities to learn and grow.
- Experience hands-on architecture work. Nashville has a thriving architecture industry, giving you access to more than 60 firms and the nationally recognized Nashville Civic Design Center.
- Explore the world. Experience other cultures and visit iconic structures in India, Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom and beyond through study abroad programs.
- Join a student organization. Participating in groups like AIAS (American Institute of Architecture Students) is a great way to meet people and explore your interests.
There is no portfolio requirement for admittance into the O'More College of Architecture and Design's programs. All you have to do is complete your application to Belmont and indicate Architecture as your major when applying.
If you are admitted to the university, then you are admitted to our Architecture program!
Each year, the O’More College awards a number of scholarships to incoming fall undergraduates majoring in one of its academic programs. These awards are renewable for four years (five for B.Arch. majors), provided the recipient maintains all required academic and citizenship expectations. To qualify, you must submit your Belmont application and scholarship essay by December 1.
Transfer Credit Policy
Determination of eligibility for general education transfer credit will be determined by the Office of the Registrar.
Determination of eligibility for architecture program requirements transfer credit (ARC courses) will be determined by the Chair of the Department of Architecture, based on:
- Alignment of general course content
- Demonstration of achievement of applicable NAAB-defined Program or Student Criteria
Students requesting that courses completed at another institution be considered for Belmont ARC credit must submit to the Department Chair:
- that institution’s catalog description for the course and
- the syllabus for the semester it was taken.
For some courses, the Chair may also request examples of coursework. In most cases, transfer courses proposed for credit for Belmont ARC courses numbered 3000- or higher must be completed in an NAAB-accredited program.
The Architecture Program at Belmont currently has no established articulation agreement with other institutions and does not award credit for other prior learning experience.