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Boston Architectural College, also known as The BAC, is New England’s largest private college of spatial design. It offers first-professional bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, and non-professional design studies. The college offers continuing education credits and certificates and also hosts the BAC Summer Academy for high school students, as well as a variety of other ways for the general public to explore spatial design. It hosts spatial design exhibits and exhibits student and alumni work in its McCormick Gallery and frequently hosts conferences and symposia on spatial design.
The BAC is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA, formerly FIDER) and the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB). The BAC is a member of the ProArts Consortium.
Boston Architectural Club was established on December 11, 1889. The certificate of incorporation explains that the club was formed “for the purpose of associating those interested in the profession of architecture with a view to mutual encouragement and help in studies, and acquiring and maintaining suitable premises, property, etc., necessary to a social club… and…for public lectures, exhibitions, classes, and entertainment.” Members of the Club provided evening instruction for drafters employed in their offices. From this interchange, an informal atelier developed in the tradition of France’s École des Beaux-Arts. The Club held annual public exhibitions and published illustrated catalogs.
The BAC began its formal educational program under the joint leadership of H. Langford Warren and Clarence Blackall. The school was organized to offer an evening education in drawing, design, history, and structures. Like its informal predecessor, the BAC soon developed into an atelier affiliated with the Society of the École des Beaux-Arts in New York. The BAC’s design curriculum, teaching methods, and philosophy closely resembled those of the École des Beaux-Arts.
In 1911, the Club acquired a building at 16 Somerset Street on Beacon Hill. The BAC building contained a two-story Great Hall – designed by Ralph Adams Cram – as well as other spaces used for lectures, meetings and exhibitions, a library, and several studios. The newer facilities attracted more students, and the course of instruction became increasingly defined and formal.
In the 1930s most American schools of architecture broke away from the Beaux-Arts tradition and began to establish their own curricula and teaching methods. Without the support of a university structure, The Club struggled with the pains of growth and adjustment. The BAC appointed Arcangelo Cascieri to serve as dean. Cascieri brought the BAC through its philosophical transition without sacrificing the atelier teaching method. The BAC began to draw its faculty from nearby architectural schools and the extended local community of related professionals.
AIAS: “The BAC is one of more than 125 schools of architecture to maintain a local chapter of AIAS, an independent and non-profit student-run organization. This grassroots association is a cooperative between thousands of students committed to helping each other and sharing differing views. Membership is open to all architecture students and provides opportunities such as lectures, field trips, social and networking events, community service projects, and conferences.”
Student Government Association (SGA): “The Student Government Association’s mission is to foster communication between the BAC administration and the student body, to emphasize and promote professional and social aspects of student activities on and off campus, and to foster fellowship, cooperation, and unity between and among BAC students and organizations. SGA is one of the best ways to get involved in the school’s happenings, connect with other students, and learn the inner workings of the school and of your education.”
Interior Architecture Collaborative): Slogan: “‘Bringing ASID & IIDA to you!’ The BAC Interior Design Society facilitates the needs of BAC interior architecture students by enhancing their educational experience and networking opportunities. It also functions as a bridge and network between ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), IIDA (International Interior Design Association), the BAC, and the students. It provides interior architecture students at the BAC a community in which to find creative and professional support, offering opportunities for education outside the classroom and interaction with other designers. In addition, it returns the support to the community through volunteer events. To join the BAC Interior Architecture Collaborative, students must become a student member of ASID and/or IIDA.”
NOMAS: “NOMAS is an increasingly influential voice, promoting diversity in architecture and the quality and excellence of future design professionals. The local chapter, BACNOMAS, is committed to being active in the design community, participating in national design competitions, mentoring local high school students, and participating in a variety of other educational and recreational activities. The BAC Chapter of NOMAS is about the spirit of inclusion, and participation is welcomed whether you consider yourself a minority or not. Get involved! In addition, all members of NOMAS receive free membership to the Boston Society of Architects.”
Photo Club: “The Photo Club is here to support students’ growth as a design professional by providing workshops, trips to galleries, and resources to enhance BAC students’ ability to photograph their work on-site or at a studio.”
SASLA: “The BAC’s SASLA Chapter connects landscape architecture students to each other, to the local community and nationally as well. Participate to learn more about the field of landscape architecture, understand related skills, and be involved in a forum for landscape architecture students.”
Studio Q: “Your resource to the BAC’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & questioning community. Studio Q’s mission is to strengthen the LGBT community within the BAC and throughout Boston through various social events and political activism.
The Bee: The bee is somewhat of an informal mascot of the BAC, the roots of which can be traced to the “Cascieri Beehive”, a nickname for a sculpture by Dean Arcangelo Cascieri titled Selfless Labor depicting bees working together in a beehive. It is featured on the BAC class ring, the Selfless Labor Award (awarded to Cascieri Lecturers)and has become the name of the BAC’s weekly running club, the BAC Bees.
Since its beginnings in 1889, The Boston Architectural College has believed in design education as an endeavor led by working professionals. Currently, the College employs architects, interior designers, landscape architects, and other design-related experts who offer students an excellent design education, steeped in the practicalities of real-world experience and informed by inspiring leaders in the various spatial design fields. All BAC faculty are offered the opportunity to engage in a series of four teaching and learning courses offered by the College.
The Core Faculty is comprised of a group of design academic professionals who administer the various programs and teach at the BAC. Their work includes the ongoing assessment of each program and the furthering of a vision that integrates coursework throughout the curriculum, and they represent the gamut of fields for which the College provides education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Much of the BAC faculty is comprised of a large number of adjunct faculty who teach courses across the curriculum, in all schools and at every level of instructional offering. Many faculty teach at the BAC over an extended period of time and dedicate a focused portion of their work to educating our students. Other are specialists in their fields who teach specific courses part-time.
Teaching at the BAC
The BAC hires part-time adjunct faculty on a rolling basis. Faculty are expected to have completed graduate degrees in their fields. Qualified applicants should email their resume or CV and a letter of interest to:
What is the Student Assistance Program?
The BAC does not provide on-site mental health counseling or testing services for learning disabilities. However, the BAC is partnered with AllOne Health Resources to provide the Talk One2One Student Assistance Program (SAP). The SAP can provide counseling and make referrals to local organizations that can be of assistance in these areas.
The SAP provides you with the following free benefits:
Confidential Counseling Services
Students are eligible to receive assessment, referral, and counseling services (up to three face-to-face sessions). You should feel encouraged to use this resource for a broad range of issues. Examples include:
Roommate, relationship or family problems
Alcohol or substance abuse problems
Concerns about academic issues
Financial or legal issues/problems
Help finding child/elder care services
This service provides one free 30-minute office or telephone consultation per legal matter, except for job or school related legal matters. Typical matters include divorce and child custody, car accidents, contractual and consumer disputes, real estate concerns, landlord/tenant issues, and insurance disputes. Students can also receive a 25% discount for additional services provided by a network attorney.
This service provides one free telephone consultation per financial issue. Typical financial issues include credit card debt, identity theft, financial planning, and tax advice provided by a qualified financial counselor.
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To access the website, go to allonehealtheap.com and enter:
User name: BAC SAP
To contact the Talk One2One Student Assistance Program, call: 1.800.756.3124
The staff in Academic Services can also assist students in contacting the SAP or providing referrals. Please contact the director of Academic Services at 617.585.0215 or the assistant director of Academic Services at 617.585.0274 for further assistance