UNC Charlotte - School of Architecture


Welcome to the School of Architecture

The School of Architecture at UNC Charlotte is devoted to engaging students in an energetic study of how architecture affects - and stimulates - our life everyday. To study architecture implies you will become an expert in building design and construction; apply strategic thinking to environmental problems; and learn leadership skills to work in your community.

The mission of the School of Architecture (SoA) is to provide intellectual, ethical, and innovative leadership in architecture and urban design through excellence in teaching, scholarly research, creative architectural practice, and community activism.

Faculty and students at the School of Architecture are committed to creating an open-minded and creative atmosphere to pursue research, explore new forms of building, and discover collaborative practices that nurture human potential. Our graduates understand where knowledge comes from and how to integrate their voice with others to influence the art and science of architecture. The School of Architecture opens opportunities to students through interdisciplinary programs, close alliances with the profession, and active programs in the community.

The creation of architecture is inherently complex, requiring design vision and competence; effective visual communication and literacy; cultural, historical and theoretical perspective; technological knowledge; environmental responsibility; sophisticated problem solving skills; and creative leadership. Architects must possess knowledge of science and liberal arts, ethics, critical thinking, and research methods. Architects understand the value of building an intellectual foundation that embraces the widest possible range of knowledge and ideas.

Studio Culture Policy

Be Present. Be Respectful. Be Responsible. Be Smart. Be Amazing.

Be Present.

  1. Ultimately, it is the cooperation among students and the relationship between faculty and students that determines the ethos of the School. In order to participate in the ongoing development of the SoA community, students need to take advantage of the opportunities to attend lectures, participate in special educational events, and make their voice heard through the student organizations of the School.

  2. All students have the responsibility to contribute to the success of their classmates and to actively participate with one another across all year levels.

  3. Because we do not work in a vacuum, all faculty and students have the responsibility to anchor their work in the broader context of the local and regional community, professional practice, and world events.

Be Respectful.

  1. Diversity enriches every setting. Faculty or student harassment based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious practice, and/or physical ability, either direct or indirect, will not be tolerated in the SoA community.

  2. The constraints of a student’s economic circumstances should not affect his or her overall evaluation or daily standing in studio with either professors or peers. Students must communicate any such constraints to the professor if these constraints are affecting the materials or methods that can be employed in a specific project.

  3. A professional demeanor is expected by all members of the SoA when addressing any student, professor, or guest of the SoA. The intent and tone of all criticism on the part of both students and faculty should be constructive and should invite discussion.

  4. All students have the right to an environment in which they can work comfortably. No student should have to ask others to lower their voices, use power tools outside, turn their music down, remove offensive graphics, avoid language that may be offensive to others, etc.

  5. Students and faculty alike should maintain the excellent facilities of the School through appropriate use of the computing, critique, studio, library and lab spaces.

  6. Students and faculty are responsible for being aware of SoA’s Safety Guidelines. All members of SoA’s community should promote an awareness of safety and security throughout the School and its facilities.

Be Responsible.

  1. Faculty are responsible for making their teaching objectives and methods appropriately transparent to the students, explaining their terminology and frames of reference, thereby promoting greater student understanding, questions and participation.

  2. Effective learning requires periodic assessment of some kind. Because grades provide a limited breadth and depth of feedback, other forms of assessment, such as individual written or verbal feedback, is to be used in conjunction with grades. Students should also understand that desk critiques and studio critiques are forms of assessment as well as feedback. Timely and appropriate forms of assessment – offered by the faculty early enough in the semester to allow students to respond effectively – serve not only to evaluate performance but also stimulate intellectual growth.

  3. In addition to more formal evaluations such as mid-term or final reviews, students and faculty should also engage in deliberate and continuing dialog relevant to each stage of the design process.

  4. All critiques should be conducted in an organized and professional manner, including adequate preparation of the jurors and timeliness on the part of both students and faculty. Review formats should encourage students’ participation as often as possible and whenever appropriate.

  5. All studios in a specific year level should be coordinated to ensure they are uniform in objectives and evaluation criteria, with similar workloads and specific requirements for drawings and models.

  6. Faculty and students are responsible for playing an active role in studio, being present for discussions, guidance and instruction, and being attentive to the course hours.

Be Smart.

  1. Faculty and students should understand and respond to the fact that student work is improved by the opportunity to get a reasonable amount of sleep every night, eat healthy meals, and exercise regularly and participate in other aspects of University life. Time management should be taught and modeled by the faculty.

  2. Neither faculty nor students should focus on studio to the detriment of other courses either conceptually or in terms of the time commitment required. All should recognize and respect the importance of non-studio courses within the School and non-architectural courses within the larger University.

  3. Excellence in an architectural education depends on making connections both across the architectural curriculum and between architecture and other disciplines on campus. Faculty are expected to support students by allowing time for the work these courses require by coordinating with other classes offered within the architectural curriculum.

  4. Students benefit from the life experiences gained through extracurricular activities both within and outside the University setting such as cultural events, participation in community activism, participation in campus organizations, etc. Students must make thoughtful choices as to how to spend this time profitably, and faculty must trust the students to do so, allowing time for these kinds of enrichment activities.

  5. Learning collaborative skills is necessary to obtain an excellent architectural education. Students and faculty alike should be role models through the sharing of their work product and process in both formal and informal settings with their peers and with each other. The importance of this practice is to extend the meaningful nature of their work, draw on the ideas and expertise of others, exercise clarity of written and verbal communication, and model a strong work ethic.

Be Amazing.

  1. All students have the responsibility to lead – to surprise and inspire both the faculty and their fellow students through the creativity of their ideas, the craft of their making, the clarity and organization of their ideas both verbal and in written, and/or the depth and appropriateness of their questions. Everyone is capable of leadership, and everyone is expected to develop and exercise leadership skills, each according to his or her specific strengths.

The SoA is committed to promoting an environment of respect and academic excellence. Students are encouraged to raise concerns, conflicts, and questions regarding this policy with their faculty members. Additional support may be sought through SoA’s Program Director‘s and the Director's Office.

School of Architecture Diversity and Inclusion Resources

The School of Architecture at UNC Charlotte values diversity and aims to acknowledge the many facets of human difference that contribute to inclusivity and excellence. Diversity, thus, encompasses a variety of characteristics and experiences that include, but are not limited to, ethnicity, race, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, physical ability, cultural identities, economic dimensions, and religious affiliation.

Like UNC Charlotte, the School of Architecture strives to build an inclusive environment representative of the community it serves through curricular, outreach, recruitment, enrollment, and hiring efforts. The School, therefore, is intentionally open to a variety of perspectives, approaches, and people engaged in the pursuit of excellence in the design and stewardship of the built environment.


The School of Architecture maintains accredited status through the National Architectural Accrediting Board, which reviews the curriculum, facility, faculty, and program resources annually. In addition, the NAAB conducts an intensive site visit every six years. The School has maintained full accreditation standards as prescribed by this board and includes the following required statement:

In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, School of Architecture, offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

  • B. Arch. (158 undergraduate credits)
  • M. Arch. (preprofessional degree + 60 graduate credits)
  • M. Arch. (non-preprofessional degree + 96 credits)

Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2016

This school offers programs in:
  • English

View master programs »


This school also offers:


Master of Architecture

Campus Full time Part time 2 - 3 years September 2017 USA Charlotte + 1 more

Students who pursue this academic program range from those who are seeking a career change to those who wanted to pursue a liberal arts undergraduate academic program prior to embarking upon architectural studies. [+]

Program Overview The MArch I program is a NAAB-accredited professional degree designed for those who have completed an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than architecture (such as Business, Engineering, Political Science, etc). Students who pursue this academic program range from those who are seeking a career change to those who wanted to pursue a liberal arts undergraduate academic program prior to embarking upon architectural studies. The M.Arch II program is a NAAB-accredited professional degree designed for students who have already completed a four-year undergraduate BA or BS in Architecture. Curriculum Students admitted to the MArch I program complete a full-time, three-plus-year, 96-credit curriculum that begins in the second session of the summer semester. In the first year of the MArch I program, students acquire the fundamentals of visual and spatial design, conceptualization, problem solving, and material and environmental influences. In addition to design studio, students take introductory coursework in architectural history and theory, building technology, and representation. In the second year students join incoming MArch II students to complete a curriculum consisting of a comprehensive architectural design project, which includes an advanced-design studio coupled with courses in contemporary theory, building technology, computational methods, design methodology, and architectural electives. In the third year, students complete a research-driven graduate design studio, and a research or design-based thesis, along with courses in architectural research, professional practice, and additional architectural electives. Students admitted to the MArch II program complete a two-year 60-credit curriculum that begins in the fall semester. The duration of graduate... [-]

Master of Urban Design

Campus Full time Part time 12 months September 2017 USA Charlotte + 1 more

The Master of Urban Design (MUD) degree program is an applied research and design degree for students who complete a bachelor's degree in architecture, planning, landscape, or another related disciplines. [+]

The Master of Urban Design (MUD) degree program is an applied research and design degree for students who complete a bachelor's degree in architecture, planning, landscape, or another related disciplines. A broad and inclusive admissions policy is used to attract a cross-disciplinary group of students pursuing professional and academic opportunities as well as mid-career enhancement, and to meet a growing demand for expertise in urban design in the global urban society. The program is designed to fit the needs of both full-time and part-time students. The MUD program aims to engage the complex issues faced by contemporary towns and cities, which are being transformed by shifting demographics, global capital, information technology, and environmental sustainability. The MUD program is built on the premise that urban design is a fusion of physical design, policy and implementation strategies. It mediates the professional disciplines of architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, development, and engineering that together shape our urban environment. Thus it constructs collaborations between these specialists and the citizens affected by urban development and redevelopment. The MUD program takes the Charlotte metropolitan region as a laboratory while simultaneously reexamining issues on the national and global scales through an integrated summer travel-design experience abroad. The program is housed in the University’s Center City Building in uptown Charlotte, which is also home to the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the School of Architecture’s own City Building Lab, which provides an important contact for students to engage in funded research projects with the faculty and organizations beyond... [-]


Disjunctions: Bernard Tschumi in the SoA