Teaching architecture as a socially inclusive and environmentally responsive practice

  • 97%

    of our 2023 undergraduates are employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.

Want to get hands-on experience with design building and digital fabrication? Want to prepare for a career while traveling abroad and working directly with industries across the globe? Want to make an impact through socially responsible and environmentally sensitive design? If your answer is yes, then you’ll find the perfect fit with our Department of Architecture.

In the Department of Architecture, we believe that the study of architecture involves questioning assumptions, reflecting on history, and rethinking the future so as to meaningfully contribute to the creation of just and equitable societies. That’s why we are committed to the design studio as a space in which conceptual, practical, and theoretical thinking is integrated with the everyday, the material, the technological, and the humane.

Our students graduate with the foundation needed to design buildings for private, public, and institutional use, and the ability to leave an impact on the environment as a licensed architect.

Degree programs

Architecture involves individual and multiple buildings, the spaces within them, and the exterior landscape. In preparing for careers in architecture, our students engage with the multiplicity of social formations in which buildings exist, as well as how environmental effects are integrated through construction, space, material, form, and use. Our degree programs critically examine these complexities, studying the social, economic, political, and cultural dimensions of the built environment.

Iowa State’s undergraduate Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) and graduate Master of Architecture (MArch) degree programs are both accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture.

Profile photo of Alec Clement, Master of Architecture, class of 2023.

The Department of Architecture is known for developing architects who can take a problem or a need and, through the design and construction process, reinvent it into something that best fits the needs of humanity and nature.

Alec Clement – Master of Architecture, Class of 2023

Success in design

Students in the College of Design graduate career-ready with internships, capstone projects, professional practice, and portfolio classes integrated into each of the design programs, and with support from the Design Career Services Office. The College of Design also hosts an annual Design Career Fair that is focused only on design majors. It attracts more than 125 firms recruiting for jobs and internships, with College of Design alumni making up more than half of the recruiters in attendance.

As the 5th “Most Hired From” architecture program in the country (according to DesignIntelligence when compared to programs of similar size), our students are in high demand. Some recent graduates of Iowa State’s architecture program have pursued careers in the following:

  • Architectural construction materials and technology specialty
  • Architectural design
  • Architectural firm management
  • Architectural illustration/rendering, modeling and computer imaging
  • Architectural journalism and photography
  • Furniture and lighting design
  • Historic preservation and restoration
  • Space planning and interior architecture
  • Project coordination
  • Technical design
  • Housing development
A child and adult explore wooden sculpture created by architecture student, located in the College of Design atrium.

An Architect in the Making

Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.

Policy and governance