University of Oregon

Department of Architecture

Programs in Architecture and Interior Architecture

Architecture Programs

According to 2015 DesignIntelligence, the University of Oregon Architecture program is number one in the nation for sustainable design practices and principles. Our undergraduate B.Arch program is ranked #6 for public universities.

Building design renderingThe purpose of studying architecture is to learn how to make physical changes to our surroundings that enhance the quality of the built environment and our experience of life. Within this broad purpose, architectural study and practice include the tasks of providing shelter and environmental protection, providing appropriate settings for human activities, and creating forms that are aesthetically pleasing and supportive of social well-being in the community and society.

Architecture faculty members believe that the interdisciplinary cooperation of environmentally concerned fields is important to the study of architecture and continually seek new ways to learn from each other.

The Architecture curriculum centers on the design of new buildings and places (urban/suburban/rural) including various functional and conceptual topics related to multiple housing strategies, institutions, mixed-use, public facilities, hi-rise, urban strategies, and land planning fundamentals, facades and details. Design coursework covers professional, technical, and theoretical topics concerning: architectural history; technical coursework in environmental controls systems; structures and tectonics; building enclosures and advanced building technology; sustainability integration; vernacular and regional studies, as well as other cultural and context-based studies.

A central part of architectural education is the design studio, in which students learn through hands-on experience in design. This kind of learning is demanding and students are expected to be committed and work independently and responsibly toward program and course objectives. In the design studio, continuous evaluation and response are the basic learning modes. The department sets high standards for student performance. Advanced students often work together in courses and as collaborators with faculty members in research investigations through independent study courses.


In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

The University of Oregon Department of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

B. Arch. (231 undergraduate credits)

M. Arch.: Track I (non-pre-professional undergraduate degree + 144 graduate credits needed to fulfill all professional degree requirements); and

M.Arch.: Track II (pre-professional undergraduate degree + 87 graduate credits needed to fulfill all professional degree requirements)

The M.S. in Arch. degree is a post professional degree and is not accredited. These students must have completed a NAAB accredited degree or the international equivalent prior to enrolling.

The next accreditation visit for UO architecture programs is in 2021. Students should visit the NAAB and NCARB websites for further information about accreditation and licensure.

2009 NAAB Conditions for Accreditation
2012 NAAB Procedures for Accreditation


In the United States, the title “architect” is legally restricted to individuals licensed by each state. Individual state governments use guidelines established by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) to license architects. NCARB guidelines for license examination eligibility and the NCARB examination are used uniformly by most states. Before becoming licensed, an applicant must have three years of professional experience directly supervised by a registered architect. In some states, including Oregon, registration with the Intern Development Program is required while preparing for licensure. Architecture students and graduates of architecture programs who are not yet licensed are prohibited from using the title “architect."

Curriculum Guides

Portland Campus

The College of Design offers degree programs in Portland. The Department of Architecture offers the master’s of architecture degree (Track 2) and the fifth year of study for undergraduate students enrolled in the bachelor of architecture degree program.

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