About Architecture

Architecture model in the Rapson Hall Atrium

The University of Minnesota School of Architecture values curious, independent, and adaptable thinkers—who will engage with the diverse aspects of architectural practice while challenging its boundaries. To prepare our students to be leaders in a rapidly changing world, our education extends from the mastery of the core discipline to advancing knowledge in emerging areas of practice. Our professional and pre-professional studio-based programs in architecture are invested in design excellence grounded in research, critical thinking, and social engagement.

Undergraduate Degrees

Whether you are in our Bachelor of Design in Architecture (BDA) or our Bachelor of Science (BS) program, you will gain insights into the forces that shape the places where we work, live, and play. Working with students across disciplines, you will explore the art of design, and build knowledge of professional practice, drawing and visualization, and digital modeling and fabrication techniques. While you develop technical and critical skills in architecture, you will study its history and theories and the ideas, values, and relationships that have shaped and continue to define the profession.

Graduate Degrees

In addition to our professionally accredited Master of Architecture program and our Master of Heritage Studies and Public History program, we offer three Master of Science degree tracks (Sustainable Design, Research Practices, and Metropolitan Design) and one Ph.D track. Our graduate students become part of a collaborative community of highly regarded architecture faculty, professional guest critics, and visiting faculty, who collectively advance individual student learning while encouraging our graduates to discover their own path and pursue their passions.

Student Work

Our graduates become practicing architects but also find careers in government, academia, public service, business, urban design, historic preservation, interior architecture, furniture design, digital design, public art, building fabrication, and the construction industry. In professional practice, they become designers, project managers, firm leaders, and research specialists.

Graduate and Undergraduate Student Work

Faculty Research

Our distinguished faculty includes experts in a range of interrelated architectural fields: design; urban and rural design; building technology; design/build; sustainable building design; resilient and regenerative infrastructures; housing; heritage studies and public history; critical practice and representation; history, theory, and criticism; and research embedded in practice.

Recent Faculty Presentations

Architecture in the Twin Cities

Ingenuity and industry connections

Located just across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis, the School of Architecture is in the heart of a dynamic metropolitan area of 3.5 million people with an internationally regarded arts and design community. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul have a long history of supporting innovative architecture, evident in numerous architectural landmarks and public spaces designed by significant international architects, including Steven Holl (designer of our facilities in Rapson Hall), Marcel Breuer, Jean Nouvel, Maya Lin, Eero and Eliel Saarinen, Jacques Herzog/Pierre de Meuron, Frank Gehry, and internationally renowned regional architects including Cass Gilbert, Ralph Rapson, Clarence W. “Cap” Wigington, Elizabeth Scheu “Lisl” Close and Winston Close, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

We are an integral part of one of the largest and most active design communities in the country with more than 250 firms working locally and internationally. Our reciprocity with local practitioners who mentor, teach, and frequently hire our students dates back to Ralph Rapson, who led the architecture department (then part of the Institute of Technology) for 30 years. The Twin Cities is home to a vibrant design culture that produces some of the most ground-breaking, thoughtful, as well as nationally and internationally recognized architecture projects across the country. With a thriving professional network that extends over a wide range of allied design disciplines, the school benefits from its place in an architecture community that values and supports progressive design.