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Writing Poems; Photos by Melissa Medina

CULTURE knowledge MEDIA technologies HISTORY narrative RESEARCH built environment CONNECTIONS literature SOCIETY arts POSTMODERN design COMMUNICATION music

Liberal Studies

General Education

Depending on their specific program, all BAC undergraduate students complete between 40 and 45 credits in Liberal Studies, including courses in the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and art. These courses contribute to an understanding of the broader social and cultural contexts that make design meaningful and prepare students to productively ponder shared human concerns with rigorous critical methods and intellectual openness.

The Liberal Studies curriculum is designed to support the development of four basic sets of skills:

1. Critical thinking and communication
2. Quantitative reasoning
3. Social and historical reflection
4. Self-directed learning and research

Writing and Research

Undergraduate students are required to take a two-semester course sequence in academic inquiry and writing: Critical Reading and Research 1 and 2.

Graduate students are required to take Design Theory and Inquiry as part of Foundation, and then Thesis Research Strategies immediately before Thesis. This class reviews a variety of research methodologies that are necessary to complete Thesis successfully.

History and Theory

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Interior Architecture are human endeavors that are eminently contextual and contingent. The required and elective courses in the history and theory of design for undergraduate and graduate students examine the social, economic, intellectual, and political contexts that have shaped—and have been shaped by—these disciplines. Through these courses, students study the social functions of the specific design professions as they have been constructed historically. The curriculum requirements promote intellectual rigor and a critical engagement with works as well as ideas, aiming at a broad understanding of how societies have envisioned, developed, and managed natural and built environments and an understanding of how design has participated in a global domain of cultural practice.


Undergraduate Research Curriculum


Electives offer students the opportunity to explore in depth particular interests in the history and tehory of design and to expand their general education.