Mississippi State University
School of Architecture
The School of Architecture at MSU offers the 5-year Bachelor of Architecture professional degree, which is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB); leading to registration and licensure. Our mission is to cultivate independent thinking within an ethical framework that informs and challenges the contemporary practice of architecture through teaching, research, and service. To provide a professional education that intertwines the spatial, visual, technical, ecological, and conceptual content of architecture; and graduate students to think synthetically, act fearlessly, understand practice as research -- to make a regenerative contribution to the world. The School is located within the College of Architecture, Art and Design -- providing creative interactions with the other departments of: building construction, graphic & fine arts, and interior design.
Mississippi State University (a Carnegie High Activity Research I -- with a dual Carnegie Community Engagement designation) is a Land Grant Institution that forms a cohesive town-gown relationship with the growing agricultural-commercial-industrial city of Starkville. Away from urban complexities, this college-town community enjoys many intellectual, cultural, and recreational advantages: lecture series, art exhibits, plays, recitals by local and visiting artists, public radio and public television programs, performances by popular musical groups of regional and national celebrity, frequent SEC intercollegiate athletic events in modern facilities; and a variety of recreational opportunities on playing fields and courts, in neighboring forests, fields, and lakes. Mississippi State University is a comprehensive, doctoral-degree-granting university with a diverse and capable student body of over 21,000 students. It is representative of the American Land-Grant tradition and distinctive in its own character and spirit. The University contributes to the world of knowledge through contributions in research, discovery, and application. It provides the State and its people a variety of expert services. Mississippi State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and to award baccalaureate, master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees. A faculty of over 1,300, drawn from the best institutions in all parts of the world, strives to demonstrate excellence in teaching, while producing significant research in their specialized studies. Thus they ensure for their students instruction that is in immediate touch with current knowledge and thought. A body of energetic researchers, both faculty and other, assisted by an effective research administration, places Mississippi State among the first one hundred universities in the nation in research and development in the sciences and engineering. The University's service agencies are similarly distinguished, earning the respect and support of their varied constituencies throughout the state, as well as in other states and in foreign countries.
The School of Architecture believes that design is the touchstone to all things great. Design education requires a deep and integral understanding of art and science. The Architecture faculty are committed to providing students with an experience and a framework that approximates a Renaissance education . . . while simultaneously exploring the modern conditions of our time and place to provide the intellectual ground for the artifacts (writings, drawings, models, and constructions) that the students will be making in their coursework. Above all, we understand design to be a deeply considered artistic endeavor. The School emphasizes the delight of architecture and the search for the indefinable spark that enlivens the things we make. The world is on the brink of a new era. The School of Architecture is engaged in the issues of our time and has positioned itself with a diverse faculty including: practicing architects, engineers, artists, researchers, and theoreticians. All faculty teach both in the Design Studios and in an area of specialization. They are deeply committed to the challenges of teaching twenty-first century architects. Issues of: ecology and sustainability; making and building; collaborative practice & integrated project delivery, and phenomena & abstraction . . . are all intertwined into the work and pedagogy of our School. The faculty have maintained the School's long tradition of engaging in the authentic nature of place, region, culture, and habitation. The School also houses two Research/Outreach Centers (including the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio National AIA Resilience Center). These research centers provide unique opportunities for our students to participate in funded research throughout the state and in design studio classes. The School has been prominently featured in the leading architectural journals of North America. Recently, ARCHITECT magazine identified our program as one of three schools leading the nation in the area of Community Design; we were also identified as one of six schools leading the nation in the area of Social Justice in the built environment. ARCHITECTURAL RECORD featured the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio (our research center in Biloxi, MS) on the cover along with an in-depth multi-page article and images of their work. We have approximately 225 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of about 15:1. All of our students receive a dedicated 24/7 studio personal workstation space in our building (Giles Hall). These studios are the center of all teaching, activity, culture, and life in our School. The School hosts the annual Harrison Visiting Lecture Series; this series brings in national and internationally recognized architects, artists, and philosophers. The student organizations regularly host Friday Forum weekly lectures, Gallery Shows, Movie Night Film Series, and other major events (like the Annual Beaux Arts Ball and Trashion Show). The School of Architecture has also been the host to several national and international conferences; most recently: the 2015 BTES (Building Technology Educators Society) International Conference; the 2015 Architecture + Construction Alliance IPD Symposium; the FORMcities Urban Design Conference, and the 34th Annual International Merleau-Ponty Circle Conference in Philosophy.
The School believes that architectural education can best be accomplished in an environment that stimulates the search for ideas by faculty and students. The Giles Hall architecture studio building is like a village on the edge of campus. The size of the School and its small-town setting make possible a highly personal yet intense academic experience. Travel (including a field trip program), visiting critics and lecturers, foreign exchange programs, symposia, and diverse student activities provide richness within a highly ordered educational setting. The School of Architecture offers an intensive, five-year undergraduate course sequence leading to the professional Bachelor of Architecture degree. The program consists of four years of the professional program at the main campus with the final year at the Jackson Design Center in the historic district of downtown Jackson, MS. In the fall, some 45 students enter the program as freshmen and are involved immediately in architecture studios (where they have their own personal studio space 24/7) in Giles Hall. Once a student is accepted into the architecture program, there are no other benchmarks, reapplications, or hurdles; they may progress within the program as long as they are in good standing with the university. Students not accepted into the first-year studio may enter the pre-architecture curriculum and defer first year design studio courses until the summer between their freshman and sophomore years. Pre-architecture and transfer students will be accepted into the summer design studio if they have completed all freshmen core coursework (including Physics and Art) and are in good-standing with the university, or they transfer from a community college with a 2.5 GPA. Included in the tuition, the School also provides an extensive field trip program at each of the year levels, culminating in a 2-week study abroad in the 5th year program. The places and destinations are directly correlated to the studio pedagogy and learning outcomes. Core required courses, with coordinated studio experiences each term, continue throughout the five-year undergraduate experience. The architectural inquiry of both faculty and students is grounded in the cultural, phenomenal, and material world. Our work engages the cultural richness of people and communities, the sensuous qualities of architecture, and the physical and ecological realities of making. Balanced between space making and form making, we anchor our work in our place and time, seeing the extraordinary and provocative qualities of our region as significant resources for architectural creation. In support of this, the School is dedicated to: 1) Intellectual discipline: The School guides students to engage in self-directed, self-motivated, and logical design research. Faculty and students are committed to developing methods of inquiry that lead to integrated and cohesive designs, engaging the wider world through field trips, exchange programs, and guest lecturers. 2) Deliberative making: The School requires an iterative physical understanding of how things occupy space, make space, and operate in the larger world. Through making and evaluating things that are, students learn how to make architectural proposals for things that could be. 3) Integrated thinking: The School encourages collaboration with other disciplines and promotes open discourse within the discipline as models for the practice of architecture. Students consider systemic interrelationships of scale in architectural design, from the macro-scale of global design to the micro-scale of the architectural detail. 4) Ethical action: The School's outreach centers are committed to serving Mississippi communities and providing models for responsible practice that integrate with teaching and research.
- Art & Design
- Building Information Modeling
- Community Design
- Digital Fabrication
- Ecological Design
- History, Theory, Criticism
- Materials And Construction