The current generation of Cornell architects will be receiving accredited degrees as expected in June, as the National Architecture Accreditation Board accredited both the Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture programs in July.
The masters program, formally known as M.Arch.1, was granted a three year term of accreditation, and the undergraduate program was granted a six year term. The accreditation process for architecture is known for its rigor, and includes intense overviews of both student portfolios and faculty studies.
“The visiting team found that a focus on the architect's leadership role permeates the Cornell M.Arch.1 program,” the report noted. “The students in the program are highly engaged in shaping the purpose and identity of their academic community.”
The majority of the accreditation process took place this past spring, when representatives from the NAAB came to campus to evaluate the program’s performance. Dean Kent Kleinman led the college and its faculty through the processs.
In addition to receiving passing scores, the programs were praised for their cross-disciplinary focus, a benefit of being part of a large research university such as Cornell. Programs such as AAP in NYC and the international studio programs, such as those in Rome, help students apply their studies to the real world. The college was also praised for the construction of Paul Milstein Hall, set to open in Fall 2011. The report noted that Milstein Hall will provide “needed and useful resource space.”
The accreditation is no surprise to architecture students, who say they chose the program for it’s prestige and it’s high-level of performance.
“It’s ranked the best in the nation,” said Jose Miguel Tijerina ’12. “The professors are great, we learn so much, and it’s such a good atmosphere for it. We’re sort of what other schools want to be.”
Jeremy Burke ’11, a fifth year student in the program, explained the breadth and depth the NAAB explores to accredit programs.
“It’s a very intensive process where the student’s work is gathered and put on display for accreditors to view,” Burke said. Burke went on to note the strength of Cornell’s reputation as continuing to draw the strongest students, as well as the commitment of the school’s faculty.