Architectural History
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Architectural History Overview

As an architectural history major, you will get to study the way the physically built environment has evolved over time. Students will look at different elements of buildings to see how aesthetic, technical, and social values have developed from the past to the present. While examining different structures, students will also be asked to think about the social implications of the buildings.

Although every school has its own requirements, classes in this field will include: principles of architecture, art history, historiography of architecture, architectural theory, architectural criticism, history that includes aspects of technology, economic, and social and how it affects society.

Required Skills

This field requires knowledge and understanding of the history behind important buildings and also the awareness of how to preserve these places. Students will learn about the evolution of buildings and structures and also how it relates to the history and philosophy of the time period. Knowledge of geography is also important as students study settlement and migration patterns and the growth of a population.

Those in this field of study usually have a great appreciation for the history and culture that goes along with architecture and the desire to preserve it. Students will not only study historical buildings, but also the architecture of modern urban structures. They will understand how urban development and economic revitalization are connected and have an extensive knowledge base on economics, philosophy, criticism, design, and development. Critical skills include active listening, critical thinking, and the ability to make judgments and decisions from the information they come across.


This is a very specialized field and there are very few schools that offer Architectural History as a program. It is usually found as a supplemental course to more widely offered majors such as architecture and urban/city planning.

With a degree in architectural history you can go into many different fields. Such professions could be, but are not limited to: working in a museum, working as a freelance writer or working for government agencies. You could also become research coordinator or professor or lecturer in architectural history. You may also end up as a preservation planner and administrator, historical research evaluator, a curator, or a historic site manager.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Architectural History might open up.

Architects, Except Landscape and Naval
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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