The Program in Architecture and Urbanism (Curso de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, CAU) was created in the first half of 2002 by the Departments of Civil Engineering and Arts and Design at PUC-Rio, based on the tradition and experience of the University in training in Engineering, Design and History. From the beginning, CAU is characterized by an educational project whose structural axis is the integrated design studio, and by its enhanced interdisciplinarity, internationalization, innovation, and the critical capacity of its alumni.

Following the growth and consolidation of CAU and the creation, in 2013, of the Graduate Program in Architecture (PPGArq), the Department of Architecture and Urbanism (DAU) was formed in April 2015, increasing the existing links between research, extension and education at both undergraduate and graduate levels in the field of Architecture and Urbanism at PUC-Rio. Thus, since 2013, DAU has been investing heavily no the integration between its undergraduate and graduate programs, considered essential to the quality of vocational training, through extracurricular activities and scientific projects.

The Undergraduate Program in Architecture and Urbanism at PUC-Rio values, particularly, the association between theory and practice, which is expressed, among other ways, through the integrated design studios, which insert significant part of the theoretical content of the compulsory curriculum in studios with twelve hours per week, and is taught by combined teams of faculty with full dedication, primarily focused on the research, and part-time, mainly focused on the design practice in private offices or public entities. The pedagogical strategy of the integrated design studio as the backbone of the curriculum enhances the association between theory and practice by reinforcing interdisciplinary, including in the same studio, faculty from different areas of knowledge and different Departments of the University.

DAU constantly seeks to expand its insertion and multiply in society principles of social and environmental responsibility. This is achieved through the contents taught in the classroom, but also through practical experience in extracurricular activities, such as workshops and study trips, or in the experience that students can have in the Junior Architecture Office.