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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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A tradition of excellence

The Department of Architecture’s century-strong traditions of drawing, model-making, community outreach/service learning, and hands-on construction prepare students to explore innovative models of architectural practice as well as non-traditional approaches, including design-build and digital fabrication.

The award-winning faculty are active in professional practice, research and service projects, and national and international competitions, as well as scholarly activities. Thanks to a rigorous curriculum with numerous opportunities to engage in professional projects and work with external stakeholders, graduates are prepared for wherever their design degrees may take them.


Degrees
+ Minors

A female architecture presents her pinned up boards during reviews to the jury.

B.Arch. in Architecture

The B.Arch. is a highly sought after five-year professional degree program that consistently produces graduates who push the bounds of architecture to enhance the human experience.
A group of Penn State Master of Architecture students gathered behind an elaborate cityscape model in the offices of architectural firm SOM.

M.Arch. in Architecture

The professional M.Arch. degree deeply explores the techniques, principles, histories, theories of architecture, preparing students to become leaders in the field.
Parametric modeled forms developed by a Penn State M.S. in Architecture student.

M.S. in Architecture (+Dual M.S. +IUG)

The M.S. in Architecture program is designed for students interested in advanced research and independent work. Integrated undergrad/grad, as well as dual-title program options exist.
Radially blurred aerial view of favelas in Rio de Janeiro's Santa Marts hill region.

Ph.D. in Architecture (+Dual Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. in Architecture is a research-based degree concentrating on a number of areas of inquiry. Hone the degree via research clusters, program focus areas, or dual-title options.
A spherical architectural lantern with light emanating from within a repeating pattern of laser-cut facets.

Architecture Studies Minor

The Architecture Studies minor will permit students in other majors the opportunity to gain insight into the discipline of Architecture.

Research clusters

Department of Architecture degree programs offer concentrated inquiry, research, study, and pedagogy spanning four key areas of focus, or research clusters: Culture, Society, Space; Design Computing; Material Matters; and Sustainability. Students will engage broadly with each of these areas, as well as selecting a specific cluster for primary course work and scholarship.


Technical line drawing of building, showing numerous internal architectural spaces.

Culture, Society, Space (CSS)

The Culture, Society, Space (CSS) research cluster examines how built spaces – from the artifact to the urban – affect those who interact with them and, conversely, how cultural, societal and disciplinary values shape the spaces we create. Projects can address individual buildings, public spaces, communities, or cities, as well as typological, institutional and wider forms of inquiry. Research methods include formal, theoretical, historic/historiographical, sociological and systemic analyses. Studies may focus on spaces and ideas as forms of cultural expression, the people who produce and use them, and/or the ideological forces in which they operate, including all aspects of their sustainability.

CSS Research Cluster Page


Close-up of geometric spherical shape fabricated from laser-cut fibreboard.

Design Computing (DC)

The Design Computing (DC) research cluster offers students critical knowledge and advanced skills in the use of digital technologies in architecture and related design fields, especially in the areas of visualization, generative systems, and fabrication. By critically examining contemporary discourse on digital media and architecture, this cluster examines the impact of emerging digital technologies on creative processes in shaping our built environment, and investigates how they can be productively utilized in sustainable design, interdisciplinary collaboration, and fabrication. The work of faculty and students in this group spans research on immersive environments, critical studies of design technologies, software development, shape grammars, parametric design, and innovative uses of numerically controlled devices.

DC Research Cluster Page




Close-up of concrete arch positioned on its side, supported by a metal frame.

Material Matters (MM)

The Material Matters (MM) research cluster provides students with opportunities to delve into the interaction of materials and processes. With research ranging from material properties exploration to applied process-based design, this cluster encompasses a wide range of creative interests that find common ground in the power of material – the generator and substance of design.

Research in the MM cluster is supported by a collection of faculty members whose work focuses on craft traditions, industrial production, tooling and skills transmission, bricolage and the material imagination, material memory, design-build, and the reuse and restoration of buildings. Student and faculty engagement with Penn State’s considerable materials/making resources in Architecture, Fine Arts, and Engineering is a hallmark of this cluster. MM – as a community of scholars, architects, and designers who fabricate, build, un-build, and innovate – stimulates new knowledge through shared experience in an environment of creative innovation, hands-on exploration, and critical making.

MM Research Cluster Page


Cropped view with an energy-efficient house and wild grasses in the foreground, with a group of students and the Washington Monument in the background.

Sustainability (SUS)

The Sustainability (SUS) research cluster investigates architecture’s potential to improve the quality of life for current and future societies around the globe, addressing issues of natural resource consumption, pollution prevention, and organizational dependencies. Our faculty address aesthetic, technical, economic, and social issues in projects that cover multiple scales. From design processes, historical and theoretical aspects of sustainability, material reclamation and reuse, to identifying social structures preventing sustainable practice, this research cluster offers a comprehensive view of sustainability that promotes interdisciplinary integration. Faculty bring both practitioner and academic experience to their investigations, producing generalizable knowledge that can also be applied in the professional practice of architecture.

SUS Research Cluster Page


Alumni Spotlight

My Penn State education has influenced my career by developing me into a global citizen, through exposure to different people, resources, industries, cultures, and places.
Penn State alumna and 2019 president of the New York chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects, Samantha Josaphat.

Alumni Spotlight

Samantha Josaphat

B.Arch. in Architecture 2012

Samantha Josaphat is an architect and the founder of STUDIO 397 Architecture. Part of the mere 0.3 percent of black female architects registered in the United States, she is the 397th living black female architect to be licensed. Samantha entered the Penn State Architecture program in 2007, and by 2012, she had traveled to ten countries, become a member of the Arts and Architecture Student Council, and founded the Penn State student chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS). While at Penn State she built herself a valuable network of resources that continues to shape her path to success. Samantha is the 2019 president of the New York chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects. Learn more about how Samantha’s firm is impacting the narrative of black female architects in this video.

Modern, dark facade of high-end retail showroom for COS, in Toronto, Ontario. Architectural design by Samantha Josephat.
Pedestrians engaging with ‘The Ambiguous Heart,’ Samantha Josephat’s heart-shaped pavilion, featured in the 2019 Times Square Valentine heart design competition.
Corporate office interior design by Samantha Josephat.

Our Facilities

An exhibit gallery, digital and textile labs, resource library, and workshops
See All Our Facilities
3D printer printing a base leg for an architecture structural wall project.
3D printer printing a base leg for an architecture structural wall project.

Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library

Located in 111 Stuckeman Family Building, the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library supports study and research in architecture and landscape architecture and their histories


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3D printer printing a base leg for an architecture structural wall project.

Computational Textiles Lab

The Computational Textiles Lab, or SOFTLAB, in the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing is a research group in which faculty and students examine how


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3D printer printing a base leg for an architecture structural wall project.

DigiFab

The digiFAB lab is the home for digital fabrication equipment that is used for design and research projects by faculty and students in Stuckeman


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3D printer printing a base leg for an architecture structural wall project.

Rouse Gallery

Located in the main entryway of the Stuckeman Family Building, the Willard G. Rouse gallery houses special exhibits by leaders in the fields of


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3D printer printing a base leg for an architecture structural wall project.

Stuckeman Shop

The Stuckeman Shop – primarily supporting architecture, landscape architecture, and graphic design students – provides an excellent opportunity for motivated students to develop their ideas


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Faculty Spotlight

Architectural study with wood, concrete, and smoke.
Architectural study with wood, concrete, and smoke.

Pep Avilés

Stuckeman Career Development Professor in Design

Pep Avilés is a historian, architect, and professor specializing in postwar and contemporary architecture. His academic research explores the impact media had on the materiality of architecture and the redefinition of modernism after World War II.

Avilés’ work has been sponsored by the Canadian Center for Architecture, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Getty Research Center, and has been exhibited at the Centre de Cultura Contemporànea de Barcelona (2017) and the Oslo Architecture Triennale (2019), among others. He is the founding editor of the journal Faktur: Documents and Architecture.

Pep Avilés, Stuckeman Career Development Professor in Design
Place holder image for Events
Jan 24

2022 Stuckeman School Career Day

HUB-Robeson Center
The Stuckeman School Career Day is a vibrant event that enables professional firms to interact directly with the School’s award-winning students. The event presents a

Events

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News from A&A

College faculty highlighted in latest 'Research Penn State'

The College of Arts and Architecture is well-represented in the latest issue of Research Penn State. 

The College of Arts and Architecture is well-represented in the latest issue of Research Penn State. Check out the fall 2021 edition, which features articles on 3D printing and the use


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Connecting community and fostering entrepreneurship through design

Penn State architecture alumni Jason E. Smith and Marilia Rodrigues, of Philadelphia’s KieranTimberlake, were design leads on the Innovation Hub building in downtown State College.
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Architecture professor co-edits book on building science, technology research

A new book co-edited by Rahman Azari, associate professor of architecture, offers a variety of perspectives and first-hand experiences from scholars and experts in building science
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