BS in Architectural Studies


College of Architecture & the Built Environment


Bachelor of Science


East Falls


On Campus


125 - 128


4 Years

Are you interested in revitalizing neighborhoods through sustainable development? Would you like to contribute to a "greener" future by repurposing historic buildings? Do you see yourself creating virtual environments?

The four-year Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies (BS) program allows students to focus on a field allied to the profession of architecture, customize their education and earn a pre-professional degree. After completing a foundation sequence of studio and technical courses in the first two years, common to the Bachelor of Architecture curriculum, students can choose to apply to the five-year architecture program, specialize in one of three tracks — Real Estate Development, Historic Preservation, or XR Game Environments — or explore various architecture-related disciplines from a broad array of available minors.

You will not only gain valuable skills and real-world experiences, but will also pave the way for a professional credential in one of our master's programs by taking graduate courses while still an undergraduate. Take part in collaborative projects, and fieldwork, and take advantage of opportunities to study abroad, and have professional internships. There is a wide variety of elective course offerings to create the degree that fits you.

The Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies is a STEM-designated program (CIP Code 04.0902).

Track Options

In today’s world, real estate is more than the financial bottom line. By focusing on the “quadruple bottom line” of real estate development — people, planet, profit and placemaking — today's developers must combine financial feasibility with environmental sustainability, social consciousness, design excellence and community engagement. Using Philadelphia and its surroundings, students address real estate development projects ranging from single buildings to entire districts. 

The greenest building is the one already built! Studies have shown that the construction and demolition of buildings accounts for 48% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Reusing and retrofitting already existing buildings constitutes “recycling” on a grand scale, reduces these emissions dramatically and are an indispensable source of renewable energy; avoiding the environmentally costly route of constructing new buildings and using up open space. This "back to the future” approach not only preserves but also re-envisions and re-purposes historic buildings and sites, defining preserving the past as a template for a sustainable future.

Technology and representation have always been at the heart of architecture. In the past few decades architecture has been at the forefront of 3D digital modeling, and now finds itself poised to transition into new dimensions of digital and physical spaces. Where previously the digital divide separated VR (virtual reality environments) from IRL (in-real-life analogs), XR (extended reality) technology questions the gaps and connects new bridges between new technology and new practices of spatial design exploration, tool sets, and delivery.

Additional Minor Options

As a student in the BS in Architectural Studies program, you can bring your future career goals into focus by exploring the many options available in the College of Architecture & the Built Environment!

During the first two years, coursework is identical to the Bachelor of Architecture curriculum, providing a seamless gateway point to apply for transfer into the five-year program, or you may prefer to define your career path by delving into specific subjects of professional interest.

Under the guidance of your academic advisor, you can choose to explore two, distinct, but complementary, twelve-credit "minors" from a diverse menu of architecture-related disciplines. Options include design-based specializations, such as urban design, interior design and landscape architecture; fields that emphasize advanced technologies, such as geodesign and computational design; areas intrinsic to making and constructing buildings and environments, such as building technology and construction management; to fields that support economic and environmental resilience, such as sustainable design, real estate development and historic preservation. Students may also design a "custom" minor that mixes courses from various disciplines.

Accelerated Master's Degrees

The Architectural Studies program not only allows you to chart an individualized course of study, but also prepares you to obtain a professional credential. Through our accelerated dual-degree 4+1 and 4+2 programs, students may apply undergraduate coursework towards a master’s degree in a number of fields, including architecture, interior architecture, construction management, urban analytics & geodesign, sustainable design, historic preservation, urban design and real estate development. The Architectural Studies program facilitates exploration and lays the groundwork for a successful professional future.

  • The 4+1 Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and MS in Historic Preservation is a STEM-designated program (CIP Code 04.0902).
  • The 4+1 Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and MS in Real Estate Development is a STEM-designated program (CIP Code 04.0902).

Watch: I Am An Architectural Studies Major

Hear firsthand from one of our students about what it's like to be an Architectural Studies major with a concentration in Historic Preservation.

To watch more Jefferson academic program videos, visit the "Programs at Jefferson" playlist on our YouTube channel.