Purpose and Focus
The School of Architecture provides professional and continuing education in the design professions of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior architecture and design. In addition to addressing the theoretical and pragmatic aspects of general design education, the school focuses upon the important design issues facing Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Southwest: resort and entertainment design, sustainable desert development, speculative development, and climatic and cultural issues relevant to arid regions.
The UNLV School of Architecture is a diverse and dynamic learning environment that offers professional education in socially and environmentally responsible design. The school capitalizes on its unique regional location to improve the human condition through teaching, research, and service.
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Council for Interior Design Accreditation
Many states in the United States and most provinces in Canada have legal registration laws regulating the title or the practice of an interior designer. The rationale for licensing addresses the distinct and different expertise of professional qualifications. Licensing qualifications in Nevada, as in many other states and provinces, require graduation from a CIDA accredited interior design program (the Council for Interior Design Accreditation is recognized as the reliable authority on interior design education by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation), with a minimum of two years of work experience in the field, and passage of the NCIDQ Examination (the National Council for Interior Design Qualification is the recognized examination body in interior design), or an equal examination such as the Architectural Registration Examination.
The Council of Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) is an international organization that accredits professional interior design education programs in the United States and Canada. Its primary purpose is to ensure a high level of quality in interior design education to meet the needs of students, the interior design profession, and society.
The UNLV Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture and Design program was last accredited (Probationary Status) in 2021. Next CIDA Accreditation Visit is in 2023.
Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board
Most states, including Nevada, require graduation from an accredited landscape architecture program plus two years professional experience prior to sitting for state board examinations. Once candidates have passed state board examinations, they are eligible to become licensed landscape architects.
The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) reviews programs regularly (up to every six years depending on the LAAB Board recommendation). The UNLV Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program was last accredited in 2016. Next LAAB Accreditation Visit is in 2023.
National Architectural Accrediting Board (M.Arch.)
In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.
Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Architecture, offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:
M. Arch. (preprofessional degree + 48 graduate credits)
M. Arch. (non-preprofessional degree + 48-96 credits)
Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2025
Interior Architecture and Design
Admission to the Major
Minimum University GPA: 3.00
Admission to the first year programs of the School of Architecture is open to all UNLV students. Students may choose to major in any of the school’s three design programs. Admission to School of Architecture second year studio programs is competitively based on a student’s grade point average and successful completion of first year studies.
Before a student may enroll in upper-division courses, including studio, within the School of Architecture, each student must gain approval by the Faculty Review Committee. Admittance to upper division is based upon a faculty review of:
- Successful completion of all required courses in lower-division studies and the achievement of a minimum of 3.00 grade point average (see Major Degree Requirements in the current Undergraduate Catalog and the current degree sheet for your major);
- Completed School of Architecture Application for Upper- Division form;
- A portfolio of creative work;
- A written statement describing your professional interest and career development opportunities as you pursue any of the three design professions offered by the SOA.
The application deadline for IAD program is March 15 of each year. ARC and LAND deadlines are the first Monday after spring semester final exams week.
Each application is checked for compliance with the minimum requirements prior to ranking by the review committee. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
Transfer students applying for upper-division programs of the school from other institutions must submit the following to be considered for admission based upon faculty review:
- Portfolio of design work that demonstrates graphic skills, model-making skills, basic two- and three-dimensional composition, basic understanding of spatial organization, understanding of color, and basic site and handicap accessibility planning;
- Completed School of Architecture Application for Upper Division form including documentation and description of community service and/or professional experience.
- A creative or research essay produced for any course, or an essay as defined by the School of Architecture faculty annually.
- Letter of professional intent.
- Official transcripts from other institutions previously attended.
While the university accepts credits transferred from other accredited institutions, transfer credits are not applied to the School of Architecture programs until reviewed and accepted by this unit. Transfer credits for required program courses must be from NAAB-, CIDA-, or LAAB- accredited institutions. Transfer course work must be equivalent in both content and level of offering. In addition, a faculty review of samples of work (or portfolio of work) from previous studio or laboratory classes is required.
Attendance at classes, laboratories, studios, and seminars is required. If excessive absences are noted in a particular course, the student will be notified in person and by letter that he or she will be administratively withdrawn if further unexcused absences are noted. If further absences occur after notification, the student will be withdrawn from the course and the program.
All lower-division design studios must be taken in sequence. With the consent of instructor and program advisor, an upper-division student in one design program may substitute one upper-division studio in another design program, except that students in the Architecture program may substitute another upper- division studio only for AAE 482.
The School of Architecture reserves the right to retain, photograph, or record any or all student projects for the program’s future use or publication.
Courses in the School of Architecture are graded with a letter grade with pluses and minuses. Grades received from UNLV or other institutions are also evaluated for letter grades only in determining grade point averages for admission to the program’s upper division.
Upper-division students in the School of Architecture design programs are required to complete a 200-hour internship with a professional design firm.
Because the school’s upper-division programs are sequential, and space in the program is limited, students are encouraged to progress through the curriculum with their class.
All students are required to have a laptop computer by the beginning of their second year of enrollment in the School of Architecture program. A recommended list of laptop configurations and program software is available from the School of Architecture front office and the School of Architecture website.
Students in the lower-division program who are placed on probation must observe rules or limitations that the School of Architecture imposes on their probation as a condition of retention. If after one semester on probation an overall grade point average of at least 2.50 has not been achieved and/or the conditions of probation have not been met, the student will be disqualified from enrollment in School of Architecture courses. Appeals may be made to the Program Standards Committee before the beginning of the following semester. See university retention standards.
Students in upper-division programs are placed on probation when they incur any of the following:
- Failure, incomplete, or withdrawal from any required course.
- A semester GPA below 2.50.
- A grade of below C- in any course required for a major.
- Violation of the university code of student responsibility and/or any admission agreement. See university retention standards.
Students on program probation must observe rules limitations that the School of Architecture and the Planning Standards Committee place on their probation as a condition of continuation. Students will be removed from programs if:
- After one semester on probation, the requirements imposed are not met and/or the overall GPA is not above 2.50.
- Failures or withdrawals in required courses are not resolved at the next offering of the course or if failures or withdrawals from required sequential courses are not resolved.
- Incompletes in required sequential courses are not completed before the first day of class of the next semester.
- Any course required for a major in which a grade less than C- is received must be retaken with an earned grade of C- or above. For design studio courses, this must be accomplished prior to progressing to the next studio level.
Students removed from programs are not guaranteed reinstatement in the program even if probation requirements or requirements necessary for readmission after removal from a program are fulfilled. Appeals may be made to the Program Standards Committee.
All Architecture majors are assigned to a designated professional advisor within the College of Fine Arts Advising Center upon entering the School of Architecture through graduation.