Students working in architecture lab

Pre-Architecture Program

The Pre-Architecture program at College of DuPage focuses on the theory, history and principles of architecture. The program includes architecture classes as well as courses designed to prepare students for transferring to four-year institutions. 

In addition to general education courses, architecture courses cover topics such as architecture, architectural theory and design, building materials, communications, computer-aided design, computer modeling and precalculus. 

Determine Your Path

As an architect you are responsible for the planning, designing and the oversight of the construction of a building. This includes determining site requirements and examining building codes.

Whether you are preparing for a career in architecture, planning to transfer or updating your skills, College of DuPage has the right program for you. We offer:

  • Dedicated instructors with years of practical industry experience, certification and licensing.
  • Instruction in top-notch facilities and on cutting-edge equipment.
  • Flexible schedules with day, evening and online learning.
  • Practical, hands-on experience as well as classroom-based studies.
  • Affordable programs that get you on the fast track to success without breaking the bank.
  • Articulated transfer agreements provide students an affordable educational option with seamless transfer to prestigious universities.
  • Industry recognition and involvement that demonstrates and advances the rigor and relevancy of the program.

Pre-Architecture Technology, Associate in Applied Science

The Pre-Architecture Technology Associate in Applied Science degree includes the core group of architecture courses as well as courses designed to prepare students for transfer to baccalaureate or professional programs.

The second year curriculum emphasizes portfolio production while the electives allow students to customize their curriculum to match the transfer institution. 


The Pre-Architecture certificate provides students with the group of classes commonly required for transfer to an architectural program. 

COD Stories

Elizabeth Cisneros Tlaxcala

"COD led me to be the person I am today. The faculty that joined me in my journey will be forever in my heart and I will always thank them for any success I achieve in my life.” - Elizabeth Cisneros Tlaxcala

Elizabeth's COD Story

COD Stories

Geunho Song

"COD helped me to achieve my personal goal, which was to transfer to a good university. But more than achieving my personal goal, COD helped me set goals in my life to go forward." - Geunho Song

Geunho's COD Story

COD Stories

Kiel Fahnstrom

"COD has strong relationships with various four-year universities within and outside of Illinois, which allows students to transfer into a four-year program, finish their Bachelor of Architecture degree and, if they so choose, move forward with their master’s degree and licensing as an architect.” - Kiel Fahnstrom

Kiel's COD Story

COD Stories

William Manzanilla

"College of DuPage really set an incredible foundation for me to continue my education in the most effective and successful way possible." - William Manzanilla

William's COD Story

COD Stories

Jon Guttello

"Professor Jane Ostergaard has worked out transfer programs with many accredited universities, mostly in the Midwest, by proving that students who transfer from COD are stronger than the other students within the university." - Jon Guttello

Jon's COD Story

Get Started Today

The first step to getting started in pre-architecture is to apply for admission.

Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.

Learn whether a degree or certificate would best suit your educational goals by contacting Jane Ostergaard, the Chair of the Architecture and Construction Management Program, at

Pre-Architecture Program graduates will:

  • Be able to apply creative problem solving skills to architectural problem solving
  • Demonstrate knowledge of architectural history, theory, and practice in the solution of architectural design problems in a global society
  • Ability to gather, assess, record, and comparatively evaluate relevant information and performance in order to support conclusions related to a specific project or assignment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of architectural technology and construction materials and methods in the solution of architectural design problems as a steward of the environment.
  • Be able to utilize freehand drawing, architectural graphics, software, and model building skills in the solution of design problems
  • Be able to identify appropriate techniques and technology to use in the solution of design problems.
  • Be able to utilize technology as a tool in a wide range of documentation, presentation and analysis applications, using CADD, 3-D visualization and rendering, electronic image composition, editing software and other appropriate technology.
  • Be able to identify, formulate, and effectively communicate the critical issues involved in the solution of architectural design problems

College of DuPage has several pre-architecture transfer agreements in place with four-year colleges and universities to save you time, money and make the transfer process easier.

Many of these agreements with other colleges and universities have specific course requirements and a pre-determined course plan that needs to be followed to be eligible to transfer. Contact a program faculty member or academic advisor to learn more as course requirements vary by institution.


Career Information

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Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the architecture and construction management frequently asked questions to find out if pre-architecture, construction management, or architecture technology is right for you.