The Department of Architecture at Iowa State University, College of Design is committed to the study of architecture as a cultural discipline in which issues of practice, of the multiplicity of social formations in which buildings exist, and of environmental effect are enfolded with the subject matter of building design - construction, space, material, form and use. Architecture arises from the aspirations that diverse individuals and groups have for their physical environment, and from the social enterprise of designing and fabricating the landscape we inhabit. It involves individual and multiple buildings, the spaces within them, and the exterior landscape.
The undergraduate program in architecture is an accredited five-year curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Architecture degree. The program provides opportunities for general education as well as preparation for professional practice and/or graduate study. An optional one-semester foreign study program is offered to fourth year students. The undergraduate curriculum includes one year of the college's Core Design Program followed by a four year professional program. Admission to the professional degree program is based on the applicant’s performance in the completed pre-professional curriculum; previous high school record (or transfer record where applicable); portfolio and essay evaluations; and on available departmental resources.
The Department of Architecture offers two graduate degrees in architecture: a three-year accredited professional degree (M.Arch.) and a two-semester to three-semester research degree (M.S. in Arch.). Both degrees encourage interdisciplinary work within the College of Design and across related fields within the university. Double-degree programs are currently offered with the Department of Community and Regional Planning (M.Arch. / M.C.R.P.) and the College of Business (M.Arch. / M.B.A.). Financial support in the form of teaching and research assistantships is available competitively.
Iowa State's undergraduate Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) and graduate Master of Architecture (MArch) degree programs are both accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture. ISU's BArch and MArch programs both earned the maximum eight-year accreditation in 2013 and will be reviewed again in 2021.