The School of Architecture (SOA), as part of a Catholic university in the Jesuit and Mercy traditions, exists to provide an excellent student-centered, accredited professional architectural education in an urban context. A UDM SOA education seeks to develop architects who are sensitive designers; technically competent; exhibit the highest ethical and professional standards; are socially responsible and culturally aware; and are of service to the community and the profession.
The School makes a strong commitment to a broad-based liberal arts education that prepares architects to understand the spectrum of human endeavor. The School intentionally keeps its enrollment small in order to maintain an identifiable relationship with individual students. The SOA advocates an open dialogue about architectural issues and philosophies, but searches for deeper architectural meaning than that offered by trend, fad or style. The curriculum provides a basic foundation in design excellence, but also addresses contemporary issues including a focus on urban revitalization. This foundation is provided through both in-class and out-of-class experiences that develop a student’s understanding of societal concerns. The School is actively involved in the life of the community. Through its design studios, including design-build studios, and through the Detroit Collaborative Design Center—an outreach arm of the School—the SOA provides assistance to the community of which it is a part. The ability to gain real world understanding is further enhanced through the mandatory cooperative education program and through the optional international studies programs.
Masters of Architecture Degree
The five-year Master of Architecture degree program at the UDM School of Architecture is a professional degree accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
“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 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. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards."
"Doctor or Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree, that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree” (NAAB)
The University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture offers the following NAAB accredited degree program: Master's of Architecture, 174 total credits. The next accreditation visit is in 2014 (a full 6 year term was granted in 2008.)
The pre-professional degree, Bachelor of Science in Architecture, is not accredited by the NAAB. This degree is useful for those individuals wishing to obtain a foundation in the field of architecture, as preparation for either continued education in a professional degree program or for employment options in architecturally related areas. We offer the non-accredited Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree to students who have successfully completed the first four years of study, including Co-op, but do not wish to pursue the Master of Architecture degree or were not accepted into the Fifth year—the Master of Architecture degree program.
The School of Architecture limits its freshman enrollment based on competitive standards which should be confirmed with the University admissions office. Students must satisfy general University requirements; however, additional criteria such as evidence of creativity, self-motivating characteristics, problem-solving abilities, and abilities for visual expression are also considered.
In Term I of the students’ fourth year, they apply to the Master of Architecture program. In order to be considered for admission, a minimum overall and design GPA of 3.0 is required along with the submission of a substantive design portfolio (as well as an admissions essay). All three components are considered equally in the decision making process for admission. Their portfolio must demonstrate their ability and potential for success in all aspects of graduate design and studies. If they are not accepted into the Master of Architecture program or if they choose to not apply to the Master of Architecture program, they can earn a non-accredited, non-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree upon successful completion of the four-year requirements. Students that are accepted and complete the professional, accredited, Master of Architecture degree are awarded only the Master of Architecture degree.
The admission requirement for transfer students, including students who already possess a degree, is a minimum GPA of 3.0. Transfer students from an architectural program should also have at least a 3.0 GPA in all design studio courses. If available, a portfolio of architectural or artistic work is also desirable if the student is close to but under the required 3.0 GPA. Transfer students and students with degrees must meet all requirements for our four-year Bachelor of Science in Architecture program, including Co-op, prior to applying for admission into the fifth year Master of Architecture program. Students who hold a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from another institution will likely be required to take some undergraduate coursework before being eligible to apply for the Master's program.
The School uses a tiered advisory approach. Freshmen are advised by the Dean. Second year students are advised by a specific faculty member. Third and fourth year students are assigned to one of two advisors. Beginning in the Winter of the fourth year, through the completion of their degree, students are advised by the Director of the Architecture Program. The student and advisor each have access to the student’s academic file which outlines the curriculum and all background information regarding the student. It is the student’s responsibility to insure that his/her record is up to date, that all agreements are noted, and signed by both parties involved, and that there is conformance with the requirements of the School and University. Each student should see his/her advisor minimally for registration and at mid-term. The advisor is also available at other times during the course of the term at the request of the student. Additionally, students should meet with the Director of Architecture at the beginning of their first term of their fourth year and upon their acceptance into the Master of Architecture program (or one year prior to their anticipated date of graduation with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree) to review a degree audit to verify that all degree requirements will be met. It is the student's responsibility to initiate a meeting with the Director for a graduation audit.
The five-year curriculum in architecture is centered around the following areas:
- Visual Communications
- Structures and Technology
- History & Theory
- Professional Practice
- University Core Curriculum
- Cooperative Education
Design is at the center of the curriculum spanning all five years of study. The Design Studios are organized into three parts: Foundation Studios (first year and second year), Upper Level Studios (third year and fourth year) and the Master’s Studios (fifth year). Foundation Studios meet three afternoons a week for a total of 12 hours/week and concentrate on developing basic technical, analytic, representational and critical thinking skills necessary to deal with the complex social, psychological and poetic issues of the built environment. The studios are “project” based and the development of the student’s personal and individual philosophy of design is one of the School’s primary aims. Upper Level Studios meet three times/week for a total of 14 hours/week and are comprised of a “mix” of students from both third and fourth years together in investigations of complex architectural themes in more concentrated depth. Recent Upper Level Studios have included community design, design of health care facilities, design-build experiences, architectural competitions, historical preservation, sustainability, furniture making and landscape design. The center piece of the Master's year is a two semester thesis studio that allows students to establish their own objectives and project parameters for their final year of design.
Visual Communications includes courses in multi-media drawing, computer graphics, computer aided design, three dimensional design and electives that explore various media. The ability to represent and model architectural ideas is fundamental to the design process.
Structures and Technology
Structures and Technology provides the technological background necessary to address the increasingly complex architectural themes of the studios. Included in this sequence are math, structures, energy and ecological design, and environmental technology (heating, ventilating, air conditioning, electrical systems, acoustics, etc.) courses.
History and Theory
History and Theory introduces the student to architectural tradition and precedent. It provides an understanding of the social, political, economic and philosophical forces that shape architecture. Through this foundation, students recognize their place in the architectural world and build their own work upon an understanding of the work of others.
Professional Practice introduces upper level students to fundamentals of managing an architectural office, project delivery systems, construction contracts, construction documents, and legal and ethical issues concerning the profession. These courses, in concert with the cooperative training program, prepare students to enter the professional world.
University Core Curriculum
The core provides courses in the sciences and the humanities that are necessary prerequisites for an educated person. The architect, faced continually with broad social issues, must have an awareness of the manifest activities of people in order to fulfill social and ethical responsibilities as a design professional.
Candidates for the Master of Architecture degree select four graduate level courses from the Colleges of the University as electives to compliment their thesis design project. The purpose of these electives is to provide the opportunity for developing specialized knowledge in the student’s special interest area. Electives may also build upon the strengths of the University by establishing strong cross-disciplinary ties with other academic units. Some examples of areas of elective study are: urbanism/development, critical studies, media/fabrication technologies, building technology and tectonics, health care design, community development, business administration, structural design, marketing, imaging and representation, and urban studies. In some cases, graduate level courses taken in the fifth year of the Master of Architecture program may in part satisfy requirements leading to a second Master's degree in Business Administration, Security Administration, Community Development or Civil Engineering. The student must consult the individual schools for determining all degree requirements and admission standards that may apply to any secondary degree program in which they might be interested.
The required Cooperative Education sequence is one of the unique aspects of the UDM architecture program.
It gives students direct experience in the real world of architecture through required work experiences at architectural offices of the student’s choosing. Co-op students are paid competitive wages according to their skills and experience. They may co-op anywhere in the world.
The co-op experience begins with the course ARCH 3000, Professional Experience Preparation. The program in architecture integrates two required terms of on-the-job educational experience, which occur during the third term of the third year (ARCH 3010) and the second term of the fourth year (ARCH 3020). Further optional co-op terms are also possible. This sequence provides students with the opportunity to alternate their intellectual development in professional offices with academic studies. Co-op is valuable in developing practical skills prior to graduation and in being exposed to the profession of architecture and the realities of architectural practice. Each co-op term, students are required to keep a journal and write a report on their work experience, and submit representative samples of the work they produced. Co-op students are also required to participate in community service during this time. A series of questions are also given to the students to stimulate reflection on the profession and their position within it. Students are evaluated by both the employer and the cooperative education coordinator. Master of Architecture students are required to take the following: ARCH 3000, Professional Experience Preparation, ARCH 3010, Professional Experience I, and ARCH 3020, Professional Experience II. Only ARCH 3000 and ARCH 3010 are required for those students receiving the non professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree.
The total credits required for the Master of Architecture are 174 and 138 for the Bachelor of Science in Architecture. An excess of credits from several courses cannot be applied toward satisfaction of a course requirement. Excess co-operative education credits may not substitute as electives.
First Year, Term I (17credits)
|ARCH 1100||Architectural Design I||4||0||12|
|ARCH 1110||Visual Communication I||3||0||8|
|ARCH 1190||Introduction to Architecture I||1||2||0|
|ENL 1310||Academic Writing (Obj. 1)||3||3||0|
|MTH 1400||Elementary Functions (Obj. 2)||3||3||0|
|PHL 1000||Intro. to Philosophy (Obj. 4.A)||3||3||0|
First Year , Term II (17 credits)
|ARCH 1200||Architectural Design II||4||0||12|
|ARCH 1210||Visual Communication II||3||0||8|
|ARCH 2130||Principles of Structural Behavior||3||3||0|
|Natural Science Elective (Obj. 3B)||3||3||0|
|CST 1010||Fundamentals of Speech (Obj. 1)||3||3||0|
|ARCH 1290||Introduction to Architecture II||1||2||0|
Second Year, Term I (17 credits)
|ARCH 1300||Architectural Design III||4||0||12|
|ARCH 2160||Computer Aided Design (Obj. 2)||3||3||0|
|ARCH 2120||Architectural History & Theory I||3||3||0|
|ARCH 2330||Structures I||3||6||0|
|ARCH 2140||Ecological Design||3||3||0|
|ARCH 2190||Introduction to Architecture III||3||3||0|
Second Year, Term II (16 credits)
|ARCH 1400||Architectural Design IV||4||0||12|
|ARCH 1160||Intro. to Computer Graphics (Obj. 2)||3||3||0|
|ARCH 2220||Architectural History & Theory II||3||3||0|
|ARCH 2430||Structures II||3||6||0|
|ARCH 2340||Environmental Technology I||3||3||0|
Third Year, Term I (18 credits)
|ARCH 2100||Architectural Design V||5||0||14|
|ARCH 2150||Construction I||3||3||0|
|ARCH 2440||Environmental Technology II||3||3||0|
|RELS||Religious Studies Elective (Obj. 4.B)||3||3||0|
|ARCH 2520||Architecture History & Theory III||3||3||0|
|ARCH 3000||Professional Experience Preparation||1||1||0|
Third Year, Term II (17 credits)
|ARCH 2200||Architectural Design VI||5||0||14|
|ARCH 2250||Construction II||3||3||0|
|PYC 2650||Psychology of Environment (Obj. 3.A)||3||3||0|
|Social or Natural Science Elective (Obj. 3C)||3||3||0|
|Ethics Elective (Obj. 6A)||3||3||0|
Third Year, Term III
|ARCH 3010||Professional Experience I||2||0||0|
Fourth Year, Term I (17 credits) Apply to the Master’s Program
|ARCH 2300||Architectural Design VII||5||0||14|
|Social/Political Problems Elective (Obj. 6B)||3||3||0|
|Historical Experience Elective (Obj. 5A)||3||3||0|
|Literary Experiences Elective (Obj. 5b)||3||3||0|
|Philosophy/RS Elective (Obj. 4c)||3||3||0|
Fourth Year, Term II
|ARCH 3020||Professional Experience II||2||0||0|
Required for the Master of Architecture degree only.
|Fourth Year, Term III (17 credits)|
|ARCH 4100||Integrative Design Studio||5||0||14|
|Core Choice Elective (Obj 3-6)||3||3||0|
|Comparative Experiences Elective (Obj. 5D)||3||3||0|
Receive Bachelor of Science in Architecture or acceptance into the Master’s Program:
Fifth Year, Term I (17 credits)
|ARCH 5100||Master’s Studio I||5||0||14|
|ARCH 5110||Master's Studio I Supplement||3||3||0|
|ARCH 5590||Architecture & Construction Law||3||3||0|
|Graduate Concentration Elective||3||3||0|
|Graduate Concentration Elective||3||3||0|
Fifth Year, Term II (17 credits)
|ARCH 5190||Profession of Architecture||3||3||0|
|ARCH 5200||Master’s Studio II||5||0||14|
|ARCH 5210||Master's Studio II Supplement||3||3||0|
|Graduate Concentration Elective||3||3||0|
|Graduate Concentration Elective||3||3||0|
*Abbreviations represent: Cr. for credit hours earned, Rec. for recitation hours required, St. for studio contact hours required.
Elective courses are intended to provide students with the opportunity to take special interest courses which may be of value but are not necessarily related to the architectural program. Electives must be at least 3 credits in value and may be chosen from among any courses (1000 level or higher) offered as credit at the University.
Each term a limited number of architectural electives are offered to students in several of the following areas: visual communication, building technology, practice, sustainable building, advanced computer graphics, graphic design, history and theory or urban planning as options for satisfying their elective requirements. These courses permit students to examine architectural topics of special interest in greater depth.
Master of Community Development
The University of Detroit Mercy’s graduate program in Community Development takes a unique approach to the theory and practice of building sustainable communities. Housed in the School of Architecture, the MCD offers concentration course work through all Colleges and Schools within UDM. The MCD Program integrates human, economic, physical and organizational aspects of community development so that a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to the renewal of communities can be undertaken. Inherent in the MCD program is a focus on providing service and leadership in marginalized communities whether urban, suburban, or rural. Serving these marginalized communities is the essence of the values and foundation of the Jesuit and Mercy sponsors of the University. Graduates of the MCD program will become leaders in the field of Community Development and will be recognized as experts in sustainable community development in the public, private, corporate, not-for-profit and institutional sectors.
Service, social justice, and sustainability comprise a three-part philosophical and ethical foundation of the MCD program. Each of these concepts are unique, yet interrelated, and together provide the ideological base that fosters the development of leaders in community development who: possess a value system that recognizes and promotes the growth of all individuals, are holistic in their approach to community development, and are motivated by a constant need to enhance and achieve communities that are self-sustaining and just. The Master of Community Development is a 36-credit-hour program. Full-time and part-time students are welcome to apply. Part-time students can expect to graduate after two to three years. Concentration electives offered in UDM Schools and Colleges provide an opportunity for students to attend full time.
Applicants applying to the Master of Community Development program should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in a bachelor’s or master’s degree program from an accredited institution. To be considered for admission, a candidate must complete the graduate application for evaluation by MCD faculty. The application consists of submitting: transcripts from an accredited institution in a bachelor's or master's program; a letter of interest which includes ranking order of interest in MCD concentrations; a current resume, illustrating excellence and accomplishment in academic, extra curricular, service and/or professional endeavors; and two letters of recommendation from employers and/or faculty. Additionally, an interview with two MCD faculty/administration members may also be required to determine the applicant’s contribution to a unique learning environment. An essay exam may also be required to determine English language and writing skills. Standardized tests, such as the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, etc. are not required.
The program requires 36 credits of study. The MCD curriculum has five elements: an intensive introduction course, a core curriculum including seminar classes and skills workshops, a program of concentrations and a capstone course. "Introduction to Community Development" provides an overview of the four concentrations, while the core curriculum explores more complex issues in contemporary community development, including diversity, social justice, and regional issues and trends. During the course of the MCD program, students must complete three MCD program workshops of their choice focused on useful skills for working in a community development setting. Following the core curriculum, students are to select from one of the four areas of concentration (Economic, Human, Physical, and Organizational Development). In each area of concentration, students choose elective courses for a total of nine credit hours. Following this in-depth exploration of one of the areas of concentration, students work together in teams on a comprehensive capstone project.
- INTRODUCTION (2 cr.)
- MCD 5010 Introduction to Community Development (2 cr.)
- CORE CURRICULUM (19 cr.):
- MCD 5020 Introduction to Economic Development (3 cr.)
- MCD 5040 Introduction to Human Development (3 cr.)
- MCD 5060 Introduction to Physical Development (3 cr.)
- MCD 5080 Introduction to Organizational Development (3 cr.)
- MCD 5100 Diversity & Multiculturalism in Community Development (2 cr.)
- MCD 5120 Environmental, Social and Economic Justice (2 cr.)
- MCD 5140 Regional Development + Sustainability (2 cr.)
- MCD 5200 MCD Skills Workshops (1 cr.)
- CONCENTRATIONS (9 cr.):
- Economic Development: This area of study emphasizes the complex role of economic factors in community development. Students study an array of issues including job creation, business development and entrepreneurship and their impact on communities. Students may select from a number of approved elective courses in the departments or schools of Economics, Business, and Religious Studies.
- Human Development: This area of study emphasizes the relationship between people and their social and physical environment. Students study human interactions by people of all ages that take place in community settings such as the home, the school and the neighborhood. Community needs assessment and social service requirements are part of this concentration. Students may select from a number of approved elective courses in the department or schools of Counseling, Education, Health Professions, Psychology, and Religious Studies.
- Organizational Development: This area of study emphasizes how communities can organize to address their human, economic and physical conditions. Students study organizational funding and financing, transformational leadership, organizing volunteer services and working with governmental agencies to create community change. Students may select from a number of approved elective courses in the departments or schools of Business and Psychology.
- Physical Development: This area of study emphasizes the man-made environment and its role in the creation of sustainable communities. Students study planning and design issues, ecological criteria of design, real estate development and the physical elements that help create a sense of place and identity in the community. Students may select from a number of approved elective courses in the departments or schools of Architecture and Security Administration.
- CAPSTONE (6 cr.)
- MCD 5900 Capstone Preparation (3 cr.)
- MCD 5950 Capstone Project (3 cr.)
Located in the Warren Loranger Architecture Building, the Ronald F. Titus Digital Studio is a fully equipped architecture computer graphics laboratory that introduces students to this important form of electronic technology. Software includes AutoCAD, Animator Pro and 3D Studio, Revit, as well as a variety of other programs which are used to support architectural as well as other academic courses. Students can access spreadsheet, database, and word processing software, in addition to their University e-mail accounts and the Internet, by linking into the University network. This laboratory is adjacent to design studios to facilitate the use of computers as a design tool.
A woodworking model shop containing power and hand tools is accessible for student work in conjunction with their design and visual communication studio classes.
Detroit Collaborative Design Center
An essential human need is supportive and attractive physical surroundings. With this view that “good design” is an essential force in establishing human relations and cultural stability, the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) fosters university and community collaborations and partnerships that create inspired and sustainable neighborhoods and spaces for all people. The Center is dedicated to urban and community revitalization through an educational and participatory design process. The sustainability of any neighborhood lies in the hands of its residents. Thus, the Design Center provides not only design services but also it empowers residents to facilitate their own process of urban regeneration.
The national and international award winning Detroit Collaborative Design Center provides architecture and urban design assistance exclusively to non-profit community organizations. It is the primary applied research arm of the School of Architecture in the area of urban revitalization. It has a full time staff of licensed architects, intern architects and urban designers.
The Center provides experiences to the students in three ways: in a classroom environment, through the Neighborhood Design Studio; for cooperative education experience; and as an outlet for volunteer activities.
International Study Programs
Since 1980 the School of Architecture has conducted an exchange program with the Warsaw University of Technology in Poland. Ten to twelve students and one professor from each institution are exchanged for a full academic term. UDM students are taught by WUT faculty in English.
Volterra Study Abroad Program
Since 1984 the School of Architecture has conducted a study abroad program in Italy during the summer/term III. The program is based in the Tuscan hill town of Volterra and is limited to 15 third and fourth year students. It is taught by UDM faculty in addition to faculty on site. Students take a full schedule of courses and are in residence in Volterra, Italy for approximately 13 weeks.
There is a sponsored lecture series which brings leading-edge architects and designers to the campus. These lectures are open to and attended by students, professionals and the general public.
Dichotomy Student Journal
Architectural students periodically publish a journal of theory and criticism entitled Dichotomy. This journal is organized exclusively by the students in consultation with a faculty advisor. It is funded by subscriptions and a special fee charged to architecture students each term that they are enrolled.
Special Policies for the School of Architecture
Studio placement for Transfer students
For transfer students from other architecture programs, the following will apply in placing them in the appropriate design studio level. If the transcript and portfolio of work clearly indicates that the requirements of the foundation studios (ARCH 1100, 1200 1300 & 1400) have been met, then the student will be placed in the ARCH 2100: Design V level and a final determination of design level will be made in consultation with the studio instructor at the completion of the term. If this is not the case, then students will be placed in ARCH 1100: Design I, or whatever foundation level studio the Dean or Director feels is appropriate based on the transcript and portfolio, and will be required to complete the foundation sequence (ARCH 1100- through ARCH 1400) before proceeding to the vertical studio sequence (ARCH 2100 through ARCH 4100).
Retention of Student Work
The School reserves the right to retain and eventually dispose of any student work, done in conjunction with class assignments, for purposes of exhibition and accreditation needs. Students should document their work prior to its submission to the instructor.
The School of Architecture enforces standards of academic performance consistent with those of the University that may result in a student being placed on academic warning, academic probation or a student being dismissed from the program. The School of Architecture reserves the right to require a student to withdraw from the program even when the student has an overall grade point average of 2.00 or better if, in their judgment, the student does not possess the requisite skills and attitudes to succeed in the architectural profession.
Students have the right to appeal academic assessments with which they disagree. Two steps are followed. First, the student confers with the instructor involved. If this does not resolve the situation then the second step is the final appeal to the Dean of the School of Architecture. It must be emphasized that the faculty member has full jurisdiction in terms of grading. The dean is acting strictly in an advisory capacity and can recommend to the instructor that the grade in question be raised or lowered based on the evidence presented.
Students may also appeal actions such as academic probation and academic dismissal. Appeals should be in written form to the Dean or Director. The student is encouraged to be at the meeting when their appeal is being heard and make a verbal presentation of their case at that time.
Each year during Term III, an undergraduate design studio is offered for those students who are out of phase.
It is a multi-level studio and may be taken by any student who has completed second year studios and the technical courses in advance of his or her design level. This studio is not open to first or second year design students.
Laptop Computer Requirement
The School of Architecture strongly encourages that all new students entering the programs of architecture and digital media studies own a laptop of minimum required specifications and specific software. These requirements may be found on the University website. The University has a program with a vendor to assist the student in purchasing the hardware and or software if the student so desires. In addition, the financial aid office can provide low interest loans to cover the cost of the laptop.
College Contact Information:
- Warren Loranger Architecture Building LO 118
- McNichols Campus
- 4001 W. McNichols Road
- Telephone: (313) 993-1532
- Fax: (313) 993-1512
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dean: Will Wittig
- Telephone: (313) 993-1532
- Fax: (313) 993-1512
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Associate Dean: Joseph Odoerfer
- Telephone: (313) 993-1532
- Fax: (313) 993-1512
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org