Architecture (BArch)

Application Code: 
Degree Received: 
Bachelor of Architecture (BArch)
Academic Department Info: 
Program Coordinator: 
Rex Simpson
Coordinator Email:

360 Virtual TourThe Bachelor of Architecture program at Alfred State educates well-rounded, highly creative graduates who will be able to contribute to the world through meaningful and inspiring architecture.

Building on the BS program’s established strengths in architectural technology and civic engagement, the BArch program strives to achieve a unique identity by integrating an active immersion in the liberal arts/humanities with three additional foci:

  • Vigorous training in design and the poetics of construction – aimed at buildings and environments that inspire and uplift their occupants, users, and the contexts they are part of, while manifesting the latent beauty of structural systems and building materials, and integration with nature;
  • Solid knowledge of sustainability, construction technology and integrated project delivery – aimed at buildings that are well constructed, technically sound, that marshal material resources economically and sustainably, and are healthy to occupy; and
  • Civic engagement and active involvement in urban renewal/social innovation projects – aimed at exploration and advocacy through dedicated urban design, historic preservation/adaptive reuse, and housing studios.

Students will be encouraged to custom-tailor their studies through elective concentrations related to architectural practice, such as business, construction management, digital media and animation, or interior design. Elective courses may be taken in other departments at Alfred State and students may also cross-register for courses at Alfred University.

Upon successful completion of the BArch degree, graduates may begin an internship and the other professional steps leading to licensure as a registered, practicing architect.

A laptop computer is required of each entering student to enable the use of cutting-edge, industry-standard software. See laptop specifications.

NAAB Student Performance Criteria

On April 30, 2013, the NAAB, the National Architectural Accrediting Board, accepted the BArch Program at Alfred State as ‘eligible for candidacy,’ and scheduled the next step, the visit for ‘initial candidacy,’ for Spring 2014.

The BArch program is required to meet the ‘Student Performance Criteria’ as laid out on pp. 21-25 of the 2009 Conditions for Accreditation by the NAAB. The 2009 Conditions for Accreditation, as effective April 1, 2010, apply to all accreditation actions or visits scheduled to take place after January 1, 2011, including visits for initial candidacy.

The following passages are excerpted from the 2009 Conditions for Accreditation by the NAAB. The full text as well as the 2012 Procedures for Accreditation, Amended, may be found at px?path=Public+Documents.

Educational Realms & Student Performance Criteria

The accredited degree program must demonstrate that each graduate possesses the knowledge and skills defined by the criteria set out below. The knowledge and skills are the minimum for meeting the demands of an internship leading to registration for practice.

The school must provide evidence that its graduates have satisfied each criterion through required coursework. If credits are granted for courses taken at other institutions or online, evidence must be provided that the courses are comparable to those offered in the accredited degree program.

The criteria encompass two levels of accomplishment:

  • Understanding — The capacity to classify, compare, summarize, explain and/or interpret information.
  • Ability — Proficiency in using specific information to accomplish a task, correctly selecting the appropriate information, and accurately applying it to the solution of a specific problem, while also distinguishing the effects of its implementation.

For the purpose of accreditation, graduating students must demonstrate understanding or ability as defined below in the Student Performance Criteria (SPC):

The SPC are organized into realms to more easily understand the relationships between individual criteria.

Realm A: Critical Thinking and Representation:
Architects must have the ability to build abstract relationships and understand the impact of ideas based on research and analysis of multiple theoretical, social, political, economic, cultural and environmental contexts. This ability includes facility with the wider range of media used to think about architecture including writing, investigative skills, speaking, drawing and model making.

Realm B: Integrated Building Practices, Technical Skills and Knowledge:
Architects are called upon to comprehend the technical aspects of design, systems and materials, and be able to apply that comprehension to their services. Additionally they must appreciate their role in the implementation of design decisions, and the impact of such decisions on the environment.

Realm C: Leadership and Practice:
Architects need to manage, advocate, and act legally, ethically and critically for the good of the client, society and the public. This includes collaboration, business, and leadership skills.

Entrance Requirements & Recommendations: 

Required: Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2/Trigonometry with an 86 or above average plus high school pre-calculus or a fourth-year math for New York State high school graduates. Students must submit a standardized test score (SAT and/or ACT) with a recommended combined SAT score of 1,100 (critical reading and math) or a composite ACT score of 24. Physics is recommended.

Portfolio Requirements

Prior to acceptance into the Bachelor of Architecture program, each applicant must submit a portfolio for review and consideration of her/his acceptance.

Through the portfolio, the Department hopes to get a sense of who an applicant is as a creative individual: their spatial imagination, what is motivating them (expressed through art work, drawings, sketches, models, …), how they express themselves, how they explore the world through two- and three-dimensional media.

Applicants should include 10 to 20 examples of their best creative work. They should be color copies (not originals) of art and design efforts, including two- or three-dimensional visual art, done either as personal projects or in an academic setting. Inclusion of some freehand drawings is strongly encouraged. Pages from student's sketchbook are acceptable too. Each portfolio page needs to list (in small, legible font) your name; the medium used; the date of the work’s completion; the dimensions of the original; and whether done as a personal project or in an academic setting. If part of a group effort, you need to identify the other group members and state your specific role.

Included among the portfolio's 10 to 20 samples of creative work should be two drawings specifically responding to the guidelines below, in soft pencil, emphasizing light and shadows, and contrast:

  • One is an abstract composition that should include two ‘walls,’ a ‘cube,’ a ‘cylinder’ and a ‘sphere.’ Their lengths and heights, diameters and sizes, are up to you. Out of these elements, create an interesting composition that gives a hint of your spatial imagination. 
  • The other is a drawing from life of either a plant (tree, bush, or part thereof, as e.g. branches) or an animal of your choice (or a portion thereof, e.g. its head or torso, or legs). This drawing should reveal something about your observational and recording skills. 

All portfolio material should be in a flat binder of an overall size not more than 10" x 12" (25 cm x 30 cm) and max. 1" (2.5 cm) thick. Do not submit slides or digital files. Your name must be clearly visible on the binder. On the first page inside you should state that you are the author of the work presented (except for works done as group project - which you need to clearly identify), followed by your name, home address, contact information, and the school you currently attend.

The portfolio should be submitted by mail in a padded envelope to: Alfred State, Admissions Office, 10 Upper College Drive, Alfred, NY 14802.

Unless a prepaid, self-addressed return envelope is mailed with the applicant’s portfolio, the Architecture and Design Department will keep the submission. Portfolios held by the department will be discarded within one semester unless retrieved by the applicant.


Alfred State is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (3624 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 662-5606). The Department has initiated the process of accreditation by the NAAB (the National Architectural Accrediting Board), which on April 30, 2013, conferred on the BArch Program the 'Eligibility for Candidacy' Status. The next step is the 'Initial Candidacy Visit' in Spring 2014. We hope to achieve full accreditation for all incoming freshmen at the earliest possible time, i.e. following the 'Full Accreditation Visit' in the Fall 2018. After the NAAB assesses the first graduating cohort's and all other years' work as worthy, it confers full accreditation on the BArch Program retroactively for January 2018, to include that first cohort.

Features & Facilities: 

BArch students have 24 hr access to their dedicated, laptop-ready studio spaces. Peripheral devices such as scanners, color printers/plotters, and digital camera equipment are available. A School-wide 3D Printing Fabrication Laboratory is in preparation

Articulation Agreements: 

Articulation agreements for some courses in this program are in place with:

  • SUNY College of Technology at Delhi
  • Dutchess County Community College
  • Erie Community College
  • Finger Lakes Community College
  • Hudson Valley Community College
  • Onondaga County Community College
  • Orange County Community College
  • SUNY College of Technology at Morrisville
Graduation Requirements: 

Successfully complete all courses in the prescribed ten-semester program at a minimum cumulative index of 2.5, which is equivalent to a "C+" average.

As part of the graduation requirements for the Bachelor of Architecture, students must complete a portfolio according to the following guidelines:

  • The portfolio must contain a minimum of eight (8) examples of creative academic work. These examples should demonstrate achievements as a designer. A minimum of three (3) examples must be from studio class projects in the last two years of the program. A maximum of two (2) examples may be of non-graphic work (example: written work).
  • Each example will be accompanied by a short description of the project and solution, and include the name of the class the project was produced for. If the item is part of a group effort, the specific role of the student should be included.
  • Completed portfolios must be submitted digitally in Portable Document Format (PDF) on a CD or as directed by the department chair.
  • Portfolios will be evaluated to determine whether they should be graded as "High Pass," "Pass," or "Fail." This assessment will appear on the student's permanent Alfred State transcript.
  • The completed portfolio must be submitted to the Department of Architecture and Design Office by April 1. This is an absolute deadline; no portfolios will be accepted after the April 1 deadline. Evaluation will be done on a yearly basis by faculty reviewers. All decisions are final.

Evaluation Criteria

Work in student portfolios should demonstrate:

  • A sophisticated understanding of building design; problem solving skills; and thorough design thinking;
  • The ability to communicate legibly design ideas in graphic and written form;
  • A working knowledge of a variety of construction systems and materials and how they affect building design;
  • Competence in the use of graphic tools and techniques including freehand drawing, computer-aided drafting, physical models, and computer imaging.
Career Opportunities: 

A wide range of activities are open to graduates of this accredited degree: intern architect, practicing architect (after successfully meeting state registration requirements), or practitioner in related sub fields as varied as sustainable architecture, urban design, interior architecture, adaptive reuse and historic preservation, building construction management, hospitality design, lighting design, acoustical design, religious building design, and others.

Transfer Opportunities: 

Graduates wishing to continue their education may choose to apply at another institution to master's or doctoral programs in architecture or numerous related disciplines.

Semester Abroad Option

Alfred State has an agreement with Sant’Anna Institute (formerly Sorrento Lingue Institute) in Sorrento, Italy, to offer an optional semester abroad to its students. Learn more.

Typical Semester Layout: 

In the freshman and sophomore years, a typical day consists of two one-hour long lectures and a two-hour studio. At the junior and senior and fifth year levels, the studio meeting times are three hours.

First Semestercredits
ARCH1184Design Fundamentals 1*4
ARCH1013Introduction to Design3
FNAT1303Architectural History I3
COMP1503Freshman Composition3
Second Semestercredits
ARCH2394Design Fundamentals 2*4
ARCH2014Computer Visualization4
MATH1063Technical Calculus I3
HIST1113History of Western Civilization3
PHYS1024General Physics I4
Third Semestercredits
ARCH3104Design Studio 1*1
ARCH3014Construction Technology 13
ARCH3003Environmental Controls 13
 xxx3Gen. Ed. Elective/Foreign Language3
SOCI1163General Sociology4
Fourth Semestercredits
ARCH4304Design Studio 2*4
ARCH4014Construction Technology 24
ARCH4013Municipal Codes & Regs.3
CIVL4104Structural Technology4
SPCH1083Effective Speaking3

Entry level of student into math and composition/literature sequences is a function of student’s high school preparation and mathematics and English placement examinations.

Math through technical calculus I must be completed. Students who start at a higher level of math must meet all SUNY general education and campus liberal arts and sciences course credit requirements for graduation.

*Minimum combined GPA of 3.0 is required in Alfred State studio courses (ARCH 1184, ARCH 2394, ARCH 3104, and ARCH 4304) or comparable courses at another institution to guarantee admission into ARCH 5306-Studio 3. A portfolio review is required of all continuing or transfer students not meeting this requirement.

Fifth Semestercredits
ARCH5306Design Studio 3**6
FNAT5303Architectural History II3
 xxx3Concentration Elective3
SOCI5213Science, Technology & Society3
Sixth Semestercredits
ARCH6306Design Studio 4**6
CIVL5213Foundation & Concrete Construction3
 xxx3Concentration Elective3
 xxx3Gen. Ed. Elective/Humanities3
Seventh Semestercredits
ARCH7306Design Studio 5**6
ARCH7003Sustainable Building Design3
 xxx3Concentration Elective3
COMP5703Technical Writing II3
Eighth Semestercredits
ARCH8306Design Studio 6**   6
ARCH8003Professional Practices3
 xxx3Concentration Elective   3
 xxx3Gen. Ed. Elective/American History3
Ninth Semestercredits
ARCH8716Design Studio 7**   6
ARCH8713Modern Arch. Theory3
ARCH8753Adv. Structural Concepts   3
 xxx3Concentration Elective3
Tenth Semestercredits
ARCH8776Design Studio 8**   6
ARCH8793Professional Development3
 xxx3Concentration Elective   3

General Notes:

Students must complete at least one course from seven of the 10 SUNY General Education silos.
**Minimum of "C+" is required for ARCH 1184, ARCH 2394, ARCH 3104, ARCH 4304, ARCH 5306, ARCH 6306, ARCH 7306, ARCH 8306, ARCH 8716 and ARCH 8776.

Also required - One unit of physical education.