Learning Outcomes: Architectural Studies, BS

Learning outcomes for the Bachelor of Science Major in Architectural Studies


Student Learning Outcomes for the BSAS program of study derive from the National Architecture Accrediting Board’s Conditions for Accreditation. The 2009 version of the Conditions are referenced here, as it was this version that guided reaccreditation of the Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree in 2015. Reaccreditation of the M.Arch degree depended on demonstrations of student learning in a substantial number of undergraduate Architecture courses that lead to admission to Illinois’ and other M.Arch degree programs.

Learning outcomes—Student Performance Criteria (SPC), in NAAB parlance—fall into three broad “educational realms”. They are quoted here verbatim from the NAAB Conditions for Reaccreditation (2009), pp. 21-25 (http://www.naab.org/wp-content/uploads/2009-Procedures-for-Accreditation.pdf):   

  1. Educational Realm A – Critical Thinking and Representation: Architects must have the ability to build abstract relationships and understand the impact of ideas based on research and analysis of multiple theoretical, social, political, economic, cultural and environmental contexts. This ability includes facility with the wider range of media used to think about architecture including writing, investigative skills, speaking, drawing and model making. Students’ learning aspirations include:
    1. Being broadly educated.
    2. Valuing lifelong inquisitiveness.
    3. Communicating graphically in a range of media.
    4. Recognizing the assessment of evidence.
    5. Comprehending people, place, and context.
    6. Recognizing the disparate needs of client, community, and society.
  2. Educational Realm B – Integrated Building Practices, Technical Skills, and Knowledge: Architects are called upon to comprehend the technical aspects of design, systems and materials, and be able to apply that comprehension to their services. Additionally, they must appreciate their role in the implementation of design decisions, and the impact of such decisions on the environment. Student learning aspirations include:
    1. Creating building designs with well-integrated systems.
    2. Comprehending constructability.
    3. Incorporating life safety systems.
    4. Integrating accessibility.
    5. Applying principles of sustainable design.
  3. Educational Realm C – Leadership and Practice: Architects need to manage, advocate, and act legally, ethically and critically for the good of the client, society and the public. This includes collaboration, business, and leadership skills. Student learning aspirations include:
    1. Knowing societal and professional responsibilities.
    2. Comprehending the business of   building.
    3. Collaborating and negotiating with clients and consultants in  the design process.
    4. Discerning the diverse roles of architects and those in related disciplines.
    5. Integrating community service into the practice of architecture.