Bachelor of science in architectural studies
Master of architecture

Architecture is defined as:
In relation to buildings, architecture has to do with the planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, environmental, and aesthetic considerations. It requires the creative manipulation and coordination of material, technology, light and shadow. Architecture also encompasses the pragmatic aspects of realizing buildings and structures, including scheduling, cost estimating and construction administration. As documentation produced by architects, typically drawings, plans and technical specifications, architecture defines the structure and/or  behavior of a building or any other kind of  system that is to be or has been constructed.

The Architecture Program provides students with a comprehensive, professional architecture education. Delivered by a committed faculty, the program focuses on:


  • - Inspiring students to demonstrate their commitment to the natural environment, sustainability and the development of a quality built environment.
  • - Encouraging students in academics and community through an interdisciplinary approach that prepares leaders and tempers professionals.
  • - Nurturing students in the exploration of architecture and its divergent approaches, their creativity in design, and their expressions of personal beliefs in their personal and professional activities.

If one could identify a philosophy for the architecture program at ALBA, it would be that architecture is a conceptual problem-solving discipline.

The goal of the program is to produce conceptual thinkers, versed in the skills, history, theory, and science of their field. Companion undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts and in city and regional planning have also greatly contributed to the department’s strength.

The intention has always been to instruct architecture students in issues of basic and more sophisticated formal principles, developing an aptitude for functional and programmatic accommodation, structural and technological integration, energy-conscious design, and materials and methods of construction.

Virtually every other architecture school does this. However, our program differs from most schools in the way it teaches students about architecture: we do not teach architecture; instead we try to teach students how to learn about architecture.

To effect these goals, design at ALBA, is taught as an intellectual discipline steeped in societal and cultural values. Architecture is taught as the integration of thought, form, and structure.

Design problems frequently are located within real physical contexts and are evaluated in relation to those motivations that shaped the environment over time. The development of form and space is critical to architectural design. Equally significant is the responsible resolution of functional requirements integrated with actual and perceived structure. The excellence of architectural art, however, derives from the exploration and refinement of ideas, upon which form, purpose, and structure are dependent.

Department of Architecture Educational Objectives:
  • - Commitment to the design and production of buildings that are useful, durable, meaningful, inspiring, and responsibly engaged with their physical, cultural, and social contexts
  • - A professional, design-centered approach encompasses art, technical craft, and ethical practice, preparing graduates for a critical engagement with the world of practice.
  • - The program seeks to promote leadership, collaboration, intellectual depth, flexibility, innovation, and teamwork - elevating professional esteem and multiplying career opportunities for our graduates
  • - The program provides substantial opportunities for guided investigations of individual architectural interests, building intellectual rigor as well as skill development through a collegial atmosphere emphasizing mentoring, coaching, and advising.
  • The Architecture program engages fundamental knowledge and skills, and emphasizes comprehensive design, while affording students the opportunity to expand horizons through flexibility, experimentation, and risk-taking. 

Bachelor of Science in Architecture:
Program Objectives
  • - The undergraduate professional program is normally four years in length and is designed particularly for people who, before they apply, have established their interest and motivation to enter the field. It therefore incorporates both a general and professional educational base.

  • - The program is oriented toward developing the student’s ability to deal creatively with architectural problems on analytical, conceptual, and developmental levels.

  • - The sequence courses in design (Initiation to Architecture, Elementary Architecture Projects, Elementary Developed Project, Second Class Architecture Studio Projects, Second Class Developed Project and the Interior Architecture and Design Module) consisting of studio work augmented by lectures and seminars, are the core of the program.

  • - Sequences of studies in the Fine Arts and Visual Studies, the History of Arts and Architecture, the Urban Morphology and Urban Planning, culture and society, architectural theory and Heritage, environmental control, structures, Materials and Construction, and computer applications, provide a base for the work in design.

The Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies is a component of the Master of Architecture Degree.  Graduates must demonstrate that they possess the knowledge and skills defined by the following learning outcomes:

  • - Critical Thinking and Representation
    • • Architects must have the ability to build abstract relationships and understand the impact of ideas based on research and analysis of multiple theoretical, social, political, economic, cultural and environmental contexts.  This ability includes facility with the wider range of media used to think about architecture, including writing, investigative skills, speaking, drawing and model making.
  • - Integrated Building Practices, Technical Skills and Knowledge
    • • Architects are called upon to comprehend the technical aspects of design, systems, and materials, and be able to apply that comprehension to their services.  Additionally, they must appreciate their role in the implementation of design decisions, and the impact such decisions on the environment.

  • - Leadership and Practice
    • • Architects need to manage, advocate, and act legally, ethically and critically for the good of the client, society and the public.  This includes collaboration, business, and leadership skills.

Master of Architecture:
Program Objectives:
  • - The Master of Architecture (2-3year) is a professional program leading to the Master of Architecture (M. Arch.) Degree prepares students for careers as licensed architects.
  • - Students will have developed a high level of architectural communication, understanding the latest advancements in digital design and its integrated fabrication.
  • - Students will be able to present their ideas using verbal, written and graphic methods in simulated real world settings. They will have developed a professional representation of their work and be equipped to defend it.

  • - The Masters of Architecture program (M. Arch) have been designed to equip the graduate student with the ability to enhance the experience of our environment through the process of discovering the logic of meaning and the art of making.
  • - The Program empowers the student to apply creativity, artistic vision, critical thinking and technical developments towards the continued evolution of architecture.
  • - Each graduate student completes a Final Project. This project includes a research paper, drawings, models, narrative and a complete set of documentation in compliance with local regulations.
  • - Students are required to develop a constructible design proposal within the urban context or Lebanon or the student's country of origin.
  • - The completed Final project will be critically appraised by a grand jury formed of faculty and professionals.

M. Arch graduates will meet the following student performance criteria:
  • - Design:
    • • Demonstrate development of design exploration and understanding throughout the program

  • - Visual Communication:
    • • Visually communicate ideas through hand sketching/ drawing, including hand drawn concept sketches, design process sketches and diagrams
    • • Visually communicate ideas through architectural drawings (digital or otherwise): site plan, plan, section, elevation, and 3D representation

  • - Written Communication:
    • • Effectively summarize the project and process in a well-crafted proposal and project report

  • - Presentation Skills:
    • • Professionally present the thesis proposal and final project

  • - Building Systems, Materials and Methods:
    • • Demonstrate understanding of material systems and construction details
    • • Demonstrate understanding of building systems (including structural systems, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems)
    • • Demonstrate understanding of environmental control systems
    • • Demonstrate understanding of building codes and accessibility
    • • Apply sustainability concepts in their project

  • - Thesis Proposal Development:
    • • Clearly define the mission of their project
    • • Present research that defines the need and desirability of the project
    • • Provide a profile of the user group
    • • Comprehensively define and analyze the proposed site area and its context
    • • Present and analyze relevant precedents for the project
    • • Develop a general project concept related to the site analysis and program
    • • Effectively present the suitability of the proposed program on the proposed site
    • • Produce a spatial/ functional program online

  • - Thesis Project:
    • • Produce a comprehensive architectural and building solution to the mission statement