Architectural Studies Concentrations

Historical Preservation Concentration
Historic Preservation Concentration Checksheet

Studies in Historic Preservation allow students to acquire skills in the documentation, assessment, interpretation and restoration of historic buildings and sites. Students apply these tools in formulating intervention plans respectful of a building’s salient historical features and its role as transmitter of cultural and architectural meanings. Through hands-on fieldwork and interdisciplinary studios, coursework encompasses historic building technologies and structural systems, period styles and building types, material properties and processes of deterioration, research methodologies and diagnostic criteria as well as methods of technical and graphic documentation. 

The program underscores the relationship between historic preservation and sustainable design practices. As adaptations to climate, site and available materials, historic buildings are often models of energy efficiency, conservation of natural resources and sustainable construction. The reuse, restoration and retrofitting of historic structures and the revitalization of existing neighborhoods constitute "recycling" on a grand scale and are crucial steps in combating climate change and promoting environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development. The curriculum highlights techniques and methods of historic preservation as applied to urban public spaces on multiple scales, from streets and neighborhoods to citywide systems and metropolitan districts. Students focus on vital preservation issues regarding spatial typologies and density to develop frameworks that order the urban fabric into viable communities, and facilitate “place-making” through incorporation of historic structures as part of overall community development. 

A recommended study abroad semester in Rome places preservation of both historic and modernist architecture within a global context, complementing classroom instruction and fieldwork at historic sites and in local and National Register historic districts in the Delaware Valley and archival research at various collections in the Philadelphia region. Also recommended are professional internships that further the student’s academic experience. The Historic Preservation concentration has been designed to meet the standards for undergraduate programs set by the National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE).

Due to the broad scope of the field, graduates can pursue careers in the public, non-profit or private sectors, including building conservation and restoration, historic architecture, city and regional planning, architectural history, preservation consulting, cultural site management, and heritage tourism and advocacy. This highly rigorous concentration equips graduates for entry-level job opportunities and provides the basis for master’s programs in Historic Preservation, Material Conservation, Architecture, Architectural History, Urban Design, Urban Planning and Public Policy and Museum Studies. 

Learning Outcomes of Historical Preservation Concentration

Student will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of history and theory of historic and modern periods, styles and places, and apply knowledge to archival research of preservation.
  • Demonstrate expertise and professional-level competency in technical and graphic methods used to document historic structures and places.
  • Apply acquired knowledge base and skill sets to analyze and assess the condition of historic buildings, systems and materials, with special emphasis on issues of sustainability, adaptive reuse and regeneration of historic neighborhoods and places.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of law, advocacy, public policy issues and the ecological impact of preservation.
  • Possess knowledge and experience of the Historic Preservation practice on multiple scales (from micro to macro) and in myriad contexts, from local to international.


Required courses: 53 credits

ARCST-221 Introduction to Historical Preservation
ARCST-266 Preservation Technology I
ARCHDSN-208 Visualization 1: Digital Modeling
PHOTO-436 Historic Preservation Documentation: Photography
AHIST-206 Renaissance/Baroque (1300-1750)
ARCST-324 Historic Preservation Documentation: Drawing
AHIST-305 Early Modern Architecture & Interiors (1750-1930)
ARCST-428 Restoration/Rehabilitation Interiors
ARCST-341 American Architecture
AHIST-306 Modern/Contemporary Architecture & Interiors
ARCST-268 Preservation Technology 2
EDVS-302 Archival Research for Historic Preservation
ARCST-4xx Capstone Studio Adaptive Reuse

Recommended electives: 12 credits

UARC-3xx Historic Preservation Seminar, Rome
UARC-3xx History and Theory of Urban Forms, Rome
ARCST-300 Exhibition Design and Planning
LARCH-507 Cultural and Landscape Preservation
INTRN-493 Internship

Architectural Design Technology Concentration
Architectural Design Technology Concentration Checksheet

Studies in Architectural Design Technology (ADT) allow students to focus on the technical and business aspects of architectural practice. Of the five phases of a building project which include schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding and construction administration, the latter three account for approximately 80% of the entire process, while the conceptual design stage occupies only about 20%. This concentration is geared toward this 80% of architectural practice and foregrounds the later stages required to actualize a design project

The Architectural Design Technology concentration grooms students to enter the architecture and design fields with strong computer and building technology skills that will prove valuable to prospective employers. Students receive in-depth training in the latest software, including Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Geographic Information System (GIS), so they will be able to quickly contribute this vital expertise to a design firm. The curriculum also covers a wide range of topics, from business and sustainable practices to design and architectural history, providing a broad understanding of the process of documenting, detailing and administering a building project. In addition, through a sequence of recommended electives, each student may choose to focus on a subject of particular interest in consultation with an advisor, such as Building Technology, Construction Management, Sustainability, Visualization or Business, thereby enhancing his/her knowledge base and skill sets in a selected area.

Graduates with a concentration in Architectural Design Technology are prepared for various employment opportunities within design firms, including project administrator, design/build manager, design firm business manager, specification writer, BIM manager, design firm LEED coordinator or office CAD manager. Since this is a pre-professional degree, the concentration will also provide a solid springboard for entry into a graduate program of study. These may include Architecture, Construction Management, Sustainable Design, Interior Architecture, GeoDesign or Historic Preservation.

Learning Outcomes of Architectural Design Technology Concentration

Student will:

  • Illustrate expertise and professional-level competency in current digital CAD and GIS software used to research and document building designs.
  • Demonstrate acquired knowledge base and skill sets to the selection and analysis of structural dynamics, construction methods, environmental control systems, sustainable technologies and the properties of materials.
  • Acquire knowledge of the legal, financial, marketing and management issues relevant to administering a design-based practice. 
  • Apply basic principles of architectural drawing and design to projects of differing scales and typologies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of history and theory of historic and modern periods, styles and places in the built environment.     


The first two years of the program are exactly the same as the five-year Bachelor of Architecture program. This will facilitate easy transfers between the BArch and the ADT concentration.

Concentration Courses taken during the first and second years:

Required core courses: (37 credits)

ADFND-101 Design 1
ADFND-102 Design 2
DRAW-101 Drawing 1
DRAWING 2 Visualization Elective
ARCH-201 Design 3
ARCH-202 Design 4
ARCHDSN-210 Tech 1: Materials and Methods
ARCH-212 Tech 2
AHIST-206 History 2: Renaissance/Baroque
ARCH-303 Structures 

Concentration Courses taken during the third and fourth years:

Required core courses: (33 credits)

ARCH 304 Structures 2 
ARCH 313 Tech 3 Dynamic Systems
ARCH 314 Tech 4
AHIST-305 History 3: Early Modern (1750-1930)
AHIST-306 History 4: Modern/Contemporary 
ARCH 416 Tech 5 (BIM)
LARCH 310 GIS for Landscape Architecture
ACCT 101 Financial Accounting
BLAW 301 Business Law
LARCH 515 Advanced GIS
ARCH 503 Professional Management

Recommended electives: (12 credits)

SUST 204 Sustainable Planning & Land Use
SUST 300 Sustainable Technologies for Architecture
ARCH 413 Experimental Structures 
ARCH 414 Experimental Materials
ARCH 426 Design/Build
MKTG 102 Principles of Marketing
MGMT-301 Principles of Management
MGMT-310 Organizational Behavior
FINC 301 Financial Management
ECON 205 Macroeconomics
ECON 206 Microeconomics
CMGT 102 Intro to Construction Industry
CMGT 104 Intro to Construction Management

Photography and New Media Concentration
Photography and New Media Concentration Checksheet

Studies in Photography provide a foundation in photographic techniques, processes, history and theory. The curriculum stresses the role of the medium as a value and an idea that has impacted societal trends and shaped modern visual culture. As both practicing photographers and consumers of images, students gain the knowledge to think critically about photographs and visuality in a range of contexts, including art, advertising, fashion, journalism, documentation and propaganda, and to explore the social, political and ethical dimensions of visual media as part of mass culture. Students apply the ability to “read” photographic images critically, and within a range of contexts, to distinguish the differences between, and motivating factors behind, the various uses of photography, prioritizing specific social, cultural, economic and political concerns.

The program focuses on photography as a tool for documentation, research and preservation as well as a medium for self-expression. Laboratory-based coursework provides students with the skills to produce high-quality photographs using both traditional and digital processes, to apply a documentary methodology to thematic explorations of subject matter, to research and document architecture through photographs that meet the standards of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), and to correlate photographic framing and narrative with sequential movement and wayfinding in the design of exhibition spaces. Courses explore interdisciplinary relationships between photography and architecture, design, fashion, preservation, science and the humanities. Academic training is complemented by recommended study abroad in Rome and professional internships.

In addition, eighteen credits of “free electives” enable knowledge and skills acquired within this core photography curriculum to form the basis for exploration of cognate disciplines that can further a student’s career choices upon graduation. Working in consultation with an advisor, each student may select a sequence of recommended electives that shape an area of specific emphasis in response to current trends within the field, such as “Environmental Art and Gaming” or “Exhibition Design and Interactive Media.” Each option uses photographic and/or computer-based processes to design an environment, either actual or virtual. This intensive course of study prepares graduates for careers in architectural photography, historic preservation, fashion photography, digital-imaging, gallery/museum exhibition design and documentation, photographic archives, commercial photo illustration, magazine photo editing, photojournalism, medical/forensic and freelance. This concentration can provide the basis for pursuing graduate studies in Photography, Historic Preservation, Museum Studies, Design, Imaging Science and Photographic Conservation. 

Learning Outcomes of Photography concentration

Students will: 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of photographic history, theory and criticism.
  • Articulate the role photography has played in 19th and 20th century visual culture as well as aesthetic, technical and cultural issues in contemporary photography.
  • Demonstrate technical proficiency in camera manipulation, darkroom skills and studio methods for the production of photographic imagery in the following formats: film, digital and 4x5 view camera. 
  • Apply a documentary methodology to thematic explorations of a variety of motifs and subjects, including architecture and landscape, current events, fashion, still-life, portraiture, etc.
  • Acquire knowledge of the professional practice of photography, including career opportunities, business aspects, professional ethics, photographic law, intellectual property in the age of digital duplication and personal objectives.


Required Courses: 39 credits

PHOTO-101 Introduction to Photography: Black and White
PHOTO-102 Introduction to Photography: Digital
PHOTO-201 Studio Photography
PHOTO-302 Architectural Photography
PHOTO-303 Introduction to the View Camera: A Survey of Historical and Contemporary Techniques
PHOTO-307 History of Photography
PHOTO-3xx Issues in Contemporary Photography
PHOTO-436 Historic Preservation Documentation: Photography (HABS)
PHOTO-4xx Theories of Photography Seminar
PHOTO-4xx Photography Capstone
PHOTO-4xx Documentary Photography
PHOTO-4xx Professional Practice: Photography
ARCST-300 Exhibition Design and Planning

Recommended electives: (18 credits)

Students can shape an area of specialization, such as Environmental Art and Gaming, Exhibition Design and Interactive Media, Architectural Photography and New Media Communications.