Published on December 1, 2020 by Ashley Smith  
wink 3d Gamedeign

Samford University’s School of the Arts has added several new areas of study: a Bachelor of Arts in commercial music, Bachelor of Science in game design and 3D animation and an accelerated five-year Master of Architecture.

The new commercial music program, which began enrollment in the fall of 2020, produces creative professionals with the artistic, technological, and entrepreneurial skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century marketplace. Students choose from one of four concentrations within commercial music: music business, music production, songwriting, or live performance and touring.

With student enrollment beginning in the fall of 2020, game design and 3D animation is a collaborative degree with the School of the Arts and the Department of Math and Computer Science of Howard College of Arts and Sciences. Industry professionals Wink Winkler and Steven Potaczek joined the faculty and bring tremendous expertise to the programs. 

"These degrees are a reflection of what our students need in terms of skills related to the business side of music and the increasing opportunities in game design and 3D animation," said Joe Hopkins, dean of the School of the Arts. "Both of these technology-rich programs complement the School of the Arts existing curriculum and will provide opportunities for current students as well as incoming freshmen."

The accelerated five-year architecture program will begin in the fall of 2021. Pending final approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the architecture program will be one of only two accelerated Master of Architecture programs at a Christian university in the United States.   It will seek National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB)* accreditation; and, upon approval, the undergraduate and graduate programs will offer students a terminal degree qualifying them to sit for the Architectural Registration Exam (ARE) on the way to careers in licensed architecture or related design fields.

“Our five-year program is unique, growing out of a 35-year highly respected interior architecture program and significant support from the professional community,” said professor Jeannie Krumdieck, chair of the Department of Interior Architecture. “The accelerated, yet robust, curriculum makes it different than many other programs in the nation. We are excited to offer this opportunity.”

Offering the architecture program alongside the CIDA-accredited interior architecture program provides a collaborative and unique learning environment.

“This connection allows students in the program to share in shaping the totality of buildings. Architecture and interior design students take certain design courses and studios jointly, work collaboratively on projects and share in each program’s design education and resources. This unique integrated approach to design heightens students' awareness of comprehensive design goals,” said assistant professor Ryan Misner.

Enhanced by Birmingham’s vibrant design community, the programs allow students to work and be mentored by design professionals. Field trips, travel, internships and professional juries are integral elements of the course of study. Full-time faculty have combined experience of over 65 years in professional practice, and continue to be active in the local and national design community. 

All three additions integrate well with existing opportunities within the School of the Arts which include a variety of degrees in music, art and design, theatre and dance, and Christian ministry.

* NAAB Candidacy:

In the United States, most state 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 U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture.