June 14, 2007

SIUC begins offering master's degree in architecture

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Completing all of the educational requirements needed to become a licensed architect in the state of Illinois will be possible at Southern Illinois University Carbondale if all goes as anticipated.

The University began offering master's degree from the School of Architecture this summer. The master of architecture program is an extension of the successful baccalaureate program from the SIUC College of Arts and Applied Sciences.

Previously, architecture students completed their four-year pre-professional bachelor of science in architectural studies at SIUC and then typically obtained entry-level positions in architecture or related fields or continued their educations in a professional-level master's program elsewhere to satisfy education requirements for licensure, according to Jack Kremers, professor and head of the new architecture graduate program. He said the University is seeking accreditation from the National Architecture Accreditation Board with the goal of having the program fully accredited in two years. Kremers said at least one student must graduate from the program before it can earn accreditation with the accreditation retroactive to the beginning of the program.

Architectural studies traces its roots at SIUC to 1954 when the University began offering an associate of applied science degree in architectural technology. By the late 1970's, Illinois began requiring a bachelor's degree as the minimum education level for licensure, prompting SIUC to offer the Bachelor of Science in advanced technical careers.

When Illinois began requiring a pre-professional degree or equivalent in the 1980's, SIUC students were still eligible to take the licensing exam after obtaining sufficient years of experience. By the mid-1990's, SIUC dropped its associate degree program, instead offering a bachelor's degree in architectural studies.

The University is once again evolving as the state requires completion of a professional degree as the minimum standard for licensing by the National Architecture Accreditation Board. The first SIUC graduate class in architecture will begin this summer.

For more information about the SIUC architecture school and the new master's degree program call Jack Kremers at 618/453-3734.