Professional Practice-School of Architecture - Carnegie Mellon University

Architecture is a multifaceted field of practice, existing within dynamic social, organizational, economic, professional and cognitive contexts. Our graduates are equipped with a solid understanding of the design delivery process and decision-making.

The School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon educates design professionals to pursue expertise in: strategic planning, programming, and diverse design decision making processes; design for the health, safety and welfare of diverse building occupants; multi-disciplinary collaborative design processes for system integration in design; collaborative design processes for addressing the architectural responsibility in the urban context; financial feasibility analysis and life-cycle economics; professional practice management and documentation; research and decision making; and overriding questions of ethics in practice.

Seven lecture courses and three studios prepare them for management opportunities in the profession. In addition to the required courses in Professional Practice and Management, the School offers a number of elective courses, related to professional practice roles and tools used by the profession and allied fields.

Building on their Architecture Management Courses, students in the School of Architecture can pursue a minor or dual degree program in Business with the Graduate School of Industrial Administration. Bachelor of Architecture students can now enter a 5+1 program to receive their Master in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Management, an advanced degree that is joint with Civil Engineering.

Recently, the School of Architecture helped to initiate "Case Studies in the Study and Practice of Architecture" with the national AIA (American Institute of Architects). The goals of this effort are to capture the knowledge and experience of architects, to prepare students for practice, and to foster mutual influence between the academy and the profession.

The full-time faculty providing leadership in architecture management include Dr. Omer Akin RA, Laura Lee FAIA, Christine Mondor AIA, Luis-Rico Gutierrez AIA and Dutch MacDonald AIA. In addition, the high percentage of professional practitioners teaching as studio faculty in the School continue to bring the issues of professional practice, professional management, ethics and accountability into the ten semesters of design studios.

What is Professional Practice?

Decision Making
Case Studies
Issues of Practice
Social Responsibility


Related Research

Functionalizing Product and Process models for Embedded Commissioning of Low Energy Buildings
An Integrated Approach for Interpreting and Fusing Building and Mobile Sensor Streams in a Facility into High-Level Information


Required Courses

Principles of Economics
Human Factors in Architecture
Design Studio: Occupancy
Advanced Building Systems
Design Studio: Integration
Real Estate Development
Design Studio: Urban Laboratory
Issues of Practice
Ethics & Decision Making

Elective Courses

Architectural Project Management
Architectural Interiors
AutoCAD/3D Studio/Rhino
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Computer Aided Facilities Management