Students in the College of Architecture are required to complete a minimum of 39 academic credits in Arts & Sciences. An additional 9 academic credits can be be taken in Architecture, Art, Design, Arts & Sciences, Business or Engineering. These 48 credits exclude University College, physical education, lessons, independent studies, internships, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or transfer credit. 

No more than 15 units of transfer or pre-matriculation credit from all sources — Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, International Baccalaureate (IB), British Advanced (A) Levels — will be awarded. The units of credit awarded do not apply toward the 48 credits required in Arts & Sciences.

Academic Integrity

Students and members of the faculty of a university have an obligation to uphold the highest standards of scholarship. Plagiarism or other forms of cheating will not be tolerated. Where a student has violated the integrity of the academic community, an instructor may recommend that the student be brought before the Committee on Academic Integrity. A list of university policies can be found on the website of the University Registrar.


Regular attendance at all classes and studio meetings is expected of each student. If, in the opinion of the instructor, any student has accumulated absences to such an extent as to preclude the possibility of satisfying the course requirements, the student's registration in that course will be canceled, subject to the approval of the dean.

Units and Grades

A unit is the amount of credit given for one hour of lecture or up to three hours of studio work a week for one semester. All students in the College of Architecture may take one nonrequired course on a pass/fail basis each semester. All students in the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design may select one of the following two grading options as they register for each semester: (1) grade option or (2) pass/fail option. Under the grade option, a student may take one nonrequired course under pass/fail. Under the pass/fail option, all courses must be taken pass/fail.

Symbols used for both options have the following meanings:

Grade Meaning Points per Unit
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F 0.0
P# Pass
F# Failing
I Course work incomplete*
W Withdrawal
R Repeat
L Successful audit
Z Unsuccessful audit
N No grade submitted

Pluses and minuses are used. Each grade earned for a course taken for credit receives a specified number of grade points, and these points are affected by plus and minus grades as well.

In addition to grading under either the regular grade option or the pass/fail option, instructors teaching architectural design courses complete an evaluation form for each student; a copy is made available to the student, and the original is filed in the student's folder in the Office of the Dean.

*This grade signifies that the student has not completed part of the work for a semester (exclusive of examinations), but has satisfactorily completed the rest of the work. A student must remove a grade of I as indicated below.

Auditing a Course

With prior approval from their academic adviser, students may audit an elective course.

Pass/Fail Option

Students may take one non-required course on a pass/fail basis each semester.

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete marks in all architectural design courses (100- to 600-level) must be removed by the first day of classes of the following semester. Failure to remove the incomplete will prevent the student from continuing in another architectural design course.

In all other courses, the grade of I must be removed no later than the last day of classes of the next full semester. On failure to make up an I within the next semester, the student shall automatically receive an F in the course unless explicitly excused by the dean. An F grade, so received, may not be changed. Students will not be allowed to continue in courses requiring prerequisites if the prerequisite has an Incomplete grade. A student who carries more than 9 units of incomplete work may be declared ineligible to re-enroll.

F grades for a semester may be changed only through the last day of classes of the following semester and then only in extraordinary circumstances. The Office of the Dean will approve no changes of F grades after this interval.

Repeating a Course

When a student retakes a course in which a passing grade has been received, both enrollments will show on the transcript. If the second grade is equivalent to or better than the first grade, the first grade may be changed to R, indicating the re-enrollment upon request of the student and with department approval. If the second grade is lower, both grades will stand. Credit toward the degree will be allowed for only one of the enrollments. When a student retakes a course in which an F has been received, both enrollments for the course will appear on the transcript. If a passing grade is received in the second enrollment, the first enrollment may be changed to R, indicating the re-enrollment upon request of the student and with the approval of the dean.

Independent Study

Opportunities for independent study are available to all graduate and undergraduate students. Registration in an independent study course requires sponsorship by an instructor and permission of the dean. A maximum of 5 units (graduate students), 3 units (juniors and seniors), and 1 unit (first-year students and sophomores) may be taken per semester. Independent study courses cannot replace architectural design studios or other required courses. An independent study proposal sheet approved by a faculty sponsor must be submitted to the Office of the Dean at registration time.

Study Abroad

Students have an opportunity to study in Florence, Italy, for a semester or over the summer term. These programs are based on a directed curriculum of urban and building analysis and appreciation. For more information, visit the Study Abroad Programs (PDF) on our website.

Architecture students are eligible to participate in the university's study abroad programs.

Summer School

The College of Architecture offers a limited number of courses during the summer, primarily ARCH 447A Structures I and ARCH 448A Structures II.

Minimum and Maximum Loads

First-year and sophomore undergraduates will normally enroll in either 15 or 16 units each semester, although enrollment in up to 18 units is possible. Juniors and seniors in the architecture degree programs are strongly recommended to enroll in no more than 16.5 units each semester in order to maintain focus on the design studio and major requirements. This guideline can only be waived by the dean or undergraduate program chair. The normal load for graduate students is a maximum of 16 units each semester.

An enrollment above 21 units will be charged at the established university rate per hour of the additional credits and must be approved by the dean or undergraduate program chair of the College of Architecture.

Refer to the section of this Bulletin that covers tuition and fees for both the annual tuition rate and the per credit hour breakdown applicable to the College of Architecture.

Partial load enrollment is possible when circumstances warrant it and requires the permission of the dean.

Students are expected to proceed at a pace that enables them to finish their degree within the appropriate time limit. For undergraduates, this is usually eight semesters. Exceptions to these minimum standards may be granted only with the written consent of an academic adviser, the associate dean of students, or the dean.

Academic Warning, Probation, and Suspension

A student whose semester grade point average is below 2.0 (grade of C) or who falls below a pace of 66 2/3 percent (number of credits earned divided by the number of credits attempted) will be placed on academic probation. If, after the following semester, the semester grade point average is still below 2.0 or the pace is below 66 2/3 percent, the student may be ineligible for normal advancement or may be suspended. While the College desires to give all students the opportunity to prove themselves, it is not in the best interest of either the student or the College to permit a student to continue indefinitely in educational programs in which they are not producing satisfactory results.

The probation status serves as a warning that unless the quality of work improves, the student may be subject to dismissal because of academic deficiency. A student dismissed for academic deficiency will not be eligible for readmission until they have demonstrated, under the conditions set for each individual case, their ability to do satisfactory work.

A student will be removed from academic probation when their cumulative grade point average is above 2.0 and they are meeting the "pace" of 66 2/3 percent for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

In support of the student, the Registrar's Office will work with the student to develop a plan for success. In order to succeed, the student must understand the causes of their current situation, identify what needs to change, and implement and review the plan.

A student who receives two or more grades of F in a semester will be placed on academic warning for the following semester. The warning serves as a notice that unless the student passes all courses in the following semester, they will be placed on academic probation.

No transfer credit will be accepted for courses taken while a student is suspended from Washington University for violations of the University Student Judicial Code or Academic Integrity policy.

Leave of Absence

A student may request a voluntary leave of absence for one or two semesters when individual circumstances, professional, medical or personal, warrant it. Petitions are reviewed and approved by the Sam Fox School Registrar's Office. Any requests extending beyond one year will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. In addition to a written petition, the student requesting a medical leave of absence must submit a letter of verification from Student Health Services.

A student returning from a leave of absence must submit a written letter stating their intention to re-enroll by July 1 (returning in the fall semester) or December 1 (returning in the spring semester). In the case of a medical leave of absence, a letter of clearance is required from Student Health Services before a student will be permitted to re-enroll.

International students requesting a leave of absence must contact their adviser at the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) to discuss how the leave might affect their visa status.

A leave of absence assumes that the student will not be taking any academic work at another institution.

Transfer Credit

Architecture students must complete the required Calculus I and Physics courses at Washington University with a grade of C- or better unless the student has received Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credit for these courses. Students wishing to transfer credit for other courses completed at another institution should bring a full catalog description of the course(s) to the Sam Fox School Registrar's Office for pre-approval. Upon receipt of an official transcript indicating a grade of C or better, courses will be considered for transfer. Grades for transfer courses will not appear on the student's Washington University record and will not figure into the student's GPA. College courses taken to earn credit for high school graduation will not be considered for transfer. Washington University does not transfer credits for courses taken online. Non-Washington University courses do not count toward the 39 units of academic credit required in Arts & Sciences or the 9 units of academic credit required in Architecture, Art, Design, Arts & Sciences, Business or Engineering. No transfer credit will be accepted for courses taken while a student is suspended from Washington University for violations of the University Student Judicial Code or Academic Integrity policy.

Intent to Graduate

Every candidate for a degree is required to file an "Intent to Graduate" in WebSTAC in order to participate in Commencement exercises. The deadlines for filing can be found on the University Registrar website. A student must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average to graduate.

Retention of Student Work

The College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design reserve the right to retain any student work submitted for course credit. Normally this work will be returned to the student at the end of the semester, except that which has been retained for publications, exhibitions or accreditation reviews. It is highly recommended that students photographically reproduce or electronically store their work in order to keep a record of their work.