The mission of the Certificate in Architecture is to provide UW–Madison students an opportunity to explore theories and practices of architecture, and the design and meaning of the built environment within socio-political, historical, cultural, and ecological contexts.

The population of the world now exceeds eight billion, half of which live in cities. These numbers will only increase as the century progresses, and the need to understand the issues and challenges in maintaining health, safety, and quality of life in the built environment has never been greater. A collaboration of architects, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, and urban planners will be needed to apply art and science to address these challenges, using lessons from history to understand contemporary problems.

The certificate requirements create collaborative opportunities for students in engineering, architecture, art history, interior architecture, landscape architecture, and planning. For example, the certificate offers opportunities for engineering students to take courses in art history with students from art history and other majors. Similarly, art history students have opportunities to take courses in engineering, and so on. These cross-college educational opportunities are rare within established curriculum requirements and offer rich experiences for understanding the perspectives, theories, and practices of those in different professions.

At least three of the 15 credits will be taught online as a UW–Madison course number by architecture faculty at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

How to Get in

All undergraduate students in good academic standing are eligible to apply. We encourage students to declare as early as possible in order to plan their required coursework.  Students should complete and submit the declaration form to declare the certificate. College of Engineering students must meet progression requirements in their selected major before the certificate can be added to their record.


  • Students must successfully complete at least 15 credits, including 9 credits in courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • Students must complete certificate courses with a GPA of 2.000 or higher.
  • Courses completed on a pass/fail or credit/no credit basis will not count toward these requirements.

Required Coursework

Studio Requirement3
Architectural Making I
Architectural History Course3-4
Choose one from the following:
A History of the World in 20 Buildings
Making the American Landscape
Architectural Thinking
History of Architecture and Interiors I: Antiquity through 18th Century
History of Architecture & Interiors II: 19th and 20th Centuries
History of Landscape Architecture
Must select courses from at least two different focus areas.
Area 1: Studio
Architectural Making II
Frank Lloyd Wright - Design Seminar
Architectural Design
Design: Fundamentals I
Introduction to Landscape Architecture Design Studio
Principles of Landscape Architecture Design and Graphics
Area 2: History
A History of the World in 20 Buildings
Making the American Landscape
Introduction to African Art and Architecture
History of Islamic Art and Architecture
Romanesque and Gothic Art and Architecture
History of Wisconsin Architecture, 1800-present
Great Cities of Islam
Cities of Asia
Cities and Sanctuaries of Ancient Greece
Art and Architecture in the Age of the Caliphs
History of American Vernacular Architecture and Landscapes
Frank Lloyd Wright
Introduction to Architectural Theory
Architectural Thinking
History of Architecture and Interiors I: Antiquity through 18th Century
History of Architecture & Interiors II: 19th and 20th Centuries
Survey of Landscape Architecture Design
History of Landscape Architecture
Introduction to the City
Area 3: Tools
Civil Engineering Graphics
Architectural Visualization
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
Virtual Reality
Introduction to Landscape Architecture Design Studio
Shaping the Built Environment
Area 4: Construction
Electrical Systems for Construction
Mechanical Systems for Construction
Interior Architectural Design
Thermal Systems Modeling

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of basic concepts in architecture and related disciplines
  2. Employ skills in scale and proportion, composition and form in both 2D and 3D
  3. Distinguish and develop a working knowledge of significant developments in architectural thinking across time and in a cross-cultural context
  4. Apply critical thinking to ideas and theories in the history of architecture


The Certificate in Architecture is a collaboration of the following departments:

  • UW–Madison’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • UW–Madison’s Department of Art History
  • UW–Madison’s Department of Design Studies
  • UW–Madison’s Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • UW–Madison’s Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture
  • UW–Milwaukee’s Department of Architecture

Faculty representatives of the UW–Madison departments are as follows:

  • Greg Harrington, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Certificate Director)
  • Anna Andrzejewski, Professor, Art History
  • Michael Cheadle, Assistant Teaching Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Uchita Vaid, Assistant Professor, Design Studies
  • Edna Ledesma, Assistant Professor, Planning & Landscape Architecture