Early Howard female architecture undergraduate student working on assignment

Ms. Winifred O. Freeman (B.Arch. 1963) works on a Design Studio assignment

Architecture education at Howard University has had six distinct periods since 1911, each represented by the organization of the academic unit in which it was housed: 

  • 1911 to 1919: a bachelor's degree in architecture first housed in the School of Manual Arts and Applied Sciences 
  • 1919 to 1934: College of Applied Sciences which included architecture, engineering, art, and home economics 
  • 1934 to 1970: School of Engineering and Architecture 
  • 1970 to 1995: Disciplines were split into School of Engineering and School of Architecture and Planning (included both undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture and city planning) 
  • 1995 to 2016: College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences which consisted of the two previously designated schools and their respective departments 
  • 2016 to Present: College of Engineering and Architecture, including departments of architecture, chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical engineering and computer sciences, and mechanical engineering 

Architecture education at Howard University has continued to evolve since it formally began on February 9, 1911, when the Board of Trustees approved degree studies in architecture. In its first phase of national prominence from 1911 until 1951, when the Bachelor of Architecture degree program was first accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), notable architects, many with national and international experience and reputations such as William “Pops” Hazel, Albert I. Cassell, Hilyard R. Robinson, FAIA, and Howard M. Mackey, FAIA, would shepherd the program. 

Under the leadership of Mackey, the School of Architecture and Planning was formed in 1970 by the Board of Trustees as an independent professional degree-granting unit. Mackey was Founding Dean and orchestrated the appointment of Jerome W. Lindsey as initial operating dean. In 1973, the School moved into its present location in what is now called the Mackey Building. In 1979, Harry G. Robinson III, FAIA, succeeded Lindsey as dean. 

In 1995, Victor W. Dzidzienyo became Acting Dean of the School. Two years later, as part of the university realignment, the School of Architecture and Planning merged with the School of Engineering to become the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences (CEACS), once again reuniting these disciplines. Under the merger, the School of Architecture and Planning became the School of Architecture and Design and the School of Engineering became the School of Engineering and Computer Sciences. In 2007, Bradford Grant, AIA, was appointed associate dean of CEACS and director of the School of Architecture and Design. Edward Dunson was appointed interim chairman of the Department of Architecture in 2007 and was appointed as Chairman the following year. Between 1995 and 2016, CEACS was led by three deans. 

In January 2016, Achille Messac, Ph.D., was appointed as Dean of CEACS. Dean Messac fully recognized the key differences between the architecture and engineering disciplines relative to pedagogy, curricular assessments, faculty appointment, promotion and tenure requirements, and the accreditation bodies for the two disciplines. Upon his arrival, he initiated — and completed — a structural reorganization of CEACS as the College of Engineering and Architecture (CEA) in April 2016. 

In mid-2016, Dean Messac, upon the recommendation of the architecture department faculty, appointed Hazel Ruth Edwards, Ph.D., as Chair of the Department of Architecture. In May 2017, Dr. Edwards successfully submitted an application to NAAB for 2018 implementation of the change in the nomenclature of the Bachelor of Architecture degree to the Master of Architecture degree. That change is the next phase of architectural education at Howard University. 


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Architecture Professor Bradford Grant has been named the first Instagram artist-in-residence at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The National Portrait Gallery “seeks to collaborate with artists both within and outside the Smithsonian to create dynamic public outreach, engage diverse national and international audiences, and explore the infinite richness and complexity of American history through the art of portraiture and biography to advance the Smithsonian’s fundamental mission to increase and diffuse knowledge”. Read More >>

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The Howard University Department of Architecture faculty and students are part of a seven-university team funded by a $15 million NASA grant. The grant establishes the Habitats Optimized for Missions of Exploration (HOME) Space Technology Research Institute for Deep Space Habitat Design, one of two space technology research institutes selected by NASA in 2019. Read More >>


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