Published on November 9, 2020 by Ashley Smith  
Summa Rendering

Samford University’s Division of Art and Design is expanding its offerings beyond its successful interior design degree to include a new five-year degree track in architecture beginning in the fall of 2021. Pending final approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges, it will be one of only two accelerated Master of Architecture programs at a Christian university in the United States. 

The Master of Architecture Program will seek National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB)* accreditation. Once NAAB approves, 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 both the architecture program with the already established and recognized 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.

* 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.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.