BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY

UVA School of Architecture is home to the oldest architectural history program in the nation. The department's teaching and research illuminates the changing meaning of the built environment within a broader social and cultural context.


The undergraduate curriculum in Architectural History provides an introduction to the discipline within a liberal arts program. Students select one of the following concentrations by the first semester of their second year: Architectural History or Historic Preservation. The first year of study is a shared Common First Year curriculum, wherein students take courses in three School of Architecture departments: Architecture, Urban + Environmental Planning, and Architectural History. During the fourth year of study, students develop a thesis on a topic of their choice, researching and writing an advanced paper, while working closely with a faculty member within the department. 

The Architectural History department offers a wide range of lecture, practice-based and seminar courses, including the following architectural history areas:

+ American

+ Asian

+ European 

+ Mediterranean


122 CREDITS

The Bachelor of Architectural History is a 4-year undergraduate degree with a minimum of 122 credits.


Undergraduate students entering the School of Architecture share a Common First Year Curriculum. Students take core courses in three School of Architecture departments: Architecture, Urban + Environmental Planning, and Architectural History to provide a framework for the study of contemporary culture through observation, analysis, and design. Students must pass each core course with a grade of C- or higher. During the spring semester of the first year, students choose an intended major: Bachelor of Architectural History, Bachelor of Science Architecture, or Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning.

By the end of the first semester of their second year, each student selects one of the following two concentrations: Architectural History or Historic Preservation.

The Architectural History concentration allows students to focus on architectural history from all periods and prepares them to write a thesis on a subject of their choice. To ensure breadth of knowledge, students must take at least one course from all four of the following distribution areas: the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean. Additional Architectural History electives may be taken in areas of the student’s choice. Appropriate historic preservation, landscape architecture, and art history courses may be used to fulfill architectural history requirements after consultation with the Director of the Undergraduate Program.

By the end of the first semester of their second year, each student selects one of the following two concentrations: Architectural History or Historic Preservation.

The Historic Preservation concentration allows students to gain knowledge and expertise in the multi-disciplinary area of historic preservation and public history. In addition to core requirements, students in the Historic Preservation concentration take additional electives in areas of their choice in Architectural History and in Historic Preservation offered in the Architectural History department and approved courses in Architecture (including studios with a preservation emphasis), Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Environmental Planning.  Relevant courses from the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering may also be applied towards the concentration with the Historic Preservation Program Director’s approval. An internship in preservation/public history is a recommended part of the curriculum.

A minor in Architectural History requires 17 ARH credits, including ARH 1010 and ARH 1020, and 9 credits of ARH electives with a minimum grade of C-. No thesis is required.

The Architectural History department offers a direct path to receiving a Master of Architectural History for its qualified undergraduate majors.

Some students in the UVA Bachelor of Architectural History program may consider pursuing the MArH degree in the Architectural History department by remaining for a fifth year of study. Prospective students may apply for the 5th Year MArH Program in their 4th year or after graduating from the Bachelor of Architectural History program at UVA. 

Students must meet a minimum cumulative GPA to be eligible. Current students who wish to continue directly on for the fifth year MArH should meet with the Architectural History Graduate Director when planning their courses for their third year, i.e. spring semester of their second year but no later than fall semester of their third year in order to ensure proper course scheduling. In addition, graduates of the BArH program should be in contact with the Graduate Director before submitting their application.

Those interested in the 5th year MArH program should follow the Direct Admissions Policy for School of Architecture students.