Architecture Program Receives Six-Year Reaccreditation

Architecture students helped design a temporary housing structure for the victims of Haiti's 2010 earthquake.

Philadelphia University’s architecture program has been reaccredited for a six-year term by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, effective through 2017.

In its report, the NAAB lauded PhilaU’s architecture program as “an ideal milieu for a multidisciplinary education in architecture, the arts, and construction” and commended the program’s “outstanding” faculty and its mission of “preparing a well-rounded student, equipped to rise in the professional world.”

In particular, the NAAB said the architecture program met standards with distinction in pre-design, fundamental design skills, use of precedents, and historical traditions and global culture.  The NAAB visiting team was on campus in April as part of its review of the program.

“I am gratified that PhilaU’s architecture program has received such a positive evaluation from this distinguished accrediting board,” said David Breiner, director of the architecture program and associate professor of architecture.  “The NAAB team acknowledged the strength of our Nexus Learning-centered curriculum, depth of faculty expertise and the enthusiasm of our students.  Their findings confirm that Philadelphia University is a great place to study architecture and prepare for a rewarding and meaningful career.”

PhilaU’s architecture program, which offers a five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree, enrolls 312 students and has been accredited by NAAB since 1997.  After an interdisciplinary design foundation, students continue in advanced technical and professional courses, working on studio design projects of increasing complexity and scope. In the fourth and fifth years, systems synthesis and collaboration are emphasized in addressing complex urban and suburban and theoretical problems and through independent research.  Students can take elective courses in experimental structures and materials, furniture design, construction management and business.

“The full six-year reaccreditation by NAAB reflects the excellence of Philadelphia University’s architecture program in meeting the high quality standards set by the accrediting board,” said Barbara Klinkhammer, executive dean of the College of Architecture and the Built Environment.  “PhilaU’s student-centered program is distinguished by collaborative learning experiences across disciplines, which helps prepare future architects and design professionals to succeed in the workplace.”

The architecture program offers many opportunities for students to engage in real-world projects and competitions.  Last spring, fifth-year students collaborated with Project H.O.M.E. to design and build improvements to Women of Change Safe Haven, which serves chronically homeless and seriously mentally ill women in Philadelphia. Students previously designed a model home that could inexpensively and efficiently be used to house some of the two million or so Haitians left homeless after the devastating 2010 earthquake.  And earlier this year, fifth-year students Bonnie Netel and Daniel Russoniello were selected as finalists in the prestigious John Stewardson Memorial Fellowship in Architecture Design competition.

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