PROGRAMS: Rice University School of Architecture
The School of Architecture offers a pre-professional Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in Architecture, as its principal undergraduate program. Students enter this program as the first step in a sequence leading to the Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree. The Bachelor of Architecture program leads to a professional degree.As an alternative to the pre-professional degree sequences, and open only to students who have been admitted as Architecture majors and have successfully completed the two-year foundation program, the Architectural Studies curriculum is an option. For more details on these various programs of study, please see the selections under UNDERGRADUATE in this area of the site.
The Preceptorship Program balances academic learning with professional experience. Qualified students who have been admitted to the Bachelor of Architecture program are assigned to work for a year in the United States and abroad with leading architectural offices designated by the school as preceptors. The Bachelor of Architecture degree requires the successful completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, completion of a two-semester preceptorship, and completion of two graduate studios and five approved lecture or seminar courses following the preceptorship.
As an alternative to the pre-professional degree sequence, and open only to students who have been admitted as Architecture majors and have completed the two-year foundation program, the Architectural Studies curriculum is an option. The first four semesters of the curriculum are identical to the foundation sequence of the Architecture major except for the omission of one technology course. Subsequent requirements are the completion of an additional studio and four elective courses in architecture. The program provides basic preparation for later professional study while allowing other academic interests to be pursued in greater depth.
The Bachelor of Architecture program is only open to students who have completed the undergraduate pre-professional architecture program at Rice. Upon admission, students are assigned a preceptorship, which involves a year of professional experience followed by an additional year of academic studies. This preceptorship occurs immediately after the receipt of the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture degree.
Master of Architecture
The School of Architecture offers two types of Graduate professional degrees: The Master of Architecture and the Doctor of Architecture. The most popular of the two, the Master of Architecture degree, offers three program options at that level: Options I, II, and III. They differ according to the type of bachelors degree received prior to entering the graduate program.Of the 400 applications received, some twenty-five students enter three Master of Architecture programs. The range of experience, culture, and interest makes graduate school at Rice a truly unique experience. Classes, seminars, and studios are small and therefore intense and individualized. Students in their graduate career have ample opportunity to find their own way and to gain exposure to intense and critical examination. The personal studio critique and the public review are still the main forums of studio-based education at Rice.The Master of Architecture program prepares graduates for a full range of professional activities in the field of architecture. It is offered to individuals who possess a bachelors degree. Students follow a course of study in all four areas of the curriculum: Design; History, Theory, and Criticism; Structures, Practice, and Environments; and Computing, Logic, and Representation. These areas of study comprise groups of courses from which students may choose offerings according to the requirements of their particular program. Strong emphasis is given to developing design skills, logic, and imagination through an intensive series of design studio courses. Architecture studios 504 and 602 are vertically integrated in the spring, allowing students to select from offerings emphasizing specialized design topics. Students are also required to prepare an independent thesis before graduating. Dual degrees are possible.
Option I, the seven semester program, is offered to individuals who hold a four-year undergraduate degree with a major in a field other than Architecture. Preference for admission is given to those who have completed a balanced education in the arts, sciences, and humanities. A minimum of two semesters of college-level courses in the history of art and/or architecture and one semester of college level courses in mathematics or physics is recommended. Previous preparation in the visual arts is also desirable, as are courses in philosophy, literature, and economics.In order to graduate, students must complete a four-semester core curriculum (76 credit hours), which is followed by a three-semester advanced curriculum (57 credit hours). Coursework in both core and advanced curricula consists of seven studios (including thesis) and twenty distribution courses (133 credit hours).
Option II, the five semester program, is offered to individuals who hold a four-year undergraduate degree with a major in Architecture. Preference for admission is given to those who have successfully completed between four to six semesters of undergraduate design studio as well as undergraduate courses that are analogous to those given in the first year of Option I. A minimum of two semesters of college-level courses in the history of art and/or architecture and one semester of college-level courses in mathematics or physics is recommended.Students in this program enter into the third semester of the core curriculum (two semesters of 38 credit hours), which is followed by the advanced curriculum (three semesters of 57 credit hours). Coursework in both core and advanced curricula consists of five studios (including thesis) and fourteen distribution courses (95 credit hours).
Option III, the three semester program, is offered to individuals who hold a professional degree in architecture (B.Arch.) or its equivalent from a foreign university. Preference for admission is given to those who have significant practical experience in architecture and who have demonstrated a high achievement in design. In order to graduate, students must complete a three-semester advanced curriculum of elective courses. Coursework consists of three studios (including thesis) and eight distribution courses (57 credit hours).
ABOUT: Rice University School of Architecture
The Rice School of Architecture is an accredited design school offering educational and professional experience at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The School of Architecture is housed in Anderson Hall, where students have access to an advanced computer visualization and research laboratory, a fully equipped model shop, and state-of-the art fabrication facility, including a CNC milling machine, 3-D printer and laser cutter.
Rice architecture students admitted to the Bachelor of Architecture program are able to refine their design skills through the Preceptorship Program, which assigns qualified students to work for a year with leading architectural firms in the U.S. and abroad. Rice upper-level graduate and fifth-year Bachelor of Architecture students have the opportunity to study abroad through the Rice School of Architecture Paris. This program offers advanced urban design with lectures and seminars on history, theory and technology.
Achievements of Rice architecture faculty include exhibits in Houston; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Cambridge, England. They also include acquisition of designed objects by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and noted built projects, architecture and design commissions.
HISTORY: Rice University School of Architecture
Architecture has been an academic and professional curriculum at Rice University since the first class was admitted in 1912. The School of Architecture maintains an enrollment of approximately 200 students equally divided between graduate and undergraduate programs. The core faculty of 18 architects, historians, and theoreticians is joined each year by renowned visiting critics, scholars, and lecturers who provide additional resources to an intentionally small and intimate school. Acknowledging the diverse aspects of the study and practice of architecture, the School provides a range of academic programs granting five types of degrees, from undergraduate majors and professional programs, to graduate professional and post-professional degrees. The professional programs prepare students to be effective and informed designers, while the post-professional track offers opportunities to develop research. Every degree path utilizes Houston as a laboratory in which to engage the pressing issues of the architect’s role within the contemporary metropolis.
The Architecture school is housed in MD Anderson Hall off the main academic quadrangle of the University. The building was designed by the school’s first dean, William Ward Watkin. As enrollment expanded, the building capacity was extended with an addition by James Sterling. Aside from studio spaces, the building also houses support facilities such as fabrication shops and the Rice Advanced Visualization Laboratory (RAVL). The centerpiece of the school, located at the intersection of old and new wings, contains the Farish Gallery, Jury Room, and Bridge. The Farish Gallery doubles as a Jury room and a space for all school lectures. The bridge serves as a space for informal reviews and pin-ups. The Brown Art and Architecture Library is housed on the third floor of Fondren Library, adjacent to Anderson Hall.
VISIT: Rice University School of Architecture