School of Architecture and Planning

Geraldine Forbes Isais, Dean
School of Architecture and Planning
MSC04 2530
2401 Central NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
(505) 277-2903, FAX (505) 277-0076


The School of Architecture and Planning is the only institution in New Mexico granting professional degrees in architecture, planning and landscape architecture. The School is committed to preparing students who will assume leadership roles in the professions, become responsible citizens, and contribute their knowledge and expertise as members of diverse communities. The programs and faculty of the School are nationally recognized for design excellence, scholarship, and the advancement of practices essential in achieving sustainable development and design.

There is growing public awareness of the underlying importance of the built environment on the quality of life. Design and planning decisions that are critical to the advancement of civilization are both wide-ranging and complex. Cities and communities are increasingly dependent upon qualified professionals capable of meeting the challenges of future development and change. The fields of architecture, planning, landscape architecture and environmental design provide essential skills and knowledge necessary in understanding the complex relationships between people and the built and natural environments.

The School’s mission is to provide an excellent educational experience that is enabling and inspired by a solid base of scholarship, research and professional practice. The underlying academic philosophy of the School is keyed to three primary objectives: to elevate the aesthetic, ethical and theoretical foundations of our professions; to understand the significance of ecological and social conditions in planning and design decisions; and to be responsive to the culture and history of New Mexico and the region. The faculty of the School is committed to increasing public awareness of the importance of the natural and built environment and the relationship of design to societal needs and aspirations.

Academic Programs

The academic programs are deeply rooted in the traditions and environment of this region–an unparalleled cultural heritage, diverse and resplendent natural landscapes, the unique, historic urban settlements of Albuquerque and Santa Fe and the spectacular climates of the arid Southwest.

Undergraduate Degrees

The School offers two undergraduate degree programs, the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Planning and Design (B.A.E.P.D.) and the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (B.A.A.).

Undergraduate architecture students can elect one of two concentrations:  Pre-Professional Architecture and Design Studies.  

The Pre-Professional Architecture Concentration is for student who want to pursue a professionally accredited Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree.  The M.Arch. degree is required to become a licensed architect.  B.A.A. students admitted to UNM's M.Arch. degree program receive advanced standing.  The B.A.A. degree can also lead to advanced standing in the Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.) degree program.

The Design Studies Concentration is for students who are interested in other scales of design, or professions related to the built environment.  Students can develop a focus area to prepare them for the professional world, or for a graduate program in a variety of fields such as interior design, urban design, industrial design, landscape architecture, digital media, digital fabrication, energy modeling, construction management, real estate development, and other disciplines.

Students interested in pursuing careers in either Planning or Landscape Architecture are encouraged to apply to the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Planning and Design program at the undergraduate level. Recognizing the need for a multidisciplinary education to prepare students for a broad spectrum of environmental and development issues, the B.A.E.P.D. also serves those interested in pursuing a variety of career opportunities or future specialized graduate studies.

Graduate Degrees

The faculty is organized according to the three professional programs–Architecture, Community and Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture–in offering the degrees Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), Master of Science in Architecture (M.S.), Master of Community and Regional Planning (M.C.R.P.), and Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.). Individuals who hold (or will soon receive) an accredited undergraduate degree in any subject area are eligible to apply directly to these programs.

The school also offers two graduate certificate programs, Historic Preservation and Regionalism and Urban and Regional Design. These certificate programs are opportunities for interdisciplinary study in areas that are directly applicable to the special needs of the state and region. Other opportunities for multidisciplinary study are available through the School’s professional and dual degree programs.


The curricula of the School develop abilities necessary to analyze and synthesize issues essential to the planning and design professions. Students become conversant with concepts and methods that will enable them to address complexities of historical and cultural contexts as well as behavioral, technological and socioeconomic factors. Courses are intended to nurture students’ creative efforts, intellectual development, and judgment in individual and collective efforts to craft the built environment. While developing these skills, students are expected to perform within a set of ethics consistent with community-based values and the necessity for fostering sustainable environments.

Working with the faculty, students develop a strong awareness of “place” and place-making. Courses and projects frequently utilize historic urban areas such as Albuquerque and Santa Fe as well as rural communities and landscapes throughout the Southwest Region as laboratories for learning fundamental concepts and analytical methods.

Various courses offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are available to majors in other disciplines as well as practitioners. The School provides continuing education for professionals as well as educational opportunities directed toward part-time and non-traditional students.

Students typically engage in traditional and non-traditional educational programs in the summer. These may include international travel and exchange programs; off-campus workshops and field studies; and internships in professional offices and public agencies.

Honors and Special Recognition

For undergraduate students to be placed on the Dean’s List in the School of Architecture and Planning, students must achieve a 3.5 grade point average or higher based on a minimum of 15 credit hours (graded) in one semester. Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the School who meet the eligibility requirements are also nominated for membership in Tau Sigma Delta, a national honor society that recognizes high scholastic achievement in the design and planning fields. In addition, the School’s professional programs annually grant special honors and other awards to deserving students.

Degree Programs

Undergraduate Degrees

Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (pre-professional)
Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Planning and Design

Graduate Degrees

Master of Architecture (professional)
Master of Science in Architecture (non-professional)
Master of Community and Regional Planning (professional)
Master of Landscape Architecture (professional and post-professional)

Graduate Certificates

Urban and Regional Design
Historic Preservation and Regionalism


The Office of Community Outreach

The office of Community Outreach is comprised of the following centers:

The Design and Planning Assistance Center (DPAC): The interdisciplinary Design and Planning Assistance Center (DPAC) was created in 1969 by the Architecture Program at the University of New Mexico, with support from the Albuquerque Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. DPAC was formed in response to the urgent need for architectural and planning services to assist communities and non-profit groups in New Mexico. DPAC provides opportunities through employment and coursework for students to work on projects under faculty direction with community, agency, and client group representatives.

CityLab: A partnership between the City of Albuquerque and the School of Architecture and Planning, CityLab is a studio in the heart of downtown Albuquerque. It is a unique opportunity for students in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Community and Regional Planning to participate in classes, seminars and work with the city on issues around Albuquerque’s growth and revitalization.

Indigenous Design and Planning Institute (iD+Pi): iD+Pi is a new initiative of the School of Architecture and Planning. It was created in the Fall of 2011. Its goal is to educate and inform Indigenous design and planning by engaging faculty, students, professionals and community leaders in culturally responsive practices. Its three principal areas of activity are academic, professional, and tribal.

iD+Pi works in an interdisciplinary fashion with the three major programs in the School of Architecture and Planning by providing a learning environment for students, faculty and professionals to engage, its activities serve to inform Indigenous design and planning practice.

Tribes which are located principally in New Mexico and the Southwest are afforded the expertise and resources of the School to support projects that entail aspects of design and planning. The overarching goal of this activity is to foster sustainable communities among Indigenous populations- communities guided by principles of social justice distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. For more information visit the iD+Pi Web site.

The Resource Center for Raza Planning (RCRP): RCRP, a center within the School of Architecture and Planning, was established to contribute to the community development efforts of traditional communities in New Mexico. The Center promotes integration between higher education and traditional communities through the application of planning processes and techniques. RCRP conceives planning as multidisciplinary, intergenerational, directly responsive to community needs, and developed through ongoing, long-term relationships.

Course Work in Other Departments

Students are encouraged to take course work in other schools and colleges of the University. The School of Architecture and Planning, through advisement, counsels students to participate in complementary programs in other schools or departments if such studies are appropriate to the overall interests and needs of the student.

Assistantships and Financial Aid

Graduate students in good standing in the School of Architecture and Planning are eligible to apply for assistantships. A number of merit based scholarships are also available. Contact the School or Financial Aid Office for additional information on financial aid, assistantships and scholarships.

Laptop and Software Requirements

Students in all degree programs of the School of Architecture and Planning are required to own or have unlimited access to a laptop computer. The School recommends that all laptop computers meet a minimum specification. The minimum specification is published on the School’s Web site. Under “Resources,” software requirements are specific to each academic program and/or to individual instructors. Software requirements should be communicated in program policies and faculty syllabi.

Associated Departments


Community and Regional Planning

Landscape Architecture

Graduate Certificate Program

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Office of the Registrar

MSC 11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-8900
Fax: (505) 277-6809