6: Graduate School of Architecture

General Information | Programs and Degrees Offered | Course Descriptions | Faculty

Facilities | Student Honors and Awards

General Information

The academic programs of the School of Architecture encompass the broad range of concerns, disciplines, and sensitivities expressed in Thomas Jefferson's timeless design for the University-his "academical village" which is widely considered to be one of the most significant achievements of American architecture. Four distinct yet increasingly interrelated departments provide a rich setting for professional education. Architecture and Landscape Architecture seek to integrate the intellectual and pragmatic aspects of their disciplines in the belief that design skills must be responsive to the cultural, historical, and physical context as much as to functional need. Architectural History aims to develop an awareness of the value of the past. Urban and Environmental Planning addresses community sustainability and the balance between environment, economy and social equity. In addition to the traditional courses offered in each department, the curricula provide ample interdisciplinary opportunities for the exploration of such diverse contemporary issues as urbanism, energy conservation, social equity, environmental protection, preservation, and adaptive re-use.

The School of Architecture offers four graduate programs leading to: Master of Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture, Master of Architectural History, and Master of Planning. In conjunction with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences it also offers a Doctor of Philosophy in the History of Architecture. The programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board, and the Planning Accreditation Board; and the School holds memberships in the Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, the National Council for Preservation Education, the Society of Architectural Historians, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In addition to the graduate degree programs the School offers two interdisciplinary programs of study, one leading to the Certificate in Preservation and the other to the Certificate in American Urbanism.

The full-time faculty numbers about 45, augmented by 20 to 30 visiting lecturers and critics from this country and abroad who bring to students their varied perspectives and wide-ranging experience. The student body averages approximately 530 students of whom about 330 are undergraduates and the remainder are graduate students.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professorship in Architecture has been funded since 1965 by an annual grant from the same Foundation which has guided the restoration and preservation of Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. The Foundation also awards an annual medal and honorarium to a practitioner or teacher of international distinction, and has established two fellowships which are awarded annually to outstanding graduate students in the School of Architecture.

The Institute for Environmental Negotiation, established in 1981, is affiliated with the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, and has become a major resource for the resolution of land-use and environmental conflicts. In addition, the Institute awards three or four fellowships each year which provide graduate students with training and experience in negotiation, and consensus building.

In April, 1997, the Institute for Sustainable Design was officially established. Linking the School of Architecture with schools throughout the University, this Institute will develop tools for achieving sustainability at a variety of scales.

Mr. Jefferson's legacy seems as appropriate and alive today as it did in 1819 when the University was founded, and it is one of the imperatives of that legacy and a central educational aim of this School that students understand their culture as well as their profession. Since we expect to play major roles in the analysis, planning, design, development, and protection of the physical environment, nationally and internationally, we are charged with that most difficult of tasks, the development of "the whole person:" one who understands how a craft is connected to a society, who appreciates the larger context of life and seeks elegant and practical approaches to its ever-changing needs. Jefferson sought "useful knowledge" and was able to fashion that knowledge artfully. We take that as our tradition also. Seen in this light, "profession" is raised to the level of art, and when that art serves life, lasting culture results.


Graduate School of Architecture
Campbell Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(804) 924-6442

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