The Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture offers two baccalaureate degree programs: the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) and the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (B.A.). Both programs begin with the same studio-based curriculum in the first year, but then begin to diverge in terms of opportunities and outcomes The B.Arch requires 10 studios, while the B.A. only requires a minimum of 4 studios, which can be spread out over the four years of the program.
The B.Arch is a 5-year, first professional degree program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) with a precisely defined set of Student Performance Criteria (SPC). This program is for students that are set upon pursuing a career as a licensed architect, and centers around a carefully structured set of professional and technical courses about building design and construction. Our students graduate with a professional degree that prepares them to excel in practice—but that also launches them into key specialties within the profession. Due to the technical nature of the B.Arch program, it is STEM-eligible, meaning that in addition to one year of Optional Practical Training (OPT), a student on an F1 visa may apply for a 24-month STEM OPT extension following graduation.
The B.A. is a 4-year pre-professional degree program that allows and encourages inter-disciplinary exploration. B.A. students have the opportunity to double major, test the boundaries of the discipline, and explore a variety of interests. If you are a student that embraces creativity, is curious about the world around you, and enjoys engaging both the left and right sides of your brain, the B.A. program could be a perfect fit for you. As a 4-year degree program, the B.A. allows those who are interested to go on to specialize in other fields in graduate school, including the 2-year professional M.Arch degree program (often called a 4+2 degree).