Why Architecture

NDSU Architecture

NDSU's Department of Architecture is almost a hundred years old. We offer outstanding professional education in Architecture in the true land-grant spirit, while preserving a strong base of community values, a clear focus on contemporary challenges related to the design of built environments and landscapes, and stewardship for future generations in our region and around the world. As a connected community, we embrace diversity, and constantly seek an inclusive learning environment, where we rise to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. From our state of the art facilities, to our student organizations and familial studio culture, and the surrounding community culture, the NDSU Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture offers a distinctive experience for students and faculty members alike. 


The Department of Architecture is committed to the University’s mission of a student-focused, land-grant, research university. We offer a teaching, learning, and research environment that is dedicated to two principles: design excellence and strong leadership. Graduates are dedicated to finding solutions to regional, national and global challenges. Our research, creative, and grant activity address a broad spectrum of design issues that hold currency with today’s students, professionals, and citizens. We serve our students with cutting-edge technology, innovative research and creative works, and professional advising in collaborative studio environments. Further, we meet or exceed the requirements of our accrediting body: The National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB).


Program/Department Vision

We aspire to be the leading professional programs in the Upper Midwest region, acknowledged by professionals, our scholarly and creative accomplishments and our students who historically become creative designers, leaders in the profession, and innovative thinkers.


How will NDSU help launch your design career in architecture? 

We feel that the following are critical for launching your design career at NDSU:

  • Our goal is to expose our students to the shared values of our discipline and profession through their efforts both inside and outside the classroom:  good design; environmental stewardship and professional responsibility; equity, diversity, and inclusion; knowledge and innovation; leadership, collaboration, and community engagement; and lifelong learning [from the 2020 NAAB Conditions for Accreditation – a shared mission by all accredited architecture schools].
  • Our goal is to make good use of your time as a student:  our five-year professional Master’s of Architecture degree is intense and efficient – our students work hard to complete their education in this time-frame, but our retention and graduation rate is high, usually around 90% from 2nd year to graduation.
  • A five-year program translates for most students to five years of tuition, making for efficient use of your financial resources.
  • Our entry point to the professional program at the beginning of the 2nd year makes for a highly collaborative environment for 2nd-5th year, a model of the kind of collaborative support that you find in the profession.
  • Our technology resources are state-of-the-art, and available to all students in the professional program, with no pay-as-you-go gateway.
  • We build in travel opportunities, with tuition-supported visits to large American cities, and with optional opportunities for travel abroad with Architecture faculty members.
  • With our professional Advisory Board, we have a strong connection to those whose shoulders we stand on, our alumni and allies who offer support, wisdom, and networking opportunities regularly.
  • Our historic facilities in Downtown Fargo place our students in a thriving creative and intellectual environment.


A message from Architecture Program Director, Cindy Urness


Why is architecture important in the 21st century?

    Architecture has always been a mashup of the art, technology and aspirations of a particular place and time.  Currently, modern technology and material science allow us to build much of what we can visualize, and architects, clients, and our partners in the design and construction industry are making important contributions as we face the enormous challenges ahead for our planet, at both the global and local scale.  Architecture places value on those aspects of our lives that build strong communities through good design – pride of place, a healthy environment, access for all, and economic opportunities.   “Thinking globally and acting locally” are the scales that architects embrace, as we aspire to make the 21st century planet a welcoming place for all who inhabit it. 





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