Architectural historians engage the past and shape the future. At UVA School of Architecture, we understand architecture as the broadest possible expression of the built environment - including vernacular, landscape and urban form. As practitioners and scholars we interpret, preserve, and curate the built environment at all scales.

Architectural History at UVA emphasizes the exploration of the history of architecture, landscape and cities by analyzing the sources and forms of creative architectural expression, while at the same time, approaches architecture as a critical feature in a broader social and cultural context. UVA School of Architecture's Architectural History programs offer the exceptional opportunity of studying architectural history at a UNESCO World Heritage Site on University grounds and nearby Monticello. Both in the classroom and beyond, we explore issues of preservation, conservation, heritage and politics at these internationally renowned sites - rich environments that are our learning laboratories. 



4-year undergraduate program


2-year graduate program


Through lecture courses, specialized research seminars, independent thesis and dissertation projects, and guest lectures and symposia, our faculty and students investigate the changing meaning of architecture for the people who commission, design, build, use, preserve, and demolish buildings, landscapes and cities. In addition to a strong concentration of specialists in American architecture, our award-winning faculty include scholars in medieval, Renaissance and Baroque, modern European, East Asian architectural history, and architectural theory. 

Our students engage their education beyond the classroom in their exploration of the built environment. Through internships, field studies and site work, travel abroad opportunities, and through direct engagement with the historic University grounds, we offer hands-on learning experiences that are central to our curriculum.  

UVA School of Architecture's Architectural History programs offer the exceptional opportunity of studying architectural history at a UNESCO World Heritage Site on University grounds and nearby Monticello. Courses highlighting the preservation, conservation, heritage, and interpretation of these sites include:

+ Thomas Jefferson Architect

+ Field Methods: Building Archeology and Representing Buildings and Landscapes

+ Historic Preservation at UVA

+ Jefferson's University  Early Life Project (a Field Methods course that examines what life was like in the first years of the University for all of its community: students, faculty, free and enslaved peoples).

+ Archaeological Approaches to Atlantic Slavery (a course that utilizes the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery

UVA School of Architecture promotes and creates ongoing research and travel opportunities for our students. Valuing world cultures and global practices, these opportunities offer direct engagement with the sites and communities we are studying. Our students travel locally, nationally, and internationally to experience design in-situ, to engage in fieldwork, and to gain a deeper awareness of global cultures.

Undergraduate and graduate students in Architectural History have access to a wide range of global study options. The School of Architecture leads a number of global programs, both during the semester and over the summer, including programs to Vicenza, Venice, and China. 

The Department of Architectural History also regularly teaches a January term in Italy. Graduate students in Architectural History can choose to take a fall semester at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

Through internship opportunities, both our undergraduate and graduate students enrich their academic education with hands-on experiences. A sample of recent internships that our students have completed include:

+ Newport Restoration Foundation

+ The Central Park Conservancy

+ The New York (UK) Glaziers Trust

+ The National Building Museum

+ Monticello

+ The University Architect's Office


I love the collaboration at uva school of Architecture. Just by walking around the studios or hallways, students are motivated and inspired by the numerous displays and designs produced in-house. This creates a positive and competitive atmosphere that I have only felt at the A-school. As an architectural history major, I have enjoyed learning from my architecture peers and have been constantly amazed by both ideation and craft. - Henry, B. Arch. Hist.

This past summer, I interned at Poplar Forest, where I conducted field surveys and building inventories. I was drawn to Poplar Forest’s long history of award-winning restoration work and its field school. What better place to practice historic preservation than here? The practical experience I gained really helped to put my classroom learning into context, especially approaches to preservation, site maintenance, and material evaluations. - KELSEY DOOTSON, M. ARCH. HIST.,  HISTORIC PRESERVATION CERTIFICATE

JEN MASENGARB (M. ARH, 2000) Director of Interpretation and Research at the Chicago Architecture Foundation

As the Director of Interpretation and Research at the Chicago Architecture Foundation Jen guides initiatives in education, public programs, exhibitions, publications, and tours.  She often partners with Curious City on WBEZ 91.5 in Chicago to answer the public's questions about their beloved city. She is also the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient in the School of Architecture. 



CURIOUS CITY WBEZ 91.5; DOCUMENTARY ON F.L WRIGHT's emil bach house (1915)


Burak Erdim is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Architectural History at North Carolina State University. He teaches lecture and seminar courses on the history of modern architecture and urbanism with a special focus on the post-World War II period. Erdim’s research and writing examine the operations of post-World War II planning cultures with a focus on transnational exchanges in housing and planning between multiple zones of reconstruction and development.