Features   Guide to Architectural Education 
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Michigan, University of    [back]
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Dean: Douglas S. Kelbaugh, FAIA (since 1998) 

Good facilities: The design studio is the largest enclosed space on campus and provides work spaces for all architecture students. Planned on a single level, the studio is open 24 hours a day. To help forge connections between designing and making, the College also provides fully equipped, fully staffed workshops, laboratories and fabrication facilities where students can build and test their designs.

An outstanding faculty: The faculty is accomplished, dynamic and diverse. In their teaching, these award-winning architects and designers, respected scholars and outstanding researchers integrate various approaches and frequently work with colleagues from other disciplines across the University.
The appointment of Professors of Practice has enabled the program to invite exceptional professionals to take an active teaching role at the College.

The creation of the Eliel Saarinen Professorship, first held by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien in the 2000/2001 academic year, brings outstanding architects to the program.

International design studios: Students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs may elect to spend on term of study in any of five international design studios operated by the College. Programs are currently offered in Ahmedabad, India; Accra and Kumasi, Ghana; Florence, Italy; Prague, The Czech Republic; and Delft, Holland.

Internships: With the goal of preparing students for professional practice, the College has developed an innovative internship program. Each year during winter break, students are able to work in architectural offices throughout the United States.

During the summer vacation, there are opportunities for students to work worldwide. Other internships are initiated by faculty and with alumni who are actively engaged in significant architectural practices working internationally.

Building design workshop: There are abundant opportunities for students to work with faculty members and collaborate with visiting practitioners. The Building Design Workshop enables student/faculty teams to design and construct actual projects during the summer months. One project, a new computer studio, was published in THE ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW in 1996. Other projects have included the University of Michigan Museum of Art gallery space, a gift shop and the children’s education center, a new gallery and reception area for the International Institute, and the Faculty Resource Room in the College, which won a 2000 ID Award.

Visiting lecturers: Each year, architects from around the world come to the College to participate in the program as scholars, lecturers and visiting critics. Annual lectures attract an international audience and are held in honor of Eliel Saarinen, a former professor of the College; the American designers Charles & Ray Eames; and distinguished alumni including Raoul Wallenberg, Guido A. Binda and John Dinkeloo.

Exhibits: Taubman College has excellent galleries and display areas. The College Gallery, designed and built by faculty and students, provides a year-round venue for exhibiting the work of students and faculty as well as internationally acclaimed architects, designers and urban planners. One of the highlights of the academic year is an annual exhibit in the Art and Architecture Building’s Slusser Gallery, which presents work from the pre-architecture, undergraduate and graduate design studios.

Publications: Architecture students work with faculty to edit and design a variety of publications. DIMENSIONS, an annual publication edited and designed by students, and a collection of significant lectures presented at the College are both published annually and sold in bookstores around the world. THE MICHIGAN ARCHITECTURE PAPERS, a series of books highlighting significant events in the Architecture Program, won an International Book Award in 1998 from the American Institute of Architects.

An ideal location: The architectural legacies of Mies van der Rohe, Albert Kahn, Frank Lloyd Wright and Eliel and Eero Saarinen are reflected in numerous examples of their work throughout the region. In addition, urban regeneration is underway in many neighboring cities. All of these offer possibilities for study, research, engagement and service.

Career opportunities: The job market for architects is vibrant, and Michigan graduates are in great demand. Alumni pursue careers:

  • In the private sector…where they work in architectural practices, establish their own design studios and provide consulting services.
  • In the public sector…working for government agencies at the city, county and federal level as well as for international agencies such as the United Nations.
  • In the non-profit world…with organizations such as AmeriCorps or Habitat for Humanity.

National rankings:

  • In a recent national survey, principals of more than 150 leading architecture firms voted Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning one of the top three programs in the nation as a source of talented, well-trained employees.
  • The Master of Architecture graduate program was ranked #11 by U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT (1997) and #7 by THE GOURMAN REPORT (1999).
  • The Bachelor of Science in Architecture undergraduate program was ranked #6 by THE GOURMAN REPORT (1999).

Facilities: Students have access to a host of educational facilities and cultural amenities at the University of Michigan, including:

  • A university library system of international repute.
  • The Media Union, a 250,000 square foot learning center that gives students and faculty access to extensive libraries and advanced technology-based tools for synthesis, creativity and production.
  • Hundreds of computers and the latest software.
  • Well-equipped workshops and design research laboratories.
  • The North Campus Pierpont Commons and Recreation Center, offering a full range of social and recreational facilities.
  • The University Museum of Art, with an outstanding collection and international touring exhibitions.

Alumni network: The College maintains close contact with its more than 6,300 graduates, who reside in 63 countries. Alumni connections are a valuable resource for internships, career advice, mentorship and employment.

The University of Michigan:

  • Ranked #3 in overall academic reputation among American public universities by U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT (2000).
  • Many departments, schools and colleges ranked among the top in their respective fields.
  • Over 410,000 living alumni – more than any other university in the world.

In 1876, the University of Michigan became one of the first universities in the country to offer courses in architecture. The Department of Architecture was established 40 years later and, in 1931, the College of Architecture became an autonomous unit of the University.

From its inception, the Architecture Program has attracted notable educators and practitioners to its faculty. Michigan students have had the privilege of learning from and working with Albert Kahn, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Eliel and Eero Saarinen and other acclaimed architects. Their legacy is evident in the buildings they created throughout Michigan and in the strength and quality of the Taubman College architectural curriculum.

Today, the College offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture; Master’s degree programs in Architecture and Urban Planning; dual Master’s degrees that combine studies in Architecture with Urban Planning, Business Administration or Engeineering; PhD programs in Architecture and in Urban, Technological and Environmental Planning (UTEP); and most recently a Master of Urban Design degree.

The Taubman gift: a landmark event: "This gift represents both my deep respect for the University of Michigan and my commitment to the study of architecture and urban planning." With those words, businessman and philanthropist A. Alfred Taubman, HLLD ’91, presented a $30 million endowment to the College of Architecture & Urban Planning in 1999. This remarkable act of generosity – among the largest gifts in the University’s history and the most generous single contribution ever made to a school of architecture in the United States – is already exerting a transformative influence. The endowment has made it possible to improve the faculty/student ratio through an aggressive faculty recruitment campaign, provide more scholarships, expand community outreach projects and launch new curriculum initiatives.

This exception gift allows Taubman College to award many new tuition stipends to outstanding students each year.