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Architectural Studies Minor

The aim of the Architectural Studies interdisciplinary minor is to help prepare students for careers related to the built environment.

Preparing Students for the World

Recent studies predict that by 2050 70% of the world’s population will migrate to cities; at the same time, climate change and its attendant impact on living conditions has also accelerated the need for built solutions. 

The design and construction industries are booming globally. Countries such as China, Nigeria, and Egypt for example, have already invested in the construction of entirely new cities to house their own forecasted population migration. Additionally, many countries use construction to aid economic stability and also define cultural identity. In response to rising sea levels, many cities in the United States, including Boston, have invested in landscape and design solutions.

The workforce for these projects is sourced globally: the American firm SOM for example, designed and managed the construction of the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai. The focus on the new and iconic however, has also drawn equal attention to the poor and impoverished: as cities grow and climates change, how can access to basic needs of clean water, heat, transportation, sanitation, or healthcare be accommodated? The careers related to this global focus on construction are therefore wide and varied: not just the skills of the architect, project manager, or engineer, but also specialized skills or interests that stretch from marine environments to social justice. 

This minor can help prepare students for a variety of careers related to architecture, urban planning, and landscape architecture.

Majors and Careers

The aim of the Architectural Studies interdisciplinary minor is to allow students in a variety of majors to give an additional focus to their studies. 

The rapid pace of innovation in the workplace has resulted in the creation of careers and jobs that bridge traditional disciplines; students are preparing for jobs that have not even been invented yet. Therefore, courses in this minor incorporate transferable skills such as written and oral communication, problem solving, and critical analysis.

The minor is a natural fit for most tracks in Engineering—buildings embody the latest technologies in mechanical and electrical systems, solar power, and plastics. This minor has been designed in consultation with the UMass Lowell Civil Engineering program.

In addition:

  • a Sociology major with the Architectural Studies minor could pursue a career in urban planning; 
  • a Fine Arts major could add it to prepare for a career in architecture and design; 
  • a Business major could use it to focus on careers in real estate or project management; 
  • a Public Health major could focus on careers related to building materials and community health; 
  • an Environmental Sciences major with the Geoscience option could focus on projects involving siting and materials. 

The minor will also help students interested in pursuing professional graduate degrees in architecture, urban planning, and landscape architecture build their portfolios and also provide opportunities for hands-on practicums and internships with university or local partnerships.

Review the Architectural Studies minor requirements in the academic catalog.