Iowa State University
Department of Architecture
From our gracious home in the heartland, the Department of Architecture at Iowa State University attracts close to half of its students from across the country and around the globe. We reciprocate that broad interest by preparing all of our students for amazing architectural opportunities across those same varied venues, including our own great home state of Iowa with its rich architectural heritage. One validation of the highquality preparation our students receive comes from the prestigious professional publication, DesignIntelligence. Their survey of "America's Best Architecture and Design Schools," is conducted by soliciting responses directly from architectural practices. Firms are asked to evaluate which school produced architecture graduates over the last five years that are best prepared for the profession. Our undergraduate program has been ranked among their top fifteen national programs for the last five years in a row, one of only ten schools to receive that consistent national recognition. Our specific annual rankings have ranged from 7th to 14th. This year our graduate program earned national recognition in these rankings as well. Knowledgeable firms within our competitive 12-state Midwest region are also asked 63 to rank the top national schools, and this year they ranked our graduate program first and our undergraduate program second among our peer programs in all U.S. architecture schools. There are 115 programs in the United States that offer accredited graduate and undergraduate degrees in architecture; the consistently high national ranking of our Department of Architecture clearly places us among the elite schools in the nation. The acknowledged success of our students is the direct result of our talented and committed faculty. The faculty recognition bestowed by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is a testament to the high standards exhibited by our faculty team. In the last five years, they have received three ACSA Creative Achievement Awards, the only program in the country to do so, as well as three ACSA/AIA New Faculty Teaching Awards, one of only two programs in the country to do so. We are the only program in the nation to receive at least one ACSA award in each of the last seven years. The most recent recognition occurring in 2008 was a coveted ACSA Distinguished Professor Award. We were also selected as one of only twenty international architecture programs allowed to compete in the Fall 09 Solar Decathlon; a prestigious bi-annual event to construct an energy efficient residential prototype on the mall in Washington, DC. We are committed to the design studio as a workshop in which conceptual and theoretical thinking is integrated with the everyday, the material, the technological, and the humane. In the Department of Architecture we offer an accredited professional 5-year undergraduate B.Arch. program and an accredited professional 3.5-year M.Arch. program that links research and experimentation with the professional requisites. Post-professional programs (M.Arch. 30 cr. and MSAS) interrelate theory and practice in specialized explorations of architecture in collaboration with our faculty.
Iowa State University is a public, land-grant Research I University, with about 25,000 students that is located in Ames, Iowa where it engages its situation in the mid-American Landscape. Ames is adjacent to the central Iowa urban center and state capital of Des Moines, which shares a vibrant urban setting and rich architectural heritage. The Department of Architecture is a comprehensive center for teaching, research, and public service in architecture.
The department is committed to the study of architecture as a cultural discipline in which issues of practice, of the multiplicity of social formations in which buildings exist, and of environmental effect are enfolded with the subject matter of building design, construction, space, material, form, and use. The complexity of architectural production is mirrored in an intentional pluralistic student body and faculty. The professional programs are grounded in the requisites of a professional education. The five-year undergraduate program positions architectural design as an armature within a broad-based field of general studies. The graduate program is research-based and allows the student to explore special areas of interest in addition to the core curriculum in architecture. The high achievements of our faculty represent a broad range of individual and collective academic pursuits. We do not require allegiance to a particular doctrine; we encourage exploration and value exposure to a balance of diverse aspirations and perspectives. We reside in the middle of our state in the middle of our country. We build upon that stable grounding by aggressively expanding our students' awareness through projects and fieldtrips to distant venues that range from Montreal to Miami and New York to New Mexico. In addition to our popular semester-long program in Rome, we also have optional summer programs in various venues around the globe.
Undergraduate Program The bachelor of architecture program is both an intense professional course of study and a broadly conceived experience in general education. The design studio is the armature of the program and students explore the possibilities of design as a synthesizing practice. The work of the studio is an assemblage of the elements of experience and intention, of the subject matter of building design and of the engendering effects of a pluralistic cultural field. In this engagement, the curriculum mirrors contemporary practice as it simultaneously constructs the broad historical range of architecture both as discipline and practice. The undergraduate curriculum is composed of a preprofessional program (29.5 credits, two semesters) followed by a 140 credit professional program that is typically four years in length. At the end of the first year, applicants are reviewed for admission to the professional program, which is currently limited to 64 students. The professional curriculum is structured by a progressive and sequential involvement in the elements of the field of architecture: design, communications, technology, history, theory, human behavior, and practice. Each year level is composed of a set of interconnected courses that enhance the student's learning experience. From the beginning, the student is involved in the construction, representation, and simulation of architecture. All students are expected to be computer literate by the completion of their course of study. The curriculum includes a semester-long individual senior project in the 5th year.