Architecture is science, technology, geography, typography, anthropology, sociology, art and history. Renzo Piano, architect and designer
Is This Program for Me?
- Are you a problem solver?
- Do you like to think critically and creatively?
- Do you want to protect the public’s health, safety and well-being?
- Do you want to create a more sustainable future through the built environment?
- Do you like to work collaboratively to make a difference?
- Are you interested in improving the lives of others in tangible ways?
If you want to shape the rapidly changing world around you using architecture and design, then this might be the right major for you.
What Makes Us Different?
The architecture degree at Samford will encourage students to see the world differently and to use their talents to enhance the community around them. From service opportunities both locally and abroad, to awareness of the public good, students learn to improve the lives of others through a built environment.
Architecture at Samford has grown out of an already recognized and accredited professional program focused on interiors of the built environment. This connection allows students in our 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 student’s awareness of comprehensive design goals.
Professional Access and Development
Our faculty are design professionals with industry experience. Their mentorship combined with the support of a strong architecture and design community in Birmingham and surrounding areas provides unprecedented exposure and opportunity for Samford architecture students to interact with design professionals. These engagement opportunities exist in the form of guest lecturers, guest critics, adjunct professors; field trips to firms, businesses, and job sites; and result in internship and employment opportunities.
Objectives & Goals
As an architecture major at Samford you will explore the theoretical and practical fundamentals necessary to shape the built environment and protect the health, safety, and well-being of the public. You will develop the critical thinking skills to be creative problem solvers through challenging and enlightening experiences provided in the curriculum.
- design fundamentals and design principles across eight semesters of design studio courses
- building systems and sustainable design
- materials and methods used in design and construction
- design and digital communication
- architecture history & theory
- electives and special topics related to the architecture and design field
- professional business practices
- faith and profession
Students will be encouraged to take advantage of travel opportunities to places like NYC, LA, Atlanta and Chicago, as well as to international locations to learn and gain exposure to a wide variety of design studios, architecture styles and professionals.
Field trips and interaction with the local Birmingham design community are also integral to the course of study.
Birmingham is one of the leading design centers in the southeast, with many award- winning architecture and design firms. Samford has a great relationship with the local design community, including firms and product vendors, partnering with them for guest studio critiques, career panels, and many other student opportunities.
Through these partnerships, our students will gain hands-on experience. The architecture program requires an internship between the fourth and fifth year, providing real world understanding, and beginning the necessary experience required for architecture licensure. These internships can be done locally or anywhere in the US.
Upon NAAB accreditation*, the Master of Architecture will be a professional degree and fulfill the education requirement for architectural licensure in all US jurisdictions.
In addition to a career in architecture, a degree in architecture equips students for success in other design related fields, such as landscape architecture, urban planning, industrial designer, furniture designer, sustainable design consultant, facilities manager, and many others. The Master of Architecture is also considered a terminal degree in most institutions of higher learning which, in addition to professional practice, allows graduates to pursue a career in academia.
Our faculty are committed to bringing students the best quality educational experiences. Due to the technological nature of architecture and interior design, it is necessary for students to have a personal computer which is able to support creative software. This requirement allows students to work independently and integrate digital technologies into their learning.
The new Samford University Architecture Program is currently seeking accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Initial accreditation is anticipated in Spring 2027.
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 term, an eight-year term with conditions, or a two-year term of continuing accreditation, or a three-year term of initial accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established education standards. Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a non-accredited undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the non-accredited degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.”
The NAAB grants candidacy status to new programs that have developed viable plans for achieving initial accreditation. Candidacy status indicates that a program expects to achieve initial accreditation within six years of achieving candidacy, if its plan is properly implemented.
In order to meet the education requirement, set forth by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, an applicant for an NCARB Certificate must hold a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by the NAAB; the degree must have been awarded not more than two years prior to initial accreditation. However, meeting the education requirement for the NCARB Certificate may not be equivalent to meeting the education requirement for registration in a specific jurisdiction. Please contact NCARB for more information.
Samford University, Department of Architecture & Interior Design was granted candidacy status for the following professional degree program(s) in architecture: Master of Architecture (130 undergraduate credit hours + 38 graduate credit hours)
Year candidacy awarded: February 2022
Next visit: Initial Candidacy Fall 2022
Projected year to achieve initial accreditation: Spring 2027
Earliest graduation date projected to meet NCARB education requirement: Fall 2026
- The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
The AIA is a professional organization for architects. Membership in the AIA is open to all registered architects and licensure candidates. The AIA serves the architecture profession and is a resource for its members through advocacy, information, and community.
- The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)
The AIAS is an independent, student-run organization that promotes excellence in architecture education, training, and practice. The AIAS serves as the voice of students to the educational system and the profession of architecture. AIAS representatives serve on NAAB accreditation teams and on the boards of directors for AIA and ACSA.
- The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)
The ACSA represents architectural education programs worldwide, including all of the NAAB-accredited degree programs in the United States and Canada. The ACSA works to advance the quality of architectural education by encouraging dialogue among the diverse areas of discipline on issues that will affect the architectural profession in the future.
- Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)
International interdisciplinary organization dedicated to improving the understanding of the relationship between people and their built and natural environments.
- Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world.
- The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)
The NAAB establishes the criteria by which professional degree programs in architecture in the United States are evaluated and accredits programs that meet those standards. Most U.S. licensing boards require applicants for licensure to have graduated from a NAAB-accredited program.
- The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
NCARB is a nonprofit organization made up of the architectural licensing boards of 55 U.S. states and territories. While each jurisdiction is responsible for regulating the practice of architecture within its borders, NCARB develops and administers national programs for candidates pursuing architectural licensure and helps architects expand their professional reach through the NCARB Certificate.
- The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)
Rooted in a rich legacy of activism, NOMA seeks to empower its local chapters and membership to foster justice and equity in communities of color through outreach, community advocacy, professional development, and design excellence.