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Architecture is a fine art devoted to the design of the human environment. The architect is concerned with the aesthetic, social, environmental, technological and psychological factors that influence the design of a building. Architects are involved in the success, quality and appearance of a building within the context of a community and the city. Architecture is a dynamic profession that ranges from residential houses to large-scale urban buildings. An architect can design houses, commercial buildings, museums, college science buildings, and resorts, as well as many other building types.

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Background Information

To become an architect, you must learn to make use of science and technology, and develop sensitivity for beauty in the design of space and form with material. You must develop a deep understanding of people and their surroundings. Because this work encompasses so many different fields of interest, the architect is best thought of as a professional who bridges different areas of study and blends them into a single, significant activity.

Career Opportunities

Architects work in architectural firms or accept positions with government, corporations or institutions. Some architects become highly specialized; others remain generalists in the profession, working on all facets of a project. Whichever path your career may follow, it is necessary to first build a firm background that includes essential architectural knowledge and skills. Architecture provides a variety of interesting positions within the discipline. One can either work for an established architecture firm or create their own business. There are three typical areas in architecture which one can focus on (or one can do all three) once they begin working. These three areas are: the design or aesthetic aspects of a project, the technical or material aspects of a project, or as the construction liaison when a project is being built. Further, architecture is a scalable profession depending on one’s interests. For example, the possible areas one can work in range from small-scale residential houses to large-scale skyscrapers.


The architecture program is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB). For more information see, To become a licensed architect requires an accredited professional degree, internship and passing your state’s licensing exam.

The Program

The architecture program is a five-year professional course of study leading to a Master of Architecture degree. This degree is nationally accredited and recognized by all state architectural licensing boards. You may elect to receive a Bachelor of Science in architecture, a pre-professional degree, at the end of four years. The course work during the freshman year develops your understanding of how designers make decisions and how architecture relates to the determination of our built environment. The first year of pre-architecture study, the curriculum addresses the understanding of the environment and our impact on nature. In addition to meeting general education and departmental requirements students take three environmental design courses (ENVD) comprised of a lecture course, a drawing course and a design fundamentals course.Beginning at the sophomore level, there is a selective admissions process where admitted students become architecture majors. We limit our studio courses to a maximum of 16 students to maintain a high level of student faculty contact. The program is a studio based model of education where students have high contact hours with their professors and learn problem solving techniques and design methodologies. The primary focus is on design thinking where students engage in individual and group projects that represent the vast array of design problems that require real-world solutions. Our primary focus is for students to learn to be great designers and leaders who engage the dynamic and emerging problems of the world with beautiful and thoughtful designs. Students will learn how to communicate their ideas through writing and public speaking in addition to new ways of thinking and communicating such as physical models, drawings and computer animation and renderings. The program has required field trips, a lecture series and invited outside professionals that help students focus on their own interests in architecture and create a project based on those interests. A laptop computer is required in the second year of the program.

The Activities and Facilities

Activities within the department include

  • Student chapters of the American Institute of Architecture Students; Tau Sigma Delta; Freedom by Design; U.S. Green Building Council;
  • Yearly career fair;
  • Student-run Beaux Arts Ball with a guest speaker;
  • Interaction with community driven projects such as the Fargo Free Library Design Competition;
  • Studio field trips to U.S. and Canadian cities;
  • Visiting lecturers who speak on architecture and related topics;
  • Joint studio projects with the landscape architecture program;
  • Summer study opportunities in Europe and North America and an International Student Exchange Program; and
  • Summer intern opportunities.

Our facilities include

  • Two remarkable buildings located in downtown Fargo: Klai Hall and Renaissance Hall;
  • 3-D prototyping and printing;
  • 3-D computing rendering and server farm;
  • State-of-the-art computing labs;
  • Computer aided laser cutters;
  • Large document printers and scanners;
  • Software such as GIS, CAD and 3-D rendering and modeling;
  • An Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library of about 18,000 books, 70 magazine subscriptions and 36,000 slides;
  • Photographic and graphic reproduction equipment; and
  • Individual studio spaces in the second through fifth years.

High School Preparation

We suggest that students take high school courses in digital drawing and animation, an art class, such as drawing from life, and math and science courses such as calculus, trigonometry and physics. If possible, we encourage high school students to take advance placement or college credit courses that could be substitute for North Dakota State University General Education requirements.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants are required to enter the architecture program at the first-year level. Five years of study are required for completion of the degree.

Selective Admission

Approximately 48 architecture majors are selected for admission into the second year of the program. A student’s ranking is based on their overall grade point average (GPA) and their GPA for pre-architecture courses with the ENVD prefix. It is important to apply early, complete all freshman courses in the first year and maintain a solid academic record. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to apply to the graduate school during the third or fourth year of the program.

Sample Curriculum

General Education 
    First Year Experience
1     UNIV 189 - Skills for Academic Success
3     COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking
3, 3      ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II
3   ENGL 326 - Writing in the Design Professions or
        ENGL 357 - Visual Culture and Language  
3   Quantitative Reasoning
    Science & Technology
3     PHYS 120 - Fundamentals of Physics or
         PHYS 220 - Physics for Designers
7     Science and Technology Electives
    Humanities & Fine Arts
3     ARCH 321 - History of Architecture I
3     ENVD 101 - Introduction to Environmental 
    Social & Behavioral Sciences
3     ANTH 111 - Introduction to Anthropology
3     PSYC 111 - Introduction to Psychology
2   Wellness
    Cultural Diversity
3     ANTH 111 - Introduction to Anthropology
    Global Perspective
3     ARCH 321 - History of Architecture I
40   Total
Credits   Major Requirements
3   ARCH 231 - Architecture Drawing
3   ARCH 232 - Design Technology
1   ARCH 233 - Math for Designers
6, 6   ARCH 271, 272 - Architecture Design I and II
3   ARCH 322 - History of Architecture II
3   ARCH 323 - History and Theory of Architecture III
3   ARCH 341 - Site Design for Architects
3   ARCH 344 - Architecture Structures I
4   ARCH 351 - Materials and Construction
6   ARCH 371 - Architectural Design III
6   ARCH 372 - Architectural Design IV
3   ARCH 443 - Architecture Structures II
3   ARCH 450 - Architectural Detailing
3   ARCH 453 - Environmental Control Systems: Passive 
3   ARCH 454 - Environmental Control Systems: 
         Active System
3   ARCH 461 - Urban Design
6   ARCH 471 - Architectural Design V (Capstone)
6   ARCH 472 - Architectural Design VI or
        ARCH 474 - International Design Studio
3   ENVD 130 - Drawing for Environmental Designers
4   ENVD 172 - Environmental Design Fundamentals
3   PHIL 101 - Introduction to Philosophy
3   SOC 110 - Introduction to Sociology
9   Additional Electives
96   Total
Credits   Master of Arch. Degree Additional Requirements
3   ARCH 763 - Programming/Thesis Preparation
6   ARCH 771 - Advanced Architecture Designs
8   ARCH 772 - Design Thesis
3   ARCH 781 - Professional Practice
12   Additional Electives
32   Total
136   Curriculum Total (B.S.)
168   Curriculum Total (Master of Architecture)

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Klai Hall
Room 108

Klai Hall is located in downtown Fargo at 711 2nd Ave. N. (Campus Map)

Renaissance Hall
Art, Architecture & Landscape Architecture Administrative Office Room 108

Renaissance Hall is located in downtown Fargo at 650 NP Ave. (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
North Dakota State University
Klai Hall 108
Dept #2352, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-5788 / Fax: (701) 231-7342

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 06, 2017 11:18:57 AM
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