The mission of the graduate Architecture and Landscape Architecture programs is to prepare students for sustained contributions and leadership in the design professions. This mission occurs in partnership with the larger University. Together the programs and the University share the aim of educating broadly to the demands of a complex society and, more specifically, to the demands of sophisticated and changing professions.
Architecture was first taught at what is now The University of Texas at Arlington in the early 1940s as a two-year, non-degree program within the School of Engineering. In 1968, with the support of professional architects in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, architecture became a department of the College of Liberal Arts, granting the degree of Bachelor of Science in Architecture. The department prospered, and by 1973 a decision was made to establish a separate school of architecture based on a four-year undergraduate program with a two-year master of architecture program as the professional degree.
By 1978, the School of Architecture and Environmental Design (as it was named in 1974) had an enrollment of more than 1,000 students with 31 full-time faculty. Four programs were included at that time: architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and city and regional planning. Subsequently, planning moved to the Institute of Urban Studies. In 1989, the school was renamed the School of Architecture.
Architecture and landscape architecture are seen as both the means and the goal of the education we offer. As means, our fields provide a ready path to the larger domain of ideas, history and the human condition. Architecture was seen, after all, as one of the essential liberal arts during the Renaissance. As goals, our fields call upon us to learn specific professional knowledge and skillsthey focus our attitudes and abilities to produce tangible, concrete things. This demand that we alternately widen and narrow our vision is one of the great strengths of the fields and is one source of their effectiveness as courses of study.
Within a broad curriculum, design as a discipline and a process is emphasized. Students are encouraged to give rich visual and material substance to both theoretical and pragmatic ideas. The context for design at U.T. Arlington centers on the contemporary urban condition, an approach appropriate for a school at the heart of a diverse, expanding and internationally oriented region like Dallas/Fort Worth.
The school's location at the center of the Dallas/Fort Worth area is especially important for students of architecture and landscape architecture. Almost every cultural, social and professional opportunity is nearby. The urban setting serves as a laboratory to observe the issues that confront current design and to test the proposals put forward. Built work by many of the foremost contemporary architects and landscape architects may be experienced and studied firsthand. Kahn, Pei, Wright, Johnson, Meier, Legoretta, Rudolph, Giurgola, Barnes, Predock, Holl, KPF, Kiley and Walker all have major projects here.
The School of Architecture offers large and up-to-date facilities for research and study. Constructed in 1986, the Architecture Building houses studios, classrooms and offices in addition to a CAD laboratory, a photography studio, a materials shop, a slide library and the Architecture and Fine Arts Library, with 40,000 books and 190 periodicals. The U.T. Arlington Libraries contains more than 1 million volumes, and students have access to The University of Texas System Library, which house 12 million volumes.
The School of Architecture has an enrollment of approximately 600 students, of whom about 120 are graduate students. They come from all parts of the United States and the world; more than 20 percent are international students. About one-third of the graduate students are women.
In terms of recognition of quality, 134 School of Architecture students have received awards in 63 major design or research competitions over the last 10 years, most at the national or international level. This unsurpassed record of competitive accomplishment reflects the education focus of the school. Developed student abilities, along with a tradition of integrating work and academic experience, give U.T. Arlington graduates ready entry and advancement in the professional world.
The school offers the Master of Architecture and the Master of Landscape Architecture as first professional degrees in the respective programs. The former is accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board and the latter by the Landscape Architecture Accrediting Board. The M.Arch and the M.L.A. taken as second, or post-professional degrees, do not carry professional Accreditation.
The faculty -- full-time, adjunct and part-time -- are involved in their areas of academic and professional interest. This takes many forms: built projects, design studies and competitions, scholarly writing and applied research. This work enriches the teaching mission and provides contributions to the larger community. For a detailed listing of faculty activity, see the Faculty Catalog, available from the School of Architecture.
Visiting faculty members are an integral part of the graduate program at U.T. Arlington. Noted teachers from other schools in the United States and abroad as well as distinguished practicing designers offer advanced studios and courses each year. Thus, students have access to both a core of permanent faculty members and to a changing spectrum of approaches and values. In addition to on-campus coursework, graduate students may study and travel abroad as an integrated part of the curriculum. The school maintains semester-long, full-credit student exchanges during the academic year with architecture schools at the Universities of Barcelona (Spain), Lund (Sweden) and Innsbruck (Austria). During the summer, there is a full-credit, five-week travel program to Rome, Florence and Verona, Italy.