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Certificate of Achievement
Architectural Theory and Design

This certificate of achievement provides a focused course of study for students in preparation for careers in the field of architecture. Emphasis is placed on the aesthetics of architectural design work along with visualization of three-dimensional objects, and the methods and techniques to express buildings and similar objects on two-dimensional media.  Concepts of sketching and perspective as well the use of color, texture, and materials are incorporated into design.  Historical styles and the application of styles in design elements are also part of the curriculum.  The use of computer-aided drafting (CAD)/modeling software is an integral component to the certificate, alongside traditional tools for artistic expression. Coursework involves the preparation of projects and models accomplished within a design lab environment as experienced in higher levels of architectural education and in common workplace conditions.

Please contact the Student Success Team for this program if you have any questions.

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Sample Education Plan

This sample education plan for the 2023-2024 catalog year represents one possible pathway through the program. Each university (UC, CSU, private, and others) has their own transfer requirements; please see a counselor to create an education plan that is customized to meet your needs. Additional course descriptions may be found in the College Catalog.
CourseUnitsTypically Offered
1st Semester
ARCH 215 - Architectural Perspective and RenderingM4.0
ARCH 215 - Architectural Perspective and Rendering (4.0 units)

Prerequisite: ARCH 115
Advisory:ENGT 105
Transfers to:UC,CSU

In this course, students are introduced to the theory and practical application of perspective drawing and rendering as used in architecture. Topics include one and two-point perspectives, entourage, and an introduction to rendering techniques such as markers, pastels, pencil, pen, and ink. Presentation techniques also are discussed.

Total Semester Units:4.0 
2nd Semester
ARCH 235 - Architectural Design StudioM4.0
ARCH 235 - Architectural Design Studio (4.0 units)

Prerequisite: ARCH 215
Advisory:ENGT 150
Transfers to: UC, CSU

This course is for students pursuing an Associate in Science Degree in Architecture with the intent of transferring and continuing their study of architecture. Topics include multiple design principles, concept applications, spatial and form definition, preliminary studies, interior and exterior space planning, site orientation, styles, and materials. Student design concepts are expressed verbally and graphically using presentation drawings, isometrics and perspectives, conceptual models, renderings, and photographs. Students develop skills in a studio atmosphere dealing with existing conditions, problem solving using design criteria, codes, and environmental relationships for abstract, residential, and small commercial structures.

ENGT 200 - Intermediate CAD Modeling for Design & ProductionM4.0
ENGT 200 - Intermediate CAD Modeling for Design & Production (4.0 units)

Advisory:ARCH 101 or CIV 101 or ENGT 101 or two years of high school drafting, ENGT 105, ENGT 150
Transfers to: CSU

This course is for students pursuing AS Degrees or Certificates of Achievement in Architecture or Civil Engineering, or the Engineering Design Drafting Program, as well as those who to enhance their computer aided design (CAD) skills for workplace productivity. The course is an intermediate application study in CAD, drafting, and graphics using the latest revisions of CAD software. Combined with previously learned technical drafting conventions and basic CAD operational skills, students use CAD software to produce detailed drawings that involve models, 2D and 3D objects, data attributes, and scales. Emphasis is placed on working with multiple drawing files using external files to create mechanical, architectural, and civil projects.

Total Semester Units:8.0 
3rd Semester
ARCH 236 - Architectural Design Studio IIM4.0
ARCH 236 - Architectural Design Studio II (4.0 units)

Prerequisite: ARCH 235
Transfers to: UC, CSU

This second-level course builds upon the foundation of the Architectural Design Studio course (ARCH 235). The course presents additional design approaches to the spatial and form definition of an architectural program; urban and site planning; and topographic, civil, and environmental issues. Architectural design proposals and projects are expressed verbally and graphically using presentation drawings, conceptual models, renderings, and photographs. Students enhance their design skills in a studio atmosphere, working to justify their design solutions.

Total Semester Units:4.0 
Total Units for Architectural Theory and Design COA program 16.0 
AP exams and courses taken outside of Rio Hondo College may fulfill general education and/or major requirements. Please check with a counselor.
M Major course; course may also meet a general education requirement
Advising Sheet:
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Program Learning Outcomes

About RHC

Rio Hondo College, serving the communities of El Monte, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, and Whittier for over 50 years.


Rio Hondo College
3600 Workman Mill Road
Whittier, CA 90601

Phone: (562) 692-0921
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