4—Curricular Framework. The 2020 Conditions require programs to meet minimum total credit hours for each degree but no longer require a minimum number of credits assigned to Professional, General, and Optional Studies. The minimum number of credits for General Studies is established by the program’s regional accreditor and any additional requirements by its institution. Optional Studies may now include architecture courses outside of those required for the professional degree. Additionally, the 2020 Conditions remove the three forms—Single Institution, Preprofessional-plus, and Non-preprofessional degree-plus—from the Master of Architecture degree, requiring programs to document at what level coursework is completed, and continues the evaluation of preparatory education.
Helpful Hint: Several regional accreditors have changed requirements for General Studies, including lowering the number of required credits, since the original requirements were established. These changes allow programs greater flexibility in determining whether to shift hours into the professional degree, Optional Studies or eliminate credits to lower the cost for students. It is up to the program what, if any, changes they want to make.