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White Walls

First Year Curriculum

by Carly Batson, B.S. Arch '26

Course selection during the first couple of semesters at UVA is daunting, and it can be challenging to determine what classes to take and what classes are required through the A School. This guide will give incoming first years a chance to get familiar with the A School classes before enrollment and decide what to take ahead of time.

First Year
Fall Semester

ARCH 1020 Lessons in Making: This is an intro design course where you will learn the design process, think about spatial relationships, and get a glimpse at what studios look like in later semesters.
ARCH 1010 History of Architecture I: This class is the first of the two architecture history classes, which covers prehistoric architecture through 1420.
SARC 1500: This one-credit class is meant to serve as an advising period. You may have small assignments from your professors, but they are primarily there to support you as you start the A School and college in general.
PLAN 1010 Intro to Urban & Environmental Planning: This course gives a broad overview of urban planning in different contexts. The class also gives many examples of effective urban planning techniques and sustainable communities.
ENWR 1510*: This is a general first-year writing requirement that is either taken in the fall or spring semester, depending on the first letter of your last name (A-K in the fall, L-Z in the spring). So, if you’re L-Z, you would have two electives in the fall and two in the spring, along with the ENWR.
Humanities Elective: (See list below to see what classes fit in this category)

First Year
Spring Semester

ARCH 1030 Foundation Studio I: This is the first of many studio courses taken in the A School, where you go more in-depth on skills such as model-making, drawing, using digital modeling tools, and using design principles.
ARCH 1020 History of Architecture II: This is the continuation of ARCH 1010, where you study architecture from around 1400 to the present day.
Math/Natural Science Elective: (See list below to see what classes fit in this category)
Social/Behavioral Science Elective: (See list below to see what classes fit in this category)
Gen. Ed. Elective: (See list below to see what classes fit in this category)

Elective List

ARCH Electives: 

ARH prefixes, ARCH prefixes, LAR prefixes, PLAN prefixes, SARC prefixes


Architectural History (ARH), Art (ARTS, ARAD), Art History (ARTH), Classics (CLAS), Drama (DRAM), English (ENWR, ENLT, ENRN, ENEC, ENAM, ENMC, ENMD, ENLS, ENGN, ENCR, ENGL, ENNC, ENSP, SATR), Common Course (CCFA, CCLT), Comparative Literature (CPLT), Media Studies (MDST), Middle Eastern & S. Asian Studies (MESA, EAST), Music (MUSI), Philosophy (PHIL), Religious Studies (RELA, RELB, RELC, RELG, RELH, RELI, RELJ, RELS), Slavic Folklore (SLFK)

Math/Natural Sciences:

Anatomy and Cell Biology (ANAT), Astronomy (ASTR), Biochemistry (BIOC), Biology (BIOL), Common Course Science (CCSC), Chemistry (CHEM), Environmental Thought & Practice (ETP), Environmental Science (EVSC, EVAT) Mathematics (MATH), Physics (PHYS), Statistics (STAT)

Social/Behavioral Sciences:

African-American Studies (AAS), American Studies (AMST), Anthropology (ANTH), Common Course Social Science (CCSS), Economics (ECON), Global Development Studies (GDS, GSVS), History & Media Studies (HIAF, HIAS, HIEA, HIEU, HILA, HIME, HISA, HIST, HIUS, MSP), Linguistics (LING), Politics (PLAD, PLAP, PLCP, PLIR, PLPT, PPOL, PST, LPPS, LPPA), Psychology (PSYC), Public Policy (LPPA, LPPL, LPPP, LPPS), Sociology (SOC), Social Thought (PST), Women, Gender, &Sexuality (WGS)

Open Electives: 

Architecture (ARH, ARCH, LAR, PLAN, SARC), Commerce (COMM, ENTP), Computer Science (CS), Education (EDHS, EDIS, EDLF), Engineering (APMA BIOM, CE, CHE, ECE, ENGR, MAE, MSE, STS, SYS) ,  Foreign Language and Literature (FREN, SPAN, etc.), Military Science (AIRS, MISC, NASC), Music or Dance (DANC, MUBD, MUEN, MUPF), Nursing (NUIP), University Seminar (USEM)

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