Architecture was established as a discipline of study at Georgia Tech in 1908 at the request of a civil engineering student who recruited fellow students for an entering class of twenty. Over the intervening century, the Department of Architecture has been complemented by the addition of disciplines (in order of establishment) of Industrial Design (1940), City & Regional Planning (1952), Building Construction (1958), and Music (1991).
The multi-disciplinary College of Architecture (now called the College of Design) was established in 1975, and a significant milestone that soon followed was the establishment in 1982 of the Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture degree and the multi-disciplinary Doctoral Program, a reflection of the increasing complexity of the designed and built environment as well as the growing emphasis upon leading-edge research at Georgia Tech. In addition to the five Schools, the College encompasses seven research centers: the Center for Quality Growth & Regional Development, the Center for Geographic Information Systems, the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access, the Alternative Media Access Center, the Digital Building Laboratory, the Construction Resource Center, and the Center for Music Technology.
The School of Architecture at Georgia Tech encompasses five distinct degree programs, a reflection of the School’s multiple missions in undergraduate education, professional education, and advanced studies & research. The undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree contributes to the general education mission of Georgia Tech through studio-based design education that provides grounding in liberal and technological knowledge and emphasizes creativity and the ability to seek and solve problems related to the built and inhabited environment. At the heart of the School is the professional degree in architecture, the accredited Master of Architecture, which satisfies one requirement for individuals aiming to achieve licensure as practicing architects. Embedded as it is in an institute of technology and situated within a vibrant metropolis, Georgia Tech’s M.Arch program fosters a culture of design informed by research, sparked by imagination, and infused by a spirit of enterprise, innovation, and know-how.
Building linkages with practice and industry, the School has developed several post-professional degree programs: the newly established Master of Science in Urban Design degree, a partnership with the School of City and Regional Planning, which addresses national and global challenges related to urban growth; and the Master of Science (with a major in Architecture) degree with distinct concentrations in the areas of Digital Design & Fabrication, High Performance Building, and Health & Design. These concentrations mirror specialized fields of study in our Ph.D. program: Design Computation, Building Technology & Performance, and Architecture, Culture, & Behavior, each with an associated research lab and substantial funding base. We also support work in Architecture, History, & Society. Historically, the development of a culture of funded research in the field of architecture has lagged behind sister disciplines in engineering and the sciences. Yet what we are trying to do in the School of Architecture is exploit the creative tensions between research and design that can drive innovation in the field, to imagine a better future through architecture, design, and research.