Department Overview

The Department of Architecture trains leaders who creatively engage and give form to the complexities of the built environment across all scales and cultures.


With a stellar roster of faculty focused on design excellence and intellectual development, we provide a comprehensive body of knowledge that addresses the most pressing historical and current spatial challenges confronting society. These challenges are addressed through a rigorous design studio sequence, that embodies a diversity of approaches, scales, methods and instruments affiliated with design. The curriculum is enhanced by an expansive set of courses that include history, theory, building technology, visualization, computation, urbanism, and professional practice, among others. Utilizing design as the primary objective of instruction, UVA Architecture is committed to shaping the citizen-architect of the twenty-first century. In examining a multiplicity of spatial conditions—from interiors to buildings to public space to open territories—we shape architects that will become critical mediators between society and space.


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4-year undergraduate program with pre-professional and design thinking concentrations


2-year and 3-year graduate programs


We welcome students from diverse scholarly and professional backgrounds who are interested in critically shaping the built environment. As a student here, you have the opportunity to take advantage of UVA’s proud history as a renowned research university, with nationally and internationally ranked programs, distinguished faculty, and robust resources.

UVA offers an affordable, world-class education that is consistently ranked among the nation’s best. Undergraduate students are drawn to UVA to learn architectural design within the context of a leading liberal arts education. Undergraduate students are exposed to a broad body of knowledge shared across the university and across architectural disciplines during their first year of studies.

The Master of Architecture program welcomes applicants with any four-year Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Diverse scholarly and professional backgrounds enrich our educational environment in the first-professional graduate MArch program. Applicants with a previous architecture degree are eligible for advanced-placement.

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UVA Architecture offers a curriculum that exposes students to the fundamentals of design in order to creatively and critically engage the diverse scales and contexts of the built environment.


Foundational studios and courses focus on fundamentals that make up the core of architectural education. This curriculum draws from spatial lessons and challenges nationally and across the globe, bringing together architectural design, building technology, history, and visual studies in order to introduce students to the core fundamentals of architectural education.


Advanced students have the opportunity to choose a research studio from a range of spatial topics that are of disciplinary relevance today. Focus research topics at the school include: design + technology, next cities, cultural landscapes, social justice, new ecologies, and design+.  Research studio topics over the past several years have ranged from “Design Driven Manufacturing” in the context of Virginia industry to urban and architectural interventions along the “Yamuna River” in New Delhi to mediating extreme environments in the context of “The Arctic Design Group” studio.


Drawing from faculty research and expertise, special topic elective seminars expose students to a wide range of contemporary approaches to the disciplines of: architecture, landscape architecture, urban and environmental planning, urban design, architectural history, historic preservation, theory, and criticism.



We understand architecture as the broadest possible expression of the built environment and provide students opportunities to engage in applied research with significant forms of impact, including: through research studios and research assistantships, through participation in the school’s research centers, and through the development of an independent thesis project. More information on the school’s research centers can be found here.

We also promote and create global research and travel opportunities for our students, with the recognition that the future of architecture is increasingly global. Direct engagement with the sites and communities we are studying and designing for is a critical part of our curricula. Students travel locally, nationally, and internationally to experience design in-situ, to engage in fieldwork, and to gain a deeper awareness of global cultures. More information on the school’s study abroad programs can be found here.


Throughout the architecture curriculum, we build upon strengths as an inherently interdisciplinary community, working both within and across our four departments: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban + Environmental Planning, and Architectural History. As part of a leading research institution, students are given opportunities, through research studios, team-taught courses, and open electives, to engage students and faculty across the university, in partnership with non-profits and other collaborators.

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