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Architecture & Urbanism

Two architecture students using computer software

Smith’s architecture program combines studio work with courses in architectural history. In studios, students explore the built environment "as a person experiences it," building models by hand, using laser cutters and designing with sophisticated computing technology. Classes on urban space, public architecture and landscape design complement studio work. Often students work on local projects and at the MacLeish Field Station in Hatfield.


All graduating art majors and minors will:

  • Develop familiarity with original works of art and/or architecture and with research tools appropriate for the discipline, including print scholarship, online databases and various reference materials.
  • Communicate their ideas effectively in written, oral and (as appropriate) material form, including public presentations that rely upon the display of visual images or artwork.
  • Engage a range of disciplines in their work, in the spirit of a liberal arts education.

Art studio and architecture majors and minors will demonstrate:

  • Mastery of practices or techniques in the current field of practice for at least one medium (e.g, painting, installation, photography, digital media).
  • Fluency in an extensive and pertinent vocabulary for describing their own work and the art historical antecedents with which it shares relationships.
  • Familiarity with professional practices and global perspectives within the cultural landscape of contemporary art.

Art history majors and minors will:

  • Learn to read original objects, architectural settings and written scholarship analytically and synthetically.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the different ways that spaces, monuments, and objects have intersected with lived and imagined experiences throughout history and the world over.
  • Demonstrate expertise in self-directed research, including fluency with a range of methodologies and debates across the discipline.


Brigitte Buettner, Lee Burns, Lindsey Clark-Ryan, John Davis, Craig Felton, Laura Kalba, Barbara Kellum, Dana Leibsohn, John Moore, John Slepian, Fraser Stables, Frazer Ward, Lynne Yamamoto


12 courses, which will include:

1. ARH 110 Art and Its Histories

2. One 100-level course selected from the following:
ARS 162, ARS 163, ARS 172 or ARS 188

3. Two of the following introductory architectural design studios:
ARS 283, ARS 285, LSS 250, LSS 255

4. Two of the following advanced architectural design studios:
ARS 386, ARS 388, ARS 389/LSS 389

5. One studio art course in another medium

6. Four 200-level or 300-level art history courses focusing on the built environment (of which at least one must focus on a pre-1800s era and at least one must focus on the post-18th century).

7. One art history seminar (with final paper focusing on the built environment, to be taken at Smith)

It is recommended that a student contemplating application to a graduate program in architecture take at least one semester of physics and at least one semester of calculus, after consultation with her major adviser.


Brigitte Buettner, Barbara Kellum, Dana Leibsohn, John Moore, Frazer Ward, Laura Kalba

Designed for students who wish to focus on architecture, although they are majors in another department. This minor seeks to introduce students to the history, design and representation of the built environment.


Three courses, selected from this list:

  • ARS 162, ARS 163 or ARS 172 or ARS 188
  • ARS 283 or LSS 250
  • ARS 285 or LSS 255

Two 200-level or 300-level art history courses focusing on the built environment (of which at least one must focus on a pre-1800s era and at least one must focus on the post-18th century).

ARH 110 Art and Its Histories

Director of Honors, Architecture and Urbanism

Laura Kalba

The college's official requirements, guidelines and deadlines are available on the class dean's website.

Every year the art department organizes an informational meeting about honors, an 8-credit class focused on independent research. We strongly encourage interested students to attend this discussion of important deadlines and the timeline for applications. Department guidelines and practices related to honors can be found on the art department's honors page.