Florida Atlantic University
School of Architecture
Situated in an urban downtown campus in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Atlantic University School of Architecture is immersed in the diverse international community of South Florida. The School resides in the College of Architecture, Urban and Public Affairs and is complemented by faculties in urban and regional planning, public administration, social work, and criminal justice. In this context human culture, social responsibility, ecological sustainability, and the subtropical built environment inform the study of architectural design. The School has more than doubled in size since its inception in 1996 yet it remains small enough for each member of the faculty and student body to significantly engage in the program and contribute to the continued evolution of a meaningful design culture.http://www.fau.edu/arch
Florida Atlantic University is a large and diverse institution with more than 26,000 students on six different campuses along Florida's eastern coast. The School of Architecture is based in downtown Fort Lauderdale, the geographic center of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, including Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties with over six million inhabitants. The city and region span a complex range of modern urban, suburban and natural environments from the Everglades conservation area to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
The School of Architecture has evolved to become a compact and energetic environment where designers and thinkers from a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives converge to share their interest and knowledge about the human, natural, and built environment and the continuing evolution of the discipline of architecture. Design thinking is a powerful means toward innovation and change. The School of Architecture is fortunate to include a diverse faculty representing a wide range of interests and perspectives as well as a highly diverse student body and considers the unique makeup of its human capital to be a valuable resource. Toward this end, the curriculum of the School provides a broad range of courses that include theory, history, materials, construction methods, professional practice, structural design, environmental systems and the important skills of design research and graphic presentation we rely on to initiate, develop and effectively communicate design solutions. The curriculum is focused on preparing students for developing design solutions that are informed by the past, active in the present, and aimed for the future. Each year new design opportunities and problems initiated by the communities of South Florida become the subject of the school's studio and research projects. These activities involve learning by doing, together with faculty and the community. In this way students experience first hand the relationship between ideas and practice and develop a process of critical analysis and informed design necessary to realize the potential for local, regional, and global impact. Student work is presented at community meetings and workshops, exhibited in community centers, and juried in public. These experiences provide students with the opportunity to develop a variety of skills, including how to formulate a question, how to listen thoughtfully, and how synthesize information from a range of issues including complex community desires, varying municipal codes and policies, and the dynamic economy that continues to sculpt an evolving metropolis to arrive at an inspired or innovative design.
The School offers a professional Bachelor of Architecture and a post-professional Master of Science in Architecture. The Bachelor of Architecture is a five-year professional degree for students pursuing professional licensure and practice. The three-semester Master of Science degree is intended for students who have already completed a professional degree and seek advanced study toward a research/practice concentration. Lower Division -- The first two years toward the B.Arch. degree may be completed on the University's main campus in Boca Raton, dual enrolled at the University and a regional community college, or in a lower-division program at another institution. The Schools' lower division program in Boca Raton is limited to accommodating approximately thirty students in each of the first two years. The upper division (the third, fourth, and fifth years) accommodates additional students transferring from other institutions. The number of students in the upper division transferring from other schools contributes to the diversity in background and experience of the student body in the professional sequence. Undergraduate Admissions -- Students may apply for admission to the School either as freshmen or as transfer students in the upper division. Detailed information about the admission requirements is available on the University and School websites. B.Arch. -- The core of the degree program is the architectural design studio. The Bachelor of Architecture sequence requires students to engage progressively complex building typologies and programs through eight semesters followed by the fifth "thesis" year, which includes an urban design studio and a final comprehensive building design project in the last semester. Issues of order and composition, technology and environment, materials and structure, spatial expression and functionality, culture and context, anthropometrics and scale, analysis and synthesis inform the design inquiry throughout this sequence. M.S. Arch. -- The Master of Science program is a three-semester sequence permitting advanced students to pursue a design research specialization. This program begins with an overview of design theories and courses in advanced design research methods. After the first semester students develop a research plan that serves as a framework for studio-based design exploration in the following two semesters. Studio work must be architectural in nature, but does permit the study of building systems or theories as well as the development of more traditional building designs. The program does encourage graduate students to find a crossover focus area from the within the College which includes the School of Public Administration, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the School of Social Work, and the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.