Program details

Our accredited five-year Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree provides an outstanding foundation for your future career: one that can lead to the design of buildings for private, public and institutional use, or can help you carve alternative career-paths that focus on innovative ways of spatial and creative production. The breadth of options in your course of study will help you determine the goals that work for you, all while stressing the impact that architecture has on the human condition, culture, and the landscape.

Through this degree program, students will earn a professional degree, leading to NAAB licensure, in five years (the least time possible). Plus, students will have options to gain internship experience, study abroad, and enrich their degree with an additional one-year research master’s degree.

  • $56,844

    average architecture starting salary


Our five-year program of study begins with a preparatory year in the Core Design Program prior to entering focused architectural studies. Once admitted into the degree program, the BArch curriculum is designed to provide hands-on experience, increasing flexibility throughout the program, and well-rounded skill sets for a variety of career paths.

The program culminates in a final year that features a semester of disciplinary focused research inquiry working with a faculty member of your choice, and a semester of interdisciplinary studies in a college-wide collaborative studio setting. Along the way, you will also have an opportunity to study abroad as part of our dedicated Rome studio or choose other abroad or domestic study options.

The BArch curriculum is designed to provide hands-on experience, increasing flexibility throughout the program, and well-rounded skill sets for a variety of career paths.

  • Students Presenting in DSN 102

    Core Design Program

    The undergraduate curricula in design are divided into two phases: the Core Design Program and the professional or general degree program. Classes in the Core create a shared experience and community that exposes students to all nine majors within the College of Design.

Iowa State’s undergraduate BArch degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture.

Learn more about architecture accreditation

The College of Design offers or participates in eight undergraduate minors that are available to all undergraduate design students. In addition, many minors throughout the university can be combined with a design degree program.

View College of Design minors
Search all minors at Iowa State

Certain design minors are recommended to pair with the Bachelor of Architecture degree, including Urban Studies, Sustainability, Critical Studies, Entrepreneurship, Digital Media, and Preservation and Cultural Heritage. View the prepared study plans to explore how these minors can be integrated into this degree. 

This degree program has been officially designated as STEM degree program, which refers to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). STEM major designation is determined by the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost and the Iowa Board of Regents.

With this designation, international students are eligible to extend their F-1 visas for up to three years after graduation to work in the United States.

Beyond meeting the minimum high school course requirements for admission to Iowa State University and the College of Design, students who plan to enter the professional BArch degree program are encouraged, but not required, to take:

  • 1 semester of trigonometry
  • 1 semester of analytic geometry
  • 1 year of physics
  • 1 year of studio art classes

Recent student work

Two students conversing in the College of Design atrium.

Success in Design

Students graduate career-ready with internships, capstone projects, professional practice and portfolio classes integrated into the Design programs, and support from the Design Career Services Office. The college also hosts an annual Design Career Fair 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.

Possible career paths

As the 10th “Most Hired From” architecture program in the country with 99% of our 2021-2022 graduates employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation, we make it easy for students explore career opportunities. 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
  • 198

    different companies recruited our students since 2018.

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.