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Architectural History is a unique specialization that combines elements of Art History and Architecture. Unfortunately, it is offered as a distinct, structured major at only a handful of colleges and universities around the United States. Students at these schools often double major in Architectural History and something else.

If you decide to major in Architectural History, you'll gain a strong academic grounding in history (through the lens of its architecture), the growth of urban areas, and architectural theory across countless periods, cultures, and styles. You'll spend plenty of time studying grand monuments, famous palaces, and glorious temples (of course, of course), but you'll also have the opportunity to learn about the architecture of villages, farms, and small houses. And you'll develop technical skills. By the time you graduate, you'll know how to generate architectural graphics and three-dimensional computer models with the best of them, and you'll almost certainly have a working knowledge of the modern methods of historic preservation.


  • Ancient Art and Architecture

  • Architectural Design

  • Architectural Drawing

  • Architectural Theory and Criticism

  • Asian Architectural History

  • Calculus

  • Construction Technology

  • Historic Preservation

  • Medieval Art and Architecture

  • Nineteenth-Century Architecture

  • Renaissance and Baroque Architecture

  • Seminar and Thesis

  • Specialized courses in the History of Architecture

  • Twentieth-Century Architecture

  • Western Art and Architecture


Architectural History involves lots of critical thinking and a great deal of reading and writing. It also involves a flair for art and design. If you think you might major in Architectural History, take courses in history and different kinds of art. You should also take English composition, so you can get good at writing essays. Drafting wouldn't hurt, if your high school offers it. Finally, take foreign language classes because you are almost certainly going to be required to take several of them as an Architectural History major as part of your general education requirements.