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Architectural History

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2021 Architectural History Degree Guide

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.

A Recent Jump in Architectural History Degrees

#325 Most Popular Major
154 Degrees Awarded
22.1% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, architectural history was the 325th most popular major nationwide with 154 degrees awarded. This represents a 22.1% increase in architectural history degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 120.

Approximately 11 colleges in the U.S. offer a architectural history degree of some kind. Explore this or one of our many other custom architectural history rankings further below.

Architectural History Degree Requirements

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.

Getting Accepted Into an Architectural History Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most architectural history degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Specific architectural history careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Architectural History Degree Types

Architectural History degree levels vary. You can get anything from a associate's degree in architectural history to the highest architectural history degree, a research/scholarship based doctorate. Depending on the architectural history degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to architectural history, with approximately 38.0% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for architectural history workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 42.0%
Master’s Degree 20.6%
First Professional Degree 9.1%
Some College Courses 6.9%
Post-Secondary Certificate 5.9%

About 74.0% of workers in careers related to architectural history obtain at least bachelor's degree. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in architectural history have obtained.


The education level required is different depending on the architectural history career you are seeking.

Architectural History Careers

Average Number of Jobs
77.6k Avg. Related Jobs Salary
4% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

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.

Growth Projected for Architectural History Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your architectural history degree? Architectural History careers are expected to grow 4.2% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to architectural history.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Architects 134,200 4.2%
Historians 3,500 6.1%

How Much Money Do Architectural History Grads Make?

As you might expect, salaries for architectural history graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

Highest Paid Architectural History Careers

Salaries for architectural history graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers architectural history grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Architects $88,860
Historians $66,380

Getting Your Architectural History Degree

With over 32 different architectural history degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased architectural history school rankings to help you with this.

Architectural History is one of 8 different types of Architecture & Related Services programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
General Architecture 6,145
Architectural Sciences & Technology 5,448
Urban & Regional Planning 2,729
Landscape Architecture 1,177
Environmental Design 717

View All Architectural History Related Majors >


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