Students in exhibit at the WAAC.

Use the City as a Laboratory

About the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center

about us

Since 1980, the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center has served as an urban extension of the Virginia Tech Architecture and Design programs. The WAAC offers a unique professional learning environment with an interdisciplinary, international, individual focus. Our pedagogy emphasizes freedom and responsibility as partners in ethical design practice. Students have the freedom to choose their own studio and thesis projects, and take on the responsibility to realize those projects. We inspire students to chart their own career paths and become the architects or urban designers they want to become.

programs + admissions

The WAAC accepts students in the fourth, fifth, and graduate years of study. Select students from the VT B.Arch program may study at the WAAC for up to one school year as an off-campus option. Students in the M.Arch 2, Urban Design, and PhD programs may complete their entire courses of study at the WAAC. Students in the M.Arch 3 program may attend the WAAC at thesis level, after completing the first two years of the program in Blacksburg. You may learn more about all of these degree options on our Degrees page.

Prospective WAAC graduate applicants, please see this page for more details on the VT graduate application process. If you’re a current VT B.Arch student interested in studying the WAAC, please complete the WAAC B.Arch Application. If you’re a current VT graduate student and would like to transfer to the WAAC, please contact your advisors for more information.


In addition to students and faculty from Virginia Tech, the WAAC also hosts a Consortium of study-away students from other universities. The WAAC is a member of the National Student Exchange, which opens up the Consortium experience to students from all fifty states, Puerto Rico, and a selection of schools in Canada. The WAAC hosts additional students through individual agreements with international schools. These visiting students contribute to a diverse student body, bring varied perspectives and broadening the educational program for all at the WAAC. Study-away students, like their VT counterparts, are either graduates or upper-year undergraduates.

locations + facilities

The WAAC allows students to address the complexities of urban areas, using the Washington metropolitan area as a resource laboratory for design and research. All of our facilities are located within the Old Town district of Alexandria, VA, within a historic urban campus. Learn more about our buildings and facilities on our Locations + Facilities page.