American University of Beirut

Bachelor of Architecture (BArch)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Bachelor of Architecture Program offers students a first professional degree that qualifies them to practice architecture. The program aims to graduate well rounded intellectuals, critical thinkers, and skilled professional architects who are committed to the advancement of the field and the practice; and who have a sense of responsibility for the built environment and the natural resources. Design is approached as a research-oriented process that is culturally grounded, theoretically informed and technically advanced so as to enable graduates to become lifelong learners and to take a leading role in the professional practice both in Lebanon and the region.

Program Description​

The architecture program comprises a total of 174 credit hours normally taken over five years, including summers. The curriculum is structured as follows: 

  1. Two foundation years, first and second, with core requirements in design, technical, and history courses which offer students basic skills and knowledge in design and related areas. 
  2. Two advanced years, the third and fourth, with core requirements in advanced design, technical, history and theory courses, reinforced by the distribution electives. Two of the design studios at this level are thematic vertical studios. 
  3. ​A final year, the fifth year, with a two-semester design thesis and advanced electives.​

Program Learning Outcomes

​Architecture students will graduate from their program with a thorough working knowledge of how to:

  • (Studio)  Apply integrated design thinking at different levels of complexity and creativity to specific problems within and beyond the discipline.
  • (History/Theory)  Inform their practice through the knowledge of historical, material and cultural precedents in architecture, art and urbanism, drawing on analytic methods that recognize visual language linking aesthetic and environmental determinants to human behavior.
  • (Representation)  Clearly convey through representation in multiple media (verbal, written and/or visual strategies including sketches, two and three-dimensional drawings, physical models, and current digital tools) a design idea, its development and its evolution through to its final stage.
  • (Professional Practice)  Demonstrate in their practice and in their conduct an understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities and standards.
  • (Technical)  Utilize the principles that inform structural, material, and service systems, and integrate such systems into a comprehensive building design that gives particular value to post-carbon sustainability.
  • (General)  Demonstrate the skills to understand and critically implement a commission from a local, regional or global perspective, with the confidence to respond positively to design criticism as an integral part of the creative process.​​

​Degree Requirements

The degree requirements in Architecture consist of the following:

  • 117 credit hours of mandatory core courses. 
  • 24 credit hours of approved ArD/MSFEA field electives distributed as follows:
    • 3 credit hours in Category A: Representation
    • 3 credit hours in Category B: History and Theory 
    • 3 credit hours in Category C: Technology and Professional Practice 
    • 15 credit hours in any of categories A, B or C 
  • 6-9 credit hours of free electives in consultation with the academic advisor. 
  • 24-27 credits hours of General Education courses (Total GE requirement of 39 credit hours includes 12-15 credits satisfied within the Architecture core program). To meet the General Education requirements of AUB, students must take: 
  • 6 credit hours in Understanding Communication (English), including ENGL 203 and ENGL 206.
  • 3 credit hours in Understanding Communication (Arabic).
  • 9 credit hours of approved electives in Cultures and Histories, including ARCH 121 and 122. 
  • 3 credit hours of approved elective in Human Values.
  • 6 credit hours of approved electives in Societies and Individuals, including ARCH 432.
  • 9 credit hours of approved electives in Understanding the World and Quantitative Reasoning with at least 3 credits from each, including ARCH 151 (from the Understanding the World category). 
  • 3 credit hours of an approved elective in Community Engaged Learning (can be satisfied from a GE course, program course, or field elective).
  • Additional Thematic requirements: One of the GE courses above has to cover the theme of History of Ideas (CVSP /CHLA designation), and one course has to cover the theme of Social Inequalities (satisfied by ARCH 432).

To meet the AUB General Education Requirements (24 credits must be taken outside the school):​

  • 6 credit hours of English including ENGL 206
  • 3 credit hours of Arabic, as per placement test 
  • 12 credit hours of approved electives in humanities, including ARCH 121 and 122 
  • 6 credit hours of an approved elective in social sciences, including ARCH 332
  • 6 credit hours of an approved elective in natural sciences, including ARCH 151
  • 3 credit hours of an approved elective in quantitative thought​

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