Architecture Studies, Minor

Program Code: ARCST_UMNR

Program Description

The Architecture Studies Minor will permit students in other majors the opportunity to gain insight into the discipline of Architecture. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Architecture or Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree programs are not eligible to enter the Minor in Architecture Studies. However, students transferring out of Architecture may opt to receive recognition for their efforts and time spent in the major by completing requirements for the minor. The minor is intended to augment study in allied design majors, but graduates may not pursue licensure to practice Architecture.

What is Architecture?

The study of architecture is a broad endeavor combining the arts and humanities with engineering, science, and technology. It is a global study – from piazzas in Italy to rural contexts to information networks spanning physical and virtual domains. As creative designers, architects reflect the history, philosophy, dreams, habits, and values of a culture through buildings and spaces. Architects create responsible solutions to the needs of clients and the natural circumstances of sites. The profession spans the classical to the cutting-edge, and studying architecture encourages exploration across a range of interests, and provides flexibility to develop academic concentrations or pursue minors. The architecture studio is a laboratory in which design synthesizes history, theory, structural systems, building materials, environmental control systems, visual communications, professional practices, and systems integration.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You're fascinated by the intersection of spaces, cultures, history, and people.
  • You think deeply and love to create.
  • You're compelled by art, technology, and the environment.
  • You like formulas and experimentation.
  • You want to impact society.
  • You are self-motivated and enjoy the balance of teamwork and working independently.
  • You honor tradition while inventing novel practices.
  • You welcome responsibility.
  • You think and act with precision.
  • You take risks.
  • You want to explore, discover, and invent.

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 21

Requirements for the Minor

6 credits must be at the 400-level.

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Architectural History and Theory:
ARCH 100Architecture and Ideas Keystone/General Education Course3
or ARCH 210 Ideas Across Time in Architecture and Urbanism Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Analysis of Human Settlements: Cities Keystone/General Education Course
Ancient to Medieval Architecture Keystone/General Education Course
ARTH 202
Cultural Perspectives in Architecture:
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Critical Postcolonial and Contemporary Perspectives in South Asian Architecture
Analysis of Human Settlements: Cities Keystone/General Education Course
Theory of Modern Japanese Architecture
Foreign Studies
Asian Art and Architecture Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to the Art and Architecture of the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas Keystone/General Education Course
American Architecture Keystone/General Education Course
ARTH 315
ARTH 330
Greek Art and Architecture
Pioneers of Modern Architecture
The Gothic Cathedral
Architecture of the Medieval Monastery
The Skyscraper
Russian Architecture
Monuments of Asia
Renaissance and Baroque Palaces
The City 1600-1800
Art and Empire: Aztec, Inca and Spanish
ASIA 315
ASIA 440
Built Environment and Culture: Examining the Modern City Keystone/General Education Course
Architectural Design Applications:
Select 6 credits of the following:6
Visual Communications I 1
Visual Communications II 1
Basic Design and Research I (3 credits max) 2
Basic Design Studio I 1
Basic Design Studio II 1
Integrative Energy and Environmental Design
Architectural Design Analysis 2
Architectural Design Analysis Inspection Trip
Digital Design Media
Special Topics
Foreign Studies
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Architectural Capstone or Supporting Course:
Select 3 credits within ARCH 33
Architectural Supporting Course:
Select 3 credits in ARCH or in specific AE or LARCH courses from an approved department list 33

Courses available to Architecture majors only.


Courses available to Architectural Engineering majors only.


ARCH prefix courses excluding ARCH 130A and ARCH 441

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Christine Gorby
Associate Professor of Architecture
319 Stuckeman Family Building
University Park, PA 16802

Career Paths

The Architecture Studies Minor is a stepping stone for those seeking careers in architecture and related fields, or who wish to pursue a professional architecture degree, after which, they can undertake internships and professional state licensing examinations required for registration as architects. The Architecture Studies Minor is a passageway to further one's studies at the graduate level in design-related fields. The diversity and broad inquiry integral to architectural studies form a natural path to advanced studies in architecture, landscape architecture, computer science, geography, urban studies, system logistics, art history, and more.


Architecture is a broad, rigorous, and rich course of study that opens doors to careers in nearly limitless fields. Graduates from the Penn State’s Department of Architecture have designed digital environments for major motion pictures, created branding and advertising for Fortune 100 companies, started businesses converting recycled materials into high-end lighting products, and designed custom jewelry. Note: Students interested in a degree program that provides a direct path to pursue licensure and professional practice should undertake the B.Arch. professional degree program.


Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Architecture Studies Minor students may opt to pursue graduate programs in specialized topics or focus areas. Students interested in advanced research will be well-positioned to pursue a Master of Science in Architecture (M.S. in Arch) degree. The Penn State M.S. in Arch program is designed to strengthen the intellectual underpinnings of students' undergraduate work through intensive studio investigations, design applications, and rigorous theoretical inquiry. Alternately, students might consider application to Penn State’s M.Arch. professional degree in preparation for professional practice and licensure as an architect.



University Park

121 Stuckeman Family Building
University Park, PA 16802