Bachelor of Architecture Curriculum

Suggested Course Map

Download the Course Chart for a suggested sequence of courses. The course chart and the degree requirements listed below apply to students matriculating in fall 2017 and spring 2018.

See Advising Tools for prior academic year sequence charts.

Studio Requirements

Core Studio

Drawing 1
3 units
2D, 3D & 4D
9 units

Architecture Major Requirements

Architecture Studios 1–4
24 units
Design Media (DM) 1–3
9 units
Advanced and Integrated Building Design Studios
24 units
Building Technology (BT):
Materials and Methods
3 units
Structures
3 units
Building Energy
3 units
Integrated Building Systems
3 units
Building Technology Elective (BT)
3 units
Professional Practice
3 units
Internship
0 units
History/Theory (HT)
 
Architectural Analysis
3 units
Architectural Theory
3 units
History/Theory Elective (HT)
3 units
Architecture Elective
3 units

Additional Studio Requirements

Diversity Studies Studio
3 units
Interdisciplinary Studio
3 units
Studio Electives (Recommended: Form + Space and Studio 0)
6 units
Open Electives (any discipline)
6 units

117 total units

Humanities & Sciences Requirements

Writing 1
3 units
Writing 2
3 units
Introduction to the Arts: Antiquity to Early Modern
3 units
Introduction to the Modern Arts
3 units
History of Architecture 1: Antiquity to Baroque
3 units
History of Architecture 2: Enlightenment to Postmodern
3 units
Foundation in Critical Studies
3 units
Physics for Architecture
3 units
Literary & Performing Arts Studies (200 level)
3 units
Philosophy & Critical Theory (200 level)
3 units
Social Science/History (200 level)
3 units
Visual Studies (200 level)
3 units
Humanities & Science (300 level)
3 units
Diversity Studies Seminar
3 units

42 total unit

Accreditation

The Bachelor and Master of Architecture degrees awarded by California College of the Arts are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

NAAB Accreditation

The NAAB states that:

“In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure.

"The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with US regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture.

"A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

"Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.”

California College of the Arts offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

BArch (159 undergraduate credits)

MArch (non-preprofessional degree + 90 credits)

Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2025

Architect Registration Examination Pass Rates

For the most recent Architect Registration Examination (ARE) Pass Rates for California College of the Arts, visit the NCARB website.

Admissions & Advising

All students at California College of the Arts have access to the following admissions and advising resources:

Undergraduate Admissions

Undergraduate Application Form

Undergraduate Application Instructions

Graduate Architecture Admissions

Graduate Architecture Application Form

Graduate Architecture Application Instructions

Career Development

All students at California College of the Arts have access to the Career Development center for services related to developing, evaluating, and implementing their career and education plans.

Student Diversity Initiatives

As an educational and cultural institution, California College of the Arts has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people, with special attention to supporting groups historically underrepresented in higher education.

We believe that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence, and our student, faculty, staff, and trustee bodies should reflect the diverse world in which we live, with attention to race, ethnicity, religious creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and ability.

For more information, see CCA Diversity Resources.

Student Financial Information

All students at California College of the Arts have access to the following financial resources:

Financial Aid Information

Tuition & Fees Estimates

WASC Accreditation

California College of the Arts is also accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda CA 94501, 510.748.9001, wascweb.org.

CCA's next WASC accreditation visit is scheduled to occur in spring 2016.

Learning Outcomes

The requirements, reviews, and curriculum for CCA's Bachelors of Architecture program are designed such that graduating students successfully achieve the program learning outcomes as defined by the standards of the the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB)

Internships

The purpose of the Architecture internship program is to provide advanced-level students with a grounded, real-world experience in a professional design environment.

While the role of an intern is humble in nature, each student will be exposed to the daily processes involved in running an architectural office, which may include any of the following:

  • project management
  • client relations and business development
  • research, feasibility studies and preparation of reports
  • collaboration with engineers and other consultants
  • design presentations
  • detailing and drafting
  • construction documentation
  • construction administration

Guidelines

The purpose of the Architecture internship program is to provide advanced-level students with a grounded, real-world experience in a professional design environment.

While the role of an intern is humble in nature, each student will be exposed to the daily processes involved in running an architectural office, which may include any of the following:

  • Project management
  • Client relations and business development
  • Research, feasibility studies, and preparation of reports
  • Collaboration with engineers and other consultants
  • Design presentations
  • Detailing and drafting
  • Construction documentation
  • Construction administration

Contact the internship coordinator to set up a one-on-one in person consultation about your internship.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will an internship benefit me?
  • Increase your chances of getting a job after graduation.
  • Take your first step as a professional.
  • Obtain additional skills and expertise that will enhance the completion of your degree.
  • Help professionals understand the value of CCA students.
  • Begin earning internship credit toward your architectural license.
When should I do an internship?

It is recommended that students try to gain professional work experience early and often beyond the internship requirement. The more students understand the role of architects in practice, the more they can leverage their learning at CCA. (This may mean doing internships beyond the one required for graduation.)

Although required for the completion of your degree, the course is counted as zero credits. This permits you to be paid for your work and to count this experience toward professional licensure within NCARB's Internship Development Program (IDP).

What are the requirements?

To be eligible for the Architecture internship program for credit, a student must have successfully completed all required courses in the third year of the BArch program.

After securing employment at an approved site, students must log a minimum of 225 hours at the site. CCA's Architecture Program supports the AIA's requirements that all student interns and employees be compensated for their work in any architectural, landscape, or design practice.

While compensation should be negotiated with your employer, we suggest students be paid $15 per hour, minimally, as an employee. Contract work can also be counted towards internship credit and the hourly rate should include appropriate tax and additional overhead.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), and the American Institute for Architecture Students (AIAS) fully support student internships that are paid, except in instances where a student volunteers for a nonprofit organization.

If volunteering for a nonprofit, the student should verify the site with their internship coordinator.

How do I get my internship site approved?

Students perform their own internship search using a variety of resources: industry websites and job boards, program suggestions, Career Development resources (CCA Works Job Board, Weekly Picks, and Career Expo); networking, and personal contacts.

Prior to starting work, students must obtain site approval from the program’s internship coordinator; early verification of the internship site is critical to obtaining credit for the internship, especially if the site is located outside of the United States.

(To receive credit for internships located outside of the United States, obtaining site approval from the internship coordinator is required. International students must contact CCA's ISAP for instructions and requirements related to employment in the United States and abroad.)

For a site to be approved, it must provide architectural services (equivalent to training setting type A, B, or C of the IDP criteria; visit Training Settings on the NCARB website for more information).

Internships completed at landscape architecture, interior design, structural engineering, fabrication shops or building construction firms will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and must be approved prior to commencement of internship.

Teaching assistants and researchers paid by the college may count their experience towards internship. Prior approval is required by the internship coordinator.

Any site, payment arrangement, or type of experience that falls outside of the requirements listed above must be approved by an internship coordinator prior to the start of any work.

How do I start the internship process?

To initiate the internship process, students must first meet with their academic advisor, followed by meeting with the internship coordinator, early in the spring or fall semester, prior to starting their internship search.

How do I register for the internship requirement?

During Priority Registration, prior to starting the internship, students will register in WebAdvisor for an Architecture Internship Placeholder (ARCHT 398-01).

During the Add/Drop period; students who have registered for the Internship Placeholder (ARCHT 398) and who have a learning agreement on file, will be registered by Student Records in the internship course (ARCHT 398-02); check your schedule during Add/Drop for these changes.

Registration in the Internship course ARCHT 398-02 is not available for online registration in WebAdvisor. Questions about this should be directed to the internship coordinator.

Students who have registered for the Internship Placeholder but do not have a Learning Agreement on file, will be dropped from the Internship Placeholder and will not be registered for the internship course.

Students who wish to receive credit for an internship they have just completed, but have not gone through the process correctly, must contact the internship coordinator as soon as possible.

Important: A $200 late fee may be charged for adding the internship course after the Add/Drop deadline.

Required documentation pre-internship

After an internship offer is made, students work with their site supervisor to complete the learning agreement; negotiating the terms, learning objectives, and expectations of the internship.

To receive internship credit, the Learning Agreement must be submitted to the Internship Coordinator for site approval, before starting the internship.

International students, you must fill out the learning agreement and schedule a meeting with CCA's ISAP Office, before work authorization can be granted.

Requirements during and post-internship

Midpoint Check-In

A quick check-in by email or phone will be conducted by a CCA representative with both the student and the internship supervisor, to ensure the internship is going as expected.

Post-Internship

Students will track their internship hours on the internship hours log that they will turn into the internship coordinator after the internship is completed.

After the student submits the Internship Hours Log to the Internship Coordinator, the program will send the supervisor and student a digital evaluation form; submission of all these forms is required for successful completion of the internship course.

An email confirmation will be sent to the student’s CCA email address confirming the evaluation has been sent and also when the completed evaluation is received by CCA.

If the employer evaluation is not received, the student is responsible for following up with the employer to ensure its completion before the deadline.

Contact the Internship Coordinator with questions about the process.

Project section or additional requirements

Journal or IDP Documentation

Interns are required to keep a short weekly journal of their activities while at work. Time spent journaling or completing IDP forms is personal and should not be charged to the internship site.

Sample Work

Upon completion of the internship, interns are to submit two pages of images showing examples of completed work during the internship with caption descriptor.

Students shall request permission to use the images from the employer and provide appropriate attribution to the work (i.e., “image courtesy of Smith Associates”).

These images are to be submitted in PDF format with the forms and journal.

Tips for Success

First things first. Prepare your presentation: résumé, cover letter, and projects.

Work with Career Development to prepare for your internship. They can help with your résumé, portfolio, job search, and more! Don’t forget to search internship and job opportunities on CCA Works, Weekly Picks, and attend Career Expo to connect with employers.

Things to think about
  • Networking! Get noticed (you might get only 15 seconds to make an impression).
  • Perfect is the enemy of the good!
  • A fully finished portfolio is not necessary to get an internship.
  • Show process work as well as final presentations.
  • Projects should be one- or two-page summaries for each.
  • Be clear, concise, and well-designed graphically.
How to contact the firms?

Research firms you believe to have a connection to your work. Firm websites are an excellent source of information about a firm’s mission, goals, project types, professional bios (alumni networks!), work on the boards, and positions available.

  • Contact the company first by phone and verify to whom your application materials should be personalized.
  • Send a PDF of a formal cover letter, résumé, and a few pages (no more than five) of images of your sample work. This can be sent via web link or email.
  • If you send work by email, be sure that your file is a PDF of maximum 5MB and references your name. (i.e., Susan Smith_Architectural Intern.PDF).
  • The body of your email should be consistent with your cover letter.
  • Your cover letter and sample work should distinguish you from your peers (there are many students from other institutions throughout the world looking for internships here in the Bay Area). Adhere to conventional, elegant graphic layout, but allow your words and images tell your story.
  • Follow firm guidelines for the submission of your application materials. Many firms have FTP sites that facilitate the application process. Be sure to learn if this system applies to the application process before you follow up with the firm.
Strategy: How to request a face-to-face meeting?

Don't ask for an internship! Instead, ask for a meeting to review your work. If you say you are looking for an internship, it puts the person on the other end of your communication in a tough situation. Currently the company may not be looking for an intern. Or they may be looking for one, but the intern supervisor may not have time to meet with you. Or they may need someone but haven't officially set the internship hiring process in motion.

Often the person you talk to will say, "We are not looking for an intern right now," or something like that. You need to get your foot in the door, literally. One strategy is to ask the person you are contacting if they can meet with you to review your portfolio or work you have done to date in college.You want feedback from a professional. That's it. This sets up a good first meeting feeling and agenda. All the person is committing to is a meeting to discuss and give feedback on your work.

If you cannot get a meeting, do not push too hard. This may create a bad impression for future opportunities.

How to prepare for the meeting?

You get the appointment! Do your homework. Learn as much about the company as you can:

  • Visit websites (company websites, local chapter AIA job boards, Archinect, SF BAYA Facebook page, and so on).
  • Read national and international press. Find information on local firms that have been published.
  • Talk to your professors, peers, and alumni to see what they know.
  • Talk to upperclassmen who have already done internships.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Practice your presentation at least three times with someone. Get comfortable with your material. Do not go in cold; it may be your only shot. Career Development can help you practice by doing mock interviews.
  • Plan ahead. Confirm the appointment a day in advance (call or email) and ask with whom you will be meeting (i.e., project manager, design principal, project architect, HR)
  • Dress casually, but presentably: clean, ironed shirt, pants, skirt, and so forth. Suits are not necessary. Ask your instructors if you have questions.
  • Be on time, or even a few minutes early. Do not be late. Give yourself time to stop sweating from the walk or bike ride you took to get there.
  • Be courteous, professional, and articulate in all of your interactions with any staff.
How to approach the meeting?

Show the person your work and engage them in discussion. If you have prepared in advance, you will have questions about the company.

  • Before beginning the conversation, clarify how much time you have for your conversation.
  • Be pleasant and as articulate as possible. Be clear when you explain your work.
  • Be accepting of criticism. Take notes!
  • Ask for a tour of the office.
  • During the conversation, if it seems appropriate, ask if they hire interns. In some cases, the person you are meeting will volunteer this information before you ask. If the situation is awkward, don't bring it up.
  • When you leave, say "thank you".
How to follow-up after the meeting?

Send a thank-you note via postal mail and let them know you will keep in touch.

Check in every month or so and ask about a follow-up meeting for an internship. Now, since they know you, the second meeting will be easy!

You get an ambiguous or no response. They keep saying, "Call me next week," "We are busy, but aren't ready to hire," "We are waiting for this job to come through," and the like. What this means . . .

They aren't ready to hire, so keep your options open and go on other interviews and meetings. Don't wait around for this one opportunity. Have as many irons in the fire as you can.

No one returns your phone calls or emails. This means they are busy, and the internship isn't the first thing on their to do list. Keep trying until you get in contact with someone, even if it means you have to call and/or email weekly.

If you begin to feel too uncomfortable, stop. You want to be persistent without harassing anyone.

You are rejected. No one likes it, but get used to this. It's impossible to please everyone, and people are entitled to their opinions. Part of the job of finding an internship is finding a place where you want to work. If one potential employer doesn't feel the fit, that is OK. Just accept it, thank them, and move on to your next choice. You will likely have many meetings and interviews before you get the one you want.

Keep in touch with them either way. You never know where it might lead.

You get the internship. Congratulations! Contact the Internship Coordinator and give them the Learning Contract in advance so they have time to research and give site approval before the internship begins.

International students will also give the CPT form to sign before turning into ISAP for authorization to work.

General Inquiries:
Email: architecture@cca.edu

Karina O'Neill
Program Manager
Bachelor of Architecture
BFA in Interior Design
karina.oneill@cca.edu
415.703.9562

Postal Address
B.Arch Program
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107-2247

Architecture Staff
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