TAKING COURSES AT UMKC
The Curriculum Guide for Architectural Studies (click HERE) is straightforward, but questions can arise. Below are a few of the most common. Read them all carefully, and consult our Student Handbook (available on your Architectural Studies course websites). Being aware of all this information will make your time here run much more smoothly!
WHEN WILL I BE ADVISED?
If you have just graduated from high school, or are a first-time-college student, you will receive an email with summer orientation dates. We encourage you to sign up early and not wait, as many of the course offerings might fill up.
If you are transferring from another college and just beginning our program, you can arrange a summer appointment via our front office at email@example.com, or attend a summer transfer orientation.
If you are in your second, third or fourth semester with us, advising will take place in the last few weeks of the prior semester. You will receive an email with the date.
I HAVEN’T BEEN ACCEPTED INTO YOUR PROGRAM YET, BUT WOULD LIKE TO START TAKING CLASSES THAT WOULD COUNT TOWARDS IT.
The UMKC courses MATH 110, PHYSICS 210, ENGLISH 110, ENGLISH 225, COMS 110 and General Electives (or their appropriate equivalent at another institution) can be taken without actually being accepted to our program.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT CLASSES TO TAKE?
Our course of study can be found here. You can consult the semester’s course schedule to find out what time(s) classes are offered, and what pre-requisites are required.
CAN I TAKE CLASSES IN AN ORDER OTHER THAN WHAT IS SHOWN HERE?
To a certain extent. If the course catalog does not note that a prerequisite is required, you may take the course out of sequence. There is a logic to the sequence, however, so we encourage you to follow it as closely as you are able. Studios must be taken in the order shown. Required courses in the major are only offered in the semester shown. NOTE: The courses required in the first-year of the curriculum must be completed before advancing on to the second-year of the curriculum.
WHERE CAN I SEE THE FULL FIVE-YEAR CURRICULUM, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH KSU?
Click on the appropriate major to see the KSU curriculum guide.
Architecture: Note that the first two years are nearly identical to the UMKC program. We do not offer “Environmental Design and Society”, so you will take that later at KSU.
Landscape Architecture: Note that you will take only your first year of study at UMKC, and then transfer to KSU for years 2-5.
Interior Architecture and Industrial Design: Note that you will take only your first year of study at UMKC, and then transfer to KSU for years 2-5.
HOW MANY CREDIT HOURS DO I HAVE TO TAKE EACH SEMESTER?
Our department has no “minimum” number of hours you must take, but your financial aid probably does. Check with your financial aid advisor to find out. As a department, we encourage you to take the number of credit hours that you can handle and do well in, given your particular circumstances (job, family obligations, etc.)
DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE THE COURSE OF STUDY IN THE FIVE YEARS AS OUTLINED?
No. We have many students who take an extra year or two to complete the program, simply because their circumstances require that extra time. However, your financial aid package probably has limitations on how long you can receive financial aid. Be sure to check with your financial aid advisor.
I JUST TRIED TO ENROLL IN DESIGN STUDIO, BUT IT’S NOT ALLOWING ME IN. WHAT DO I DO?
Departmental consent is required for enrolling in the design studios. You will receive an email from the department when you are clear to enroll in those courses. However, there could be a hold on your account for a number of reasons. Consult your Pathway account first to see what type of account hold is shown there.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A “GENERAL ELECTIVE” AND A “PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT ELECTIVE”?
A Professional Support Elective (PSE) is an elective that is directly relevant to the degree you are pursuing. In other words, if you are majoring in Architecture, a PSE would need to be about an architectural topic. (The only PSE that UMKC offers is a planning elective, which is required at KSU for Architecture majors. It is usually taken in the fourth year, but can be taken early. A list of approved UMKC planning classes can be obtained at the department office.)
A General Elective, on the other hand, is just the opposite. Ideally, it should be about something outside of your typical path of study, in order to make you more educationally well-rounded.
WHAT ELECTIVES SHOULD I TAKE?
A General Elective should be something you enjoy, and can do well in…with an emphasis on “do well in“. Your Design Studios will be very demanding; avoid courses that make equal demands on your time. Beyond that, the possibilities are wide open! What do you find interesting outside the world of Architectural Studies? (Note that there are a limit to the number of recreational credits you may take; see the fine print at the bottom of the KSU curriculum guides above.)
SHOULD I HAVE A MINOR?
It would be very difficult to take on a minor without adding another semester or two to your educational career, and to no particular gain in the design professions. But if you do have some specific career goals in mind, it certainly doesn’t hurt to shape your elective choices to suit that, even if they don’t officially add up to be a minor.
Think you might want to have your own business someday? Want to work in a foreign country at some point? Have a special interest in planning? Business, leadership, foreign language and planning courses can be easy to weave into your elective choices, if that’s where your interests lie. But if you feel an “official” minor is something you’d like to pursue, have a talk with your advisor.
HOW ABOUT A DOUBLE MAJOR?
For the same reasons (time and mental energy), a double major isn’t really possible. We always tell students to just get started on their design degree, and see how they feel about their other interest in a few years. If the student still feels a strong need to follow up on the second interest, pursuing a graduate degree in that field after achieving their first degree is certainly feasible.
I’M HAVING DOUBTS ABOUT WHETHER ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES IS RIGHT FOR ME. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Just sit down and have a talk with your studio professor or an advisor (probably the same person). They’re there to help you, and this bridge has been crossed many times. You might just be experiencing a temporary low spot, or you might be finding your skills are better suited in another career path. Never fear–they can help you sort it out.
TRANSFERRING OR TAKING COURSES FROM ANOTHER INSTITUTION
CAN I TAKE CLASSES FOR THIS CURRICULUM AT ANOTHER INSTITUTION?
Courses that are equivalent to UMKC courses MATH 110, PHYSICS 210, ENGLISH 110, ENGLISH 225, COMS 110 and General Electives may be taken at other institutions.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT CLASSES AT OTHER SCHOOLS WILL COUNT AT UMKC?
You can find equivalent courses at your particular institution here. If you’ve already taken a course at another institution and are hoping it will count as an equivalent here, but it (or your institution) does not show up on the list, talk to your advisor.
A CLASS I TOOK AT ANOTHER INSTITUTION, OR AS AN ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) CLASS, IS NOT SHOWING UP ON MY TRANSCRIPT. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If the course is not showing up on your transcript, it means that either your previous institution has not sent the transcript to UMKC, or that UMKC has not yet processed it. You must request your transcript from your previous institution to have it sent; we cannot. You can contact UMKC Registration, to find out if they have received your transcript.
MAINTAINING YOUR GPA
WHAT KIND OF GPA DO I NEED TO MAINTAIN?
There are three “thresholds” to pass over during the course of your education, each of which will consider GPA.
- The first is applying to and getting accepted into the first-year of the Architectural Studies program.
- The second is applying to and getting accepted into the degree program of your choice: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Architecture or Industrial Design. The application process happens during your first year.
- The final threshold is applying to and getting accepted into the graduate program in your degree program. The application process happens during your third year.
You will need to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to graduate. UMKC and KSU will always keep you up-to-date on application deadlines, just be sure to always check your emails.
I TOOK/AM TAKING COURSES AT ANOTHER INSTITUTION. ARE MY GRADES THERE FACTORED INTO MY UMKC GPA?
Yes, if you are taking courses at another UM institution. Otherwise: no, only the credit transfers. (However, your GPA from the other institution can affect your initial acceptance into the first-year of the program.)