The Department of Architecture prepares students for a rapidly evolving and complex profession and to nurture creative/critical technology skills in general. Students are introduced to a variety of ideas and contemporary issues through the diversity of the faculty, guest critics and lecturers, and are prepared for the professional world through courses in professional practice, contact with practicing professionals, work experience and the final year of directed study.
The Department of Architecture distinguishes itself by emphasizing its public mission — of serving the Commonwealth through projects that support community design projects, and training students to be engaged with issues of local design, planning, and environmentally and economically sustainable communities. Architecture students are exposed, in virtually every class, to ideas and projects that benefit local and regional communities.
The educational opportunities at the Department of Architecture pay particular attention to the needs of the regional and global society. Opportunities to study specific community-based ecological, political and urban issues are provided in the core architecture curriculum.
Course work in design, history, technology, planning, and practice prepare students to meet requirements for practice. The studio sequence is predicated on the idea that skill and proficiency in a profession are achieved through repeated exercises of continually increased complexity and scale. Parallel to and linked with this development of creative problem solving skills are the courses in technical systems, materials and construction, structures and professional practice.