Class of 2012

NDSU Architecture Program: Start to Finish

Here is an overview of the processes and coursework required to earn a Bachelor or Master of Architecture degree from NDSU.



High school students entering as freshmen are evaluated on the basis of their high school GPA and test scores. Transfer students are evaluated on the basis of coursework taken and grades earned.

Scholarships and Awards

We offer several awards and scholarship opportunities for incoming students, as well as for learners further along in their degree pursuit. View scholarships.

Work-Study Options

There are positions within our Department that are funded by the Federal Work-Study Program.

Drawing Class with Jason MooreENVD 130: Drawing class with Lecturer Jason Moore.

Evironmental Design Class with Heather FischerENVD 172: Environmental Design class with Lecturer Heather Fischer.

Year 1


Students spend their freshman year developing an understanding of how designers make decisions, as well as how architecture and landscape architecture determine the built environment. This is accomplished through lectures, assigned readings and design-related projects. View our Curriculum page.

Upon completion of the first-year, a select number of students are admitted to the second year of the program. The primary basis for selection is GPA and performance in first-year environmental design courses.

Project examples

Sketchbooks Sketchbooks Sketchbooks

ENVD 101 - Introduction to Environmental Design: Sketchbooks. For this lecture class, students are asked to maintain drawing exercises in their sketchbooks, which are later evaluated by the professor.


Mastercopy Mastercopy Mastercopy

ENVD 130 - Drawing for Environmental Designers: Master Copy Drawing. This assignment brings out students' ability to technically copy a master piece by hand drawing.


Envd. Design Fundamentals Envd. Design Fundamentals Envd. Design Fundamentals
ENVD 172 - Environmental Design Fundamentals: Black & White Collage. An individual project with final exploration by the entire group, this assignment allows students to begin thinking critically about design.


Year 2


Sophomores begin three concentrated years of architectural design studio work for the completion of the Bachelor’s degree which leads towards a admission into the Master’s degree. All classroom learning gets directly applied in the studio through individual and group projects. Students are required to purchase a laptop in the spring semester of their second year.

Project examples

Birdhouses 2012 Birdhouses 2012

ARCH 272 - Architectural Design I: Architecture for the Birds. The Bird House project motivates second year students to develop architecture in full scale and engage in a competition among their peers.


Lasercut Mold 2011 # Lasercut Mold 2011
ARCH 232 - Design Technology: Lasercut Mold. The Design Technology course blends technology and craftsmanship in this assignment, where students are asked to reuse a lasercut casting mold by expanding its interior space and filling the void with paper.


Tension Structure 2011 Tension Structure 2011 Tension Structure 2011
ARCH 344 - Structures I: Tensioned Structure. This project is an opportunity for the students to gather as a group and build a structure that is exposed outside the entrance of Renaissance Hall.


Year 3


The third year curriculum focuses on technical aspects of architecture and students are expected to apply these concepts in their studio projects. Students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 after completion of the third-year may apply to the graduate school for pursuing a Master’s degree.

Project examples

Third year studio # #
ARCH 371 - Architectural Design III: Fargo Museum. This studio course encourages students to think critically while designing through exploring Le Corbusier's museums around the world.


Snow Symposium Snow Symposium Snow Symposium

Mutidisciplinary - Snow Sculpting Design Competition & Symposium. The Snow Symposium starts as a short term design competition, held among groups composed of architecture, landscape architecture and visual arts students. The winning design is built by the students, which represents NDSU in the International Snow Sculpting Symposium in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Wood Structure 2011 Wood Structure 2011 Wood Structure 2011
ARCH 372 - Architectural Design III: Wood Structure Project. As part of the third year structural understanding, students design using selective material types in their studio projects.


Year 4


Students may begin graduate-level coursework during the fourth year, and develop their Bachelor degree's capstone project. Architectural knowledge, ability and self-reliance reach their peak as students approach graduation.

Project examples

High Rises High Rise 2009 High Rise 2010
ARCH 471 - Architectural Design V: San Francisco High Rise. This capstone project challenges students to work with partners, in order to design a hybrid, sustainable tall building in the heart of San Francisco.


Design Build 2011 Design Build 2011 width= Design Build 2011 width=
ARCH 472 - Architectural Design VI: Design-Build Passive House. A unique course throughout the curriculum, fourth year students have the chance to, as a group, design and build a passively heated house.


India 2010 India 2010 India 2010

ARCH 474 - International Design Studio: Study Abroad Term, India 2010. Throughout the spring of fourth year students are invited to participate in a study abroad term, guided by NDSU ALA faculty members to specific locations such as Spain and France.

Degree earned: Bachelor of Architecture (pre-professional)

Year 5 (Master of Architecture Candidates Only)


The fifth year is dedicated to intensive graduate-level classroom and studio work, culminating in a design thesis project.

Project examples

Water Research Facility 2011 Water Research Facility 2011 Water Research Facility 2011
ARCH 771 - Advanced Architectural Design: Water Research Facility. The first project of the graduate studio course allows for the research of a complex program, while motivating students to showcase their ability as designers.


Professional Topics Professional Topics Professional Topics
ARCH 789 - Professional Topics: Artefact Atelier. For this upper-level seminar course, students engage with materiality to convey artefacts that speak to art, architecture and installation.


Master Thesis 2012 Master Thesis 2012 Master Thesis 2012
ARCH 772 - Design Thesis: Master Thesis. The Master thesis project compells design challenges like such found in the profession, solved by students with primary research and ability. Annually, the best thesis is laureated with the Peter F. McKenzie Memorial Thesis Award.

Degree earned: Master of Architecture (professional) — recognized by all state licensing boards and accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).