Architecture & Community Planning

Mission and Overview

Accreditation Requirements


Curriculum Map

Faculty and Research Staff

Activities & Accomplishments

BA in Urban Sustainability


The Urban Architecture and Community Planning program seeks to educate the next generation of architects with an emphasis on developing the sustainable infrastructure and urban sustainability initiatives of the District of Columbia and urban areas around the world.

The Program

The Urban Architecture & Community Planning program teaches students to utilize design as a tool for creating sustainable urban environments. Through research-based collaboration with partners across various fields such as environmental studies and agriculture, students within the program are constantly exploring new solutions for sustainability in urban settings. As the program is housed within the only urban land-grant institution in the nation, a major focus of the program is the relationship between architecture and urban agriculture. In specific, the program is intended to give rise to solutions for farming and food security in urbanized areas.

The faculty believe that urban architecture and design is a rigorous act of creativity, research, and scholarship. This process is informed by a desire to improve the lives of the residents of the District of Columbia by providing sustainable and healthy environments. We also recognize the plurality of cultures in the District and the world, and respond accordingly.

Our land grant center, the Center for Architectural Innovation and Building Science (CAIBS) offers a research and community service agenda that utilizes the university’s human resources and capital assets to support the District of Columbia’s mission of providing affordable and energy efficient shelter to its citizens.

As a UDC Academic Center of Excellence, the Department of Agriculture and Sustainability exemplifies the university’s urban land grant mission. Indeed, in addition to the academic program, the department provides a city-wide forum for exchange, debate and outreach education about critical cultural and social issues that frame community planning and design.

Program of Study

The University of the District of Columbia offers a Bachelor of Science in Architecture pre-professional degree (B.Sc. Arch.) and a Master of Architecture degree (M.Arch.). The M.Arch program is currently under consideration for accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), and anticipates receiving full accreditation in by 2018. For more information reference the NAAB website.

The B.Sc. Arch degree program is a four-year program and requires 120 credit hours. The full program can be viewed here.

The M.Arch (track I) program is for students with a pre-professional degree in architecture. The program has a duration of three year and requires 49 credit hours. The full program can be viewed here.

For students with a non-architecture undergraduate degree, we offer an accelerated program of study in our M.Arch (track II). This program requires 85 credit hours to complete. The full program can be viewed here.

NOTE: The program was recently granted Continuation of Candidacy status from the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB)

Admission and Advising

Prospective students for the Master of Architecture (M. Arch.) program may be admitted to one of two curricula, depending on their previous education. Admission to either graduate program requires an online application and supporting materials, which will allow our faculty to assess the potential of an applicant and his/her compatibility with our program, and determine the proper curriculum for that student. Step-by-step instructions may be found at: Specific graduate architecture program admission and qualification requirements can be found here.

BA in Urban Sustainability

Academic Program Overview

Mission and Overview


Curriculum Map

Faculty and Research Staff

Activities & Accomplishments

The B.A. in Urban Sustainability offers students a broadly defined degree option at the bachelor’s degree level that indicates their interest in a career in the sustainable development, urban development, and environmental management field.

This Meta-Major can be easily combined with a minor in various academic fields represented in CAUSES, CAS, SEAS, and SBPA. The degree offers the student a path toward degree completion in an area of their interest, while also allowing the student to build on the academic credit earned at UDC and/or at academic institutions other than UDC. The B.A. in Urban Sustainability is highly interdisciplinary, yet offers sufficient content focus to prepare students for career success in the fast emerging sustainability field that cuts across virtually every career filed, including construction and building trades, law, health, planning management, and a range of other fields.”

Graduates of this program will be well prepared to succeed in their chosen field of study and stand out by having distinctive attributes and competencies. CAUSES graduates are:

  •  Global citizens committed to local relevance
  •  Adept as solving urban problems
  • Committed to health & wellness and Food & water security
  • Skilled at navigating diverse social, cultural, built and natural environments
  •  Independent thinkers and collaborative team players
  • Adaptive lifelong learners

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CAUSES Academic Programs

RN to BS in Nursing – Dr. Pier Broadnax, Program Director
Nutrition and Dietetics - Nancy Chapman, Program Director
Urban Architecture and Community Planning - Dr. Susan Kliman, Program Director
PSM in Water Resources Management - Dr. Tolessa Deksissa, Director
Health Education - Dr. Wilmer Johnson, Program Director

CAUSES Land-grant Programs

Center for Urban Agriculture & Gardening Education – Che' Axum, Director
Center for Sustainable Development & Resilience – Dr. Dwane Jones, Director
Water Resources Research Institute – Dr. Tolessa Deksissa, Director
Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health - Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord, Director
Institute of Gerontology - Claudia John, Director
Center for 4-H and Youth Development – Rebecca Bankhead, Director
Center for Architectural Innovation and Building Science (CAIBS) - Clarence Pearson, Director

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