Universities That Offer Architecture Degrees in Tennessee

by Dr. Mary Dowd Google

According to the Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners, students seeking to become architects in Tennessee must graduate from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, work in the field three years and pass the Architect Registration Examination. Graduates of non-accredited programs may be eligible to take the ARE after completing five to seven years of related work experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that most states have similar requirements.

University of Tennessee-Knoxville

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville has a well-established architectural program that leads to a Bachelor of Architecture after five years of study. The curriculum is accredited by the National Architecture Accreditation Board. The school website notes that creativity is stressed, and students are encouraged to demonstrate an innovative approach to design. Along with general education electives, students take classes in their major, such as architectural history and computer applications. Design studio is the core of the program consisting of 10 semesters of increasingly complex study of design principles. The degree culminates in a special project related to the students’ interests.

University of Tennessee-Memphis

The University of Tennessee-Memphis offers a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an architecture major that prepares students for UT’s NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture degree. Undergraduates study design processes, professionalism and computer applications, and the program emphasizes hands-on learning in multidisciplinary teams. For instance, architecture majors have research and service opportunities to work with faculty in the urban planning department to address public issues such as the need for safe, sustainable neighborhoods.

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University is a highly selective private school in Nashville that offers a pre-architecture program to prepare students for master’s level professional architecture schools. Vanderbilt suggests that any major is generally acceptable for professional architecture school admission if prerequisites are met. Vanderbilt’s pre-architecture curriculum includes courses in social science, humanities, English and architectural or art history. Students also take geometry, calculus and calculus-based physics because architects must understand engineering principles. A portfolio of artistic work also is advised.

Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University in Nashville offers a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering. This rigorous, four-year program integrates the study of architecture with the engineering and construction management fields. Students in architectural engineering complete courses in English, humanities, calculus, chemistry, architectural history, graphics and design. Particular to this type of architecture degree, students take several mechanical and electrical engineering classes. They also study construction management to help them design energy-efficient buildings.

About the Author

Mary Dowd holds a doctorate in educational leadership and a master's degree in counseling and student personnel from Minnesota State University, Mankato. In her 20 years of higher education experience, she has taught classes, served as interim dean of students, and worked in many areas of student affairs, including student discipline, career advising, orientation and violence prevention.

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