In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.
Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union offers the following NAAB-accredited degree program:
Bachelor of Architecture (160 undergraduate credits)
The next accreditation visit for this program will be in 2024.
The NAAB expects programs to be transparent and accountable in the information provided to students, faculty, and the public. As a result, the following seven conditions require all NAAB-accredited programs to make certain information publicly available online.
II.4.1 Statement on NAAB-Accredited Degrees
All institutions offering a NAAB-accredited degree program or any candidacy program must include the exact language found in the NAAB 2014 Conditions for Accreditation, Appendix 1, in catalogs and promotional media. See above.
II.4.2 Access to NAAB Conditions and Procedures
The program must make the following documents electronically available to all students, faculty, and the public:
The 2009 Conditions for Accreditation (in effect at the time of the last visit)
The Procedures for Accreditation (edition currently in effect)
II.4.3 Access to Career Development Information
The program must demonstrate that students and graduates have access to career development and placement services that help them develop, evaluate, and implement career, education, and employment plans. See The Center for Career Development
II.4.4 Public Access to APRs and VTRs
To promote transparency in the process of accreditation in architecture education, the program is required to make the following documents electronically available to the public:
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
NCARB publishes pass rates for each section of the Architect Registration Examination by institution. This information is considered useful to prospective students as part of their planning for higher/postsecondary education in architecture. Therefore, programs are required to make this information available to current and prospective students and the public by linking their web sites to the results.
II.4.6. Admissions and Advising
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. See Admissions
Admissions requirements, admissions decisions procedures, including policies and processes for evaluation of transcripts and portfolios (where required), and decisions regarding remediation and advanced standing. See School of Architecture Academic Standards and Regulations
Forms and a description of the process for the evaluation of preprofessional degree content. See School of Architecture Academic Standards and Regulations
Student Diversity Initiatives
See below, excerpted from President Sparks' communication Opportunities for Involvement in Cooper's Future, dated April 6, 2017
New Diversity & Inclusion Task Force
Late last year, the Faculty Student Senate passed a resolution recommending we take a closer look at gender diversity issues in engineering admissions. I support the resolution and am eager to better understand this issue. I am also expanding the exploration of diversity issues college wide and establishing a new Diversity & Inclusion Task Force to help us do so. Diversity is a central feature of Cooper Union's legacy and historic mission. It's also an area where, I believe, we must lead. The structure and approach for this Task Force is being developed now and will launch shortly. The goal is to engage faculty, students and staff in a process that examines diversity and inclusion in our community in order to develop an actionable plan that drives us toward excellence by promoting inclusive practices across all facets of Cooper Union operations, pedagogy, and student support. Look for more information to come on this initiative in the coming weeks, including how you can get involved.
Requirements and forms for applying for financial aid and scholarships. See Financial Aid
II.4.7 Student Financial Information
The program must demonstrate that students have access to information and advice for making decisions regarding financial aid. See Financial Aid
The program must demonstrate that students have access to an initial estimate for all tuition, fees, books, general supplies, and specialized materials that may be required during the full course of study for completing the NAAB-accredited degree program. See Financial Aid