The mission of the School is to pursue architecture as a humanistic and professional discipline, which synthesizes art and science through intellectual rigor, aesthetic judgment, and technical understanding. The School achieves its mission through teaching, scholarship, creative work, research, and service, and commits itself to the highest ideals of the profession and culture of architecture.
The School's mission is based upon the conviction that architecture is first, reflective of the diverse, changing goals, values, and resources of society; and second, that architects have various and vital roles in interpreting and determining the status, values, conditions, and direction of society, its culture and quality of life.
Architectural education at Illinois is based upon the premise that to be an architect in today's complex and fast-changing, global society the architect must have knowledge in a variety of areas beyond the profession. Recognizing the diversity of roles that are now emerging in the profession, graduates should also have a well-developed focus in which they can initiate their career.
Based upon these premises, the School of Architecture believes that the professional degree must be attained in concert with advanced studies; thus, the professional degree is the graduate degree. As mentioned earlier, the requirements for attainment of the NAAB accredited professional degree are met by the successful attainment of the four-year undergraduate degree and the two-year graduate degree. The Master of Architecture is our professional degree but it must be considered as a continuation of the professional and liberal studies begun in our undergraduate degree, the Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, or an approved equivalent from another school.
Understanding that our program is a continuum of studies which meets both the NAAB requirements for the professional degree and additional advanced studies in architecture, the 4+2 degree program is designed:
To provide students with a solid base of knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences.
This is largely accomplished by the required and elective general education courses of the undergraduate program. Additional studies in these areas are often elected by students in the graduate program.
To provide students with a professional education in architecture.
This is accomplished by the required and elective professional courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs.
To provide students with advanced professional education beyond the NAAB.
These additional studies enable students to focus upon a specific area in the field of architecture or a related discipline. This is accomplished by the choice of study options or dual degrees containing required courses and supportive elective courses which are begun in the first graduate year but mostly completed in the last year (6th or 7th year) of their academic education. The intent is to have students conduct advanced research and/or creative work in their specific area of interest.
Architectural education at Illinois addresses our mission and objectives by focusing upon the development and expansion of students' intellectual and judgmental capabilities, the nature of problems and their cultural and environmental context, the methodologies of problem solving, and the fostering of creative skills.