Advice for First Semester Architecture Students

Welcome to the School of Architecture

We are excited to meet you as you begin your journey towards the profession of architecture!



Thursday, August 19th / Architecture Launchpad Orientation

Don’t wait until the first day of class to figure things out! Our School of Architecture Launchpad Orientation delivers CRITICAL information for starting your online education. Get answers to your questions about what to expect in an architecture school, your first semester, how to navigate our online learning system, where to find information and University resources, and important tips to succeed as an online student.


Thursday, August 26th,  4-5 pm PDT / MYDD (Meet Your Department Directors)

Meet the Directors of the School of Architecture! Hosting the Zoom meeting will be:

Eric Lum, Director

Mark Mueckenheim, Graduate Director

Karen Seong, Undergraduate Assistant Director


Thursday, September 2nd / First Day of Fall Semester

Be sure to have your equipment and supplies ready. Check in to each of your classes on the LMS. Students in synchronous virtual sections can find class Zoom links on the LMS.



The ARH Blog is our virtual hub for sharing important information and exciting announcements. This frequently updated blog offers valuable resources and is a great way to get to know the ARH community. Find resources specifically for new students, faculty bios, examples of student work, alumni stories, scholarship opportunities, resume and portfolio advice, our diversity equity inclusion efforts, and much much more!

Please visit and be sure to bookmark on your browser:



Your success in online classes relies heavily on the effort you make to communicate. Make it a priority to regularly dialogue with your teachers EACH week during the semester, by attending weekly office hours (many questions get asked and answered there) or otherwise. Correspond with your teachers regarding any challenges or questions you may have in completing or understanding your work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially if you are not understanding something – questions count as participation, and everyone in your class will benefit from your questions!


First year undergraduate students taking ARH 110 Studio 1 Conceptual Design and/or ARH 170 Projective Drawing and Perspective will need the following equipment, software, and supplies.

Required Equipment

Regular access to a laptop or desktop computer with a webcam, a scanner, and a digital camera or smartphone will be needed the first week and every week of your semester to review course content, submit work, and meet virtually with your teachers and classmates.  Important Note: Your computer must have reliable internet connection – please test BEFORE the first day of classes.

A digital camera or a smartphone is needed to photograph drawings and models so that you can submit your work each week. A tripod is recommended for better quality photography and documentation of your work. Please review the AAU photography tutorials BEFORE the first day of class

Though a first year student will not require the full capacity of the computer specifications described in the following Guidelines, the investment in a good computer and a large monitor is recommended as soon as possible and before the second year.

Guidance on Computer Acquisitions for Undergraduate Architecture Student

Required Software

Drawing Board – Required

The supply lists for both ARH 110 and ARH 170 include a drawing board (one will suffice for both classes). This is NOT the desk for your computer, but a separate desk or table for your drawing and model-making design work. ARH 170 assignments require a larger drawing surface area and therefore the class suggests a larger board – 31” x 42”. Make sure the parallel rule or T-square you purchase runs the same length as your drawing board.

Other Required Supplies

Supplies for ARH 110 and ARH 170 are very similar so you do not have to purchase anything twice. ARH 110 Studio 1 Conceptual Design Studio requires additional tools and materials for model-making. Please check your courses on the LMS for the FULL list of supplies for each class.

See the list below if you are waiting for financial aid and can only purchase a partial list of supplies during the first two weeks of classes. You will need the items listed below on your first day of class. As funds become available, you can purchase the full list of supplies.

20442-0009 CretaColor Monolith Woodless Pencil Set

Or any sketching pencil and eraser

10322-1003 Canson Universal Sketch Pad, 9″x12″, 100 sheets

Or any similar sized sketchbook

55968-4009 Blick Portable Tabletop Drafting Board with Parallel Ruler Straight Edge – 24” x 36” (or 31”x42”)**

**We recommend the larger drawing surface 31″ x 42”. Alternatively, if you already have a good quality, smooth drawing desk surface with straight and smooth edges, you may purchase the 36” or 42″ T-Square listed below instead of this parallel straight-edge board.

55453-1042 Blick Acrylic Edge T-Square – 42″ (Alternative to Drafting Board) 1
22854-1030 Staedtler Mars Lead Pointer 1
20624-0019 Koh -I- Noor Duette Lead Refills – F, Pack of 2 1
22828-2061 Staedtler Lumograph Leads – 2H, Pack of 2 1
55709-3012 Staedtler Triangular Scale – 12″, Architectural 1
55698-1014 C-Thru Professional Triangle – 30°/60°, 14″ 1
24153-1075 Blick Drafting Tape – 3/4” x 60 yds

Or any non-permanent / removable adhesive tape

10530-1218 Blick Studio Tracing Rolls/18X50YD WHITE 1
58991-1009 Blick Cutting Mat/18X24 TRANS (or larger) 1
55952-9318 Alumicolor Non-Slip Straight Edge Ruler – 18″ 1
57445-1101 X-Acto #1 Knife 1
57413-1411 X-Acto #11 Blade, Stainless Steel, 5 pk 1
23820-1008 Delta Sobo Craft and Fabric Glue – 8 oz

Or any white craft glue

13900-3040 1/8” or 3/16” thick Corrugated Cardboard (30″X40″)

It is not necessary to purchase this new if you are able to repurpose used boxes. Recycled cardboard is acceptable if it is in good condition and correct thickness.


Students in ARH 110 Studio 1 will also need the following at semester start:

  • Brown craft paper about 36 inches wide by about 15 ft long (any other wide rolls of paper can be substituted such as wrapping paper)
  • Color markers (about 3-5 different colors)

Note: Students in ARH 110 OS 2 (in-person section) will be provided with paper and markers.