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Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

School: Architecture

Students in the architecture program at the Knowlton School learn to understand formal and spatial relationships and the impact of ideas based on the research and analysis of cultural, social, political, economic and environmental contexts. They experiment with materials, structures and building systems to gain an understanding of design. 

Upon admission to the university, first-year students interested in architecture are admitted directly to the major. No prior experience or portfolio is required. Transfer students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher may be eligible to enter as pre-majors. A higher Ohio State GPA will be reqired to move beyond the pre-major. Students with studio experience in a four-year pre-professional or five-year professional architecture program at another institution may be eligible for advanced placement in the major sequence. Current Ohio State students should schedule an advising appointment to discuss the architecture major.

In the first year, students take Architecture 2300: Outlines of the Built Environment, and Architecture 2310: Introduction to Design. These foundation courses introduce fundamental knowledge, language and skills to prepare students for either the architecture or landscape architecture major.

First-year students with a B+ or above in both foundation courses and cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher will automatically be eligible for the major sequence. All other students will receive additional review; many competitive applicants will be eligible to continue in the major though this review process. Approximately 80 students are eligible to continue to the architecture major sequence on an annual basis. 

Architecture students engage individually and collaboratively in a studio-based curriculum as they propose design solutions and communicate those solutions through a range of media, including digital rendering, model making, full-scale fabrication, writing and public presentations.

During the first year, students must complete foundation courses (Architecture 2300 and 2310) and establish a foundation in the design of the built environment through a series of design projects that highlight the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design.

Second-year students complete courses in architectural history and graphical representation. They complete projects that emphasize techniques of modeling and drawing accompanied by critical inquiry.

Third-year students develop an understanding of architecture as a cultural practice through projects with collective, large-scale, institutional programs on specific sites. Students complete courses in building construction, structures and systems and join fourth-year students in elective studios spring semester.

Fourth-year students complete large-scale, hybrid programs on complex sites. In addition to design studios, students select seminars on advanced topics relating to technology, history and theory.

Students can participate in one of the up to seven study abroad programs annually offered by the Knowlton School. Recent programs include study in Cuba, Chile, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Taiwan and travel tours throughout multiple European countries that focus on topics from the development of modern architecture to sustainable urban planning practices.

Knowlton students may apply for one of the school’s Architecture Research Travel Awards (ARTA) in order to pursue independent travel and research abroad.

Learn more about study abroad opportunities.

Architecture students have opportunities for paid internships locally and across the United States. They prepare for internships by working with faculty and Knowlton School student services staff, attending the Knowlton School’s annual career fair, and participating in the Knowlton School mentor program to connect with professionals.

The Architecture, Landscape and City Scholars Program is a community of talented students who participate in programs and activities designed to offer insight into architecture, landscape architecture, and city and regional planning. Students in this Scholars program develop their understanding of the historical, cultural and social significance of the built and natural environments through site visits, workshops, seminars and travel opportunities. Scholars students live together in a north campus residence hall that provides a supportive and collegial environment. The Architecture, Landscape and City Scholars program is highly recommended for first-year students.

Learn more about these opportunities at

Students join the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) to connect with professional through firm visits, portfolio and resume reviews, and mock interviews.

The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) champions diversity within the design professions.

SERVitecture links students with design-based service experiences such as Habitat for Humanity. SERVitecture’s annual Fashion Schau is a highlight for students of all majors.

Ohio State’s four year, pre-professional architecture degree prepares students to continue their studies in an accredited Master of Architecture program. Ohio State students consistently enroll in the nation’s best architecture graduate programs, including Harvard University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Rice University, University of Michigan, Sci-ARC and UCLA. 

The core components of becoming a licensed architect include:

  • education (earning an accredited Master of Architecture degree)
  • experience (documented though the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s Architectural Experience Program)
  • examination (completion of the Architect Registration Exam)

Many architects specialize in design, while others become adept at managing, marketing and other aspects of professional practice. Architecture firms are also involved in real estate development and construction, a form of practice known as “design/build.” Local, state and federal governments and private entities also employ architects to plan and oversee the work of design and planning firms.

Many architects combine private practice with teaching or architectural journalism. Others trained as architects enter allied fields of planning, engineering, real estate development and construction, or develop graphic, industrial or interior design specialties. Theater, film and television industries attract architecture graduates, as do museums, display firms, and architectural product and materials manufacturers.

New architecture graduates with a pre-professional degree can expect annual salaries above $45,000. Those with professional degrees who have completed their experience requirements and their registration exams may earn salaries of $70,000 or more. Partners in large architecture firms earn considerably more, with income and benefits often exceeding $200,000.

Angela Beer
Knowlton School 
100 Knowlton Hall
275 W. Woodruff Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210

Knowlton Hall is an award-winning facility with a materials/fabrication laboratory, library and computer resources. However, the school’s most prized asset is the design studio where small groups of students meet with faculty to propose architectural design solutions applying a range of media, from digital renderings to full-scale fabrications, to a range of scales, from furniture to institutional buildings. 

Interested in a career in the STEM fields?

Check out the STEM Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.