Undergraduate Program in Architecture


Director of Undergraduate Studies
Mónica Ponce de León

Declaring Architecture as a Major (Spring 2024)

  1. Consider timing and plan ahead: Students can begin to take Architecture prerequisites ARC 203 and ARC 204 in their first year. ARC 206 meets the design seminar requirement and we recommend students take that early on if possible.
  2. Information regarding the major declaration process will be emailed from the Dean of the College office to all sophomores as the declaration period approaches in early spring.
  3. During the declaration period (March 28 to April 15), declare your intended major in TigerHub.  This link outlines the process: https://advising.princeton.edu/degree-planning/choosing-major/declaring-your-major
  4. Come to our Sophomore Open House on April 2 at noon!
  5. Complete a Departmental Academic Planning Form (DAPF) in TIgerHub and schedule a meeting with Director of Undergraduate Studies Mónica Ponce de León to select courses before course enrollment opens in TigerHub in April. See below for course requirements. 
  6. Please complete your DAPF early. It takes one business day from the time they declare your major for the DAPF to become available to them and your departmental advisers. 

Detailed instructions about Declaring a Major can be found on the Dean of the College website. If you have questions please feel free to write Architecture's Program Manager: soaprograms@princeton.edu 

The Architecture Concentration

The School of Architecture's undergraduate program is known for its rigorous and interdisciplinary approach to pre-professional education. The program leads to an A.B. with a concentration in architecture and offers an introduction to the discipline of architecture within the framework of a liberal arts curriculum. 

In addition to architectural design and the history and theory of architecture and urbanism, undergraduates study a range of disciplines that contribute to an architect’s knowledge and vision, including courses in architectural analysis, representation, computing, and building technologies. Such a broad academic program also prepares students for a graduate program in architecture and other related disciplines such as landscape architecture, urban planning, civil engineering, art history, and the visual arts.

Students tend to find the design studios the most unique part of their experience. In these studios, students prepare individual designs of buildings and urban areas, which are analyzed and critiqued by faculty. Studios meet with faculty for three-hour sessions every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.

View our program brochure

Certificate Programs

In addition to the concentration, or major, students have the opportunity to enroll in certificate programs. There are two specifically related to Architecture. The Program in Urban Studies is an interdisciplinary program for the study of cities, metropolitan regions, and urban and suburban landscapes. Students who pursue an Urban Studies certificate must incorporate a component of urban studies in their senior thesis. Students may also enroll in the Program in Architecture and Engineering. Students interested in this program may choose between two options: structures focus or architecture focus. 

Required Courses: Undergraduate Program in Architecture  

See one page checklist and below graphic for a visual representation of the curriculum (Princeton Google login only)


ARC 203    Introduction to Architectural Thinking (offered each fall)
ARC 204    Introduction to Architectural Design (offered each spring)

Course Requirements (Departmentals)

Studios and Design Seminars
ARC 206     Geometry and Architectural Representation (offered each fall)
ARC 350     Junior Studio I (Fall) - (offered each fall)
ARC 351     Junior Studio II (Spring) - (offered each spring)
ARC 404     Advanced Design Studio (Fall of Senior Year) - (offered each fall)

History and Theory of Architecture
ARC 308     History of Architectural Theory (Fall of Junior Year) - (offered each fall)
ARC 403     Topics in the History and Theory of Architecture (Fall of Senior Year) - (offered each fall)
Plus one additional HT elective**

History and Theory of Urbanism and Landscape
Two urbanism/landscape electives*

Art and Archaeology
Two upper level courses**

Building Technology 
ARC 311     Building Science and Technology: Building Systems (offered each fall)
One elective**

Full list of courses (current semester only)
** Princeton courses (including architecture) since spring 2021 Registrar website

Junior Independent Work

The junior independent work requirement is satisfied by a paper of approximately 30 pages, which is initiated in the fall and completed in the spring. The paper addresses a subject related to architecture selected by the student in consultation with a faculty member. Students work in consultation with a faculty adviser and with the assistance of a Ph.D. student, who provides writing support. Juniors may keep the same faculty adviser and are encouraged to continue working on the same research area for their senior thesis.

Senior Thesis

The senior thesis is a detailed project, presenting a well-argued piece of research on a precise architectural theme, and may include a substantial amount and variety of visual materials, including any of several forms of representation: architectural drawings, models, video, photographs, and computer-generated images. Students work in consultation with a faculty adviser and with the assistance of a Ph.D. student, who provides writing support.The relative proportion of written to visual material for each student must be agreed upon with the adviser and thesis committee. The final presentation and oral defense of the senior thesis in the spring constitutes a section of the departmental examination. Visit Mudd Library to see Architecture Thesis from 1968-2023.

Professional Study in Architecture

Students in the undergraduate program in architecture graduate with a liberal arts degree, not a professional degree in architecture. In order to qualify for licensing as an architect in the United States, students must have completed a program leading to a professional degree accepted by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. The School of Architecture offers an accredited professional graduate degree in architecture (M.Arch.), which students generally complete in three years. Advanced standing may be granted by professional graduate schools at other universities. In order to qualify for licensing as architects in the United States, students are required to complete a program leading to a professional degree that is accepted by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. 

Study Abroad

Princeton University is committed to providing high quality opportunities that allow undergraduates to encounter firsthand the people, culture, and contemporary concerns of other regions of the world.  Through the Study Abroad Programs, Princeton undergraduates receive full academic credit for a semester or a year by enrolling in an approved overseas university or study abroad program. Please visit http://www.princeton.edu/oip/sap/ for more information.