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About the BAC

941 Boylston Street

The Boston Architectural College (BAC) is an independent, professional college in Boston's Back Bay that provides an exceptional design education by combining academic learning with innovative experiential learning and by making its programs accessible to diverse communities. The College offers professional and accredited graduate and undergraduate degrees in architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, and design studies.

The core of the BAC experience is a unique learning model where design education happens in the classroom and in the professional workplace simultaneously. Students acquire vital professional skills and expertise through hands-on projects and real-world employment while attending their classes and studios onsite or online, earning credit and gaining experience in both settings.

Founded in 1889 as a club for practicing architects, the BAC has remained closely tied to Boston's professional design community throughout its history. Students are taught, mentored, and advised by over 400 practicing professionals, strengthening the connection between workplace experience and classroom learning. BAC graduates are accomplished designers with impressive resumes, portfolios, and professional networks.

The BAC is located in the heart of Boston's historic Back Bay, surrounded by inspiring architecture, museums, performance venues, and colleges and universities, making it a strategic place to study design. Alongside its traditional onsite programs, the BAC offers innovative distance graduate degrees in architecture, interior architecture, and design studies, including pioneering programs in sustainable design, historic preservation, and design for human health.

The BAC strives to make the design professions accessible to diverse communities. Its policy of open admission makes a design education possible for many talented students who would not otherwise be afforded such an opportunity. Its student body includes a large population of first-generation college students as well as members of under-represented groups, fostering a rich and inclusive learning environment.

Mission: The BAC provides excellence in design education emerging from practice and accessible to diverse communities.

Vision: To be the recognized leader in the education of design professionals, connecting theory and practice and engaging educators, practitioners, allied professions and the public.

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History of the BAC

Atelier studio at 16 Somerset Street in 1911

The Boston Architectural College was established as a club in 1889. Its members held lectures, mounted exhibitions, and critiqued each other's work, and novice draftsmen could take affordable classes from practiced professionals. In the 1940s, the curriculum was modernized to emphasize history, theory, materials, and methods. In the 1960s, the BAC began integrating applied learning in firms directly into the curriculum, a program that evolved in today's Practice component. In 1971, the BAC's Certificate of Completion became the first professionally accredited architecture program with a work component in the US. Over the next 20 years, the BAC introduced graduate and undergraduate programs in interior architecture, landscape architecture, and design studies.

Read more | Explore the BAC timeline

Diversity Statement

The Boston Architectural College is committed to promoting a community that celebrates, affirms, and vigorously pursues inclusiveness in all its forms.

Excellent design integrates diverse skills and problem solving approaches to meeting client needs. Combining divergent ways of thinking, non-traditional approaches to solving problems, multi-cultural awareness, sensitivity to the needs of persons who may be different from ourselves, tolerance of ideas we may not initially understand, and openness to new ways of addressing needs is essential to achieving thoughtful, creative, innovative and client-centered design. Through multiple design disciplines, and through our insistence on learning from diverse ways of approaching design solutions, the Boston Architectural College expresses its fundamental commitment to being an open and welcoming community. We strive to effectively serve diverse clients in a multi-cultural world.

As the largest independent, multi-disciplinary college of spatial design in the United States, the Boston Architectural College (BAC) has opportunities to influence the future viability of the design professions. Sustainable design professions require diversity and inclusivity in their approaches to serving clients. The BAC strives to increase diversity among those who study, work, teach and practice Architecture, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture and a wide range of allied fields.

The BAC's diversity vision is to be a vibrant, inclusive learning community where all members are respected, welcomed and enabled to thrive. As this vision is realized, the College will reflect diversity in its student body, faculty, curriculum, Practice learning, and in the ways that we teach and learn.


The Boston Architectural College's audited financial statements are available upon request from Kathy Rood, Vice President of Finance and Administration.

The Boston Architectural College's publications are available upon request from Evan Gallivan, Vice President of Institutional Advancement.