- What are the requirements for admission?
- Do I need to have a design background to apply?
- Am I eligible to enter a graduate program if my undergraduate degree is not in design?
- What is Practice, and how does it work?
- Does the BAC place students in a job?
- Am I required to work for certain firms?
- How long does the program take?
- Why is the program longer than at other design schools?
- Am I able to transfer in prior college level coursework?
- Does the BAC provide housing?
- When is the application deadline?
- What is required for the application?
Since its founding over 120 years ago, the Boston Architectural College has employed a policy of open admissions, adhering to the founders' philosophy that design education should be accessible to all those who have a sincere desire to pursue it. Therefore, the requirement for undergraduate admission is the completion of a high school program or its equivalent. For graduate admission, the applicant must have earned an undergraduate degree, in any major, from an accredited institution. International students are only eligible to enter our graduate programs and must have completed the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree. The BAC does not require standardized tests for admission (with the exception of the TOEFL exam for international students whose first language is not English)
The BAC teaches design from the foundation level upward, therefore no specific design background, either educational or vocational, is required. There is also no portfolio required for admission.
Yes. Any student who has completed an undergraduate program is eligible to enter one of our graduate programs, regardless of their undergraduate major.
In addition to the academic requirements, Architecture, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture students must fulfill a work requirement, also referred to as Practice requirement, in order to graduate. Unlike students in many other design schools who engage in temporary co-op or internship programs, BAC students pursue jobs, projects, and other activities that will give them professional design experience. By the time they graduate, the majority of our students have worked as permanent, full-time employees in the field of design, earning the same pay and benefits, and holding the same responsibilities, as any other employee in that firm.
Because students are permanent employees in firms as opposed to interns, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to secure employment through a job search. The BAC has career service resources to assist our students in the process, including resume, cover letter and portfolio assistance, interview coaching, and the maintenance of a job database.
The Practice Department also offers a series of opportunities for students to engage in design projects to gain professionals experience, increase their skill sets, and earn credits towards their Practice requirement. These opportunities are called Gateway Projects, and allow students to work as groups on design competitions and on projects for local nonprofits, under the supervision of a Practice faculty member. These projects are open to students in all degree programs and at all levels of experience.
No. In any given semester, approximately 350 companies of all sizes, scopes, and types are employing BAC students. The companies range from design firms to housing authorities to high-end kitchen and bath stores to construction companies. Some employers have been employing BAC students for decades, while others may be hiring a BAC student for the first time. You are also not limited to companies that are located in the Boston area. Many students commute into the BAC from outside of Boston and even from other New England states, and they are generally employed in firms or companies close to home. We encourage students to seek out employment opportunities that appeal to them, that help them achieve their goals, and that will enable them to increase their knowledge of professional practices related to design.
Program length varies according to a number of factors. For students who enter the BAC with no transfer credit, standard program lengths are as follow:
- Master of Architecture: 9 Semesters
- Master of Interior Design: 6 Semesters
- Master of Landscape Architecture : 6 Semesters
- Bachelor of Design Studies to Masters of Architecture: 9 Semesters
- Bachelor of Architecture: 12 Semesters
- Bachelor of Interior Design: 10 Semesters
- Bachelor of Landscape Architecture: 10 Semesters
- Bachelor of Design Studies: 8 Semesters
Students transferring to the BAC will see a reduction in program length according to the number of transfer credits they receive.
Due to the extensive Practice requirement, students are not able to take as many academic credits per semester as they would at a college where they are only engaged in academics. Although students at the BAC are not required to take more academic credits than they would elsewhere, they do spread them out over a greater number of semesters. Through fulfillment of the professional requirements, graduates of the BAC are often able to become professionally licensed more quickly than graduates of other programs. In addition, students benefit by graduating with several years of relevant, professional experience already on their resumes.
Yes. In order to receive transfer credit, prior coursework must fulfill the following requirements:
- It must be from an accredited institution
- It must be the equivalent in content of a curricular requirement of the program into which you are transferring.
- You must have earned a grade of C or better (B or better for Math and Physics)
- If the course is in design (such as AutoCAD or other computer design courses, drawing/drafting, or design studios), than we also need to see examples of work done in that class in order to make the determination.
For students seeking to transfer in prior academic work, we require official college transcripts and course descriptions.
The BAC does not currently provide housing for students. Students generally live in apartments in the Boston area. However, due to its convenient location, the BAC is easily accessed from most neighborhoods and suburbs without the need for a car. The public transportation system is extensive in Boston, and the campus is served by a number of subway, bus and commuter rail train lines. The BAC also participates in a student housing network through our affiliation with the ProArts consortium of colleges.
The BAC practices rolling admissions and accepts applications up until the start of a semester. Students may matriculate into a degree program in the fall (September start) or spring (January start). Earlier application is encouraged, especially for students looking to transfer in prior academic coursework.
A complete application file includes:
- The application for admission (there is a $50 non refundable application fee)
- Official transcript (high school for undergraduate applicants and college for graduate applicants).
- Creative Exercises