Architecture Program


The mission of the Architecture program at Fairmont State is to educate aspiring architects to be creative thinkers who pursue architecture as a process of integration: design, history, theory, culture, sustainability, and the realities of practice are interpreted both within the unique character and dynamics of the Appalachian region, as well as within the modern global community.

The architecture program at Fairmont State University is comprised of a 2-year associate degree, a 4-year pre-professional degree (BS Architecture), and a 1 1/2-year Master of Architecture degree, for which a baccalaureate degree in architecture is required as a prerequisite. The focus of these degrees addresses the built environment of the American small city and the regional uniqueness of its surroundings.

The 2-year degree provides an introduction to the discipline and profession of architecture. The pre-professional degree provides a sound education for the pursuit of general knowledge, and the first phase of a professional education for the general practice of architecture. The 4-year program encompasses a foundation core of design, introductory studies in architectural history and theory and building technology. Advanced design studios address methodology and technological and theoretical synthesis through applied studies of a wide range of design inquiries and projects. Successful completion of the degree will prepare students with the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to enter the profession, or pursue a graduate degree in architecture at Fairmont State or other institutions.

The Master of Architecture (MArch) degree component builds upon a baccalaureate foundation and focuses on the appropriate and responsible designing and planning for community revitalization and sustainability. All required courses are unified by the common thread of sustainable principles and community oriented design. Students are exposed to innovative ways of community outreach through design and the ability of architecture to address people at a personal level. Successful completion of the MArch degree will prepare students to enter the profession at a more advanced level, seek architectural registration in select states, upgrade their professional credentials, or pursue continued graduate education from a National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited school of architecture.

Career Opportunities

Architecture students who earn a baccalaureate degree are qualified for entry-level positions such as designer or architectural technician. They may be employed in architectural offices, engineering offices, corporations or businesses, which produce their own in house construction documents, and construction-related fields.

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.

The NAAB grants candidacy status to new programs that have developed viable plans for achieving initial accreditation. Candidacy status indicates that a program expects to achieve initial accreditation within six years of achieving candidacy, if its plan is properly implemented.

In order to meet the education requirement, set forth by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, an applicant for an NCARB Certificate must hold a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by the NAAB; the degree must have been awarded not more than two years prior to initial accreditation. However, meeting the education requirement for the NCARB Certificate may not be equivalent to meeting the education requirement for registration in a specific jurisdiction. Please contact NCARB for more information.

Fairmont State University, Department of Architecture, Art & Design, was granted candidacy status for the following professional degree program in architecture:

M.Arch. (preprofessional degree + 42 graduate credits)
Year candidacy awarded: 2018
Next visit: Continuation of Candidacy or Initial accreditation: 2022

Projected year to achieve initial accreditation: 2022
Earliest graduation date projected to meet NCARB education requirement: 2020

Model Schedule(s)