Director: Dr. Karen Spence
Academic Records Assistant: Pandora Prater
Academic Advising: Laura Mitchell
Office: 240 Giles Hall
The profession of architecture offers the student the opportunity to participate in improving the physical world, in solving problems of our society, and in giving form to the needs of modern culture. To meet these demands requires a highly trained profession composed of sensitive, dedicated men and women. The School of Architecture is the educational foundation of the profession in the State of Mississippi and provides for the development of the skills and understanding to prepare the student for his or her role in the practice of architecture.
The School of Architecture offers an intense, carefully structured, and rich array of courses which constitute a solid foundation for architectural practice. The course work provides students with an awareness of the diversity and complexity of today’s professional world. Each course has its own important role in developing the knowledge, collaborative skills, and abilities required of architects in a contemporary practice.
The School of Architecture at Mississippi State University is the professional school for the State of Mississippi and is the only program in the state that leads to a professional degree in architecture. To meet the needs of the state and region, the School was established in 1973 with the support of an Advisory Committee of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, a three-year, or a two-year term of accreditation, depending on the degree and quality of its conformance with established educational standards.
The Bachelor of Architecture program at the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University has been continuously accredited since its inception. In 2016 the School was reaccredited for another full eight-year term.
Admission to the School of Architecture is limited and highly competitive. The School of Architecture has a rigorous application process for admission into the professional program. Unfortunately, due to stringent accreditation guidelines and standards related to the limited size of our program (including facilities and faculty/staff), the School of Architecture is not in a position to accommodate all of the applicants that have been accepted at MSU.
Prospective students should carefully read application/admission materials on the School web site and communicate with the School of Architecture to request current information, and if possible, arrange for a tour of facilities, and meet the School’s admissions coordinator.
- Apply to Mississippi State University.
- Submit all required materials including high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores to MSU
- You must indicate your choice of major as “Architecture.”
- Once admitted to MSU, you must complete the School of Architecture online application; the online application link can be found on the applicant's my.msstate.edu homepage.
Architecture on-line applications must be received on or before January 15. Applications are reviewed and ranked as received. Places for students with qualified applications received after this date will be considered as space permits; these late applications will be wait-listed to fill-in openings if they become available.
The School of Architecture considers applications in the following manner:
- Full Admission to begin the Fall Architecture Program (in the fall term). Entrance to the Fall Architecture Program is competitive and has academic prerequisites. Students with an ACT score of 26 or better (or the SAT equivalent) and a 3.5 GPA or greater may qualify for Early Acceptance if their formal online Architecture Application submission is received prior to December 15 (depending on available space).
- Students not accepted into the Fall Architecture Program are classified as Undeclared – architecture concentration. The Undeclared – architecture concentration students follow a similar course of study, but do not take ARC 1536 and ARC 1546 (Freshman Studio courses). There are many reasons why a student may not be admitted to the Fall Architecture Program: late architecture application, lower ranking in the applicant pool, and/or lack of math pre-requisites. The School of Architecture attracts highly talented students. The professional study of architecture is very rigorous and academically challenging.
- The Undeclared – architecture concentration student may attend MSU and continue to pursue the study of architecture and officially re-apply to the program for the following summer. Once the student enters the university in the Fall and completes required freshmen courses (for the Undeclared – Architecture concentration curriculum) while maintaining a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.5, the student will be eligible to re-apply to the following Summer Architecture Program by re-submitting the online application to the School of Architecture by the next February 15 deadline. During the Summer Program terms the student will take ARC 1536and ARC 1546 (Freshman studio courses). Successful completion of these summer studios will allow the student to join the second year (Sophomore) studio in the fall.
- Students may receive transfer credit for non-professional courses completed at other universities, colleges, and community colleges, provided a grade of C or better is received for each course. Transfer credit from other architecture programs is reviewed by the admissions committee and the director. Transfer credit for courses listed as technical, vocational, or architectural is solely at the discretion of the department. In addition to transcripts, course descriptions, syllabi, examples of work done and portfolio may all be required to receive any credit for such courses.
- All MSU admitted students that fail to submit an on-line Architecture Application will automatically be classified as: Undeclared – Architecture concentration.
Costs for an architectural education are somewhat higher than in other disciplines. In addition to standard costs of fees, tuition, room, board, books, etc, an architectural student must buy required drawing equipment and materials for drawings and models during the school year. This can add $600 or so per semester. Additionally, at least one major field trip is required each year. Charges for field trip expenses are collected with tuition and currently range from $600 in first year to $3170 in fifth year 2-week study abroad program. These charges are intended to cover transportation and lodging during field trips. These fees are not typically refundable after the first day of classes. Students are required to purchase a laptop computer in their first year, selected from a range of models approved by the School.
A number of scholarship opportunities as well as design competitions and awards are available to students within the School of Architecture. See the School's website for additional information. Normal MSU Scholarships are available to in-state and out-of-state students. Inquiries for financial aid or assistance should be sent directly to the MSU Department of Student Financial Aid and/or Office of Admissions and Scholarships.
Once accepted into the School of Architecture, students are required to maintain at least an MSU 2.0 cumulative quality point average to remain in design courses. At the end of the first year, a student must have completed all required courses to enter the second year, and at the end of the fourth year, a student must have completed all required courses in order to advance to the fifth year. Any student who receives a grade of D or lower for two sequential design courses must repeat both of these courses and receive a grade of C or higher in both courses to advance in the program, or receive the Bachelor of Architecture degree. If a studio course is failed, a grade of C must be received to advance in the program, or receive the Bachelor of Architecture degree.
Research Centers in the School of Architecture
Fred Carl, Jr. Small Town Center (CSTC)
Established in 1979, the vision of the Fred Carl, Jr. Small Town Center is to strengthen communities and to promote a prosperous and sustainable future by raising an awareness of the physical environment through research and excellence in design. For further information, contact the Director of the Fred Carl, Jr. Small Town Center at 662-325-2207.
Gulf Coast Community Design Studio (GCCDS)
The GCCDS was established after hurricane Katrina. GCCDS is located in Biloxi and is providing community planning and architectural design services to communities and rebuilding organizations. GCCDS has provided design and construction assistance for hundreds of new and existing homes, produced survey and GIS mapping for Biloxi, and planning work for a collaboration of housing organizations. For more information, contact the Director of GCCDS at 228-436-4461.