Architecture Program


Fairmont State is the only university in West Virginia that offers degrees for the study of Architecture.  The mission of the Architecture Program is to educate aspiring architects to be creative thinkers who pursue architecture as an integrative process. Design, history, theory, culture, sustainability, and the realities of practice are interpreted both within the unique character and dynamics of the Appalachian region and within the modern global community.

The degrees offered include: a four-year pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree (BS Arch), and a one and one-half year professional Master of Architecture degree (M Arch).  The M Arch degree requires a baccalaureate degree in architecture as a prerequisite for admission. 

Both degree programs focus on the making of architecture and urban interventions within the fabric of smaller American towns and cities in the greater Appalachian region.

The four-year BS Arch degree provides a well-rounded education, and a foundational core of design, architectural history, and theory, and building technology coursework as the first phase of a professional education for the general practice of architecture.  Upper-level studios for this degree seek methodological, technological, and theoretical syntheses by working through a wide range of design inquiries and projects.  The BS Arch degree further equips students with the fundamental knowledge and basic skills for entry-level positions in the profession, or the ability to pursue a professional graduate degree in architecture at Fairmont State or at other institutions.

The one-and-one-half year professional M Arch degree builds on the baccalaureate foundation while further focusing on appropriate, responsible, and sustainable design and planning for community revitalization and a greater professional knowledge of the practice of architecture.  Coursework is unified by a common thread of community-oriented design and sustainable design principles.  Students are exposed to the possibilities of community outreach through design projects and to architecture’s ability to speak to people at a personal level.

The M Arch degree prepares students to enter the profession at a more advanced level and makes them eligible to seek architectural registration (licensing) in West Virginia and/or other states.  Architectural Licensing also requires the completion of the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) and the passing of the Architectural Registration Exam (ARE).

The Master of Architecture Program at Fairmont State is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) effective January 1, 2022.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Architecture degree programs may be employed in architectural offices, design-build firms, business or governmental organizations that produce their own construction-related documents, as well as in other positions that benefit from the creative and strategic thinking skillset an architectural education offers.

The 2021 annual median wage for Architects in the United States was $80,180, with an annual growth rate in employment over the next ten years projected to be about 3% annually.

Statement on NAAB Accredited Degrees

In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year term, an eight-year term with conditions, or a two-year term of continuing accreditation, or a three-year term of initial accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established education standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a non-accredited undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the non-accredited degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.”

Fairmont State University, Department of Architecture, Art & Design offers the following NAAB-accredited degree program:

Master of Architecture (preprofessional degree + 42 graduate credits)
Next Accreditation Visit: 2025

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