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Architectural design students at JMU think creatively through acts of making.

From handcraft to digital fabrication and from orthographic drawing to material prototypes, the techniques and medias our students learn are varied, exploratory. and iterative.

Students work side-by-side with graphic designers, fiber-artists, printmakers, industrial designers, painters and sculptors. In addition to required foundations courses in art, architectural design majors at JMU can take art and design classes across the School of Art, Design and Art History.

The JMU chapter of The National Organization of Minority Architects is an active group on campus and in the community.

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90% of graduates seeking work are employed in the field within 4 months
4 on-campus galleries offer internships
Architectural Design Facilities

The major is a part of the School of Art, Design and Art History, an academic unit within the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

The Architectural Design major educates future design leaders. It is an intensive program focused on rigorous design processes. Architectural design is approached holistically– emphasizing investigations into the nature of materials and objects, interior space, ergonomics, history and theory, programmatic invention, functional poetics, and collaboration across disciplines. The curriculum instills purpose, craft, technological competencies and versatile thinking.

Teaching licensure in art is available as part of all degree programs. As a student enrolled in art education course work, you will be exposed to both theoretical and practical issues related to comprehensive art education delivery. In addition to intensive art education methods course work, you will participate in three practicum experiences designed for elementary, middle and high school levels.

For further information, visit the School of Art, Design and Art History website.

Architectural Design
  • Degrees Offered: 
    • B.F.A.
  • Concentrations: None
  • Minors: None

Declaring the Major

First-Year, Transfer and Change-of-Major Students
All prospective first-year, transfer or change-of-major students intending to major in Architectural Design must meet JMU admission requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Catalog.

In addition to meeting JMU admission requirements, all students who intend to pursue the B.F.A. in Art with a major in Architectural Design are required to submit a SADAH admission portfolio to the school’s SlideRoom account to be artistically admitted to the school. There is a $10 charge for this submission. Students must submit a second portfolio upon completion of their Foundations courses to be admitted to the Architectural Design major.

Portfolio feedback days are an opportunity to meet with faculty, receive information about the Architectural Design major and concentrations and take a tour of the school’s facilities. Students must participate in a Portfolio Feedback Day to be considered for any SADAH merit scholarships, which vary in amount up to the full cost of tuition. Portfolios should be submitted as early as possible for scholarship consideration.

Please contact SADAH’s Recruitment & Records Specialist Michael Penney if you would like a faculty member in the Architectural Design major to critique your portfolio before submitting it to SlideRoom.

Currently Enrolled Major Changers 
See above. 

Admission to the Major

Admission to the architectural design major is selective and competitive for a limited number of seats. Completion of all admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the major. Admission to Architectural Design is based upon completion of all prerequisite art courses and individual merit as determined by a faculty review of your art portfolio developed as part of ARCD 208, Portfolio Review.

Progressing in the Major

To progress in the major, you must be a declared Architectural Design major and have completed all the prerequisite Foundations courses and introductory Architectural Design courses

Students seeking official acceptance into the Architectural Design major must enroll in ARCD 208 and submit a portfolio representing work completed in ARCD 200: Architectural Design Studio and ARCD 202: Architectural Design Studio II.

You must be enrolled in ARCD 208, Portfolio Review, during the semester in which you are enrolled in ARCD 202.

Portfolios developed as part of ARCD 208, are reviewed during the spring semester prior to pre-registration. Students should contact area coordinator to determine the exact time and location for each semester’s ARCD 208 portfolio reviews.

Students not accepted to the Architectural Design major will have one opportunity to reapply in the following semester or may choose other majors within the School of Art, Design and Art History.


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