Education Overview

Although state licensing boards establish their own education standards, most have adopted the professional degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NAAB accreditation signifies that a program meets minimum standards of achievement in context, design, technology, and practice, as evaluated during regular program-review visits by members of the profession. Some state boards still permit comparable academic preparation or a lesser level of education supplemented by an extended training period.

Today, 123 schools in the U.S. and Canada offer NAAB-accredited professional degrees in architecture. The curriculum of a NAAB-accredited program includes general studies, professional studies, and electives, which together comprise a liberal education in architecture. More specifically, the NAAB requires an accredited program to produce graduates who: are competent in a range of intellectual, spatial, technical, and interpersonal skills; understand the historical, socio-cultural, and environmental context of architecture; are able to solve architectural design problems, including the integration of technical systems and health and safety requirements; and comprehend architects' roles and responsibilities in society.

General Resources

High School Preparation for the Study of Architecture
ACSA Questions to Ask When Choosing a School
NAAB Conditions for Accreditation
NAAB Student Performance Criteria
ACSA Guide to Architecture Schools
EAAE Schools of Architecture in Europe
Schools of Architecture Around the World

Chronology of Architectural Education
There is ample writing and research on the history of architectural education. One example, "The History of Architectural Education," is available on the ACSA website. Other historical sources can be found in the Bibliographies section of this website. The following chronology documents the formation of the first formal architecture school, their representative and regulatory organizations; important meetings and conferences; committee formation and recommendations; as well as significant articles, publications, and reports.
1857
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is founded.
1865
The first architecture school is founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
1912
The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is founded.
1940
National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is founded.
1956
The National Architecture Students Association (NASA)--later renamed the American Institute of Architects/Association of Student Chapters (AIA/ASC) and ultimately called the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)--is founded.
1967
A Study of Education for Environmental Design is sponsored by the AIA and authored by Robert Geddes and Bernard Spring, thereafter known as the Princeton Report.
1980
Tracking Study of Architecture Graduates, edited by Roger Schluntz, is published by the ACSA.
1981
The Architecture Education Study is produced by a consortium of eight East Coast architecture schools and the Mellon Foundation, thereafter referred to as the MIT Study.
1991
Design Juries on Trial: The Renaissance of the Design Studios, by Kathryn Anthony, is published.

"Patterns of Exploitation," by Thomas Fisher, is published in the May issue of Progressive Architecture.
1992
A special report, "The Teaching Office: A Proposal for a New Education Program" is published by the National Institute for Architectural Education.
1994
"Can this Profession be Saved?" by Thomas Fisher, is published in the February issue of Progressive Architecture, offering a preliminary comparison of architecture with other professions.

In June, delegates to the NCARB Annual Meeting vote to require an NAAB-accredited degree for all domestic applicants for NCARB certification starting in 2000.
1995
Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction is produced by the National Research Council and published by the National Academy Press.

1996
In April, Building Community: A New Future for Architectural Education and Practice, by the late Dr. Ernest Boyer and Lee Mitgang, is published by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

"How the Profession is Failing the Schools," by Reed Kroloff, is published in the August issue of Architecture magazine along with "Celebrate the Gap Between Education and Practice," by Dana Cuff.
1998
The Favored Circle: The Social Foundations of Architectural Distinction, by Garry Stevens, is published by MIT Press.
1999
In May, the first issue of what would later become ArchVoices newsletter is published.

2000
In November, the AIA Large Firm Round Table convenes to discuss what would later become the AIA Case Study Initiative.
2001
In advance of its annual Grassroots Leadership and Legislative Conference, the AIA publishes four "issue papers" (including one on architectural education) responding to four AIM Objectives.

The inaugural "NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy" is announced in March.

The NCARB Board of Directors rejects, 11-1, that interns should be able to take the ARE concurrent with graduation, as recommended by the Collateral Internship Task Force Final Report.
2002
The Redesign of Studio Culture, the report of the AIAS Studio Culture Task Force is published.
2004
The AIAS convenes a Studio Culture Summit, October 8-10 at the University of Minnesota.