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Architectural Design Program

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2023-24 Program Requirements

Available to students enrolled prior to Fall 2023;  for others, see the Sustainable Architecture+Engineering Major

The Architectural Design major seeks to integrate engineering and architecture in ways that blend innovative architectural design with cutting-edge engineering technologies. Combining hands-on architectural design studios with a wide variety of courses, students can choose from a broad mix of elective courses in energy conservation, sustainability, building systems, structures, as well as design foundation and fine arts courses.

The program’s courses also benefit Civil Engineering majors who want to develop a "concentration" in architecture. In addition, for students majoring in related fields such as Urban Studies, Product Design, and Studio Arts, the course offerings in architecture and engineering can be used to fulfill the requirements for a minor in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Architectural Design

The mission of the undergraduate program in Architectural Design is to develop students' ability to integrate engineering and architecture in ways that blend innovative architectural design with cutting-edge engineering technologies. Courses in the program combine hands-on architectural design studios with a wide variety of other courses. Students can choose from a broad mix of elective courses concerning energy conservation, sustainability, building systems, and structures, as well as design foundation and fine arts courses. In addition to preparing students for advanced studies in architecture and construction management, the program's math and science requirements prepare students well for graduate work in other fields such as civil and environmental engineering, law, and business.

Careers and Graduate Study

The Architectural Design curriculum prepares students for advanced studies in architecture and construction management, and the program's strong math and science requirements prepare students well for graduate work in other fields, such as civil and environmental engineering, law, and business. The major provides a background for individuals wanting to explore a diversity of careers in architecture, engineering, construction, and structures. Completion of the undergraduate program in Architectural Design leads to the conferral of the Bachelor of Science in Engineering. The subplan "Architectural Design" appears on the transcript and on the diploma. This major is not an ABET-accredited engineering degree, nor is it designed to lead directly to professional licensure in architecture or engineering. To become a professional architect or engineer, additional graduate training and practical experience may be required.

Research Experience for Undergraduates

The department of Civil and Environmental Engineering welcomes student participation in the VPUE Undergraduate Research Programs.  Interested students should check the VPUE website and the CEE website for announcements regarding the application procedures.  Annual program announcements appear in January with Application due dates in February.

Exploring Architectural Design as a Major

Are you wondering whether an Architectural Design major is for you?  If so, Here here are some recommended courses accessible early in your undergraduate career that will help you explore your interest in our major. If you end up joining our program, this early start on fulfilling requirements will pay off by giving you more flexibility in class scheduling for your junior and senior years.

  • For an introduction to architecture, the following classes are readily accessible to frosh/sophomores, and can count towards the major:
  • CEE 31Q: Accessing Architecture Through Drawing (A, S)
  • CEE 120A: Building Modeling for Design & Construction (A, Sum)
  • CEE 133A: Studio 1 – Architecture - Light, Space, and Movement (A, W, S)
  • CEE 32 series
  • CEE 33 series

The following Science/Math classes are required for almost all majors within the School of Engineering:

  • MATH 19+20+21 or 10 units AP BC calculus (go to AP page for approval process)
  • PHYSICS 41. Mechanics (W) [co-req: MATH 21] or 41E, or 4-5 units of AP Physics C (depending upon year entered) if your AP score is 5 and Physics diagnostic places into 43/45
  • STATS: AD majors may use STATS 60 (A,W,S) or take a calculus-based STATS course that will transfer to many other SoE majors (STATS 110, STATS 116; CME 106, CEE 203, etc)

For an introduction to engineering, classes required for all our declared majors that are readily accessible to frosh/sophomores include:

  • ENGR14: Introduction to Solid Mechanics [prerequisite: PHYSICS 41] (A, W, S)

AD Program Sheet: Excel or pdf version, see the Plans & Program Sheets page on this site.

Architectural Design Major Requirements

Explore Degrees lists all School of Engineering major program requirements, as well as other major and minor programs across the University.

Mathematics and Science (32 units minimum)

  • MATH 19, 20, 21 (or 10 units AP credit and placement into Math 51 or CME 100)
  • MATH 51 or CME 100. Linear Algebra / Vector Calculus for Engineers
  • Statistics & Probability course from list of approved courses (see UGHB website).
  • PHYSICS 41. Mechanics (or AP Physics C, score of 5) [co-req: MATH 21]
  • Additional SoE-approved Science or Math electives  (see UGHB website) to reach 32 units total. 

Recommended science courses for the AD Major

  • PHYSICS 23 or 43. Electricity & Magnetism
  • EARTHSYS 101. Energy and the Environment
  • EARTHSYS 102. Fundamentals of Renewable Power
  • CEE 64*. Air Pollution & Global Warming: History, Science, Solutions
  • CEE 70* (same as ENGR 90). Environmental Science and Technology

* Courses used for the Science requirement may not also be counted as Fundamental or Depth/Core requirements.

Additional SoE-approved Science or Math electives to reach 32 units total.  Choose from the School of Engineering list of approved math and science courses, which can be found on the Approved Courses page of the UGHB website.

Technology in Society

One 3-5 unit course required; the course must be on the SoE-approved list the year it is taken. Choose from the approved list of courses on the Approved Courses page.

Engineering Fundamentals and Depth

62 units minimum required from Engineering Fundamentals, Depth Core, Depth Options, and Depth Electives

Engineering Fundamentals; two courses required:

  1. ENGR 14. Introduction to Solid Mechanics (required), 3 units, AWS
  2. Fundamentals Elective (choose from Approved Courses list), 3-5 units

Required Depth Core

CEE 31QAccessing Architecture Through Drawing5
or CEE 133AStudio 1: Architecture - Space, Light, and Movement
CEE 31BMad Skills: Graphics and Presentation4
CEE 100Managing Sustainable Building Projects (CEE 100 or CEE 32B or CEE 32D can fulfill WIM)4
CEE 120ABuilding Modeling for Design & Construction3
CEE 130Studio 2: Architectonics and Urbanism (same as CEE 133B)5
CEE 137BAdvanced Architecture Studio6
ARTHIST 3 or Arch History option Introduction to World Architecture or verify course eligibility with your degree progress advisor in AD5
Depth Options: Choose 12 units minimum from: CEE 101A, 101B, 101C, 120B, 120C, 134B, 133C, 133D, 156, 159, 172, 172A, 176A, 180, 181, 182, 183, 226, 241, 242, or ME 203. Investigate any prerequisites for the listed courses and carefully plan course sequences with your major advisor.12
Depth Electives: Students must take at least 62 units of Engineering Fundamentals + Depth Core + Depth Options + Depth Electives to satisfy the degree program requirements and graduate.  For the remaining engineering elective units: 
CEE 32DConstruction: The Writing of Architecture 
CEE 32GArchitecture Since 1900 (Not offered 2023-24) 
CEE 32HResponsive Structures (S) 
CEE 32RAmerican Architecture (A) 
CEE 32TMaking and Remaking the Architect: (Not offered 2023-24) 
CEE 32UCalifornia Modernism: The Web of Apprenticeship (Not offered 2023-24) 
CEE 32VArchitectural Design Lecture Series Course (S) 
CEE 32WMaking Meaning: A Purposeful Life in Design (Not offered 2023-24) 
CEE 33BJapanese Modern Architecture (W) 
CEE 33CHousing Visions (Not offered 2023-24) 
CEE 131CHow Buildings are Made -- AEC Methods & Practice (S) 
CEE 131DUrban Design Studio(S) 
CEE 139Design Portfolio Methods (S) 

Plus additional units from the following list to bring Engineering Fundamentals + Depth total to at least 62 units.

  • Additional electives may be selected from the Depth Options areas above.  Note that a course may only be counted towards one elective, option, or core requirement; it may not be double counted.
  • The following additional Engineering Fundamental courses may count:  ENGR 10, 15, 21, 25E, 40M (or 40A), and 50 (or 50E or 50M).
  • The following additional Engineering Elective courses may count:
    • CEE 31 series
    • CEE 32 series
    • CEE 101 series
    • CEE 120 series
    • CEE 131 series
    • CEE 133 series
    • CEE 134B (though CEE 134B may be repeated for credit, it may only be counted once in the Depth Options portion of the program. If repeated, it can be counted as an elective here).
    • CEE 139
    • CEE 180, 182, or 183
    • ENGR 50 or 103
    • ME 100, 110, 115 series, 120, or 203
  • The following additional non-engineering Elective courses may count up to 4 units:
    • ArtStudio 140 thru 180 series 
    • FILMPROD 114
    • URBANST 110, 113, 163, or 171
    • SINY 122
    • Other related electives (verify with your program advisor)
  • Students may also count up to 4 units of CEE 199/199L in this category, and the following CEE classes: CEE 41Q and CEE 80N.

Grading Requirements

  • All courses taken for the major must be taken for a letter grade if that option is offered by the instructor, and a grade of ‘C-‘ or better received.
  • The minimum combined GPA for all courses in Engineering Fundamentals and Depth Core + Depth Options + Breadth Options + Electives is 2.0.

Suggested Course Concentrations and Sequences

Subject to the requirements outlined above, students have considerable leeway in choosing their depth electives and other courses to best suit their background and interests. By careful selection of technically-oriented depth electives, students can complement their studio experience with courses in structural analysis, construction, cost estimating, and energy efficiency.  

Students intending to apply to architecture graduate schools are encouraged to take:

  • studio art courses as early as possible in their academic career 
  • more than the minimum number of required studio classes
  • the portfolio preparation class (CEE 139) 

Students are also encouraged to take digital modeling courses which will equip them with the skillsets needed to pursue architectural and engineering internships.

AD 4-year plans and program sheets

Instructions on Declaring Major in Engineering: Architectural Design (ENGR-BS)

  1. Enter your major declaration as Engineering with a subplan of Architectural Design (AD) in Axess.
  2. Download and complete the Excel version of the Architectural Design (AD) program sheet from the UGHB website. The program sheets available for you to use depend upon the years you matriculated at Stanford.  Start by choosing the academic year for the major you wish to use (i.e. 2022-23).  It must be from a year you are matriculated at Stanford, and only if matriculated prior to Autumn 2023-24.
  3. Complete the program sheet, indicating how you plan to fulfill the major requirements and which electives you plan to take. 
    • Be sure to list the courses you have already taken and those you plan to take. 
    • Please include full titles of the classes. Refer to the UGBH website for a list of the approved math, science, Engineering Fundamental, and TIS courses. 
    • You will have the opportunity to revise this program sheet later, so please fill in as many of the courses as you can and print it out.
  4. Email your Stanford transcript (unofficial is fine) and completed program sheet to our Jill Filice, CEE Student Services,, requesting to have an Architectural Design major advisor assigned to you. You may request a specific advisor if you wish.
  5. Schedule a meeting with your major advisor and email them your program sheet and unofficial transcript, so you may both review your course study plan, and your advisor may approve/sign off on your program sheet.
  6. Email your signed program sheet to Jill Filice (, who upon receiving your signed program sheet will approve your major declaration in Axess.
  7. You are encouraged to meet with your major advisor at least once a quarter to review your academic progress. 
    • If your program sheet changes as you progress, print out a revised sheet, obtain your advisor’s signature, and return the approved sheet to the CEE Student Services Office. 
    • Note that any deviations from the approved program need to be petitioned; see below. 
  8. Be sure to submit a final program sheet at the beginning of the quarter you plan to graduate.

Other information:Procedures and the relevant forms and instructions for requesting transfer credits and program deviations can be found on the Transfer-AP-Exceptions page of the UGHB website. If you are requesting transfer credits or program deviations for the Depth portion of your program, you should bring a copy of your completed petition form and your unofficial transcript to the CEE Student Services office; obtain your program sheet from your file and attach to your other forms for processing.

Check with the CEE Student Services Specialist to make sure that you are on the CEE UG student email list for important announcements about department events and activities