At its July 2015 meeting, members of the National Architecture Accreditation Board (NAAB) granted our Master of Architecture degree continuing accreditation for a full eight-year term, without conditions. This means that students who earn the M.Arch at Illinois are eligible to take next steps toward professional licensure.

But it means much more.

Without doubt, the most productive phase of the NAAB reaccreditation process was preparation of a comprehensive self-study. Preparing the self-study required faculty to examine critically all phases of the school's operations, not least its curriculum, but also everything that guarantees that the curriculum is delivered consistently and with excellence. More than this, writing the self-study obligated us to tell the story of what we are—and what we aim still to be. 

·         We explained that we have a faculty that works collectively to deliver a compelling curriculum that couples the expectation of design excellence with insights from design research to produce innovation that is aesthetically and technically exceptional.

·         We affirmed that we are a school that continues to influence its many graduates—and the architectural profession broadly—by ensuring that faculty design and research innovations undergo rigorous evaluation before being made accessible to practitioners and scholars worldwide.

·         And we promised that we will continue to evolve undergraduate and graduate curricula that anticipate what architects in the 21st century need to know so that they can create healthy spaces that sustain life and give pleasure.

Want more of the story? We invite you to read our self-study.

A visiting team sent by NAAB considered our self-study during two days on campus in late March 2015. Following procedures established by NAAB, team members tested our explanations, affirmations, and promise against evidence presented in exhibitions of student design work and facultys accomplishments, as well as evidence gleaned from inspecting our facilities and speaking with students, faculty, and staff. The team prepared a report on its visit that evaluated our compliance with NAAB’s conditions for reaccreditation; that report and the school's response to it led NAAB to reaccredit our graduate program.

Although it will be 2023 before a NAAB visiting team sets foot on campus again, the school will strive in short order to put the lessons learned from the 2015 visit into practice. The school thanks NAAB—its board members, its staff, and the visiting team—for the opportunity to scrutinize our values and practices in service of improving architectural education at Illinois.

Links to additional documents related to the NAAB accreditation process:

·         The NAAB 2014 Conditions for Accreditation (effective April 1, 2015, for actions and visits after January 1, 2016)

·         The NAAB Procedures for Accreditation, 2015 Edition (effective for visits scheduled during the 2016 calendar year)

Links to career development information:

The NCARB Handbook for Interns and Architects

Toward an Evolution of Studio Culture

The Emerging Professional’s Companion

NCARB

AIA

AIAS

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