APR Master FINAL EDITS - Rice School of Architecture

APR Master FINAL EDITS - Rice School of Architecture
Rice University
School of Architecture
Architecture Program Report for 2016 NAAB Visit for
Continuing Accreditation
Bachelor of Architecture [High School diploma + 192 credit hours]
Master of Architecture Option I [Bachelor degree + 133 credit hours]
Master of Architecture Option II [Bachelor degree in Arch + 95 credit hours]
Year of the Previous Visit: 2010
Current Term of Accreditation: 6 Years
Submitted to: The National Architectural Accrediting Board
Date: 30 September 2015
Rice University
Architecture Program Report
September 2015
Name and contact information for the following:
Program Administrator:
Dean Sarah M. Whiting
School of Architecture
Rice University
6100 Main Street
Houston, Texas 77005
713-348-4044
Chief administrator for the academic unit in which the program is located:
Dean Sarah M. Whiting
Chief Academic Officer of the Institution:
Provost Marie Lynn Miranda
Rice University
6100 Main Street
Houston, Texas 77005
713-348-4026
President of the Institution:
President David Leebron
Rice University
6100 Main Street
Houston, Texas 77005
713-348-5050
Individual submitting the Architecture Program Report:
Professor John J. Casbarian
Name of individual to whom questions should be directed:
Professor John J. Casbarian
Rice University
6100 Main Street
Houston, Texas 77005
713-348-5152
jjc@rice.edu
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Table of Contents
Section
Page
Section 1.
Program Description
I.1.1
I.1.2
I.1.3
I.1.4
I.1.5
I.1.6
History and Mission
Learning Culture
Social Equity
Defining Perspectives
Long Range Planning
Assessment
Section 2.
Progress since the Previous Visit
Program Response to Conditions Not Met
Program Response to Causes of Concern
Program Response to Change in Conditions
Section 3
I.2.1
I.2.2
I.2.3
I.2.4
I.2.5
II.1.1
II.2.1
II.2.2
II.3
II.4
III.1.1
III.1.2
Section 4
16
17
17
Compliance with the Conditions for Accreditation
Human Resources and Human Resource Development
Physical Resources
Financial Resources
Information Resources
Administrative Structure & Governance
Student Performance Criteria
Institutional Accreditation
Professional Degrees & Curriculum
Evaluation of Preparatory Education
Public Information
Annual Statistical Reports
Interim Progress Reports
18
22
29
31
34
39
44
45
53
54
63
63
Supplemental Material
Instructions to Access Supplemental Material
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7
8
9
13
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SECTION 1 – PROGRAM DESCRIPTION (limit 15 pages)
I.1.1 History and Mission
Institutional History and Mission: Located on a 300-acre tree-lined campus in Houston, Rice University
is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News and World Report. At once a
university that expends almost $100 million annually on research, Rice is also a small college, with only
3,965 undergraduates, 2,610 graduate students and 641 full time faculty. With its undergraduate studentto-faculty ratio of 6-to-1 and its residential college system, Rice builds close-knit communities across the
campus, fostering individualized mentoring and lifelong friendships.
The Rice Institute opened on September 23, 1912, with 77 students and a dozen professors. Edgar Odell
Lovett, Rice’s first president, envisioned an institution “of the highest grade,” one that would keep “the
standards up and the numbers down,” that would attract talented scholars from the best European and
American universities and that would enroll promising students “without regard to social background.”
These core values – high academic standards, small size, selectivity and affordability – have endured into
the university’s second century.
The Rice University Mission Statement, located on the university governance website, underscores a
profound commitment to teaching and research: “As a leading research university with a distinctive
commitment to undergraduate education, Rice University aspires to pathbreaking research, unsurpassed
teaching and contributions to the betterment of our world. It seeks to fulfill this mission by cultivating a
diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human
endeavor.” With a Rice alumnus as Harris County judge, an alumna as mayor of Houston, a Rice School
of Architecture alumnus as council member-at-large and countless alumni leading organizations across
the world, the university’s mission of creating leaders has clearly resonated.
Rice is closely connected to the resources of Houston, the fourth largest city in the country. Over the last
twenty years, Houston has become one of the nation’s most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the
U.S.: its population is 44% Hispanic, 26% European American, 24% African American and 6% Asian and
other. Remarkably cosmopolitan, over 90 languages are spoken in the city and with 94 countries
represented, Houston has the third-largest consular corps in the nation. This diversity provides a welcome
context for the incoming freshman class of the entire university, which for the incoming class of 2018
includes 22 countries (45% of all Rice freshmen are from Texas; 55% are from other states or are
internationals).
Rice School of Architecture (RSA) History: Architectural education at Rice dates from the opening of
the university in 1912. William Ward Watkin came to Houston as Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson’s
supervising architect for the campus design, and was subsequently asked by President Lovett to
establish a curriculum in architecture. Watkin served as chairman of the Department of Architecture for
the next four decades, while also maintaining a thriving practice. His tenure saw the establishment of the
school’s first of many significant traveling fellowships and the introduction of graduate study in
architecture. Watkin also did much to encourage the early development of Houston’s Museum of Fine
Arts, whose first director, James Chillman, Jr., came to Houston at Watkin’s invitation to join the
architecture faculty.
Following Watkin’s administration, the Department of Architecture was led by James C. Morehead, Jr.
from 1953 until 1959 and by Donald Barthelme from 1959 to 1961. That year, William W. Caudill, a
founding partner of the Houston architecture/engineering firm Caudill, Rowlett, Scott and former professor
of architecture at Texas A&M University, was appointed Director for the Department of Architecture, which
was redesignated the School of Architecture in 1965. An architect of international reputation, Caudill
established the Preceptorship Program – an internship practicum that has remained one of the most
distinctive features of Rice’s B.Arch. curriculum. Caudill also sponsored a series of publications,
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Architecture at Rice and summer design workshops, which brought together leading architects of the day
for intensive design charrettes with Rice students.
In 1969 Caudill returned to private practice and the School came under the direction of Anderson Todd.
During Todd’s tenure, the School acquired its first endowed chairs. Substantial new resources became
available to the school when faculty, staff and library holdings were transferred from the Institute of the
Arts at the University of St. Thomas to Rice University. The school’s enrollment more than doubled from
80 students in 1960 to 209 in 1971. Since then, enrollment has remained at approximately that same
level.
City planner and public administrator David A. Crane came from the University of Pennsylvania to
become the first dean of the RSA in 1972. During Crane’s tenure, a three-and-one-half year firstprofessional degree program was instituted at the graduate level for post-baccalaureate students from a
variety of backgrounds (known as the Qualifying Graduate or ‘QG” program). Also at this time, the
School’s Preceptorship Program was made mandatory for all undergraduate students pursuing a first
professional degree (Bachelor of Architecture). Research opportunities in urban design and planning
were expanded with the creation of the Rice Center, a non-profit corporation for community design and
research. Crane also established the Rice Design Alliance, a community outreach membership
organization affiliated with the School, which sponsors public lectures, symposiums, tours and other
activities related to architecture and design.
O. Jack Mitchell, who had been the School’s director, served as dean from 1978-1989. Mitchell instituted
the currently dormant master’s program in urban design, and renovated and significantly expanded the
school’s facilities with a substantial addition designed by James Stirling and Michael Wilford. Mitchell also
oversaw the endowment of the Francis Cullinan Chair in Art, Architecture and Urban Planning; the Alice
Pratt Brown Art and Architecture Library within Fondren Library; and the Rice Advanced Visualization Lab
(RAVL), which was underwritten by IBM. In addition, four additional traveling fellowships were created
and community outreach was enhanced and broadened with the dedication of the Farish Gallery and the
founding of CITE, the Rice Design Alliance magazine.
In the fall of 1986, an advisory council was established by the dean to assist in strengthening various
aspects of the School’s programs and resources, while also advising the school and its faculty regarding
the concerns of the profession and its milieu. This council continues today in the form of the William Ward
Watkin Council.
In 1989, Paul A. Kennon, Jr., an internationally recognized architect and president of CRSS Architects in
Houston, was appointed Dean of the School of Architecture, with Alan Balfour appointed as associate
dean. Upon Kennon’s untimely death in January of 1990, Balfour was appointed acting dean and
subsequently dean. Balfour’s programs included the institution and endowment of the Paul A. Kennon
Memorial Fund and the inaugural Paul Kennon Symposium on Urban Design.
In December 1991, Balfour resigned in order to become director at the Architectural Association in
London. O. Jack Mitchell was subsequently appointed Acting Dean and continued in this capacity until his
unexpected death in February of 1992. At this time, professors John J. Casbarian and William Cannady,
chairs of the undergraduate and graduate committees respectively, began serving as ‘co-acting deans’
until Lars Lerup, professor of architecture at University of California, Berkeley and director of Southern
California Institute of Architecture’s Switzerland program, was appointed as dean on July 1, 1993.
Professor Albert Pope was named director of graduate studies and professor John J. Casbarian was
made director of undergraduate studies until a restructuring that led to Casbarian becoming associate
dean in 1997.
During Lerup’s tenure, the Architecture at Rice publication series expanded to reach a national and
international audience. The Rice Building Workshop (RBW) under the joint directorship of Professors in
Practice Danny Samuels and Nonya Grenader was established and resulted in numerous projects
including low-cost houses and housing in Houston’s Third Ward, in collaboration with Project Row
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Houses. RBW received the NCARB Prize in 2004. In 2002, the Rice School of Architecture, Paris (RSAP)
was established in Paris, a study-abroad program for advanced undergraduate and graduate students.
After his 16-year tenure, Lerup stepped down July 2009 as dean and was replaced by associate dean
John J. Casbarian, who was named dean for fall, 2009. Sarah Whiting, an architectural critic and partner
of WW Architecture became dean in January 2010. Under her tenure, the school has expanded its
teaching fellowship platform by doubling the number of two-year Wortham Fellows (the architectural
equivalent to post docs) and introducing a similar Technology Fellow position. These young faculty bring
new ideas to the school while being mentored for a career in architectural education. Additionally, the
past five years have seen significant renovations to the school’s building and facilities, including the
opening this past January of the Gensler Fabrication Lab in honor of Jo and Jim Furr. This dedication was
the most recent of several significant fundraising accomplishments, including the establishment of the
John J. Casbarian Fund for Course Travel, which has enabled studios and seminars to take study trips as
close as Dallas and as far away as Chile and Hong Kong. Finally, we are in our second year of a new
program, a Master of Arts in Architecture graduate degree, which is a research-intensive, postbaccalaureate/post-professional, non-accredited degree program with a collective thesis output.
Rice School of Architecture Mission: The RSA’s mission is to promote architecture as a cultural
practice by preparing its graduates to think, negotiate and collaborate using all genres of design; to direct
diverse project teams; and to generate artifacts and arguments that have both a contemporary and
historical resonance and relevance.
The school’s small size permits us to operate like a think tank, where students are encouraged to think
and do. Given that our graduates go on to become leaders in the field, whether as practitioners, faculty,
politicians, editors, curators, or entrepreneurs, the school deliberately places particular emphasis on
cultivating individual research, initiative and acumen. Our curriculum emphasizes the simultaneous
importance of verbal and visual communication, ensuring that students possess the tools they need to
engage in practice and in the world around them.
The school’s position within a top tier university permits us to draw extensively from other disciplines to
forge new territories of speculative practice, as demonstrated by our faculty’s leadership role with Rice’s
new environmental studies interdisciplinary minor; our cross-listed courses with other schools and
departments, particularly Humanities, Business and Engineering; and our collaborations with the Rice
Gallery. Rice’s college system, leadership and externship programs, and strong ties to Houston and the
region provide our students with a wide range of opportunities in addition to those offered through the
school.
I.1.2 Learning Culture
The RSA undergraduate curriculum provides a balance between a broad liberal arts education and
focused professional study. The instruction fosters in students a sense of personal values, responsibilities
and sound judgment while focusing simultaneously on traditional and innovative design activities. The
context of these design activities ranges from the pragmatic to the theoretical and includes the
metropolitan, the natural, the technical and the aesthetic.
The RSA graduate programs seek to foster similar societal and professional values. By encouraging
exploration, diversity and risk-taking among its faculty and students, the program promotes an on-going
debate about the role of both architectural design and designer (in the broadest sense) in society. The
school promotes an awareness of the imbrication of the local and the global by deliberately siting projects
both in Houston and in international sites (Hong Kong, Paris, Berlin…).
The RSA maintains a student handbook as the primary means of communicating the studio culture policy,
which is additionally reinforced by faculty-led discussions at the beginning of every semester in every
studio, as well as director-led discussions for the new undergraduates and new graduate students at their
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respective orientation sessions. Physical copies of the student handbook are kept in every studio and it is
also available as an online pdf on the school’s all-student, all-faculty and all-school websites. The primary
statement of policy is found in the Handbook:
The RSA is an architecture school in which design activity is the central concern of students and faculty.
We believe that the design studio is the principle learning environment for architecture, as it represents a
unique educational context in which students can synthesize the practical, aesthetic, cultural and
theoretical concerns integral to architectural design. Studio culture comprises two primary relationships
(faculty-student and peer-peer and two key educational activities (studio assignments and evaluation
procedures). The RSA believes that it is paramount for the studio to be characterized by a positive culture
of learning and hopes to encourage this positive culture by providing guidelines for comportment in the
key relationships and activities of the studio.
Additionally included within the handbook are sections that, among other topics, elaborate on studio
culture and comportment, Rice’s honor code, academic responsibility, shop guidelines and safety,
emergency information, grading, attendance (including information about religious observances), disability
services, health and counseling services, and university and school policies regarding smoking, alcohol
and Title IX. The student handbook is revised every summer, with input solicited from the ASR (student
organization), the staff and the faculty, the director of undergraduate studies and the director of graduate
studies. There is a general discussion about the handbook specifically and the learning culture of the
school more broadly at the first faculty meeting every year but also at faculty meetings that approach final
review week. This discussion includes our pedagogical aims as a school (desired goals as well as
particular and general issues and opportunities that arise in any given semester); it also includes a
discussion regarding how best to foster the most conducive environment for learning. We are fortunate
that as a very small school, we are a close knit community, where everyone watches out for everyone
else, but we also consistently remind ourselves not to become complacent in assuming that we don’t have
the same pressures, stresses and conflicts that can arise in any school today.
I.1.3 Social Equity
In addition to being presented in the RSA student handbook, recommendations and policies regarding
discrimination and sexual harassment and procedures for grievance may be found in the Undergraduate
and Graduate Rights and Responsibilities sections of the university’s General Announcements,
http://ga.rice.edu a university-wide handbook that is updated annually.
Rice’s Diversity Policies can be found at the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action
section of the university’s website: http://professor.rice.edu/professor/EEOAA.asp. Additionally,
resolutions adopted by the Rice Board of Trustees and by the Faculty Senate regarding diversity can be
found on the Office of Diversity website: http://diversity.rice.edu/archives.html.
The RSA maintains a blind admissions policy with regard to race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality in both
the undergraduate and graduate programs. The school’s population, in both the B.Arch. and M.Arch.
programs, tends to be evenly distributed by gender. Currently, the graduate program has 65 enrolled
students, 52% are male and 48% are female. The population of both programs is diverse, with roughly
one third coming to Rice from international high schools or universities, although we have noted an
increasing challenge in “defining” nationality. As an example, we have a B.Arch. freshman who is Swiss,
but who attended high school in Singapore; her father is Indian and her mother is Belgian. In short, our
student population represents today’s globalized world. Our graduate program has 62% U.S. citizens (five
of those students have dual citizenship). 34% of our graduate student population self reports as Asian,
11% Hispanic or Latino, 37% Caucasian and 18% chose not to report. In the undergraduate population,
of 126 total students, 35% are male and 65% are female. 43% of them are not US citizens and 7% have
dual citizenship. 48% self reports as Asian, 5% Hispanic or Latino, 1% African-American, 41% Caucasian
and 4% list more than one race.
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Rice University has a fellowship for graduate students, which is directly targeted to minorities. The
Provost Prize is used for the recruitment of underrepresented minorities in the School of Architecture.
Recognizing the fact that perhaps the most significant obstacle to greater diversity within architecture
schools and the profession is awareness of architecture as a potential discipline and profession within
underrepresented groups, we have recently initiated efforts to educate and recruit from a broader
population. Our school’s student organization, ASR, is working with local high schools to set up visits and
we are also expanding our recruiting visits and materials and working with both the graduate and
undergraduate admissions offices to prioritize expanding our outreach to a more diverse population.
Seeking to take advantage of the broader Rice University population, the school has also expanded
opportunities for undergraduate students to gain exposure to architecture. We advertise our fall semester
introductory history/theory course (“Introduction to Architectural Thinking”) in the school newspaper, all
the residential colleges and in the freshmen facebook. We also use these platforms to advertise our
popular spring mini-studio course, “Architecture for Non-Architects,” which meets for one evening every
week and introduces students to a wide array of short design exercises and techniques. Additionally, we
are shifting our summer introductory program, “Launch,” which was previously aimed at college students
considering applying to M.Arch. programs, to work with high school students.
With a 2014-2015 tenured faculty of ten that includes only two women and no minorities, we are aware
that we need to improve as a school to model the diverse population that we are trying to support in our
recruiting efforts. Our entire 2014-2015 faculty roster of 37 has only 9 women and 5 underrepresented
minorities. We are hoping to address this issue with our hiring this year (we have two searches at the
tenure track level) and we have requested additional university assistance for target of opportunity hiring.
I.1.4 Defining Perspectives
A. Collaboration and Leadership
One of the greatest assets of the RSA is our size. As we explain to every prospective student, “if you
want to hide in the crowd, the RSA is the wrong school for you.” From the day they enter, we encourage
every one of our students to develop her or his own opinions. In every course in the curriculum, we teach
students how to articulate those opinions, both verbally and visually. Because we are so small, we can
work with every student to establish her or his particular voice, with the understanding that “voice” is a
combination of content, technique and style. Students can neither lead nor collaborate if they cannot first
communicate.
Leadership abilities developed in courses through this general fostering of opinions and through specific
assignments. In studios, students present their work frequently in different formats, including small group
pinups, where students are encouraged to learn how to crit their colleagues, which requires looking at the
work carefully and learning how to articulate constructive feedback. In seminars, students are often
responsible for leading discussions and also for presenting their research. Collaboration is taught in
courses in many ways, ranging from the aforementioned small pinup groups to collaborative research to
some collaborative work. In early studios, in both sequences, that collaborative output is limited to site
models and precedent studies; in more advanced studios, students will sometimes do final projects
working in pairs, which enables them to advance the project design and detailing further. One advanced
studio (spring, 2015), led by Visiting Cullinan Critic Joshua Prince Ramus, had the entire studio
collaborate on one tower project in Manhattan, working on the project as an office might (students were
tasked with specific responsibilities, but they all had to coordinate). In seminars, collaboration occurs
primarily through discussion, where all students are encouraged to participate and to advance one
another’s ideas.
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The school’s emphasis on opinion and communication goes beyond coursework, permeating the entire
school, as evidenced by a sample of four of our students’ extracurricular activities. Mitch Mackowiak, a
junior, is the Opinions Editor for the University’s student newspaper – perhaps the most direct testimony
to the significance of opinion in the school. Another junior, Caroline Brigham, who is minoring in Rice’s
Poverty, Social Justice and Human Capabilities (PJHC) program, received a Susan McAshan Internship
to spend the summer implementing solar-powered mobile healthcare clinics and constructing a
community center in Cape Town, South Africa. Brigham was featured in Houston Press this summer as
one of Houston’s “Five under Twenty Five Already Making Their Mark.” As another example, four seniors
collaborated with two engineering students to design and build the Soundworm, Rice’s first studentdesigned and student-built work of public art, which now has a permanent home between the school and
the university library. Finally, two graduate alumni, Scott Key and Sam Brisendine, furthered a project for
an emergency floor design that they’d initiated in their Rice Building Workshop course by obtaining
federal funding this year from USAID. The two have founded Good Works Studio, a social enterprise
office. They took the Emergency Floor to Iraq and the project has been approved by the UN Refugee
Agency. Additionally, in September 2015, they were among eight professionals selected as 2015
Emerging Leaders by the Design Futures Council.
In addition to singular initiatives like these, there are several school-based, extra-curricular opportunities
for collaboration and leadership. The RSA has a student governing body called the Architecture Society
at Rice (ASR), which acts as a liaison between the faculty, administration and the student body, and
which has responsibility for organizing school-wide events, social and academic, that range from the
annual Archi-Arts party to RAMP, the Rice Architecture Mentoring Program. RAMP brings speakers to the
school, organizes externships and schedules office and site visits throughout the year. The RSA also has
an entirely student-run journal, PLAT, which puts out two issues per year of writing and design solicited
(and then edited, designed and produced) from around the world in response to a theme developed by
the issue’s editors. All of these student initiatives are supported in part by the school, but are organized
and run by students, who also have to oversee their budgets and fundraise for additional monies. The
school’s policy regarding such initiatives is to seed such work and to serve as a sounding board –
particularly when it comes to helping students balance extracurricular endeavors and classwork.
B. Design
The RSA promotes design as the synthesis of all that architecture entails. We coordinate the curriculum
so that the first year students in both the B.Arch. and M.Arch. programs take an introductory
history/theory course (organized around key debates, topics and terms in architecture over the past
century) that is coordinated with their first year studios in such a way that the history/theory instructor will
draw parallels for the students, and the studio faculty will do the same. In this way, already from the start,
the program works to build an understanding that no topic is limited to a single course and that no course
is isolated from any other.
The core studio sequence in both the undergraduate and graduate programs focuses on the design
synthesis of form, technology and program (the contemporary version of Vitrivius’s firmitas, commodity
and delight); more advanced studios broaden this design synthesis to include economics, fabrication,
material studies, sociological information, urbanism, politics and the myriad of other cultural factors that
shape architecture and are, in turn, shaped by architecture. In this way, as students advance through the
sequence, their assignments and the corresponding contexts of those assignments, also become more
complex.
Thesis is not obligatory at Rice but for the M.Arch. students, the pre-thesis seminar is required. This
important course provides an environment and structure in which the conceptual formulation, articulation
and critical evaluation of thesis proposals can take place. Each student is expected to clearly outline a
thesis focus, its architectural implications and projected material results. In short, the pre-thesis seminar
assists students to pose a question that motivates and provokes their future design work.
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While the undergraduates at the RSA do not do a thesis, every course in the school employs the term
thesis to encourage students to focus their work (design work as well as written work). The faculty’s job is
to teach students how to frame relevant questions. Judging relevance includes the significance of the
questions posed (for our time, for our context and for our ability to have an effect). In this age of endless
information and innumerable techniques, framing relevant questions and addressing them with relevant
means is perhaps one of the greatest and most urgent challenges for anyone teaching architecture.
Students are exposed to the challenges and the opportunities of architecture’s realization through many
formats. The Rice Building Workshop, which began in 1996, brings students out of the school into
Houston, where they do projects for community non-profit organizations. Working at various scales and in
diverse situations, RBW students engage all facets of the building process. Budget, schedule and
construction constraints test conceptual ideas as students work together to transform designs into built
contributions. RBW functions much like an architect’s office: students meet with clients to develop
programs; small teams propose and develop a variety of design solutions; choices are narrowed down;
and budget, technical detail and code compliance all have to be met. While RBW is not a required course,
some 400 students have taken it over the years and many additional students have given time to the
building charrettes during the crunch moments. The entire school has benefited from watching the
process.
The RSA’s required “Totalization studios” (the fall advanced options studios, taken by all M.Arch. students
in their third year and all B.Arch students in their fifth year) also expose students to the complexities of a
building’s realization. These immersive, comprehensive studios work closely with consultants to challenge
conventions of facades, structure, MEP and materials, overlapping strategically to share knowledge and
push boundaries as part of a larger collective. The studios each focus on a different component of
building. This year’s topics include Envelope (the superficial qualities of plastic envelopes); Material (the
material logic of composite construction); Environments (the atmospheric potential of hydrologic phase
changes); and Structural Hybrids (building on existing structures). The depth of each of these focused
investigations is amplified in breadth by the relationships across studios through shared workshops,
lectures, research and travel. The Totalization initiative, which began five years ago, sends a clear
message throughout the school that advanced design projects require collaboration and that it also
requires a thorough understanding of all components of building and of the building process, ranging from
sitework to engineering to local codes and to financing.
C. Professional Opportunity
Rice’s unique Preceptorship Program, established in 1968, offers our B.Arch students a practicum year
between their fourth and fifth years of the program. Participating offices are selected by the School from
among the leading firms in the U.S. and abroad and are appointed by the University for renewable twoyear terms. Current firms include Johnston Marklee and ZGF in L.A., DS+R, SHoP and Ennead in N.Y.,
OMA in Hong Kong, Renzo Piano Workshop in Paris and Genoa, and PLP and KPF in London.
Preceptees are paid normal firm wages. They intern for 9-12 months and are mentored by an office
contact, who is responsible for ensuring that the internship exposes the student to the full breadth of
practice. Students are required to submit two reports during the year as well as a portfolio of work
produced upon their return to Rice for their fifth year of study. The preceptorship year offers the B.Arch.
students an invaluable experience. The exposure that this program gives to our school also fosters a
network of professional opportunities for all students in the program, including job opportunities and
summer internships extending beyond their preceptorship year.
RAMP, our mentoring program organized by the student group ASR, coordinates externship opportunities
over winter and spring break for all students, as well as office visits, site visits and conversations about
practice with alumni and other visitors to the school. Every year RAMP programming includes nontraditional career paths as well as more conventional practice routes, including, for example, a
conversation with Sheryl Kolasinski, Deputy Director and COO of the Menil Collection, and one with RSA
alumnus Jack McGinty, who, as a White House Fellow, was Assistant to Secretary of the Interior, Stewart
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Udall. Additionally, every participant in the school’s lecture series engages in an informal, one-hour
conversation with students prior to every talk. All of these opportunities ensure that RSA students
graduate with real exposure to a full variety of practice models.
The school’s longstanding commitment to dismantling the false dichotomy between theory and practice
has meant that a majority of our students will go on to take the licensing exam. As evidenced on the
NCARB site http://www.ncarb.org/ARE/ARE-Pass-Rates/Pass-Rates-by-School/2014-v4.aspx, Rice
graduates’ pass rates range from 70-90% across the different sections of the exam.
D. Stewardship of the Environment
Sited as we are in a sub-tropical climate, it’s impossible for anyone at the school to ignore the impact of
the environment on design. The school sees environmental awareness and responsibility as a given:
structures have to stand up and they should be environmentally responsible. Environmental
considerations take place across the curriculum but more decidedly in the more advanced studios and
seminars, where students have the tools to incorporate it within their designs with more sophistication,
including our Rice Building Workshop courses, a seminar on timber construction, and a seminar on high
density housing strategies. Required courses, such as the envelope and environmental systems
technology courses, the Totalization studios and the history/theory lecture sequence, all include
environmental considerations. This topic has grown in significance not only in the school but across Rice,
as evidence by several ecology-oriented student groups across campus, as well as the number
sustainable design courses in Civil Engineering and a new Environmental Studies minor. It is notable that
the gateway course for that minor is co-taught by Albert Pope, a faculty member in the RSA.
E. Community and Social Responsibility
Part and parcel of the school’s emphasis on teaching students to form opinions and communicate well is
to prepare them to engage in the world. On our school’s website, we cite the cultural historian Tony Judt,
who recently passed away: "As citizens of a free society, we have a duty to look critically at our world. But
if we think we know what is wrong, we must act upon that knowledge." Philosophers, Judt concluded (and
I think in this context we could substitute "architects") "... have hitherto only interpreted the world in
various ways; the point is to change it." Judt's book, Ill Fares the Land, is a battle cry - a plea both to look
and do. It's a pointed account of the challenges we face as global and even very local iniquities dominate
an age that is purported to be so modern. Part of what we teach our students at Rice is that they all have
to look and do, but while at school, they have to learn with us how it is that one can “do” with and through
architecture.
Each semester, the school takes on a theme and in 2013 it was “Citizen,” where we asked, as a school,
what it meant to be a citizen-architect today. Five speakers came to the school to talk about this subject,
including Reinhold Martin, who talked about the Foreclosed exhibition at MoMA; Pier Vittorio Aureli, who
talked about theories of citizenship today; Stefano Boeri, who talked about serving on the city council of
Milan (and running for Mayor of that city); and two sitting mayors, Annise Parker of Houston and Svante
Myrick, of Ithaca. That series, which is being prepared for publication, was a semester-long discussion of
the desires, possibilities and obligations of the public responsibilities and opportunities that we have as
architects.
RSA students consistently take on a number of civic and community opportunities in Houston through a
variety of means. The Rice Building Workshop, mentioned above, does design-build work for nonprofits in Houston, including a longstanding relationship with Project Row Houses, as well as current
projects being done for Workshop Houston, the Menil Collection, Hermann Park Conservancy and
Hope Farms. Students obtain summer internships in the Mayor’s office as well as for Central Houston,
an organization dedicated to “leading and assisting the community in achieving the highest quality,
sustainable revitalization of downtown Houston and the center city.” Our students have led Rice efforts
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to create homes for Habitat for Humanity, among other volunteer efforts. The student organization,
ASR, is currently working with local elementary and high schools, offering to have our students come in
to talk about architecture as a field of study and career. Finally, our students engage the world beyond
Houston in their extracurricular work, as noted already in the Leadership and Collaboration section
above (particularly relevant are the examples of the Emergency Floor project as well as Caroline
Brigham’s Susan McAshan internship in Cape Town this past summer).
I.1.5 Long-Range Planning
At the risk of overstressing our small size, it is a distinct advantage once again when considering the
school’s long-range planning.
Regular annual reviews, monthly faculty meetings and bi-weekly administrative meetings complement the
continuous informal but productive conversation that happens among the faculty and also the staff more
informally within the school, across the university, in Houston, and beyond. Our size enables us to be
nimble in adjusting our curriculum structure and content in response to challenges and opportunities that
arise at the university, in our discipline, and in the field today.
Faculty teaching the core design studios, the Totalization studios, the required technology sequence and
the required history/theory sequence meet at least once a semester to assess strengths, weaknesses,
and possible alterations to their respective curricula. The full faculty’s annual awards meeting (during
which we select students for a number of awards across every level of the undergraduate and graduate
programs) and the first and last faculty meetings of every semester permit us to step back as a faculty
and assess our strengths and weaknesses. Our major undergraduate award, the William Ward Watkin
Award, which goes to the top fourth year spring semester studio project, is selected by an outside panel
of three jurors, which always gives us an opportunity to evaluate ourselves from outside. Additionally, we
have two outside jurors for every studio’s final review, which is a further way of having other voices review
our work (and the dinner conversation following those reviews has always offered a great opportunity to
get feedback on these visits). Similarly, our students’ regular meetings with guest lecturers, in the form of
the informal “Broch n’ Talk,” conversation at the Brochstein Café, or the RAMP conversations that the
students organize with alumni and other practitioners, lets visitors get a sense of our students. Even
though these conversations are brief, they offer us feedback as to whether our students are indeed able
to enter into a contemporary disciplinary exchange in the manner that we strive for. Almost every faculty
member participates on interim and final reviews, permitting a shared baseline of the program that is
supplemented by conversations about work being done in other classes as well as about the students’
myriad extracurricular efforts. Finally, faculty committees are responsible for long range planning for their
respective responsibilities, including, for example, our building facilities, our fabrication facilities, and our
liaison to the university Promotion and Tenure committee, who is responsible for guiding P&T within the
school.
Our long range planning is not designed to be deliberately concentric with the NAAB perspectives, but
nevertheless has very natural overlaps with it, as the five perspectives constitute, in the end, five
significant areas that any school of architecture must engage, so we are constantly considering questions
of leadership and collaboration within the school, honing opportunities for community and social
responsibility, generating professional opportunities, noting the significance of the environment, and,
always, synthetizing the design education. We would add to these perspectives the challenges of global
perspectives and the importance of communication (which includes learning the many registers of
communication that an architecture student needs to learn, ranging from conversations that are
specifically disciplinary to those that are aimed at a broader audience, less familiar with our field).
In addition to the NAAB reviews and interim reports, we submit annual planning and assessment reports
to Rice’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness, samples of which can be made available to the accreditation
team upon their visit. The annual Rice Outcomes Assessment Report (ROARs) articulate areas of focus
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and plans for improvement, while the annual Report on Improvement Plan’s Effectiveness (RIPEs)
assess, one year later, the success or shortcomings of those plans.
I.1.6. Assessment
A. Program Self-Assessment
As noted above in the Long-Range Planning section, the School of Architecture has a formal multi-year
assessment through the university’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) as well as a regular selfassessment through our faculty meetings (as a small faculty, we are able to have full faculty meetings
quite easily and regularly). The OIE university reports annually assess by following six consistent
components: 1) Student Learning Outcomes, 2) Methods, 3) Results, 4) Conclusions, 5) Improvement
Action Plan and 6) Action Plan. Additionally, annual plans are followed up each year via five additional
criteria: 7) the Actualized Plan, 8) the Evaluation, 9) the Continued Action Plan, 10) the Process, and 11)
the Budget Impact.
Faculty input to program self-assessment comes regularly at faculty meetings and reviews, and informally
throughout the year via organized conversations (including reviews and pin ups, but also including our
“Insider Trading” lunchtime lecture series, which consists of faculty discussing their work and interests as
well as all-faculty roundtable discussions on topics that reflect shared interests in the school) and less
organized ones (the school covers lunch costs for faculty wanting to meet about teaching – for example,
faculty teaching together in the core, but faculty often lunch together informally anyway).
Student input to program self-assessment comes regularly through course and instructor evaluations as
well as a meeting every semester between the dean and the student governance board, ASR, to which all
students are invited. Students are encouraged (and our students frankly don’t need much
encouragement) to email or meet with faculty and the administration to offer their feedback. There is
frequent contact between the ASR president and the dean. Students are encouraged to have opinions
and make suggestions, but they are also encouraged to be realistic and selfless in so doing. The size of
the program and the culture at Rice has always fostered this level of engagement.
B. Curricular Assessment and Development
The decision-making structure is as follows:
Dean: Responsible for running the RSA, including hiring, budget, and academic leadership.
Director of Graduate Studies: Responsible for coordinating the graduate program.
Director of Undergraduate Studies: Responsible for coordinating the undergraduate program.
Director of External Programs: Responsible for coordinating the Preceptorship Program (external
internship, described above) and RSAP, Rice School of Architecture in Paris.
There are curricular committees that correspond to different areas of the curriculum: the B.Arch core
studio faculty; the M.Arch. core studio faculty; the advanced studio faculty (for both programs); the
history/theory faculty; and the technology faculty. These committees meet on an as-needed basis, but at
least once per semester.
In addition to these committees, the RSA has several annual activities that permit continuous
assessment:
• All faculty meetings
• Admin meetings (dean and directors of the B.Arch. and M.Arch. programs)
• Staff meetings (dean and school administrator)
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•
•
•
Awards meeting
Studio and thesis final reviews
Faculty annual reviews
Faculty meetings provide an effective mechanism for short-term review of many RSA activities, including
curriculum and personnel, research, external affairs and development. The dean’s close collaboration
with the directors of the undergraduate and graduate programs also facilitates short-term planning. Studio
and thesis reviews (thesis has four reviews through the semester and the pre thesis has a review prior to
the approval of the thesis semester) also provide an important barometer for assessing student progress.
Faculty annual reviews with the dean provide an evaluation process for each faculty member to assess
faculty research and creative work, as well as teaching, university, and professional service.
Review of Curricula: Course syllabi are due to the dean prior to the beginning of classes each term for
review and comment prior to posting and distribution. Faculty also share their course objectives in the first
faculty meeting of each term so that the entire faculty is familiar with what’s being taught.
Course Evaluations: Students complete standard course and instructor evaluations each semester that
are mandated by the University and are visible to the entire faculty. Course evaluations are reviewed by
the dean as part of the faculty review process and students are encouraged to complete them each
semester in a constructive manner.
Review of Faculty: The faculty complete a yearly achievement form, formulated by the university, which
is available for viewing by the entire university. The form itself and the software used to generate it are in
the process of being updated (which will be welcome, since it has been a bit Byzantine as a process).
Additionally, the assistant, associate, and non-tenure track faculty have a yearly meeting with the dean to
assess progress and receive advising. Assistant and associate faculty are also advised by senior faculty
for promotion and tenure.
Review of Administration: The provost reviews the dean annually, which may include confidential
evaluation solicited among the faculty and staff. All deans go through a reappointment review every five
years.
Student Participation in Self-Assessment: At the beginning of each semester, the dean holds an open
meeting with the student body to talk about the program and hear student concerns.
Students may take part in the self-assessment process in the school through representation on the ASR
(Architecture Society at Rice). The ASR consults with the dean on matters of mutual interest and concern.
The ASR has representatives from every studio, as well as an administration (president, vice presidents
from each program, social directors, curators, RAMP directors, etc.).
William Ward Watkin Council: The WWW Council is a 16 member volunteer board consisting of alumni
and friends, which is convened twice a year (November and March) to gain an overview of the school and
serve as a sounding board for the faculty and dean. The WWW Council also assists the school in
development, alumni networking, and recruitment efforts.
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SECTION 2 – PROGRESS SINCE THE PREVIOUS VISIT
Response to Conditions Not Met
2010 VTR: Section 1.4 Conditions Not Met: SPC 13.9 Non-Western Traditions; SPC 13.26 Technical
Documentation
Non-Western Traditions: The 2010 VTR cited this SPC as both not met and a cause of concern for a
perceived indifference to it at RSA. We have met this concern in two ways: through a revision to our
history/theory core curriculum and through our studio sequence.
After receipt of the VTR in Spring 2010, and the start of dean Whiting’s term in January 2010, we
overhauled our core curriculum, for both the B.Arch. and M.Arch. programs. Working collaboratively
through committees and with the faculty as a whole, we addressed the perennial problem of how to cover
all the “must knows” in such a short period of time, all the while knowing that the “must” list grows longer
with every passing year. We agreed upon a case study approach for our history/theory sequence that
serves as a resource for the rest of the courses in the school (studio, technology, representation and
advanced history/theory courses). We are assembling a collective library of these resources (a digital
resource) that will be available to all instructors.
Included in this collection are non-western examples, although it should be underscored that Rice
subscribes to the current NAAB terminology of global culture rather than that of non-western. So, for
example, we include among our cases the Taj Mahal, with a discussion regarding colonialization; the
Mosque of Cordoba with a discussion regarding an eastern reading of Roman architecture as well as a
global discussion regarding geometry and organization; and the Forbidden City, with a discussion
regarding the way it was read by modern architects as well as a contemporary discussion regarding
issues of preservation.
In sum, then, this change in the history/theory sequence inserts global case studies into a larger
sequence of case studies that traverses three required semesters of the core (there is a required
introduction to ideas in architectural history/theory that precedes the history sequence). These required
courses comprise a core for both the B.Arch. and M.Arch. degrees.
Additionally, we have worked to foster a closer relationship between the school and the Rice Design
Alliance (RDA), our community outreach organization. As part of that relation, we have obtained free
access for our students to the RDA lectures, which focus on global issues including contemporary
Chinese and South American practices. Similar opportunities exist through Rice’s Baker Institute for
Public Policy, Houston’s Asia Society and the world class Latin American collection at the Museum of
Fine Arts, Houston, which has extensive programming. Our students are encouraged to take advantage
of Houston’s cosmopolitan offerings to extend their horizons globally every chance that they get.
In addition to this changed history/theory curriculum, we have addressed global cultures in our studio
sequence. We have shifted the required undergraduate trip from the spring semester of sophomore year,
where it was a spring break trip not tied to the curriculum, to spring semester of junior year, when the
students are more mature and able to engage a global context in their studio projects. These trips have
included Santiago, Chile, Mexico City, Mexico and Buenos Aires, Argentina, each city providing the site
context for the studio project. Additionally, our option studios in the spring engage global contexts like the
annual Hong Kong studio, and through the recent endowment of the John J. Casbarian Travel Fund, all
option studios now travel in the spring.
Technical Documentation: We have addressed the question of technical documentation in several
ways: first, by shifting our version of the comprehensive studio (now Integrative Design) to the options
level, when we think students are more capable of integrating various aspects of building technology; and
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second, by adding greater emphasis to these issues in the Rice Building Workshop’s offerings which now
include not only seminars but frequently, design studios.
We shifted the comprehensive studio to an obligatory studio in the fall semester of our students’ options
sequence. We have rebranded this studio the Totalization studios, which differs from other versions of
comprehensive in that the four option studios are strategically overlapped to increase the students’
exposure to issues within the discipline. For the B.Arch. students, this studio takes place in the fall
semester of their fifth year; for the M.Arch. students it is the first semester after the core sequence.
This pool of students eligible for the Totalization studios has at least three studios in Houston to choose
from, and one in Paris at RSAP, each of which biases a particular aspect of practice such as systems,
skin, site and finance to name a few. The studios are integrated to meet as an entire group many times in
the semester so as to ensure that the students cover all topics in depth, even though their particular
studio might foreground only a few. Furthermore, façade, mechanical, structural, cost estimating and
other consultants are brought in and fully engage in the process. Toward the beginning of the semester
the entire group travels to New York for four days, where they visit the sites for their projects and meet
these consultants’ offices. Throughout the semester, the students produce increasingly detailed drawing
sets outline specs and cost estimates. The Paris studio has the advantage of excellent local consultants
in the city, who are brought in on a regular basis through the semester to work with the students.
Every student in the Totalization studios completes a specification sheet, according to a template that is
provided to the entire group. All of these documents are compiled in a book that serves as a reference for
other students in the school.
Additionally, the Rice Building Workshop continues to provide opportunities for specifically focused
technical drawings based on student developed designs, and their realization through hands-on
production into reality.
Response to Causes of Concern
VTR 2010: Section 1.5 Causes of Concern: Non-Western Traditions: The program appears to foster an
indifference to non-Western traditions in architecture, despite its overseas study programs and the
university‘s announced strategic initiative to become of more influence in an a resource to Asia and Latin
America.
Please see our response to this Cause of Concern under Conditions Not Met, above.
Response to Changes in Conditions
The 2014 Conditions have had no effect on our ability to comply, and, therefore, no changes to the
professional programs curricula have been made as a result.
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SECTION 3 – COMPLIANCE WITH CONDITIONS FOR ACCREDITATION
I.2.1 Human Resources & Human Resource Development:
Faculty Resumés: Full-time faculty curricula vitae (see below)
Faculty Teaching Matrix: A matrix for the four semesters prior to the Team Visit (spring/fall 2014; spring
fall 2015) of each faculty member’s teaching responsibilities (see below)
Adjunct and Visiting Faculty Teaching Matrix: A matrix for the four semesters prior to the Team Visit
(spring/fall 2014; spring fall 2015) of each faculty member’s teaching responsibilities (see below)
The information for the three items above can be found on Owlspace, a Rice University collaboration and
course management website. To log in, click on the link provided below then click “Non-Rice LOG-IN” in
the upper right hand corner. Select “2016 NAAB Visit” on the top blue menu bar, then “Resources” on the
left side menu. Log-in password and ID will be provided separately.
https://owlspace-ccm.rice.edu/portal
Faculty Development: In addition to their teaching responsibilities, all full-time faculty are expected to
remain current in their knowledge of the changing demands of the discipline, practice and licensure, as
well as to advance their careers through research, practice and publication. Licensed faculty are required
to achieve a certain number of learning units per year to maintain their licenses and many do so by
attending seminars and lectures either at local professional events, lecture series, or other national and
internal gatherings. Many faculty members travel to conferences and other scholarly events for which the
dean provides resources. Junior tenure-track faculty are given a one-semester paid junior sabbatical,
under university promotion and tenure policies, to better prepare their credentials for promotion and
tenure.
The university Faculty Initiatives Fund is an internal funding source that awards competitive grants of
between $5,000-$75,000 to Rice faculty. These grants are intended to help faculty members develop
adventurous projects that might enhance the university and that might lead to larger endeavors, research
breakthroughs, external funding opportunities, or unusually creative works.
The RSA dean annually solicits and funds research proposals from all the faculty to assist them in
advancing their scholarly work, particularly during the summer when students can take advantage of
assisting the faculty. Architecture at Rice has also assisted with publication of faculty work. Faculty are
awarded $5000 stipends per publication and the school just hired a Publications Coordinator to assist the
faculty and school with design as well as with ties to publishers. In addition to small course stipends to
assist with course dinners and other minor but regular costs, each faculty member is provided a small
stipend annually which can accrue over a three-year period to assist with the purchase of small hardware
and software items. Other resources, such as graphic software licenses are provided to the faculty as
needed, including new computers on every four years.
The following is a list of all funded research by faculty since 2010:
Neeraj Bhatia
2011-12
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “HABITAT: Housing Atlas of Building in the Arctic
Territory” $5,000
Scott Colman
2012-13
RSA Dean's Summer Research Award “Mies/Hilberseimer” $5,000
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2014-15
2011-12
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “Following Colin Rowe” $5,000
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “Cullinan and Kennon Publications” $5,000
Andrew Colopy
2014-15
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “Plastic Primitives” $5,000
2014-15
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “Top Heavy” $5,000
Farès el-Dahdah
2011-12
Rice Faculty Initiatives Fund “An Illustrated Historical GIS for Rio de Janeiro's Social and
Urban Evolution” $29,000
2013-14
Rice University, Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology “ImagineRio: Mapping
Social, Urban and Topographic Change in 2D and 3D (1502-2016)” $49,000
2010-11
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation “The Doctoral Seminars” $220,000
Dawn Finley
2011-12
2011-12
2012-13
2012-13
2013-14
2014-15
2014-15
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “10 Decades” $5,000
Architecture Center Houston Foundation Grant “Boundary Object” $5,000
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “BIAS Expansion” $5,000
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “The Rest of the World Exists” $5,000
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “System of Novelties” $5,000
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “Boundary Object” $1,650
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “Boundary Object & System of Novelties” $5,000
Alan Fleishacker
2014-15
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “The Creative Entrepreneur” $5,000
Stephen Fox
2011-12
Reto Geiser
2012-13
2012-13
2012-13
2012-13
2012-13
2012-13
2012-13
2014-15
2014-15
2015-16
2015-16
Rice Design Alliance Initiatives for Houston “Howard Barnstone Architect: Publication &
Online Digital Access” $2,500
Society of Architectural Historians, Scott Opler Emerging Scholar Fellowship 2013,
$1,000
Rice University Humanities Research Center, Teaching Release Fellowship 2013/14
Rice University Arts Initiative Fund, “Print and Screen” $20,000
Burckhardt Foundation, Publication Grant “Im Gespräch” $11,150
Columbia University, Library Research Award, $2,500
Nerinium Foundation, Studio Reserach and Travel “Home, Sweet Home?” $10,000
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “Understanding Media” $5,000
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “Expanding Horizons” $5,000
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award “Giedion in Between” $5,000
Canadian Center for Architecture, Short List for Mellon Research Grant "Dynamic
Captioning" Amount TBD
Rice University Humanities Research Center "Futures of the Book" Master Class, $6,000
Carlos Jimenez
2012-13
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award $5,000
2014-15
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award $5,000
Albert Pope
2012-13
2013-14
2013-14
2013-14
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Inventing Sha Tin: the Architecture of a New
Town” $5,000
Rice University Shell Center for Sustainability, “Carbon 2065” $100,000
Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Studies, “Fifth Ward Redevelopment” $5,000
Faculty Initiatives Grant, “Carbon 2065” $42,000
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2014-15
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “New Town 2.0” $5,000
Rice Building Workshop (Nonya Grenader and Danny Samuels)
2011-12
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Menil Café” $5,000
2010-13
Susan Vaughan Foundation, "Core Houses" book project, $15,000
2011-12
Rice Design Alliance Initiatives for Houston, “Emergency Core” $5,000
2011-12
ArCH Foundation, “ModPod InHouse/OutHouse” $5,000
2011-12
Rice Design Alliance Initiatives for Houston, “ModPod InHouse/OutHouse” $5,000
2013-18
Gensler, Rice Building Workshop Fellows Program, $50,000
2014-15
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, "Core Houses" book project, $5,000
2014-15
Rice University Arts Initiative Fund, “Hermann Park CONVERGENCE” $10,000
2015-16
Rice University Arts Initiative Fund, “Project Row House Archive” $12,500
Bryony Roberts
2011-12
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Hybrid Preservation: Reconfiguring Postwar
Modernist Public Space in Rotterdam, Berlin and London” $5,000
2011-12
Rice Design Alliance Initiatives for Houston, “Lobby Urbanism: Converging Downtown’s
Interior and Exterior Streets” $2,500
Troy Schaum
2011-12
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Venice Biennale” $5,000
2012-13
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Island Irredenta / Taichung competition” $5,000
2014-15
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Solitary Bodies and the Finite Set” $5,000
Sara Stevens
2012-13
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Urbanism by Design: A History of Ideas on
Cities and Planning” $5,000
2014-15
Graham Foundation Grant $10,000
Neyran Turan
2011-12
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Architecture's Whole Worlds” $5,000
2012-13
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Typo” $5,000
2012-13
Graham Foundation Grant, “Mathias Ungers” $5,000
Jesus Vassallo
2012-13
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, $5,000
2013-14
Rice University Arts Initiative Grant, “Shotgun” $20,000
2013-14
Rice University Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL),
“Shotgun” $1,000
2013-14
Graham Foundation Grant, “Building with Images” $5,000
2014-15
Graham Foundation Grant, “Shotgun” $10,000
2014-15
Conti Street Partners, “Conti Studio and Exhibition” $5,000
2014-15
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Europan 13 Competition” $5,000
2015-16
American Pavilion of the International Architecture Biennale in Venice, “Present Future”
$5,000
Mark Wamble
2014-15
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Elastic Fantastic” $5,000
Ron Witte
2011-12
2012-13
2014-15
20
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “GARANIMALS: Drawing More Than One Thing
at a Time” $5,000
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Taichung City Cultural Center international
competition” $5,000
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “What You See is What You Bet” $5,000
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Architecture Program Report
September 2015
Gordon Wittenberg
2012-13
Rice Design Alliance Initiatives for Houston, “Linear Parks for Houston” $4,200
2012-13
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Software development for structures courses”
$5,000
2014-15
RSA Dean’s Summer Research Award, “Structures Problem Workbook & Theory of
Structures” $3,840
Student Support Services:
Rice University, in general, provides for academic advising of freshman and sophomore students through
a well-developed program centered in the residential colleges overseen by the college masters and
involving more than 150 faculty members from all departments and schools. These faculty associates are
equipped to give broad, inclusive advice to students, as well as specific information about individual
disciplines. Within each college, faculty members designated as ‘divisional advisors,’ representing
humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering, additionally advise prospective majors in
those divisions and give final approval to course schedules and the dropping and adding of classes.
Majors in music and architecture obtain course approval from academic advisers in the Shepherd School
of Music and the School of Architecture, as appropriate. Once a student designates a departmental
major, usually in the fourth semester, he or she comes under the jurisdiction of an academic department
(or departments, in the case of a double major) for academic advising and approval of course schedules.
Area majors obtain approval from the Office of Academic Advising, which operates in cooperation with the
academic departments involved in each interdisciplinary major. The Director of Academic Advising,
assisted by faculty associates, serves as an administrative liaison between the academic departments
and the college advising system, maintains an up-to-date file on departmental course requirements,
coordinates a tutorial program, provides training for faculty and peer advisers, and organizes the
exchange of academic information between students, advisers and departments. The director oversees
areas that span a range of academic disciplines – area majors, study abroad, exchange programs, preprofessional advising and undergraduate fellowships – and arranges for programs, such as Majors Day
and Orientation Week Academic Fair, that inform students about academic options within the Rice
curriculum.
The Office of Academic Advising serves as a resource center for general academic information, for
brochures describing study abroad and exchange programs, for information regarding prestigious
undergraduate fellowships awarded on a national basis (Rhodes, Marshall, Luce, etc.) and for application
packets for GRE, MCAT, LSAT and GMAT tests. Faculty advisers counsel individual students with
academic problems and questions. Through the Office of Academic Advising, every student at Rice is
entitled to free tutoring assistance, both individually and in small groups. Individual tutoring is limited to 6
total hours per course per semester. Group tutoring for between 2 and 15 students is unlimited in the
number of hours or sessions. If a number of students are having a difficult time with a course, several
students can work together with a tutor. In addition, the group assists each other in ‘getting through’ the
course as well as forming an academic support group with whom they can study.
Within the RSA, the director of undergraduate studies and the director of graduate studies each handle
academic advising of their respective level. Both directors meet individually with each student at least
twice a semester in formal sessions, and many more times informally. In addition, all studio faculty
members serve as informal advisors for both academic issues and career guidance.
The university’s Center for Career Development provides general information and advice on a variety of
issues associated with job placement, such as career and personality assessments, resume reviews and
mock interviews, communication and leadership workshops and alumni networking.
Architect Licensing Advisor: The director of external programs, John J. Casbarian, who oversees the
Preceptorship Program and the Rice School of Architecture Paris (RSAP) is also the Architect Licensing
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Advisor. A longtime professional with an internationally recognized practice, he is a fellow in the American
Institute of Architects, licensed in five states and is NCARB certified. He maintains and advances his
professional knowledge through AIA sanctioned seminars and lectures, always exceeding the annual
learning unit requirements. In addition, he attends the annual NCARB Licensing Advisor Summit when
possible, and actively follows the Coordinators Forum of the Architect Licensing Advisors Community. He
coordinates all licensing advice within the RSA. Since all undergraduates are required to participate in the
Preceptorship Program after their fourth year of academic study, advice on matching students to offices
and general awareness of professional alternatives starts in the early years and continues until
preceptorship assignments are made. The director is also available for individual and collective advice to
the graduate students whose initial goals are for summer jobs with eventually lead to permanent jobs
after graduation. Additionally, he is also the advisor to the Rice Architecture Mentoring Program (RAMP)
described in greater detail in II.4.2.
I.2.2 Physical Resources:
General Description: The School of Architecture is housed in M. D. Anderson Hall, completed in 1947
and originally designed as a classroom building. At first, the school occupied a small portion of the
building, and gradually, as it grew, it occupied greater amounts of space, until it took over the entire
building in the early 70’s. A major extension and renovated was undertaken by James Stirling, Michael
Wilford and Associates in 1980-81 becoming their first completed US project. It currently provides
approximately 40,000 square feet of space including fifteen studios that accommodate up to fifteen
students each, a woodshop, fabrication lab, jury room, the Farish Gallery, which now serves also as
lecture hall and additional jury space, a fifty-seat lecture room, a teaching computer lab facility (RAVL)
and five seminar/conference rooms. There are twenty-five faculty offices, an administrative suite and
support facilities and lavatories. The Rice Design Alliance also occupies a small suite of offices on the
first floor. Many public spaces, like the second-floor ‘bridge’, are used for pin-ups and other group
activities. The building is fully handicap accessible on the first and second floors.
Since 2010, the building has undergone many major capital improvement projects, including revamped
staff offices, updated lighting and acoustics in many public spaces including the Farish Gallery and the
jury room, complete overhaul and updates to RAVL and the woodshop, a new fabrication lab, updated
seminar rooms and lecture hall, and the conversion of a studio into a smaller studio space and new
seminar room. In addition to capital improvement funding from the university (which is competitive, but
which the school has been successful in receiving for the past five summers in a row), major donors
provided funds for many of these improvements to the RSA facility.
Library Facilities: The 12,000 square-foot Alice Pratt Brown Art and Architecture Library serves as the
School’s library and is located on the second floor of the university’s central library, Fondren Library, that
adjoins the School of Architecture. The collection is described in the section entitled ‘Information
Resources.’
Farish Gallery: Farish Gallery, originally intended for exhibits only, is now used for a number of diverse
purposes during the course of the academic year, such as exhibits, juries, lectures and other public
events. It is equipped with digital presentation devices.
William Ward Watkin Lecture Hall: This theatre-seating lecture space, renovated in summer 2015, is
used for larger classes and small lectures. It is also equipped with state-of-the art digital presentation
devices.
Rice Advanced Visualization Lab (RAVL) RSA houses the Rice Advanced Visualization Lab, a
computer resource for both the RSA and the university. The lab is a 1,000 square-foot facility located on
the second floor of Anderson Hall. It provides 24 workstations (19 PCs, 6 Macs), scanners, printing
facilities and current releases of over 30 software packages. Because of a very productive relationship
with the University Computing Center, our facilities are of the highest standard. Anderson Hall provides
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wired and wireless connections throughout the building. The vast majority of students use their own
personal computers supplemented by those in RAVL.
Woodshop and Fabrication Lab: The Gensler Fabrication Lab in honor of Jo &Jim Furr was completed
in January 2015 as part of one of the largest capital improvement projects on the building, and is an
expansion and update of the previous facility with all new digital equipment and additional workspace.
Together with the reconfigured and improved woodshop and computer lab, our students now have access
to a state-of-the-art facility conducive to a greater ability to explore issues of materials and methods.
The woodshop is a supervised, safety-conscious facility that is open 67 hours per week. These hours
coincide with studio time (12 hours per week) and the shop is open 5 evenings each week until 9 pm and
from 12 – 6 pm Saturday and from 2 to 8 pm Sunday. The technician in charge oversees ten graduate
assistants who act as shop monitors and must be present during the hours that the technician is
unavailable. The shop is constantly cleaned of dust through central collectors and the technician keeps
the facility safe and uncluttered. All equipment is industrial-grade machinery and includes: a saw stop
table saw with an out-feed and extension surface; a radial saw and power miter saw in a 22-foot unified
cutting bench; a planer; a jointer; drill press; two 14” band saws; a jig saw; and two belt/disk-sanding
stations. Hand power tools include a circular saw, jig saws, two routers, two power drills, three sanders
(belt, random orbit and pad) and a plate biscuit joiner. The shop also boasts a comprehensive collection
of hand tools. Compressed air is used to power wide and narrow crown staplers, finish and framing
nailers used in model base construction and other assembly and research work. Designated areas for
casting of plaster, resin and concrete are provided as well as soldering/brazing of brass structures.
Safety is paramount. All students, either individually or in groups, attend an in-shop orientation in the
early fall. Ground rules are discussed, machines are demonstrated, and emergency equipment and
procedures are covered. The technician works with the studios to discover the optimum materials and
procedures for the task at hand. Often it is intense one-on-one training that ensures the safest and most
enlightened work. In addition, the shop is locked and only available on a supervised basis. Accidents and
injuries have been minor and infrequent.
The fabrication lab is a 1,000 square foot area with 300 square feet of worktable space. The lab
equipment includes two large 60 watt laser engravers with dedicated rooftop exhaust system, three
benchtop 3-D printers, foam cutter and vacuum former. A 3-axis milling program is underway which will
provide the ability to realize scaled topographies, buildings, parts and form studies in wood, foam, metal
or plastic. The facility also includes a modern spray booth and drying room with dedicated rooftop
evacuation system for paint, fixative and adhesive application.
Faculty Offices: All tenure-track faculty and teaching fellows are provided their own office to fulfill their
roles in teaching, scholarship, service and advising. Visiting faculty are provided a shared office, but
often, because of their schedules, they have single use to conduct activities related to their
teaching/advising roles.
Rice School of Architecture Paris: Since its inception in 2002, the Rice School of Architecture Paris
program has not only served its main mission of providing RSA students with study-abroad experience,
but also, in times of peak student population, as overflow studio space for Anderson Hall. The program is
th
housed in a ground floor leased space of around 1,500 square feet in the 12 arrondissement in Paris
and is fully accessible. Facilities include studio space for up to 12 students, a pin-up space, a classroom,
printing space, two offices one of which is also the library, small kitchen and lavatory.
MOOCS: RSA does not offer any massive open online course or online learning format to deliver SPCrelated content or to meet other program or institutional requirements therefore the physical resource is
unaffected.
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Floor Plans
The floor plans on the following pages indicate accessibility in Anderson Hall and the space available for
our students, tenure-track faculty, staff and the Rice Design Alliance. Included is the floor plan for the
Rice School of Architecture Paris.
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I.2.3 Financial Resources
RSA Budget: At the beginning of each fiscal year, (July 1 - June 30), the RSA receives an administrative
budget from the University for all unrestricted funds and restricted endowments. The RSA’s operating
budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year is $6,607,986. There are no plans to reduce the operating neither
budget nor change current funding models.
Operating funds are deposited annually into an operating account (A1-113000) for salaries, fringe
benefits, capital improvements, memberships and dues, business meetings, supplies and expenses, as
well as an account (A1-113010) for visiting critics, an account for the operation of the school’s Farish
Gallery (A1-113020), an account for graduate student support (A1-113100) and an account to use at the
dean’s discretion (A1-113300). Additional accounts exist for designated funds, gift accounts and
endowment accounts. During the course of the fiscal year the RSA authorizes payment of all pertinent
operating expenses by signing detailed invoices and coding payments to the proper line item.
Other expense categories include lecture series, curricular activities, course travel, the RSAP (Rice
School of Architecture, Paris) program, software, shop and fabrication lab equipment, faculty research,
building maintenance and studio expenses.
The school administrator is responsible for overseeing all budgeting activities of the school, supervising
the school’s accounting assistant and reports directly to the dean, who is responsible for fund distribution.
Endowments: At the beginning of each fiscal year, proceeds from the university’s investment of gifts to
the RSA are transferred into individual accounts for specified expenditure. In the 2015-16 fiscal year, this
transfer totaled $1,574,348. $853,149 of that total is designated for chair support for three senior faculty
members and the Cullinan lecture program (see below). Each account has a specific purpose with
guidelines issued by the donor.
At the annual awards ceremony in April 2015, a total of $140,337 was awarded to students from gift and
endowment earnings for travel and study. The RSA and Rice University’s Office of Financial Aid also
awarded $80,432 in scholarships to undergraduate students with financial need. In addition, three
students received Rice Design Alliance research fellowships, totaling $6,900.
Several of our endowments are designated for lectures, conferences and other academic colloquia; these
payouts exceed $348,500 per year. One of these funds is the Craig Francis Cullinan Chair, which
generated $206,922 in 2015-16. With this fund, the RSA invites a prominent visiting critic each spring to
teach a graduate studio. The Cullinan fund also pays for four visiting lecturers who participate in the fall
semester themed “Cullinan seminar” and also deliver a public lecture.
In 2014, the John J. Casbarian Endowment for Travel was established to cover the costs for course
travel. This fund pays out $66,832 per year and, as an example of its use, permitted 54 students and 6
faculty members to travel to Peru, Berlin, Hong Kong and New York in spring 2015.
In summer 2015, the RSA used the EC Jahn Architectural Library Endowment to provide the full Adobe
Creative Cloud software package to all faculty, staff and students. The school will provide this software on
an ongoing basis thanks to this endowment. This endowment will also here on out cover the cost of
backup file service to faculty and staff and other software needs for the school. The Jahn endowment
provides $148,763 per year for books, software and publication production.
Designated Accounts: These accounts exist with monies raised and expended for specific research or
special projects, including faculty research, the Archi-Arts Ball, Rice Building Workshop, RSAP and
graduate application fees, etc. This amount varies from year to year, but funds for FY15 are
approximately $463,984.
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In the case of the Rice Design Alliance, the school’s community outreach arm, expenditures are
determined by its Board of Directors. RDA is a non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to
stimulate greater public awareness of the urban environment. This organization raises over $1,000,000
annually to sponsor lectures, seminars, symposia, tours, the publication of Cite: The Architecture and
Design Review of Houston (trimesterly) and to cover its operating costs. The RDA budget makes up
almost $400,000 of the school’s overall operating budget; the school contributes office space and
$41,000 towards the RDA director salary.
Grants: Many faculty in the RSA have been awarded internal and external grants for their research and
special projects. As an example from this past academic year, professor Albert Pope received over
$142,000 from the Rice Shell Center for Sustainability for his project building a website which stages a 50
year plan for Houston’s Fifth Ward, integrating large-scale, mass-timber construction with a new form of
carbon-intensive urban forestry. Assistant Professor Reto Geiser received $20,000 for a research project,
which examines new models of scholarly dissemination in light of the shift from printing of books to digital
delivery. Professors in the Practice Danny Samuels and Nonya Grenader received $17,500 for their work
for Rice Building Workshop, $5,000 from the Brown Foundation and $12,500 from the university’s Arts
Initiatives Fund. Jesus Vassallo received $5,000 from the Graham Foundation and $20,000 from the
university’s Faculty Initiatives Fund to produce the Rice Gallery installation, SHOTGUN and to teach the
course, “Learning From Houston.” See section 3, I.2.1 for a full list.
Scholarships: The university provides the RSA with a budget for graduate student support, as indicated
below:
2015 – 2016 (Projected)
33.4 Tuition Waivers (equivalent to $1,008,540.5)
$94,000 Stipends
$7,750 Student Recruitment (estimated)
$30,200 Provost Fellowship
$3,250 McCollum Fellowship
2014 – 2015
33.67 Tuition Waivers (equivalent to $986,102.5)
$73,735 Stipends ($95,735 admissions + $38,000 reallocation)
$7,780 Student Recruitment $31,290 Provost Fellowship
$1,625 McCollum Fellowship
2013 – 2014
31.21 Tuition Waivers (equivalent to $887,630.75)
$130,500 Stipends ($48,000 admissions + $82,500 reallocation)
$7,302 Student Recruitment
$3,250 McCollum Fellowship
2012 – 2013
36.69 Tuition Waivers (equivalent to $1,008,368)
$78,000 Stipends ($40,000 admissions + $38,000 reallocation)
$3,850 Student Recruitment
$3,000 McCollum Fellowship
2011 - 2012
43.18 Tuition Waivers (equivalent to $1,152,063)
$65,000 Stipends ($38,000 admissions + $27,000 reallocation)
$4,035 Student Recruitment
$3,000 McCollum Fellowship
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2010 - 2011
41.07 Tuition Waivers (equivalent to $1,063,703)
$128,500 Stipends (62,500 admissions + 66,000 reallocation)
$3,750 Student Recruitment
$3,000 Presidential Fellowship
$3,000 McCollum Fellowship
Enrollment: There are no plans to change our target enrollment numbers at both the undergraduate and
undergraduate levels.
I.2.4 Information Resources
Fondren Library and the Brown Fine Arts Library
Located on the third floor of Fondren Library, the Brown Fine Arts Library maintains Rice University’s
principal collection of art, architecture, classical archaeology and music represented by 116,272 volumes
and 83,132 music volumes respectively. As part of an ongoing endeavor to provide adequate space for
new titles being added to Brown Fine Arts Library, an additional 33,462 art and architecture volumes and
12,295 music volumes have been transferred to the Library Service Center (LSC) since 2006. Of these,
7,239 are in the NA class. Volumes are transferred to the LSC according to Fondren Library’s Selection
Criteria and Procedures. Books and journals located in the Library Service Center may be requested via
the Library’s online catalog with twice daily delivery to Fondren Library during the work-week for
consultation or check-out. 95,102 volumes are held by Fondren and Brown Fine Arts Library for
architecture related studies in the following Library of Congress classes: H, HT, LB, LD, NA, NK, RA, SB,
T, TA, TH, Z. Many related books on city planning and the architectural aspects of engineering are
housed in the Fondren Library collection. The Fondren Library collection supports the nationally
recognized George R. Brown School of Engineering and complements the building technology materials
acquired to support the structures and materials courses of the RSA. Strong environmental science and
social sciences collections support the interdisciplinary research needs of the RSA. Fondren Library’s
holdings include over 2,800,000 print volumes, 3,488,763 microform units, 148,819 serial subscriptions
and 463 databases. All databases, e-books and streaming videos hosted by Fondren Library are
available to students, faculty and staff from campus computers. A Rice net ID and password are required
to access subscription databases from off campus. Circulation, shelving, class reserves and interlibrary
loan services are provided by Fondren Library’s Access Services Department. The Technical Services
Division provides acquisitions, cataloging and processing of all materials.
Fondren Library is a member of, or has an affiliation with, 19 academic, research or cultural institutions.
For a comprehensive list see: http://library.rice.edu/~fondren/content/memberships-affiliations.
Library and Information Resource Collections: Brown Fine Arts Librarians: Jet Prendeville,
Art/Architecture Librarian, MA in the History of Art, University of Michigan, 1975; MS in Library Science,
University of Illinois, 1979; recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy, 1972. She has served as Fondren
Library’s art/architecture librarian since 1979. From 1979-1986 Ms. Prendeville had collection
development and fund management responsibility for a number of other disciplines. She has a reading
knowledge of Italian, Spanish, French and German. Mary Du Mont Brower, MA in Musicology, MLS,
Library Science has been responsible for the management and development of the music collection since
2001.
The architecture collection is maintained and developed by the art/ architecture librarian who has full
responsibility for fund management, reference, bibliographic instruction for art, architecture, classical
archaeology, film and photography. University funding for acquisitions is allocated by the Assistant
University Librarian for Research Services. For the Fiscal year 2014-15, the total allocation for
architecture materials in all formats was $78,099. An additional $9,185 from a general fund was
expended on architecture books received on the Library’s approval plan for English language titles
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published principally in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Other Fondren Library funds support
databases like Applied Science & Technology Source, which provides full text articles on architecture
topics. Books in French, German, Italian and Spanish are acquired regularly. Relevant architecture titles
are acquired regardless of format. For digital resources, which are too expensive for the architecture
budget to absorb, the art/architecture librarian may submit proposals to the Collection Development
Projects Sub-Committee when funding is available for special acquisitions. Because the University has
not increased the library’s allocation to keep pace with inflation, new subscriptions can only be initiated if
a journal or database of comparable cost is cancelled. Journal or database subscriptions are initiated or
cancelled only after consultation with faculty. Professors are encouraged to inform the librarian of new
research interests and courses for which the collection needs to be enhanced. Faculty and students may
contact the librarian directly with requests for research material or fill out a purchase request form
available on the Fondren Library web site.
Collection Description: The primary focus of the architecture collection is to support the RSA’s
curriculum concentrations: design, architectural history, theory and criticism, structures,
professional practice, environments, computing and representation. The Brown Fine Arts Library offers a
broad, deep range of print resources while the Fondren Library houses microforms, video and digital
formats. With 35,667 print volumes within the NA classification in all locations, 2,161 volumes in all T
classes related to building technology, 1,769 volumes in landscape architecture, 396 volumes in H
classes supporting city planning and urban studies, the Brown Fine Arts library’s architecture collection
provides strong support for the research needs of the RSA’s undergraduate and graduate students. Using
terminology established by David Perkins in Guidelines for Collection Development, 1979, the strengths
of the architecture collection may be described as follows: Research level: history of architecture of
th
th
st
Western Europe and the United States; Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, 19 century, 20 and 21
th
th
century architecture and architects. Advanced study level: 17 and 18 century European and American
th
st
architectural history; 20 and 21 century architecture of Japan, Brazil; Islamic architecture, housing,
vernacular architecture, building climatology, building materials, technology, computer aided design,
sustainable architecture and professional practice. Initial study level: landscape architecture, history of
gardens, interior design, graphic design; history of the architecture of Canada, Latin and South America,
China, Korea, Australia, Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East, India and Africa. The descriptive levels of
research also reflect collection depths supporting both the RSA and the Art History Department. Much of
the material on Ancient through Baroque, Islamic and Chinese architecture is acquired using library funds
for art history. Research and advanced study levels support graduate and advanced undergraduate work;
initial study level supports undergraduate work.
Books: While the greatest proportion of the collection consists of books and journals published after
1950, the library owns some extraordinary works, such as editions of early architectural treatises. Among
the treasures held by the Library are Palladio’s I quattro libri dell’architettura, 1601, Serlio’s The First
Booke of Architecture, 1611, Scamozzi’s L’idea della architettura, 1615; Vitruvius’s De architectura, 1649
and Alberti’s I dieci libri di architettura, 1784. Historical material is provided by the microform collections of
American Architectural Books published before 1895 and Nineteenth Century: the Visual Arts and
Architecture Specialist Collection, publications held by the British Library and the National Art Library. The
th
st
Brown Fine Arts Library is particularly strong in research materials for architects of the 20 and 21
century. An example of the depth of parts of the collection are holdings for Le Corbusier with over 500
monographs supplemented by two digital archives of his work and a rare livre d’artiste, Entre-deux, ou,
Propos toujours relies. Publications by and about the architects and firms which participate in the
School’s preceptor program are actively collected. In November 2011 a patron-driven acquisitions
program for digital books was initiated according to the same subject profiles as the library’s approval
plan for English language print books.
Combined resources of the Fondren and Brown Fine Arts Library collections for architecture related
materials may be summarized by the following: HT 101-395 (urban studies, city planning) = 1,222
volumes; other H classes volumes in Brown Library supporting architecture studies = 112 volumes; LB
3201-3325 and LD 701-7501 (school buildings) = 80 volumes; NA (architecture) = 35,667 volumes;
interior design (all classes) = 1,024 volumes; RA (medical facilities) = 86 volumes; SB (gardens and
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landscape architecture) =1,769 volumes; TA (civil engineering) = 37,259 volumes; TH (building
construction) = 16,848 volumes; other T classed volumes in Brown supporting architecture studies =592
volumes; Z (library buildings) = 172 volumes; Z (bibliographies on architects, architecture) = 271 for a
total of 95,102 volumes.
Serials: The library has 103 current architecture journal subscriptions and holdings for 388 current,
ceased, or cancelled titles. The library has complete runs of major historical architectural journals
including the influential Wendingen, 1918-1931. Several large subscription aggregated full text databases
provide access to additional architecture journals. For historical journals in the Library Service Center not
available online, Rice faculty, students and staff may use the Rice ILLiad system to request digital
delivery of articles and book chapters up to 50 pages in length, 10 requests per day. Our Interlibrary Loan
Department offers excellent service and requested journal articles are delivered to faculty and students
electronically generally delivered within 24 hours.
The Association of Architectural School Librarians’ Core List of Periodical Titles, 2009 is currently being
revised. The draft revised lists were used as a benchmark for the present accreditation report. Of
the 52 titles on the Core List, Rice owns or has online access to 49 titles, or 94%; of the 45 titles on the
Supplementary List, Rice owns 17, or 37%. Fondren Library’s journal portal searches journal titles in all
formats providing links to full text or redirecting the search to the Classic Catalog for print or microform
holdings. The library research guide for architecture provides links to the Avery Index to Architectural
Periodicals and the library catalog of the Royal Institute of British Architects, which includes indexing of
journal articles. Supplementing these as indices and/or full text sources of architectural information are
Applied Science and Technology Source, Art Source, Bibliography of the History of Art and Dyabola
(Greco-Roman) and Compendex (engineering). Interdisciplinary databases such as JSTOR and
Academic Search Complete also offer indexing and full text articles from selected architecture journals.
Visual and non-book resources: The library has three important digital archives published in the CDROM and DVD-ROM formats: Frank Lloyd Wright: Presentation and Conceptual Drawings (5,000
images), Le Corbusier: architecte, artiste (3,000 images) and Le Corbusier Plans (40,000 images). Other
archives of architects’ designs, plans and manuscripts include the Gerrit Rietveld Archive (280
microfiches) and the Theo van Doesburg Archive (441 microfiches). ARTstor has 467,744 images of
architecture and city planning, 24,819 images of gardens and landscape architecture. Its Shared Shelf
provides access to the Rice Art History Collection of 44,271 digital images, 17,155 of which are
architecture, the base collection and 4 modules of the Archivision Digital Library containing 40,898 high
quality images of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, archaeology and designs. The
library catalog lists 575 videos on architecture in all formats. For films not listed in the catalog, additional
streaming videos are available from Films on Demand and Kanopy. The Kanopy website offers a variety
of options to browse the collection. Students also have access to streaming video, texts, photographs
provided by OnArchitecture: una selección de contenido original presentando la mejor arquitectura del
mundo = a selection of original content featuring the best architecture in the world. Links to the three
websites are listed on the Brown Fine Arts Library home page and under the Databases tab on the
Fondren Library home page.
The Brown Fine Arts Library has two scanners, a basic scanner and a Mac loaded with software, color
and black/white photocopiers, two public PCs for access to the library’s catalog (no web access). There
are 30 Owlnet computers (PCs, Macs) requiring a Rice net ID on the first floor and second floors of
Fondren Library. There are 7 scanners on the first floor and 17 photocopiers throughout the building.
The Kelley Center for Government Information, Data and Geospatial Services (3 librarians, 2
paraprofessionals): As a U.S. Federal Depository Library, Fondren Library offers material pertinent to
architectural studies such as statistical and census data, EPA documents, federal legislation, a large
collection of sheet maps published by government and commercial sources including U.S. Geological
Survey maps, planimetric maps and aerial photo atlases. The Kelley Center’s Geographic Information
System/ Data Center provides extensive GIS software and supporting hardware to access various data
files from government agencies and other sources.
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Reference and Research Assistance: The Art/Architecture librarian's office is in the Brown Fine Arts
Library. Office hours: 9am- 5pm weekdays available via walk-in or by appointment for more in depth
questions, email, telephone. As a member of the Reference Department, the librarian is scheduled at the
Fondren Library Reference Desk approximately five hours a week. Most research assistance is given
informally on an individual basis. Students may also fill out a web form for reference assistance or book
purchase requests. Requests are forwarded to the appropriate subject specialist. The librarian will
schedule a research resources presentation as part of a class at a professor's invitation. Accessible via
the library's website, research guides for architecture, art history, classical art & architecture provide links
to database and web resources as well as call numbers for major print resources. There are 78 subject
research guides written by Fondren librarians, which identify the best databases for researchers
unfamiliar with specific disciplines.
Current Awareness: New art and architecture books are displayed on two bookcases in the Brown Fine
Arts Library periodicals reading room. The classic catalog features a link to a listing of new books, sorted
by topic. Published twice a year, News from Fondren contains news about collections, services and new
databases. Issues from 1991 to the present are available online via the catalog or library website.
Circulation/Reserves: The collections of the Brown Fine Arts Library are open stacks available to
visitors any time Fondren Library is open. Reserves: Four members of the circulation staff process all
class reserves and maintain electronic reserves for the University. The reserve desk hours are the same
as same as the building hours. During the academic year, the building is open to Rice faculty and
students 24 hours a day from Sunday opening at noon, closing on Friday at 10 pm, with Saturday hours
from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Summer hours are: Monday – Thursday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.;
Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; closed Sunday. The faculty loan period is one year; for graduate students and
staff, there are three due dates a year, equivalent to a semester loan; the undergraduate loan period is 28
days.
Future of Brown Fine Arts Library: As part of a three phase Fondren Library renovation project begun
in 2013, a preliminary building program and conceptual drawings were produced by Sara Lowman, Vice
Provost and University Librarian and Shepley Bulfinch, to renovate the Brown Fine Arts Library. Additional
space will be acquired by reclaiming the unused circulation/reserve desk and closed stack area. A Capital
Project Request has already been submitted to the university to implement these plans. The goal is to
“open up the space to create a destination reading and study area that inspires intellect and creativity in
support of music, art and architecture. Create a beautiful, dynamic space that allows for work with unique
formats and synergy with digital media.”
I.2.5 Administrative Structure and Governance:
Administrative Structure
The RSA is one of eight autonomous schools within the university. Each school is administered by its own
dean and administrative staff with its own faculty and budget.
Dean: In January 2010, Professor Sarah Whiting was appointed dean and William Ward Watkin
Professor of Architecture. The dean is the chief academic officer of the school and the school’s liaison to
the upper administration within the university. Her role is to work with the faculty to define and carry out
the school’s pedagogical agenda, while also reaching out beyond the university to promote the school’s
identity, fundraise and construct productive relations to our alumni and others. Additionally, she plays a
role at the university level on committees, such as the Buildings and Grounds committee of the Board of
Trustees, and on leading searches, such as the recent search for the director of the Moody Center for the
Arts.
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Director of Graduate Studies: In addition to continuing his longstanding role in the school as director of
the technology sequence, Professor Gordon Wittenberg was appointed DGS in 2012. In this capacity, he
oversees graduate recruiting and admissions, advises all the graduate students, and is responsible for
working with our graduate coordinator to oversee and troubleshoot curriculum and issues within the
graduate programs. Additionally, he serves as a liaison to the university’s Dean of Graduate and PostDoctoral Studies.
Director of Undergraduate Studies: Associate professor Christopher Hight was appointed DUS in 2012.
In this capacity, he oversees undergraduate recruiting and admissions for Architecture, advises all the
undergraduate students, and is responsible for working with our program coordinator to oversee and
troubleshoot curriculum and issues within the undergraduate programs. Additionally, he serves as a
liaison to the university’s dean of undergraduates.
Director of External Programs: Harry K. & Albert. K Smith Professor of Architecture John J. Casbarian
was appointed DEP in 2011. In this capacity, he oversees the school’s external programs: the required
Preceptorship Program for the B.Arch. sequence and the optional Rice School of Architecture, Paris
(RSAP) program, which takes place every semester and is for students in the fifth year B.Arch. program
or the final year of the M.Arch. programs. He oversees placement of the students on preceptorship and
monitors their progress throughout that year. For RSAP, he oversees admission into the program and
coordination of the RSAP budget, curriculum and facilities. He is also the school’s Architect Licensing
Advisor.
Staff
School Administrator: The school administrator is the primary staff position held by Lauren
Kleinschmidt. She is responsible for the fiscal, physical and internal administration of the School. She
assists the dean in the administration of the school including overall budget management and financial
accounting, advising and consulting on university administrative matters with other departments on
campus, and supervision, hiring and training of office staff and work-study students. Lauren works with
Rice auditors to ensure accurate record-keeping. She reports to and assists the dean in all matters,
including faculty staffing, space allocation, course offerings and student affairs. It is her responsibility to
prepare research for annual reports to the president of the university and NAAB. She coordinates the
faculty search committee advertising and coordinates course scheduling with the university registrar. She
also coordinates and prepares script for the annual awards ceremony and reviews and edits the RSA
section of the university’s general announcements.
Accounting Assistant III: Jeremy Cross is the accounting assistant who tracks program and faculty
research budgets, processes financial transactions, purchases equipment, negotiates contracts and
performs general bookkeeping. He organizes faculty searches and coordinates travel for RSA faculty.
Director of Publications: Ian Searcy is the recently appointed director of publications and is responsible
for archiving, editing and publications design. He works closely with the dean to set the goals and
methods for the “Architecture @ Rice” publications.
Executive Assistant: Tanya Dominguez is the executive assistant and is the primary support position for
the dean and the school’s director of development. This position includes scheduling, special event
coordination, travel arrangement for the administration and for spring studio international trips and
provides backup to the dean’s office staff.
Graduate Coordinator: The graduate coordinator, Nyeva Bembry, is responsible for all aspects of the
graduate program including administration of scholarship and fellowship funds, as well as coordinating all
graduate application materials. She maintains various statistical records of the graduate program for the
School of Architecture including enrollment data, curriculum information, student records and graduation
information. She works closely with the director of graduate studies, Office of International Students and
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September 2015
Scholars, and Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to stay current on university policies and
provide support to students in the program.
Graphic Designer and Outreach Coordinator: This position, filled by Tami Andrew, develops and
produces all printed and electronic materials for the RSA, facilitates the printing process for faculty and
students, maintains the website and archives the creative work of the RSA. She also organizes exhibits in
Farish Hall and the Jury Room, coordinates the logistics of lecture series, the awards ceremony and is
the official school photographer.
Program Coordinator: Jenny Judge is the program coordinator who provides administrative and
programming support to the director of undergraduate studies, including record maintenance, building
tours to prospective students, light academic advising and manages student workers. She also oversees
the maintenance of the school’s facilities in Anderson Hall, including all major renovation projects.
Woodshop and Fabrication Lab Manager: Kyle Henricks is the woodshop manager who oversees shop
operations and consults on student model projects. His assistance ranges from fabrication technique
through material sourcing, with safety a leavening factor. He maintains machinery and equipment, works
with the deans and university engineering and safety staff to plan and implement shop systems,
researches new building materials and manages 8 - 12 graduate shop assistants. Kyle teaches a twohour woodshop safety course in the fall semester.
Associate Director of Development:
The development officer, Emily Stein, is responsible for managing relationships with alumni, donors,
corporate entities and the William Ward Watkin Advisory Council, and also serves as the primary liaison
between the RSA and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. She tracks gifts and pledges,
works closely with the dean to identify funding priorities and solicits donors for gifts to the school.
IT Divisional Support: Hans Krause holds a joint appointment with the school of architecture and the
office of information technology. He is on-call during office hours to provide support for students, faculty
and staff, and is responsible for maintenance of all computers in the school. Hans also acts as a liaison
between the school and the Office of Procurement, IT and Classroom Support to keep all software current
and AV equipment running.
Administrative Coordinator: The RSA recently appointed Shawna Forney as the school’s front
administrative coordinator, which includes answering and directing incoming calls, greeting visitors,
processing mail and maintaining the classroom schedule. This person will perform light bookkeeping
duties, provide some administrative support to the associate director of development, maintain mailing
lists and listservs for the school and make travel arrangements for visiting critics and guest lecturers.
Rice Design Alliance (RDA) Executive Director: Linda Sylvan is the executive director, the principal
staff officer of the Rice Design Alliance (a School of Architecture volunteer, non-profit, community-led,
educational organization). As such, the executive director is the chief operating officer, employed to
discharge the day-to-day business of RDA and to assist their board in discharging its duties. She hires,
trains and manages RDA staff and their programs. Her responsibilities include planning and
implementation of all RDA events (board and committee meetings, lecture series, symposia, tours, etc.).
She also oversees the budget (the RDA board approved a $1.2 million budget for FY16).
RDA Assistant Director, Programs: Mary Beth Woiccak oversees the design, production and finances
of annual RDA programs, including (but not limited to) two lecture series, an architecture home tour, two
to three civic forums (panel discussions) on urban design issues; and occasional exhibitions or design
competitions. She manages the program committee that consists of faculty of the Rice School of
Architecture, RDA board members, architects and other professionals. She also assists in the
management of the activities and programs of the RDA Partners, the young professional group, that each
year presents a one-day design charrette and an exhibition of members’ work.
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RDA Editor of CITE: Raj Mankad is responsible for the editing and production of the quarterly journal,
CITE: The Architecture and Design Review of Houston. The magazine has continually been published
since 1982 by the Rice Design Alliance. Raj works with the guest editor and the members of the RDA
editorial committee to determine the content of each issue. He works with the graphic designers to design
and produce the magazine, monitoring the expenses of each issues and the production process to ensure
that deadlines are met. Raj commissions writers and edits each article as it is received and writes
extensively for the magazine, including news items and feature articles.
RDA Assistant Director, Membership: Courtney Tardy is responsible for the management and
coordination of RDA’s 1,700 members and contributors, which ensures the continued growth and support
of the organization. She coordinates RDA's two major fundraising campaigns - corporate membership
and gala underwriting – and provides support services for the chairmen and volunteers of these
committees. She develops and maintains donor prospect lists, including on-going donor research and
solicitation of prospective members. She supervises all related correspondence, including
acknowledgment, solicitation and renewal letters, and maintains extensive personal and telephone
contact with members and high-level volunteers.
RDA Assistant Director, Communications: Allyn West is responsible for the overall promotion,
branding and public relations activities of the Rice Design Alliance. This involves raising awareness of
RDA activities, maximizing attendance at RDA-sponsored events and building long-lasting collaborative
relationships with RDA’s constituent base, including members, sponsors, local organizations, media
representatives, civic and community leaders, and faculty and staff at the Rice School of Architecture.
Allyn also writes for the OffCite blog and CITE, prepares the monthly RDA membership newsletter and is
in charge of RDA’s social media. He maintains the RDA website, and updates its calendar of RDA, RSA
and architectural events.
RDA Financial and Events Coordinator: Cathy Bauer is responsible for the day-to-day financials and
record-keeping. She prepares monthly and quarterly reports for the RDA Finance Committee and works
with Rice auditors to ensure accurate record keeping. She also maintains the RDA membership/donor
database of some 5,600+ records. Three months during the fall, Cathy devotes nearly half of her time to
administering the RDA Gala Auction, including coordinating on-site logistics, managing auction committee
meetings and running status reports. She is the primary contact for the third party auction processor and
manages correspondence with donors and auction winners. Post-gala she coordinates individual events
and tours purchased by the winners.
RDA Administrative Coordinator: Raquel Puccio provides professional support to the activities of the
Rice Design Alliance in everyday office operation, as well as with special projects. This position provides
support, as needed, to the executive director and handles membership correspondence, including
renewal and thank you letters. Raquel provides staff support to CITE by selling advertisements, writing
subscription renewal letters, sending out advertising invoices and recording CITE payments. She
maintains the RDA office calendar, schedules meetings, reserves meeting rooms, etc. Raquel serves as
the main point of contact for vendors, coordinates of meetings, arranges catering logistics and oversees
building maintenance for RDA offices.
Governance
Because it is a one-department school, the RSA easily avoids becoming mired in the kind of
administrative bureaucracy that can distance a faculty from a school’s governance. The full time faculty
meet monthly to tend to regular school business and discuss school initiatives. Faculty are invited to send
agenda items to the dean and to use this monthly forum for announcements and proposals. These
monthly meetings include curricular concerns and initiatives as well as issues regarding university
opportunities and compliance. The dean meets biweekly with the directors of undergraduate and
graduate study to discuss student and program concerns, and on an as-needed basis with the director of
external programs and the director of our new Master of Arts program. Groups of faculty meet on an as-
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September 2015
need basis to discuss curriculum (for example, the core design faculty, or the history/theory faculty); these
groups coordinate with the DUS and DGS or with the dean and full faculty on an as-needed basis. School
standing committees include graduate and undergraduate admissions (all full time faculty serve on one or
the other). Ad hoc committees take place for faculty hires – chaired by a faculty member, they are usually
constituted of four to five faculty, although the entire faculty participates in some capacity in every search
process.
At the university level, the dean has a standing bi-weekly 1:1 meeting with the provost, as well as a biweekly meeting with the provost and the other deans (Deans Council) and a monthly meeting with the
president, provost and other deans. The director of graduate studies participates in the Graduate Council
monthly meeting; the DUS and DGS trade off on attending the monthly chairs’ meeting, and the DUS also
happens to be the school’s current senator in the Faculty Senate. Additionally, all faculty participate in
university-wide committees, engaging issues as diverse as the university calendar to research
compliance and parking.
Student governance takes place through the Architecture Society at Rice (ASR), which has a
representative from every studio. The ASR holds annual elections for its officer positions, including
president, VP, treasurer, cruise directors (social coordinators), RAMP directors (mentorship program
coordinators) and curators. In addition to serving as a liaison between the students and the
administration, the ASR fosters social interactions at the school (including weekly open studios,
receptions and a studio soccer league), networking opportunities (with alumni and area professionals)
and academic initiatives (including the student journal, PLAT). While the ASR does not have a position on
school committees, they submit student feedback on faculty searches and participate actively in recruiting
students for admissions. The dean meets with the full ASR (and any other interested students) once a
semester and is in frequent contact with the ASR president on a regular and as-needed basis.
Governance Chart:
President
(monthly)
Provost
(bi-weekly)
Dean’s Council
(bi-weekly)
Administration
(monthly)
Architecture Society at Rice
6 officer positions
(once per semester)
Dean of Architecture
Faculty committees
(core design, history
theory, admissions, awards,
building, shop, P&T)
Full-time RSA faculty
24 faculty
(monthly)
Director of
Undergraduate Studies
(biweekly)
Faculty Senate
38
Director of
Graduate Studies
(bi-weekly)
Department Chair Meeting
(monthly)
Director of
External Programs
(as-needed)
Graduate Council
(monthly)
Director of
Master of Arts Program
(as-needed)
Rice University
Architecture Program Report
September 2015
II.1.1
Student Performance Criteria:
Matrix
A matrix of required studios/courses for each of the accredited degree programs and tracks, identifying
evidence of meeting the requirements of the SPC, follows. It should be clear that while only a few cells for
each studio/course indicate the concentration of SPC met, in many cases, most if not all are addressed.
The cells marked with 3 indicate greater emphasis than those with 8 .
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Rice University
Architecture Program Report
September 2015
PRAC
TECHNOLOGY
HISTORY & THEORY
DESIGN
40
ARCH 101
ARCH 102 C
ARCH 102 F
ARCH 201
ARCH 201
ARCH 202 O
ARCH 202 W
ARCH 301 S
ARCH 301 H
ARCH 302 J
ARCH 302 G
ARCH 401 P
ARCH 401 T
ARCH 402 C
ARCH 402 S
ARCH 601 1 C
ARCH 601 2 W
ARCH 601 3 O
ARCH 620 RSAP
ARCH 602 1 P
ARCH 602 2 W
ARCH 602 3 PR
ARCH 620 RSAP
ARCH 225
ARCH 345
ARCH 346
ARCH 352
ARCH 403 C
ARCH 403 S
ARCH 207
ARCH 209
ARCH 314
ARCH 316
ARCH 423
ARCH 500
Principles of Architecture I
Principles of Architecture II
Principles of Architecture II
Principles of Architecture III
Principles of Architecture III
Principles of Architecture IV
Principles of Architecture IV
Intermediate Problems in Arch I
Intermediate Problems in Arch I
Intermediate Problems in Arch II
Intermediate Problems in Arch II
Advanced Topics in Arch I
Advanced Topics in Arch I
Advanced Topics in Arch II
Advanced Topics in Arch II
Totalization Studio
Totalization Studio
Totalization Studio
Totalization Studio
Architectural Problems
Architectural Problems
Architectural Problems
Architectural Problems
Intro to Architectural Thinking
History & Theory II - Pre-1890
History & Theory III - 1890-1968
History & Theory IV - 1968Degree Project Research Seminar
Degree Project Research Seminar
Technology I - The Frame
Technology II - The Shell
Technology III - The Envelope
Technology IV - The Environment
Professionalism & Management
Preceptorship Program
REALM A
3 3
3
8 3 3 3
8 3 3 3
3
3
3
3
3
3 8
8 3 8 3
3 3 3
8
3 8 8 8
3
3
3
3
8
8
8 3 3 8
8
3
8
8
8
3
3
8
8
8
8
8
8
8 8
8 8
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
8 8
8
3 3 3
8
8 3 8
8
3 8
3
3
8
3
3
8 8
3
3 3
3 3
3
8
INTEGRATED EVALUATIONS AND DECISION-MAKING-DESIGN PROCESS
BUILDING ENVELOPE SYSTEMS AND ASSEMBLIES
STAKEHOLDER ROLES IN ARCHITECTURE
PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
BUSINES PRACTICES
INTEGRATIVE DESIGN
RESEARCH
FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS
BUILDING SERVICE SYTEMS
BUILDING MATERIALS AND ASSEMBLIES
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
REALM D
3 3 3
8
8
8
8 8
8 8 8
3
3
8
8 3 3
8
3 3 8
3 3
8
8
8
3
3
8
8
8
8
3
3 3
8
3
8
8
8
8 8
3 3
3
3
3 3
8
8
3
3 8 8
8
3
8
3
3
3 8
8 8
8 8
8
8
3
3
3
8
8
REALM C
3
8
8 3
3
8
3
ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS
REALM B
3 8
3
8
8
3
8
3 8
STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS
TECHNICAL DOCUMENTATION
CODES AND REGULATIONS
SITE DESIGN
PRE-DESIGN
HISTORY AND GLOBAL CULTURE
USE OF PRECEDENTS
ORDERING SSTEMS
A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10 C1 C2 C3 D1 D2 D3 D4 D5
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN SKILLS
DESIGN THINKING SKILLS
A1
INVESTIGATIVE SKILLS
PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS
REQUIRED UNDERGRADUATE COURSES
CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND SOCIAL EQUITY
Bachelor of Architecture Required Courses Matrix
8
8
8 3
3
8
3
8
3 3 3
3 8
3
8
3 3 3 3 3
8 3
8
Rice University
Architecture Program Report
September 2015
PR TECHNOLOGY
HISTORY & THEORY
DESIGN
ARCH 525
ARCH 645
ARCH 646
ARCH 652
ARCH 702
ARCH 507
ARCH 509
ARCH 514
ARCH 516
ARCH 623
Core Design Studio I
Core Design Studio II
Core Design Studio III
Core Design Studio III
Core Design Studio IV
Core Design Studio IV
Totalization Studio
Totalization Studio
Totalization Studio
Totalization Studio
Architectural Problems
Architectural Problems
Architectural Problems
Architectural Problems
Design Thesis
Intro to Architectural Thinking
History & Theory II - Pre-1890
History & Theory III - 1890-1968
History & Theory IV - 1968Pre-Thesis Prep: Design Research
Technology I - The Frame
Technology II - The Shell
Technology III - The Envelope
Technology IV - The Environment
Professionalism & Management
REALM A
3
8
8
3
3
STAKEHOLDER ROLES IN ARCHITECTURE
INTEGRATED EVALUATIONS AND DECISION-MAKING-DESIGN PROCESS
BUILDING ENVELOPE SYSTEMS AND ASSEMBLIES
3
3
3 3 8 8 8 8 8 8
3
3
8 8 8
8
8
3 3
8
3
3 3 8
3
3 3 3
3 8 8
3 8 8
PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
BUSINES PRACTICES
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
INTEGRATIVE DESIGN
RESEARCH
FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS
BUILDING SERVICE SYTEMS
BUILDING MATERIALS AND ASSEMBLIES
3
3
REALM D
8
8
3
8
8
8 3
REALM C
8
8
3 8
8
8 8 8
3
3
8
8 3 3
8
3 3 8
3 3
8
8
8
3
3
8
3
8
3
3
3 3
8
3
3
3 3
8
8
3
3 8 8
8 8
8 8
3
8 8
8 8
8
8
3
3
3
8
8
ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS
REALM B
3 8 8
3 8 3
3
3
8
8
3
3
8
STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS
TECHNICAL DOCUMENTATION
CODES AND REGULATIONS
SITE DESIGN
PRE-DESIGN
HISTORY AND GLOBAL CULTURE
3
3
3
3
3
8
USE OF PRECEDENTS
8
8
8
3
ORDERING SSTEMS
A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10 C1 C2 C3 D1 D2 D3 D4 D5
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN SKILLS
A1
INVESTIGATIVE SKILLS
DESIGN THINKING SKILLS
ARCH 501
ARCH 502
ARCH 503 F
ARCH 503 J
ARCH 504 T
ARCH 504 V
ARCH 601 1 C
ARCH 601 2 W
ARCH 601 3 O
ARCH 620 RSAP
ARCH 602 1 P
ARCH 602 2 W
ARCH 602 3 PR
ARCH 620 RSAP
ARCH 703
PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS
REQUIRED GRADUATE COURSES OPTION 1
CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND SOCIAL EQUITY
Master of Architecture Option I Required Courses Matrix
8
8
3
8
3
8
3 3 3
3 8
3
3 3 3 3 3
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Rice University
Architecture Program Report
September 2015
P
TECHNOLOGY
H&S
DESIGN
ARCH 503 F
ARCH 503 J
ARCH 504 T
ARCH 504 V
ARCH 601 1 C
ARCH 601 2 W
ARCH 601 3 O
ARCH 620 RSAP
ARCH 602 1 P
ARCH 602 2 W
ARCH 602 3 PR
ARCH 620 RSAP
ARCH 703
ARCH 646
ARCH 652
ARCH 702
ARCH 507
ARCH 509
ARCH 514
ARCH 516
ARCH 623
Core Design Studio III
Core Design Studio III
Core Design Studio IV
Core Design Studio IV
Totalization Studio
Totalization Studio
Totalization Studio
Totalization Studio
Architectural Problems
Architectural Problems
Architectural Problems
Architectural Problems
Design Thesis
History & Theory III - 1890-1968
History & Theory IV - 1968Pre-Thesis Prep: Design Research
Technology I - The Frame
Technology II - The Shell
Technology III - The Envelope
Technology IV - The Environment
Professionalism & Management
REALM A
8 3 8
3 3 3
3
8
3
8
3
3
8
3
3
8
8
8
3
3
3 8
3
3
3 3 8 8 8 8 8 8
PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
INTEGRATIVE DESIGN
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
REALM D
D3 D4 D5
8
8
3
8
RESEARCH
FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS
BUILDING MATERIALS AND ASSEMBLIES
BUILDING SERVICE SYTEMS
REALM C
BUSINES PRACTICES
STAKEHOLDER ROLES IN ARCHITECTURE
INTEGRATED EVALUATIONS AND DECISION-MAKING-DESIGN PROCESS
BUILDING ENVELOPE SYSTEMS AND ASSEMBLIES
ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS
REALM B
8
8 3
8
3
3
3 8 8
STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS
TECHNICAL DOCUMENTATION
CODES AND REGULATIONS
SITE DESIGN
PRE-DESIGN
HISTORY AND GLOBAL CULTURE
USE OF PRECEDENTS
ORDERING SSTEMS
A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10 C1 C2 C3 D1 D2
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN SKILLS
DESIGN THINKING SKILLS
A1
INVESTIGATIVE SKILLS
PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS
REQUIRED GRADUATE COURSES OPTION II
CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND SOCIAL EQUITY
Master of Architecture Option II Required Courses Matrix
8
8 8 8
3
3
8
8 3 3
8
3 3 8
3 3
8
8
8
3
3
8
3
8
3
3
3 3
8
3
3
3 3
8
8
3
3 8 8
8 8
8 8
3 3 8
3 3 3
3 8 8
3
8 8
8 8
8
8
3
3
3
8
8
8
8
3
8
3
8
3 3 3
3 8
3
3 3 3 3 3
An Overview of RSA Programs’ Curricular Goals and Content
Fundamental concerns articulated in the Four Realms of the Student Performance Criteria, including
such issues as technical, environmental, practice and societal, are fostered at RSA through a
comprehensive approach and conducted by a faculty that has diversified expertise, wide horizons and
vast experience. In this way, the curriculum addresses all issues simultaneously, albeit, in varying
degrees of concentration, in each and every studio and class.
Due to the deliberately small size of the school’s body, RSA classes and studios are very small, allowing
for an educational experience that is both intimate and intense. The frequency and length of studio
sessions encourage a teaching methodology that shifts continually from individual instruction to group
activities, and from analysis to synthesis. Education at RSA is therefore both analytic and synthetic,
addressing a multitude of issues in an integrated manner. Courses offer a wide range of interests,
covering both practical and theoretical areas of study. The school consistently emphasizes that
architecture can never separate the two.
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Architectural design, which is the underpinning of the RSA curriculum, is an amalgam of skills, knowledge
and intense social interaction. Verbal and writing skills are honed throughout the curriculum, in both
seminars and studios. Graphic and representational skills, particularly in two- and three-dimensional
digital media forms, are considerable at RSA. Research and critical thinking skills are acquired in studios
and other courses and are crucial components of the curriculum. Design skills are constantly and
intensively refined in studio through tutorials, reviews, juries and presentations, and in other courses by a
constant consideration of the role of design in history and technology. Collaboration, the understanding of
human behavior and diversity are practiced in studio settings as well as considered in seminars, courses
and discussions. Interdisciplinarity and concern for other subjects are fostered, both in theory and
practice. Programming, in tandem with research, is a key component of the design process in all studios,
as is the investigation of environmental and sustainable implications on well-being and human behavior.
Precedents and various building traditions are considered throughout the program, in courses as well as
in studios. In undergraduate and graduate studios alike, examples ranging from canonical historic
examples to the vernacular of our everyday environment serve as a constant comparative basis for
judgment and learning. Ecological and sustainable issues, both social and environmental, are also part of
everyday concerns in all studios and in specifically focused courses. Technology, structure, building
service systems, construction means and methods, are always addressed in every studio either on the
conceptual level or through detailed investigations. Digital simulation software for exploring materials,
methods and structure is integrated into studio culture. Materials and building assemblies are explored
regularly in studios and further supported in materials labs as well as actual construction projects through
the Rice Building Workshop. Construction practice in all its complex dimensions is specifically addressed
in the required Totalization studios, and is explored further in technical courses. Codes and regulations
and their implication on design strategies are investigated in general terms early in the studio sequence
and in much greater detail at the advanced levels. Legal and professional responsibilities are covered in
courses, specifically the required professional practice course, and discussed in studios as well as
experienced during practicum. Global concerns are addressed in funded international travel studios, as
well as, at the Rice School of Architecture in Paris, the only Rice University satellite campus. Finally, the
role and responsibilities architects have toward clients are very much in evidence in most studios where
real problems are addressed.
Specific Notes on Realm C: Pedagogy & Methodology
Architecture, it can be argued, is a generalist discipline, requiring knowledge of, among many things,
geometry, politics, economics, history, technology and culture. Architects must be able to simultaneously
read and comprehend details, images, materials, precedents, ideas and opportunities. Architecture’s
expertise, in short, lies in its synthetic totalization.
In addressing the requirement for Integrative Design in Realm C, the RSA Totalization studios recognize
that leveraging architecture’s breadth requires depth, or specificity.
Initiated six years ago with the benefit of a targeted alumni gift for this curricular innovation, the
Totalization studios expand architecture’s boundaries through focused research, while simultaneously
exposing students to the wide range of such possible research threads. Each advanced options studio in
the fall (three studios in Houston plus the RSAP (Paris) studio) plumbs the depths of a specific aspect of
architecture, as defined by the studio instructor. By orchestrating intersections across this collection of
studios every fall through shared workshops, lectures and consultant visits, students gain a
comprehensive understanding of architecture while advancing a singular, directed, integrated, total
project.
As an example, in the 2014 fall semester, the Totalization studios focused on four aspects of structure:
Structure (how contemporary steel fabrication technology can affect structure); Envelope (the material
logic of plastic envelopes); Acoustics (the acoustic repercussions of structural differentiation); and Hybrids
(the technical and programmatic challenge of adding onto existing structures). Taken together, the four
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Rice University
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September 2015
studios offered a collective think-tank for understanding technological obligations not to be an
afterthought (“I have an idea, now how do I build it?”) but catalysts for architectural innovation.
To support this research at the highest level, the Totalization studios engage a set of consultants who are
at the forefront of new technical practices in the building industry, including Nat Oppenheimer, structural
engineer with Robert Silman Associates, New York; Mark Malekshahi, mechanical engineer at World
Wide Holdings, New York; Robert Heintges, partner at the façade firm, Heintges, New York; and a
number of Houston-based consultants. All the New York consultants travel to Houston for workshops and
reviews during the semester and serve as real collaborators throughout the process.
To enhance the consultant collaborations and broaden the students’ engagement with practice, all four
Houston studios travel to New York City for a four-day tour of the studio project sites, office visits with the
individual consultants and general explorations of the city.
The Totalization studio is considered to be total only when the distinction between speculation and
practice is indistinguishable in each student’s final project.
Assessment of Student Work
While evaluation of student work is performed by the individual faculty and may vary by emphasis from
studio to studio, there are parameters agreed upon by all regarding the grading structure. A final
assessment is based on work produced over the course of the entire semester and takes into account
process and progress. Other issues, such as investigative skills, synthetic abilities, originality, intellectual
and refined articulation, skillful production of the projects based on the challenges provided in the studio
brief, independence and individual growth and effort are also accounted for.
Projects selected for evaluation by the Visiting Team have achieved grades in the rage of As for highpass or B- for low pass.
The following is an example of how letter grades are assigned:
A-, A or A +
B or B+
BC-, C or C+
D
II.2.1
Consistently exemplary work, participation and effort. Thought provoking, ambitious
project developed to a high standard of completion that goes beyond what is expected.
Work is consistently above average and/or occasionally outstanding with active
participation and engagement of the course material.
Work is adequately completed but does not go beyond an understanding of minimal
requirements
Unsatisfactory work, in varying degrees due to a variety of factors including lack of effort,
Inability to grasp pertinent issues, or chronic absence. Cause for concern
Work is incomplete or completed with minimal comprehension, tantamount to failure.
Institutional Accreditation:
Rice University is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Following is a
listing from the SACSCOC website:
A copy of certification is available upon request.
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II.2.2 Professional Degrees and Curriculum:
Professional degrees offered: Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture
The RSA offers a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Architecture as first professional degrees. The
Bachelor of Architecture is available only to students who have completed four years of the
undergraduate architecture major sequence at Rice (resulting in the non-professional Bachelor of Arts in
Architecture degree). The Master of Architecture Option I program is offered to students who possess a
baccalaureate degree but have little or no preparation in architecture. Students who have majored in
architecture as undergraduates but have not received a professional degree enter this program in its
second year (Option II program). Two years ago the post-professional Master of Architecture degree
program (Option III) was discontinued and replaced by the Present Future program leading to a Master of
Arts in Architecture degree. While the Master of Architecture in Urban Design and Doctor of Architecture
degree programs exist in the books as post-professional degrees, no student has been admitted to them
in years and we will discontinue their nomenclature.
Undergraduate Program
Overview: The RSA undergraduate program is designed to educate architects who will act on a global
stage and transform the field in the coming decades. The undergraduate program approaches
professional study as a way of synthesizing and focusing the broad and pressing questions of the 21st
century through the lens of the architectural discipline so that its practice gains renewed agency, vitality
and relevance for our shared environment.
Situated within a top research university, the school’s very small size allows for individual attention with
the breadth of study afforded by a major university. The hallmark of the professional degree curriculum,
the Preceptorship Program, places students in leading offices around the world for a year of experience
integrating practice with academic study.
Students take architectural studio beginning in the first semester, followed by studios in each of the
following semesters that carefully lay the foundations for advanced study in later years. Within this
sequence, each studio offers the opportunity explore a different facet of architecture in order to develop
specific skills and critical knowledge. Complementing design studios, students take course sequences in
the histories and theories of architecture, technology and practice. Students also take a flexible and broad
range of general studies and electives outside Architecture, including fine arts, humanities, natural
sciences and social sciences.
In their third year, students engage civic leaders in Houston and travel to other emerging and global cities
as part of their studios. In their fourth year, students take a design research seminar the first semester,
which relates to their studio the following semester. This two-semester cycle allows them to follow and
develop a more in-depth research and design proposal.
The fifth year in this sequence consists of the Preceptorship Program, in which each student works at one
of the best architecture firms in the world. These firms are selected by the RSA and a faculty committee
chaired by the director of external programs assigns students to them each year. The preceptorship is
fully integrated into the curriculum and is a key part of every student’s education. Students work at offices
for a minimum of nine months, which allows them to get involved with long-term projects in a meaningful
way.
Students return to RSA for their sixth and final year to complete the Bachelor of Architecture academic
requirements. They take graduate-level studios that foster the integration of their professional experience
in order to advance the knowledge of architecture and its practice. During this year, students may study
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abroad for a semester in our Paris program, interact with community leaders and gain hands-on
experience through the award-winning Rice Building Workshop program.
Bachelor of Art in Architecture leading to a Bachelor of Architecture:
The B.A. - B.Arch. professional track is the primary course of study for undergraduate architectural study
at Rice. All students who successfully apply to the university and the School of Architecture enter into this
program. This program leads to a degree of Bachelor of Arts with a major in Architecture after four years,
followed immediately by the two year-long professional Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch.) degree
sequence.
The curriculum has three stages: a foundation stage, taken in the freshman and sophomore years; an
intermediate stage in the junior and senior years; and finally the two year professional B.Arch. stage that
includes a preceptorship. During their first four years time, students must also complete university
graduation requirements for the B.A. in Architecture.
At the end of the first stage, students apply for the approval of their major in architecture by the RSA. This
is an opportunity for the student and the school to reflect on academic performance thus far and to
confirm whether continuing the professional degree track at that time is advisable.
At the end of the intermediate stage, students who have successfully completed all major and university
requirements receive a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. Students wishing to pursue the professional
degree in architecture also apply for admission to the Bachelor of Architecture sequence during the
second semester of the fourth year. As with the declaration of major two years before, this process is not
intended to “weed” any percentage of the class out but rather to ensure academic progress within
architecture warrants continued study or if the student wishes to pursue alternative paths.
Upon approval for the B.Arch. sequence, students are assigned a preceptorship in a process that takes
their preference into account as one of many factors. The preceptorship involves a minimum of nine
months of professional experience immediately after the receipt of the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture
degree. Students then return to Rice for a final year of study. The Bachelor of Architecture sequence is
only open to students who have completed the undergraduate program at Rice.
The total number of credit hours required for the Bachelor of Architecture degree is 192. This includes 30
hours for the Preceptorship year, which are awarded only to maintain the benefits of student status and
do not replace any academic required academic credit. The total number of academic credit is 162, of
which 130 are earned during the first four years and 32 in the fifth year.
Bachelor of Architecture Requirements:
Course Number and Name
Design Studios
68 Credit Hours
46
ARCH 101: Principles of Architecture I
ARCH 102: Principles of Architecture II
ARCH 201: Principles of Architecture III
ARCH 202: Principles of Architecture IV
ARCH 301: Intermediate Problems in Architecture I
ARCH 302: Intermediate Problems in Architecture II
ARCH 401: Advanced Topics in Architecture I
ARCH 402: Advanced Topics in Architecture II
ARCH 601: Architectural Problems
Credit
s
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
10
Semester
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
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History & Theory
15 Credit Hours
Technology
12 Credit Hours
Practice
33 Credit Hours
Electives outside
Architecture
46 Credit Hours minimum
during years 1-4
but must satisfy university
Distribution Requirements
12 Credit Hours
minimum during
Fifth Year
TOTAL
ARCH 602: Architectural Problems
ARCH 225: Architecture History & Theory I
ARCH 345: Architecture History & Theory II
ARCH 346: Architecture History & Theory III
ARCH 352: Architecture History & Theory IV
ARCH 403: Degree Project Seminar
ARCH 207: Technology I
ARCH 309: Technology II
ARCH 314: Technology III
ARCH 316: Technology IV
ARCH 423: Professionalism and Management
ARCH 500: Preceptorship - Fall
ARCH 500: Preceptorship - Spring
FWIS (Freshman Writing Intensive Seminar)
LPAP (Lifetime Physical Activity Program)
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
10
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
15
15
3
1
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
192
12
1
4
5
6
7
3
4
5
6
7, 8, 11 or 12
9
10
2
1
1-8
1–8
1–8
1–8
1–8
1–8
1–8
1–8
1–8
1-8
11 or 12
11 or 12
11 or 12
11 or 12
Notes on Requirements:
University Distribution Courses: To fulfill university requirements for a degree in any major, all
Undergraduates must complete 12 hours in each of three groups of designated as distribution courses.
These hours must be completed in a least two different departments in each group. Distribution classes
may be taken pass/fail or as advanced placement/transfer credit in specified distribution courses.
Architecture students complete 9 hours of distribution in group I and in group III by completing the major
requirements of a BA in Architecture. Therefore, students who complete the major requirements for the
BA in Architecture need only take at least the following number of distribution hours:
• Group I Distribution (Humanities): 3 additional hours outside of Architecture (ARCH)
• Group II Distribution (Social Science): 12 hours from at least two departments
• Group III Distribution: (Natural Science): 3 additional hours in outside of Architecture (ARCH)
First-Year Writing-Intensive Seminar (FWIS): All university students, regardless of major, must take a
First-Year Writing-Intensive Seminar (FWIS). Architecture students take this requirement in the spring of
freshman year. This course may also fulfill a Distribution requirement if it is listed as doing so.
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Bachelor of Architecture Requirements Listed by Semester:
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5:
Preceptorship
Year 6
48
Semester 1
Total
Credits
16
Semester 2
15
Semester 3
15
Semester 4
18
Semester 5
18
Semester 6
18
Semester 7
15
Semester 8
15
Semester 9
Semester 10
Semester 11
15
15
16
Semester 12
16
Courses
(Italicized courses req. in semester shown)
ARCH 101: Principles of Architecture I
ARCH 225: Architecture History & Theory I
Elective: Non Architecture
Elective: Non Architecture
LPAP
ARCH 102: Principles of Architecture II
First Year Writing Intensive Seminar (FWIS)
Elective: Non Architecture
Elective: Non Architecture
ARCH 201: Principles of Architecture II
ARCH 207: Technology I
Elective: Non Architecture
Elective: Non Architecture
ARCH 202: Principles of Architecture II
ARCH 309: Technology II - The Shell
ARCH 345: History and Theory II - Pre 1890 3
Elective: Non Architecture
Elective: Non Architecture
ARCH 301: Intermediate Problems I
ARCH 314: Technology III - The Envelope
ARCH 346: History and Theory III - 1890 to 1968
Elective: Non Architecture
Elective: Non Architecture
ARCH 302: Intermediate Problems II
ARCH 316: Technology IV - The Environment
ARCH 352: History and Theory IV - 1968 to
present
Elective: Non Architecture
Elective: Non Architecture or Architecture
ARCH 401: Advanced Topics in Architecture I
ARCH 403: Degree Project Seminar
Elective: Non Architecture
Elective: Non Architecture or Architecture
ARCH 402: Advanced Topics in Architecture II
ARCH 423/623: Professionalism and Management
Elective: Non Architecture
Elective: Non Architecture or Architecture
Bachelor of Arts In Architecture
ARCH 500: Preceptorship
ARCH 500: Preceptorship
ARCH 601: Architectural Problems
Elective: Non Arch or Arch (300 level of above)
Elective: Non Arch or Arch (300 level of above)
ARCH 602: Architectural Problems
Elective: Non Arch or Arch (300 level of above)
Elective: Non Arch or Arch (300 level of above)
Fifth-Year Program
Total for Bachelor of Architecture: 130 + 62
Credits
6
3
3
3
1
6
3
3
3
6
3
3
3
6
3
3
3
3
6
3
3
3
3
6
3
3
3
3
6
3
3
3
6
3
3
3
130
15
15
10
3
3
10
3
3
62
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Graduate Programs
Overview: The graduate program has two inseparable aims: to educate architects and to position our
graduates as leaders in a rapidly changing world. The education of architects focuses on sharing
knowledge…on a vibrant discussion of architecture’s intellectual, formal, material and representational
composition. Positioning leaders centers on developing new knowledge…on affecting the contours of this
new world.
Generosity binds these aims to one another. Inside the RSA, the exchange of knowledge with aspiring
architects depends upon the magnanimous sharing of intellectual culture among students, faculty and
visitors to the school. Beyond the school’s boundaries, the RSA is a catalyst, an advocate for architects
and architecture to step unflinchingly into public life. Taken together, these mandates underscore our goal
of forming architects whose voices will reverberate across contemporary culture. Our ambitions are
simple. RSA graduates will be prepared with knowledge. They will be perpetually curious about what we
don’t yet know. And they will be eager to propose the alternatives that possess an unyielding optimism
about the future.
Master of Architecture Option I and Option II:
The Master of Architecture program prepares graduates for a full range of professional activities in the
field of architecture. It is offered to individuals who possess a bachelor’s degree. Students follow a course
of study including design, history and theory, technology, professional practice and thesis. In addition to
required courses, students are required to take elective courses in either the RSA or the university in
which they pursue more specialized interests.
The professional degree programs (Option I and Option II) both consist of a core sequence (4 and 2
semesters respectively) followed by Totalization (comprehensive studio), option studios and thesis. The
graduate core sequence advances the necessary conceptual and technical skills to enable students to
develop a creative, intelligent and articulate approach to architectural practice. The core promotes
mastery of the fundamental conventions and practices (graphic, spatial, formal, material and technical) of
architectural design. It also fosters an understanding of architecture as a social, cultural, political and
economic activity, as deeply embedded in contemporary issues and concerns, as it is aware of its own
historic construction. Upon completion of the core, students embark on a more individualized course of
study, culminating in thesis.
All Master of Architecture candidates are required to develop a thesis in fulfillment of graduate degree
requirements. Students are asked to demonstrate their ability to independently undertake research and
analysis, as well as develop a hypothesis and demonstrate their thesis thoroughly. This must take the
form of either a research thesis (written thesis) or a thesis with a design demonstration (design thesis).
Both thesis formats must address architectural consequences that may be derived from within or outside
conventional boundaries of the architectural discipline.
Thesis preparation begins in the penultimate semester with a three-hour independent study course
leading to the submission of a thesis proposal and the selection of a thesis director and two faculty
members as readers. While the thesis is independent work carried out by the student under the direction
of a chosen advisor, it is organized as a studio in the fall term of the academic year. The thesis studio
provides a support setting for both formal and informal review processes throughout the thesis semester.
In early January, thesis projects are publically presented and defended before a panel of guest critics.
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Master of Architecture Option I Requirements:
Design Studios
60 Credit Hours
History & Theory
12 Credit Hours
Technology
12 Credit Hours
Practice
3 Credit Hours
Thesis
16 Credit Hours
Electives (Open)
30 Credit Hours
Course Number and Name
ARCH 501: Core Design Studio I
ARCH 502: Core Design Studio II
ARCH 503: Core Design Studio III
ARCH 504: Core Design Studio IV
ARCH 601: Totalization
ARCH 602: Option Studio
ARCH 525: Architecture History & Theory I
ARCH 645: Architecture History & Theory II
ARCH 646: Architecture History & Theory III
ARCH 652: Architecture History & Theory IV
ARCH 507: Technology I
ARCH 509: Technology II
ARCH 514: Technology III
ARCH 516: Technology IV
ARCH 423: Professionalism and Management
Credits
10
10
10
10
10
10
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
Semester
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
6
ARCH 702: Pre-Thesis Preparation
ARCH 729: Written Thesis Document
ARCH 703/706: Design Thesis/ Written Thesis
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
3
3
10
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
133
6
7
7
Credits
10
10
10
10
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
Semester
1
2
3
4
1
2
1
2
3
4
4
TOTAL
Master of Architecture Option II Requirements:
Design Studios
40 Credit Hours
History & Theory
6 Credit Hours
Technology
12 Credit Hours
Practice
50
Course Number and Name
ARCH 503: Core Design Studio III
ARCH 504: Core Design Studio IV
ARCH 601: Totalization
ARCH 602: Option Studio
ARCH 646: Architecture History & Theory III
ARCH 652: Architecture History & Theory IV
ARCH 507: Technology I
ARCH 509: Technology II
ARCH 514: Technology III
ARCH 516: Technology IV
ARCH 423: Professionalism and Management
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September 2015
3 Credit Hours
Thesis
16 Credit Hours
Electives (Open)
18 Credit Hours
ARCH 702: Pre-Thesis Preparation
ARCH 729 or 730: Written Thesis Document
ARCH 703: Design Thesis
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
TOTAL
3
3
10
3
3
3
3
3
3
95
4
4
5
Master of Architecture Option I Requirements Listed by Semester:
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Semester 1
Total
Credits
19
Semester 2
19
Semester 3
19
Semester 4
19
Semester 5
19
Semester 6
19
Semester 7
19
Courses
(Italicized courses req. in semester shown)
ARCH 501: Core Design Studio I
ARCH 525: Architecture History & Theory I
ARCH 507: Technology I – The Frame
Elective
ARCH 502: Core Design Studio II
ARCH 645: History and Theory II - Pre 1890
ARCH 509: Technology II - The Shell
Elective
ARCH 503: Core Design Studio III
ARCH 346: History and Theory III - 1890 to 1968
ARCH 514: Technology III – The Envelope
Elective
ARCH 504: Core Design Studio IV
ARCH 652: History and Theory IV - 1968 to present
ARCH 516: Technology IV - The Environment
Elective
ARCH 601: Totalization Studio
ARCH 423/623: Professionalism and Management
Elective
Elective
ARCH 602: Graduate Option Studio
ARCH 702: Pre-Thesis Preparation
Elective
Elective
ARCH 703: Design Thesis
ARCH 729 or 730: Written Thesis Document
Elective
Elective
Master of Architecture Option I
Credits
10
3
3
3
10
3
3
3
10
3
3
3
10
3
3
3
10
3
3
3
10
3
3
3
10
3
3
3
133
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Master of Architecture Option II Requirements Listed by Semester:
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Semester 1
Total
Credits
19
Semester 2
19
Semester 3
19
Semester 4
19
Semester 5
19
Courses
(Italicized courses req. in semester shown)
ARCH 503: Core Design Studio III
ARCH 346: History and Theory III - 1890 to 1968
ARCH 507: Technology I – The Frame
Elective
ARCH 504: Core Design Studio IV
ARCH 652: History and Theory IV - 1968 to present
ARCH 509: Technology II - The Shell
Elective
ARCH 601: Totalization Studio
ARCH 423/623: Professionalism and Management
ARCH 514: Technology III – The Envelope
Elective
ARCH 602: Graduate Option Studio
ARCH 702: Pre-Thesis Preparation
ARCH 516: Technology IV - The Environment
Elective
ARCH 703: Design Thesis
ARCH 729 or 730: Written Thesis Document
Elective
Elective
Master of Architecture Option II
Credits
10
3
3
3
10
3
3
3
10
3
3
3
10
3
3
3
10
3
3
3
95
Off-Campus Programs:
Rice School of Architecture in Paris (RSAP): RSAP was founded in September 2002 by the RSA with
a mission to provide Study Abroad opportunities for current RSA upper-level graduate and Fifth-Year
Bachelor of Architecture program students. RSAP is completely and seamlessly integrated in the RSA
curriculum. Students receive 16 hours of academic credit equivalent to a normal semester in Houston. In
the fall semester, students participate in a Totalization studio identical to the ones in Houston, and the
advanced graduate option studio in the spring. Courses in history, theory and criticism, as well as
instruction in French language and culture are integrated in the curriculum and conducted by local faculty
in collaboration with RSA faculty and the director of the program.
Located near the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, noted for its design boutiques and galleries, RSAP is close to
the Bastille Opera, Gare de Lyon and Place des Vosges. The 1,400 square foot space, leased by Rice
University, accommodates the teaching programs as well as public exhibits, colloquia and lectures.
Equipped with high-speed internet access and other electronic media devices, including plotters, RSAP
provides students with all necessary tools to produce work of the highest caliber. RSAP is the only Rice
University satellite campus.
Preceptorship Program: The Preceptorship Program was formally established in 1967 to provide a
yearlong practicum between the fourth and fifth year of the Bachelor of Architecture curriculum.
Participating offices are selected by the school from among the leading firms in the US and abroad, and
are appointed by the university for two-year terms. Preceptors agree to accept the preceptees assigned
by the school for the minimum period of an academic year.
In the spring semester of their senior year, students apply to the fifth year program, which is comprised of
the required minimum one-year preceptorship followed by a final and fifth year of academic study. After
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careful consideration by a faculty committee, those students admitted are assigned both to ensure the
best match of student to office as well as taking into account their preferences. The preceptees are paid
normal wages and are expected to participate in a variety of tasks that would provide them with a better
understanding of the scope of professional practice.
During the preceptorship year, students are required to submit two analytical reports per semester on
their experience. In addition, when they return to Rice to complete the final year of academic study, they
are required to present a portfolio of work produced.
Preceptees pay a registration fee to the university to maintain their student status and benefits, but credit
received does not replace any academic requirement.
With preceptorship, the length of time to complete the Bachelor of Architecture degree requirements is six
years.
Other Degree Programs
Architectural Studies: As an alternative to the pre-professional degree sequence, and open only to
students who have been admitted as architecture majors and have completed the two-year foundation
program, the architectural studies curriculum is an option. The first four semesters of the curriculum are
identical to the foundation sequence of the architecture major. Subsequent requirements are the
completion of an additional studio and four elective courses in architecture. The program provides basic
preparation for possible later professional study while allowing other academic interests to be pursued in
greater depth.
Present Future: This program is a concentrated undertaking culminating in a Master of Arts in
Architecture degree. The program is structured around a two- semester-long exploration of a topic led by
an RSA faculty member. A select group of students forms the core: a collective intelligence responsible
for developing a discourse that synthesizes theoretical, historical and design ambitions. Subjects of
contemporary importance are framed by a 3-credit pro-seminar the first term and a 12-credit collective
thesis in the second term. In addition to free electives, each semester includes additional required credits
that are appropriate to the selected topic, bringing the total credit hours to 30. The program’s student
body includes those with backgrounds in architecture as well as other fields: individuals with B.A., B.S.,
equivalent, or more advanced degrees in architecture or other disciplines. Coursework includes offerings
from the RSA and other departments across the university. Present Future is equal parts education,
research, think tank and soapbox. Issues such as urbanization, media, globalization, the environment,
technology, demographics, press in on us as never before, architecture can, and will, play a role in the
most urgent questions facing us today.
II.3 Evaluation of Preparatory Education:
Undergraduate: As described in II.4.6, all applicants to Rice University, regardless of intended major, are
evaluated by the university Office of Admissions for admissibility into the university. The standards of
preparatory academic achievement are extremely high for Rice University, and RSA applicants are given
no exception. Transfer credit of courses, such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, etc.
is handled by the office of the university Registrar and follows university procedure. RSA does not grant
transfer credit, waiver or advanced placement for any required course to undergraduates. Elective credit
may be given by application to the school’s director of undergraduate programs.
Graduate: Minimum standards of prior academic achievement including test scores are established by
the university graduate office and followed by the school’s admissions procedures. Transcripts are
evaluated during the admissions process to verify qualifications for inclusion in the two graduate tracks.
For Option 1 students, waivers of courses are by application to the director of graduate studies, who
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evaluates the course description, grades and rigor of the course before granting any waver or credit
transfer. For Option 2 students, during the admission process, transcripts are evaluated to verify
completion of the first year core and thus eligibility for consideration for admission to that degree program.
The director of graduate studies handles waivers and or transfers of electives in the same way as Option
1.
II.4 Public Information:
We are in adherence of the requirement to include the exact language found in the NAAB 2014
Conditions for Accreditation, Appendix 1, in catalogs and promotional media.
Public information on Rice University in general and on the School of Architecture can be found at the
following websites:
http://www.rice.edu
http://www.arch.rice.edu
II.4.1 Statement on NAAB-Accredited Degrees
RSA is in compliance with the requirement to include the exact language for accredited programs in all its
publications and informational websites:
http://arch.rice.edu/Academics/Academic-Programs/NAAB-Accreditation/
II.4.2 Access to NAAB Conditions and Procedures
The following documents are publicly accessible on the RSA website:
http://arch.rice.edu/Academics/Academic-Programs/NAAB-Accreditation/
The 2014 Conditions for Accreditation
The 2009 Conditions for Accreditation
The 2015 Procedures for Accreditation
II.4.3 Access to Career Development Information
Intrinsic in the curriculum and culture of the school is the focus on the multiple yet changing career and
educational choices our students face. Through coursework and extra-curricular activities, students are
exposed to leaders representing all aspects of the profession. The Licensing Advisor not only assists
students with information on NCARB registration, but also is the resource for job placement information.
Courses such as Arch 423/623: Professionalism and Management provide a vast array of opportunities
for understanding the workings of the profession and the trends for the future. At the undergraduate level,
the Preceptorship Program, the required one-year internship at leading offices in the US and abroad not
only provides all students with invaluable professional experience at the highest levels, but very often, a
job offer waiting for them after completion of the final and fifth year of academic study.
Projects undertaken by the Rice Building Workshop not only provide opportunity for hands-on design
build, but also a more specific introduction to the realm of the construction industry. In many of the cases,
students are also exposed to public policy, governmental and planning agencies in the course of the
development of these projects.
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The Rice Architecture Mentoring Program (RAMP) was established a number of years ago to provide all
students at RSA with the necessary information and assistance to take control over their future careers,
make informed decisions and to translate their studies into a lifetime of achievement. RAMP links RSA
alumni with the current student body, building professional relationships and providing students with a
closer look at possibilities after graduation.
RAMP Mentors are an asset to the school and to the student body. They commit to at least four in-person
meetings per academic year including attending lectures together, visiting the student’s studio, visiting the
office, or just meeting for a cup of coffee. Mentors are also available for periodic phone calls and/or
emails with questions from students.
RAMP engages students, alumni and affiliated community members in the following strategic ways:
Mentoring: Connecting students with alumni and fostering relationships that benefit both the alumni
mentor and the student. This relationship gives the student an outlet to ask professional and industryspecific questions and allows the alumni mentors an opportunity to educate the next generation of leaders
in the field.
Guest Lectures/ Panel Discussions: RAMP hosts many guest lectures that provide insights into
industry-specific topics or related career paths for architecture students. These lectures are structured so
that the students have ample time to engage the speaker in a lively discussion following their brief talk.
Workshops: RAMP hosts numerous workshops to help prepare students for the professional world at
large. These workshops include resume and portfolio review with industry guests, talks on interview
techniques and mock interviews. An annual workshop in January focuses on preparing students for
internships or full-time employment for the coming summer.
Office Visits: A number of office visits to local practices are organized each semester. Visits include a
variety of firms in size and scope of work, always including large and small firms, allowing students to get
a glimpse into different environments ranging in practice areas and to further engage with practicing
architects.
II.4.4 Public Access to APRs and VTRs
The following documents are electronically available to the public on our website through the link:
http://arch.rice.edu/Academics/Academic-Programs/NAAB-Accreditation/
All Interim Progress Reports (and Annual Reports [narrative only] submitted 2009–2012)
All NAAB responses to Interim Progress Reports (and NAAB Responses to Annual Reports [narrative]
submitted 2009–2012)
The most recent decision letter from the NAAB
The most recent APR
The final edition of the most recent Visiting Team Report, including attachments and addenda
II.4.5 ARE Pass Rates
ARE Pas rates are linked on our site to NCARB through this link:
http://arch.rice.edu/Academics/Academic-Programs/NAAB-Accreditation/
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II.4.6. Admissions and Advising
Undergraduate Admission
Rice University maintains an individualized, holistic and need-blind admission process to examine an
applicant’s academic prowess, creativity, motivation, artistic talent, leadership potential and life
experiences.
Overview of Process: All applicants to Rice University must indicate an intended school of study from
among the following: architecture, engineering, humanities, music, natural sciences, or social sciences.
Both the university’s Office of Admissions and the RSA’s undergraduate admission committee read
architecture applications. Applicants follow the university’s normal admission and financial aid process
and requirements, as well as include a portfolio of creative work and complete supplemental essays
that describe experiences and understandings that indicate her or his preparation and commitment to
pursuing a professional degree in architecture. Students are admitted directly into the B.A. in Architecture
leading to a B.Arch. program exclusively. Students who are denied admission to the school of
architecture are not normally considered for admission to other parts of the university.
Two admissions officers in the university’s Office of Admissions first read applications. The second reader
also serves as the designated liaison between their office and the RSA. These readers focus on
academic qualifications and competitiveness within the general Rice applicant pool and flags relevant to
architecture. Each year the Office of Admissions liaison and the director of undergraduate studies meet
prior to the reading period to discuss the process and feedback from the previous years. They also
determine minimum academic criteria for applications to be forwarded to the School of Architecture for
review by its undergraduate admissions committee. Typically at least half of the applications of forwarded
to the School of Architecture. The director of undergraduate studies reviews all the applications and can
request additional files be forwarded to the school of consideration.
Applicants who meet that minimum are forwarded to the undergraduate admissions committee in the
RSA. That committee is selected each fall and consists of four faculty, including the director of
undergraduate studies. The committee consists of architecture faculty teaching a range of levels and
types of courses within the undergraduate program and to the extent feasible represent diverse ranks,
experiences and backgrounds. Individual members evaluate the academic competitiveness of the
applicant in relationship to preparation for the student of architecture and creative aptitude, evidenced by
the portfolio, activities, transcripts and essays. The committee then meets to discuss the applicants and
determine the final admission decisions, which are then forwarded to the Office of Admissions. The Office
of Admissions formally makes the offers of admission and the university Office of Financial Aid processes
financial aid.
Decision Plans: Applicants are required to select early decision (ED) or regular decision (RD) upon
application. The RSA admissions committee can choose to defer ED applications to the RD period, during
which time those applications will be reviewed with that pool. Rates of admission in ED for the RSA are
not significantly different from the RDs.
Timeline
Early Decision
15 October
1 November
November – Dec.
Late-Nov. – Early Dec.
Mid December
1 January:
Regular Decision
56
Deadline for requesting and on or off campus interview
All application materials due
Office of Admissions reading period
School of Architecture admissions committee reading period
Admission decisions released
Deposit due
Rice University
Architecture Program Report
September 2015
15 December
1 January
Jan.-Mid Feb
Feb-Mid March
1 April
1 May
Deadline for requesting and on or off campus interview
All application materials due
Office of Admissions reading period
School of Architecture admissions committee reading period
Admission decisions released to applicants
Deposits due
Application Components: All applicants must submit the following:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The Common Application and the Rice Writing Supplement or the Universal College Application
and the Rice Supplement.
$75 nonrefundable application fee or approved fee waiver. Students requesting a fee waiver must
submit proof of a fee waiver for the SAT or ACT or eligibility for the federal school lunch program.
A letter must accompany the request from the school counselor. Only U.S. citizens and
permanent residents are eligible for an application fee waiver.
Official high school transcript(s)
Official test scores sent directly from the testing agency: Either the SAT and two SAT Subject
Tests, or the ACT Plus Writing Test
School report
One teacher/instructor evaluation
Official transcript and midyear report form (as soon as senior midyear grades become available)
International applicants must also submit:
•
•
•
•
International Student Financial Statement
Supporting financial documentation
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
English Language Testing System (IELTS) for students whose first language or language of
instruction is not English.
Early Decision applicants must also submit:
• The Rice Early Decision Agreement
• Official high school transcripts including grades from first marking period
Architecture Applicants
•
•
Writing/essay supplement specific to architecture.
Portfolio requirement: A portfolio of creative work is required for all applicants to the School of
Architecture. The portfolio should demonstrate creative potential and is not expected to be
architectural in focus. Freehand drawings are highly recommended along with examples in
various forms and media, such as: sculpture, graphic design, photography, theater set design,
and so on. Mechanical drafting and/or CAD drawings are strongly discouraged with the exception
of work from at an architecture career discovery program (which should be included). The
included work may have been a class assignment or pursued independently. A one or two
sentence description is also encouraged. Portfolios are submitted online as a PowerPoint file, not
to exceed 10 slides nor 10 MB file size.
Interviews: Although an interview is not a requirement, Rice recommends it for all applicants as an
excellent opportunity to communicate your interests and questions about Rice. Interviews are offered only
to (rising) high school seniors, and it is the student’s responsibility to request an interview.
General admissions interviews are conducted on campus and off campus. The admissions committee
views on- and off-campus interviews equally in the admission review process. Interviews are subject to
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availability. Inability to have an interview will not negatively impact an application. Reservations are
required for all on-campus interviews and spaces are limited.
In addition to the general admission interview, on-campus interviews with a member of the architecture
school faculty are available (but not required) on a limited basis. Students who plan to visit the campus
should contact the School of Architecture directly to schedule an interview with a faculty member at times
designated by the school.
High School Curriculum Requirements: Sixteen college preparatory credits are required, including a
minimum of four years of English, three years of math, two years of the same foreign language, two years
of social studies, two years of laboratory science (excluding physical science) and three additional years
of college preparatory courses of the student’s choosing. Applicants to the natural sciences and
engineering schools must take advanced high school math (either trigonometry, elementary analysis, or
pre-calculus) and chemistry and physics (a second year of chemistry or biology may be substituted for
physics).
Successful applicants generally have taken 20 or more college preparatory courses in high school, many
at the college level.
Official Transcripts: Official high school/secondary school transcripts must include grades from ninth
through eleventh grades as well as courses taken senior year. Transcripts must be submitted by the
student’s high school, preferably online via the Common Application or the Universal College Application,
or by mail. Transcripts are not be accepted by fax or email.
Home-Schooled Students: Rice welcomes applications from students who have been homeschooled.
To ensure that our evaluation process is fully informed, each homeschooled applicant is encouraged to
provide clear, detailed documentation of his or her curriculum, assessment tools and learning
experiences. Rice requires the school report and one teacher evaluation, which must be completed by
someone not related to the student.
Standardized Tests: Rice requires all first-year applicants to take (a) the SAT and two SAT Subject tests
in fields related to the candidate’s proposed division of study or (b) the ACT Plus Writing test. It is our
policy to use the highest scores from any sitting on the SAT in order to consider each applicant’s most
positive test results.
Recognizing that this policy could disadvantage those students who cannot afford repeated testing or
expensive test prep coaching, we believe a comprehensive testing history provides us with the
appropriate context required for making a fair judgment of what the test scores mean in a holistic
admission process. We require all applicants submitting the SAT to submit all scores to Rice. The only
definition of a composite score that ACT recognizes is its own definition: an ACT composite is the
average of the four multiple- choice scale scores from a single administration of the exam. Therefore, it is
Rice’s policy to use the highest ACT composite score in admission consideration. Scores must be sent
directly to Rice from the testing agency. If a candidate submits both an SAT and an ACT score, the
committee will consider the test that best enhances the application. Rice does not require a minimum
score on these tests.
Applicants whose first language and language of instruction is not English are required to take the Test of
English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). For
the TOEFL, minimum acceptable score is 600 on the paper-based test or 100 on the Internet-based test.
Eligibility for Admission as a Freshman: Applicants are considered a freshman applicant if high school
is completed by the end of the academic year after application deadline. Students enrolled in concurrent
high school and college courses are considered freshmen. Students are considered transfer applicants if
they have completed high school, have earned at least twelve semester hours of college credit and have
not been enrolled in high school for at least one year. Official transcripts of all academic work undertaken
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are a required part of the application; therefore, students may not reduce their academic credits in order
to qualify as freshman applicants.
Transfer Applications to the RSA Undergraduate Architecture Program: The RSA does review
transfer applications for undergraduates who are currently in the first or second year of study at a fouryear university or college. However due to the size of the program, RSA is able to offer transfer admission
into the program very rarely. For applicants interested in applying for a transfer, the procedure, deadlines
and forms for a transfer application are available at the university's Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The Common Application and the Rice Writing Supplement or the Universal College Application
and the Rice Supplement.
$75 nonrefundable application fee
Final official high school transcript
All official college transcripts
Official test scores sent directly from the testing agency: Either the SAT or the ACT Plus Writing
Test
The College Report
Two College Instructor Evaluations
Architecture transfer students must also submit:
• Writing/essay supplement specific to architecture
• Portfolio of creative work
Candidates should have a grade point average of at least 3.20 in their most recent college work: Those
offered admission as transfer students typically have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. GPAs in college are
evaluated within the context of the degree of difficulty of coursework pursued and competitiveness of the
college you have attended.
Intramural Transfer Applications to the RSA Undergraduate Architecture Program: Students who
are already at Rice in a different field and who are interested in studying architecture can apply to be
admitted to the RSA as an “intramural transfer.”
Intramural transfers follow the same program sequence and major requirements as any other
undergraduate architecture student, including the prescribed sequence of ten semester-long architecture
studio courses. Therefore, completion of the B.A. portion of the program will take 4 years in addition to
the intramural transfer student previous time at Rice before beginning the architecture program. Because
of the extended time required to complete the B.A./B.Arch. degree, the school only considers intramural
transfers of students currently in their first year at Rice. Those accepted into the program will start the
sequence the following autumn.
The intramural transfer application consists of parts as detailed below.
•
•
•
•
•
1-2 page essay describing the experiences and reasons leading to the applicants interest in
architecture
Official Rice transcript
An interview with the director of undergraduate studies
A letter of recommendation from a professor at Rice.
A portfolio of creative work.
All materials are to be turned into the school of Architecture by March 1, with the interview scheduled
during March.
Transfer Credit Policy: Courses taken at another regionally accredited college or university appropriate
to the Rice curriculum, may be approved for transfer credit toward a Rice University undergraduate
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degree. This includes credit for summer school courses not taken at Rice. Credit is normally given for
courses that meet the following conditions:
1.
2.
3.
4.
equivalent to courses that are or could be offered at Rice
completed at a regionally accredited academic institution
completed with a grade of C- or better
taken for a grade (not taken pass/fail).
The Office of the Registrar, in conjunction with academic departments, determine whether courses are
appropriate for transfer to Rice as specific Rice equivalent courses or as TRAN credit. Rice equivalent
transfer credit satisfies the same university, major, minor, and distribution requirements as Rice
enrollment. Rice equivalent credit usually requires departmental approval. Transfer course grades do not
appear on a student’s record and have no effect on a student's Rice grade point average.
If a transfer applicant is offered admission to Rice, the Office of the Registrar will send a preliminary
evaluation of your college coursework, which will show a comparison of the course taken and the
comparable Rice course for credit. Details on this process may be found on the Office of the Registrar
website.
Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Credits: Students scoring a 4 or 5 on
accepted Advanced Placement (AP) exams before matriculation will receive course credit from Rice.
Students who earn the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma will receive credit for individual higherlevel exams for which they receive a score of 6 or 7. Rice does not give credit for subsidiary level exams.
AP and IB credit is listed on transcripts as the equivalent Rice course, but a grade value is not assigned.
Where applicable, credit counts towards university graduation requirements. Students who have
completed International Certificate Programs may receive course credit for corresponding Rice courses.
Each student's documentation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The General Certificate of
Education A-Level, the Abitur and the French Baccalaureate are eligible for review.
The program must publicly document all policies and procedures that govern how applicants to the
accredited program are evaluated for admission. These procedures must include first-time, first-year
students as well as transfers within and from outside the institution.
This documentation must include the following:
•
•
•
•
•
Application forms and instructions
Admissions requirements, admissions decisions procedures, including policies and processes for
evaluation of transcripts and portfolios (where required) and decisions regarding remediation and
advanced standing
Forms and a description of the process for the evaluation of preprofessional degree content
Requirements and forms for applying for financial aid and scholarships
Student diversity initiatives
Graduate Admissions Policies and Procedures
The RSA receives approximately 400 graduate applications annually to fill 30 positions in three programs:
Option I, Option II and Present Future. The criteria for admission are explained on the graduate
application website (http://arch.rice.edu/gradapp/) which is linked to the main school website. All
applicants are required to have a baccalaureate degree. Option I admits students from all degree
programs including architecture programs with less than 4 design studios. Option II admits students from
architecture programs who have completed a minimum of 4 design studios as well as undergraduate
courses that are analogous to those given in the first year of Option I. A minimum of two semesters of
college-level courses in the history of art and/or architecture and one semester of college-level courses in
mathematics or physics is recommended for both Option I and Option II. Present Future is open to
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individuals who hold a professional degree in architecture or a baccalaureate degree in another field and
can demonstrate an interest in architectural research.
All applicants are required to complete an online application and submit the following documentation. An
application fee is required but may be waived for reasons of financial hardship. The graduate application
is available by the beginning of the second week of classes and graduate applications plus supporting
documentation are due by January 1.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Transcripts (official required, unofficial optional)
GRE scores
Digital portfolio (15 MB limit)
Personal statement
TOEFL scores
Option selection
Letters of recommendation
Students for which English is a second language must also agree to an on-line interview with RSA faculty
to insure language competency, if required by the graduate admissions committee.
The graduate admissions committee consists of three Option subcommittees (Option I, Option II, and
Present Future). The subcommittees consist of a minimum of four faculty members including two design
faculty from the core studio sequence (Arch 501 & 502 for Opt I and Arch 503 and 504 for Opt I) and a
history/theory faculty member. The committee is responsible for evaluating all application material and
submits a ranked list of acceptable candidates to the director of graduate studies. The list of
recommended candidates is first reviewed by all members of all three graduate admissions committees,
and then reviewed by the director of graduate studies and the dean with regard to financial aid requests
before final offers are made.
Option I Admission Statistics (2013-2015)
2014
2015
GRE (Percentile)
GPA TOEFL
67(A), 69(Q), 85(V)
3.5
112
Schools
Princeton University, University of California, Los Angeles, Middlebury College, Wesleyan
University, Brown University, University of California, Berkeley, Brown University,
Princeton University, University of North Carolina, Washington University in St. Louis,
University of Sheffield, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
39(A), 78(Q), 63(V)
3.6
107
Schools
Tongji University, Texas Tech University, Wellesley College, University of Minnesota,
South China University of Technology, Wesleyan University, Tsinghua University
Option I I Admission Statistics (2013-2015)
2014
GRE
GPA TOEFL
44(A), 70(Q), 71(V)
3.6
109
Schools
University of Virginia, University of Kentucky, University of California Los Angeles,
Judson University, University at Buffalo, University of Michigan, Texas A&M University,
University of Minnesota, Southeast University, University of Florida, CEPT University,
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Texas A&M University, Pratt Institute, Southeast University, China Central Academy of
Fine Arts
2015
50(A), 68(Q), 63(V)
3.7
105
Schools
University of New Mexico, McGill University, The University of Colorado, University of
Cincinnati, University of Kentucky, University of Cincinnati, Tongji University, Southeast
University, The Ohio State University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Moscow
Architectural Institute
II.4.7 Student Financial Information
Undergraduate Financial Aid Policies and Guidelines
Rice admits students under a need-blind admission process and meets 100% of demonstrated financial
need for admitted U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Rice also awards merit-based scholarships and
offers a variety of financing strategies for families regardless of financial aid eligibility.
All financial aid is administered by the university’s Office of Financial Aid, with the exception of two merit
scholarships given by the dean based on recommendations of the undergraduate admissions committee,
as well as travel stipends to assist students visiting the school for recruiting open houses.
Merit Based Aid: Rice offers merit-based awards to early and regular decision candidates whose
scholastic and personal achievements distinguish them as “impact people” in our highly competitive group
of admitted students. It is not necessary to file the financial aid forms to be considered for our merit
awards.
Need Based Aid: Eligibility assessments are made for admitted students when all items have been
received. A complete application for need-based financial aid consists of the following items:
•
•
•
The College Scholarship Service (CSS) PROFILE available on the web at
www.collegeboard.com. Students complete the PROFILE online.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Student and parent IRS 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ tax forms and W-2 forms should be submitted to
the College Board’s Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC).
Foreign Nationals: Rice University will offer need-based financial aid to a limited number of international
undergraduate applicants each year. Citizens of foreign countries who apply under Regular Decision and
request need-based aid will be reviewed as a separate group. There is no financial aid available for
international students applying under Early Decision.
Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are required to submit the following
documentation showing their sources of financial support:
•
•
•
•
62
Rice International Student Financial Statement
Appropriate supporting documentation
Regardless of an international applicant’s intention to request financial aid, the applicant must
submit the financial statement and supporting documentation of resources sufficient to cover the
costs of the first year of study before their files can be reviewed for admission.
International applicants requesting need-based financial aid must provide information on their
family financial status. In addition, international applicants requesting need-based financial aid
must submit the CSS Profile, which can be found at www.collegeboard.com.
Rice University
Architecture Program Report
September 2015
Because the number of need-based financial aid awards are limited, Rice does not offer admission to
some international applicants who are otherwise well qualified. We expect that the admission rate for
international applicants requesting aid is substantially lower than for those not requesting aid. Only those
students who apply for and receive financial aid for their freshman year are eligible to receive financial
assistance in subsequent years.
Graduate Financial Aid Policies and Guidelines
Graduate students at Rice can receive three types of financial assistance at Rice. The School of
Architecture, through the Office of Graduate Studies, offers Tuition Grants and Cash Stipends.
Through the Rice University Office of Financial Aid, students may apply for federally subsidized Stafford
Loans and Rice University Loans in amounts up to the full cost of tuition. Students are informed in their
initial offer letter of the projected cost of Tuition and of any Tuition Grants or Stipends that have been
awarded them.
The graduate coordinator, Nyeva Bembry, normally handles questions about financial aid. She is in
contact with prospective students regarding financial aid, meets with new students regarding financial aid
issues and, serves as a resource for financial aid issues throughout the student’s career at Rice.
General information about tuition, expenses and additional sources of funding are available through the
Rice University Office of Financial Aid.
Tuition Awards and Stipends: 2013- 2015
Tuition
Percentage of Students
Receiving Aid
Aggregate Aid Amount
2013
2014
2015
$1,018,131 ($82,500 is reallocation)
$1,119,838 ($38,000 is reallocation)
$1,102,541 (reallocation amt tbd)
III.1.1
$28,442
$29,290
$30,200
88% (admissions)
79% (admissions)
88% (admissions)
Annual Statistical Reports
Certification that all statistical data submitted by the Rice School of Architecture to NAAB in the required
Annual Statistical Reports has been verified by the institution and is consistent with institutional reports to
national and regional agencies, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System of the
National Center for Education Statistics, can be found here:
http://www.arch.rice.edu/Annual Statistical Reports
III.1.2 Interim Progress Reports
The Rice School of Architecture NAAB Interim Progress Reports are provided directly to the Visiting
Team by NAAB.
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Section 4. Supplemental Material
The information below can be found on Owlspace, a Rice University collaboration and course
management website. To log in, click on the link provided below then click “Non-Rice LOG-IN” in the
upper right hand corner. Select “2016 NAAB Visit” on the top blue menu bar, then “Resources” on the left
side menu. Log-in password and ID will be provided separately.
https://owlspace-ccm.rice.edu/portal
RSA Course Descriptions
Studio Culture Policy
Self-Assessment Policies and Objectives
Rice University Honor Code (Policy on academic integrity for students)
Information Resources (Please see Section 1.2.4 in APR)
Rice University EEO/AA Policies and Procedures for Faculty, Staff, and Students.
Rice University’s Policy on Human Resource Development Opportunities (sabbatical, research leave, and
scholarly achievements)
Rice University’s Policy, Procedures and Criteria for Faculty Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure
Response to the Offsite Program Questionnaire: Rice School of Architecture Paris (RSAP)
64
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