Courses in Architectural Studies (ARCH) are always open to non-majors and new students. In terms of coursework, faculty expertise, and its general focus, the program’s emphasis is on two main areas, architectural design, and architectural theory. However, we understand architecture as a broad topic: the practice of creating and thinking about, buildings and space. Thus, when we talk about “architectural design” and “architectural theory,” we use those terms only loosely, because our course offering includes, in addition to design and history, subjects as varied as sustainability, housing, sociology, and anthropology.

Very few of the ARCH courses require prerequisites, and we offer a number of introductory courses that provide a path to becoming an ARCH major, should you become interested in exploring this subject in more depth. For example, we offer an introductory architectural design studio called “Space and Design: Introduction to Studio Architecture” (ARCH 105), and an introduction to the theory and practice of architecture called “The Language of Architecture” (ARCH 101).

If you are interested in becoming an ARCH major, you are invited to speak to one of our faculty members and fill out the Joining the Major proposal form. This form includes questions related to your interest in the major, the major-related courses you have already taken, and the subjects you are considering to study as an ARCH major.

After you submit the Joining the Major proposal form, and it is approved by the Architectural Studies Program Chair, you will then declare your major with the Registrar's office, which you must do in Workday.

Major Explorations: Architectural Studies

Welcome to Architectural Studies

One of the unique features of Architectural Studies is that it is the product of a rich liberal arts philosophy. Amherst's curriculum allows students to explore Architectural Studies from a creative, historical and theoretical perspective.