University of Cincinnati
PROGRAMS: University of Cincinnati School of Architecture
Bachelor of Science in Architecture
Architecture is the culturally responsible design and production of buildings that are useful, durable, meaningful, inspiring, and responsive to their physical and social contexts. Architecture is an art, a technical craft, and an ethical practice.
The pre-professional architecture program is primarily intended for those who wish to go on to a graduate level professional program and become practicing architects. It teaches understanding of the social, technical, and symbolic content of the natural and built environments, the skills to modify those environments, and the judgment to assess the value of modifications. The program can also be beneficial in preparing students for many related fields that require an ability to solve problems and increase values in complex situations by creating appropriate order and supportive structure.
The curriculum is comprehensive from the beginning. Because architects must be able to integrate practical, technical, and aesthetic factors in designing buildings, students are introduced immediately to that challenge. They become practiced over the extent of the program in giving coherence to increasingly complex and demanding situations.
The curriculum is structured around four primary elements: 1) a core program of required architectural lectures, seminars, and studios that introduces students to fundamental professional knowledge and skills, 2) a series of general education elective courses, which allows students to expand their education, 3) four quarters of cooperative work experience in a wide range of professional firms, and 4) a two-quarter capstone studio project in which students demonstrate their acquired knowledge and skills.
The program awards a pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree after four years. Students who apply and are accepted into the graduate program then work towards the three-year, professional Master of Architecture degree.
Other educational opportunities include organized travel quarters and student exchange programs in England, Germany, and Denmark. Many architecture students also pursue joint degrees and certificate programs within the college and the university.
Master of Architecture
The Master of Architecture program at the University of Cincinnati has two curricular tracks: one is for students with bachelor’s degrees in other fields (M Arch 1); the other supports those who currently hold undergraduate degrees in architecture (M Arch 2).
Four things distinguish the Cincinnati M Arch from those at most other schools: our long tradition of co-operative professional education (co-op), our open curriculum encouraging an individual choice of research focus, our location in a top-tier interdisciplinary design/arts college in a leading design city, and our consistently strong Design Intelligence program rankings.
The study of architecture at the master’s level requires a commitment to the design and production of buildings that are useful, durable, meaningful, inspiring, and responsibly engaged with their physical, cultural, and social contexts. Architecture is a useful art, a technical craft, and an ethical practice. Cincinnati’s professional, design-centered approach encompasses this range of issues, preparing graduates for licensing and a critical engagement with the world of practice. This critical spirit does not simply accept presumptions and practices at face value, but examines their provenance and consequences with a wary eye and an open mind. The program seeks to promote leadership, collaboration, intellectual depth, flexibility, innovation, and teamwork – elevating professional esteem and multiplying career opportunities for our graduates.
The discipline of architecture is continually changing. Graduates encounter an information-intensive professional world, full of situations demanding critical and imaginative thinking. The Master of Architecture program engages fundamental knowledge and skills, and emphasizes comprehensive design, while affording students the opportunity to expand horizons through flexibility, experimentation, and risk-taking. The program provides substantial opportunities for guided investigations of individual architectural interests, building intellectual rigor as well as skill development through a collegial atmosphere emphasizing mentoring, coaching, and advising.
The Co-op Program: Cooperative education is a century-long tradition at the University of Cincinnati, and is the envy of the field. Within the curriculum, students cross back and forth between the academic and commercial worlds of architecture, strengthening their understanding of the integration of theory and practice, discipline and profession. At the graduate level, the co-op experience includes specific learning experiences that operate between these two traditional sites of instruction, linking our 700-firm employer network into academic course work and research objectives through a guided, 26-week graduate co-op experience related to each student’s thesis topic.
Research Concentrations: Your individual choice of research focus will dominate the latter part of the curriculum. Courses provide mentorship and guidance in developing an area of focus to inform and accompany your final thesis project, working with faculty members one-on-one and in small groups. Graduate elective studios involve independent, student-led research in support of design work; you’ll learn to articulate clearly your theoretical position, methodology, and design intentions. With faculty advisers, you’ll define an area of academic concentration, and tailor your research efforts, co-op experiences, and elective choices to inform the extensive written and design components of your final-year thesis investigation.
The Cincinnati Context: We’re situated in a leading design college, in a distinguished research university, in a vibrant design city. Cincinnati’s internationally acclaimed College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) supports a multidisciplinary design and art culture that comes alive within our Eisenman-designed building. The proximity of programs in interior design, graphic design, digital design, industrial design, fashion design, art history, art education, fine arts, urban planning, and urban studies, offers you many opportunities to take elective or collaborative course work in these fields and to develop areas of expertise that leverage partnerships among diverse faculty and students. The city of Cincinnati offers a pleasant physical and cultural environment, and is home to many internationally-known design firms and Fortune 500 companies. It has world-class performing and visual arts, distinguished urban neighborhoods and rich traditions, and one of the largest concentrations of world-renowned contemporary architecture in the world.
The Rankings: Our consistently high Design Intelligence rankings reflect our long-standing tradition and durable reputation for producing the nation’s most practice-ready architectural graduates. Unlike other national program rankings, Design Intelligence polls the employers of recent graduates, so their results directly reflect the quality of our students’ professional preparation. DAAP’s long-time commitment to high-quality professional education (and the huge number of our alumni and co-op employers who are now leaders in the design fields), will ensure that the top-tier reputation of your Cincinnati degree will be sustained throughout your career.
A Career in Architecture: Most architectural graduates work in architectural firms, which often employ other design professionals as well. While the great majority of architectural offices have fewer than 10 employees, who typically assume a wide range of responsibilities, architects in large firms may focus on more specialized roles such as design, technical support, business management and marketing, facility programming, or historic preservation. An architectural degree can also lead to a career in interior design, urban design and planning, engineering, construction, real estate development, or university teaching. In recent years, the field of architecture has been in the midst of several important transformations around issues such as environmental sustainability, new building and modeling technologies, new design vocabularies, and new approaches to urbanism and the city.
Two Curricular Tracks: Students enter one of two curricula based on their prior academic and professional experience. These are diagrammed on the next page. The M Arch 1 is for students with an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than architecture, and the M Arch 2 is for students with a prior degree in architecture. For more information on the components of each of these curricula, such as option quarter, research and thesis years, elective guidelines, etc., please refer to the “Frequently Asked Questions” below.
Our M Arch 1 Curriculum: Students coming from another discipline begin with an intensive accelerated foundation in professional skills and knowledge, coupled with a broadly interdisciplinary introduction to architecture and its role in the world. There are eleven academic quarters, four co-op work quarters, and an Option Quarter; requiring 181 total quarter credit hours including advanced standing credits. The M Arch 1 curriculum begins in the summer quarter (mid-June). The above chart gives an overview of the curriculum, and the sequence of courses and co-op quarters.
Our M Arch 2 Curriculum: This shorter track is for students with a B.S. in Architecture or an equivalent degree that partially fulfills NAAB (National Architectural Accreditation Board) requirements, and who may have less than a year of architecture-related work experience. This curriculum includes seven academic quarters and four quarters of co-op work experience. Degree quarter credit hour requirements range from 79-112. The M Arch 2 curriculum begins in the fall quarter (mid-September). For an overview of the curriculum, sequence of courses and co-op quarters, please refer to the chart above.
About the Program
The four-year pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture program prepares students to enter our two-year professional Master of Architecture program, which leads to licensing as a practicing architect. The B.S. in Architecture program can also be beneficial in preparing students for many related fields that require an ability to solve problems and increase values in complex situations by creating appropriate order and supportive structure.
The curriculum is comprehensive from the beginning. Because architects must be able to integrate practical, technical, and aesthetic factors in designing buildings, we introduce students immediately to that challenge. They become practiced over the extent of the program in giving coherence to increasingly complex and demanding situations. We have structured the curriculum around four key components:
- a core program of required architecture lectures, seminars, and design studios that introduce students to fundamental professional knowledge and skills;
- a series of general education elective opportunities to broaden your education;
- four quarters of cooperative work experience in a wide range of professional firms; and
- a two-quarter capstone studio project which offers the opportunity to demonstrate your acquired knowledge and skills in a comprehensive design project.
Because most states require that a person who intends to become a licensed architect hold an accredited degree, most of our B.S. in Architecture graduates apply to our professional Master of Architecture program. The National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB) has continuously accredited the University of Cincinnati’s professional degree in architecture since 1948.
Faculty in the School of Architecture and Interior Design have come to Cincinnati from excellent universities all over the country as well as from England, Germany, India, Nigeria, Australia, and Turkey. Most of the faculty members are registered professionals and many complement their university teaching with design practice. Research areas include historic preservation, sustainable design, digital media, building morphology, historical and contemporary theory, post-occupancy evaluation, universal design, building science, environmental technology, community design, urban design, interior design, archaeology, and post-colonial modern architecture.
The College of DAAP supports a multidisciplinary design and art culture, with programs in architecture, interior design, graphic design, digital design, industrial design, fashion design, art history, fine arts, urban planning, and urban studies.
ABOUT: University of Cincinnati School of Architecture
The School of Architecture and Interior Design at the University of Cincinnati prepares students for critical engagement with practice. This critical engagement presupposes sustained evaluation of principles, traditions, and requirements of building in all its aspects, interior and exterior. Our goal is to advance the professions of architecture and interior design by combining ethical judgment and technical proficiency in pursuit of excellence, whether the product of our expertise is a physical or intellectual construction. In view of constantly changing conditions for practice, our program seeks to multiply insights and abilities in every student – sensitivity to the aesthetic and social responsibilities of environmental intervention; the life-long cultivation of a broad, synthesizing, and humanistic world view; respect for the benefits of research and innovation; deepened commitment to specific lines of inquiry; an advanced understanding of the culture of practice; readiness for professional responsibilities; design acumen, advanced graphic skills and technical vocabulary; affection for risk; and love of play.
HISTORY: University of Cincinnati School of Architecture
Local architecture. The central basin and surrounding hills of Cincinnati are populated with fine examples of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century architecture, many of them brick structures erected by German immigrants in the 1840s to 1880s. Scores of individual buildings and whole districts are listed on historic registers. Local neighborhoods serve our teaching programs as excellent sites and laboratories for architectural, interior design, urban design, and historic preservation projects.
Notable architects who built in Cincinnati during that early period include Daniel Burnham, H.H. Richardson and Isaiah Rogers (whose Chamber of Commerce Building and Burnet House Hotel both burned long ago), John Russell Pope, Cass Gilbert, Ernest Flagg, as well as Cincinnati’s own Samuel Hannaford and James McLaughlin. Engineer John Roebling managed to get a truss-suspension bridge constructed across the Ohio River in 1876.
Nationally-known architects who have left more recent marks on the city: Zaha Hadid, Michael Graves, Cesar Pelli, Gordon Bunshaft, RTKL, SOM, Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer, and Kohn Pederson Fox. Frank Lloyd Wright designed three houses here, Philip Johnson one.
The University of Cincinnati’s campus master plan designed by landscape architect George Hargreaves features new buildings and urban landscapes by Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, Michael Graves, Gwathmey Siegel, Machado and Silvetti, David Childs with SOM, Henry Cobb with Pei Cobb Fried, Liers Weinzapfel, Cambridge Seven, Moore Rubell Yudell, and Bernard Tschumi. Peter Eisenman’s internationally acclaimed Aronoff Center for Design and Art houses the School of Architecture and Interior Design and the three other schools within the College of DAAP.
VISIT: University of Cincinnati School of Architecture