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Frequently Asked Questions


Prospective freshmen apply to the UW as “pre-architecture” majors. No portfolio is required.  Students interested in majoring in Architectural Studies or Architectural Design will complete prerequisite coursework at the UW prior to applying to the major (usually within the first two years of study). Prospective freshmen are encouraged to attend the department’s undergraduate as well as general UW information sessions. The University of Washington also offers campus tours, drop-in classes and information sessions for freshmen.

Pre-Major Students

If you are still exploring majors, want to make sure you meet requirements to apply to the program, or wish to talk about a back-up major or other options, visit the Mary Gates Advising Center and set up an appointment to meet with a pre-major adviser.

Prospective Undergraduate Transfer Students

Students transferring from another 2 or 4-year college/university need to first apply to the UW:

For more information on the transfer process, every Thursday the UW hosts Transfer Thursday, an opportunity to learn more about the transfer process and drop-in advising. For more information and to register visit:

For more information on architectural education and careers visit:

There are several different types of Architecture degrees in the United States, what kind of program does the UW offer?

There are several different routes to an architectural degree at the University level. Our school offers both a pre-professional Architectural Design major, which follow the 2+2+2 model leading to a M. Arch (Master of Architecture) and a liberal studies Architecture major, which allows students to focus on an area of concentration within the study of architecture. In both programs, the first year students take university general education requirements (can be done at the community college level or another 4 year school). In their second year, at the sophomore level, they complete their general education requirements and take a series of pre-requisites to upper-level major courses, including drawing classes and architectural history classes. At the end of the sophomore year they apply to be accepted into one of the undergraduate majors.

Are there any pre-requisite courses to apply to the Architectural Design and Architectural Studies majors?

YES. Our Architectural Design and Architectural Studies Majors are competitive. Both majors require 19 credits (5 preparatory classes) in architecture at the University of Washington, plus 71 credits of general education course work (which can be taken at a community college), before they are eligible to apply to the Architecture Undergraduate Programs.

Download Curriculum for Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies or Architectural Design below:

BA Architectural Studies

BA Architectural Design

How can I take these courses if I am still enrolled in a Washington State Community College OR trying to transfer from another 2 or 4-year college?

If you are unable to transfer directly into the UW, and you are studying at a community college within commuting distance to the UW Seattle, you may want to consider satisfying your general education course requirements at a Washington State community college as long as they are classes that are eligible for transfer credit.

Washington State Community Colleges do not, however, offer the classes that satisfy the Architecture Dept. prerequisite classes

Both the Architectural Studies and Architectural Design majors require:

  • ARCH 350-Arch. of Ancient World-UW autumn qtr only
  • ARCH 200-Design and Representation 1-UW autumn qtr only
  • ARCH 351-Roman, Gothic & Ren. Arch.-UW winter qtr only

*The Architectural Design major also requires ARCH 201-Design and Representation II (Winter Qtr)

ARCH 352-History of Modern Arch.-UW spring qtr only

**The Architectural Studies major does not require ARCH 201 but does require ARCH 231- Making and Craft (Spring Qtr)

These ARCH pre-requisite courses can be taken at the UW by non- UW (nonmatriculated) students on a space available basis and may be registered for through the Non-Degree Enrollment website, if you are not yet a matriculated UW student:

Options for Transfer Students Interested in Architectural Studies or Architectural Design Majors at the UW:

If I am still studying at a Washington State Community College and am eligible for financial aid, can I use my financial aid to take the five pre-requisite ARCH courses at the UW as a non-matriculated student?

MAYBE. You should coordinate with both the Financial Aid office at your home institutions and the UW’s Office of Student Financial Aid to see if you meet the eligibility requirements for a Consortium Agreement.

Is the admissions process for the Architectural Design and Architectural Studies majors competitive?

YES. The Department of Architecture has resource limitations and we receive more applications than we can accommodate. We typically receive between 85-100 applications every March and can accept ~50 students for autumn entry into the major.

For those looking to apply to the Architectural Design Major, make sure your application is at its best by checking our Portfolio Tips 

Does the Department of Architecture offer undergraduate scholarships to undergraduate majors?

Upon acceptance into the program, there are no regular departmental scholarships for students in the first year of the program. However, Architectural Design majors going into their senior year have the opportunity to apply for a variety of Departmental scholarships to help them fund their final year. For general state and federal financial aid and residency information, please look at The UW web site: and

Can I meet with an Academic Adviser?

YES. The UW offers weekly information sessions on how to Transfer to the UW, as well as drop-in advising sessions where students can inquire about transfer coursework and pre-requisites. Architecture information sessions are offered separately.