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Director's Message

Now is the time to study architecture. 

An architectural education is meaningful in the 21st century because the process of learning to design involves complex problem solving, critical thinking and visualization – much sought-after skills that can help society address important social, cultural and environmental challenges. 

At its core, architecture is a mix of art, science, social sciences, anthropology, history, theory, engineering, business, poetry, mathematics and philosophy.  In recent years, university leaders around the world have been discussing the importance of interdisciplinary thinking and practice.  Yet when university administrators look around them, they find that their architecture programs are inherently interdisciplinary – and great models for initiatives in other academic units.

Like other disciplines and professions, economic downturns impact the world of architecture, but according to a 2014-15 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, architects will experience some of the highest pay increases and the fastest growth in the job market between now and 2022.  People with architecture degrees rank right up there with health care workers, computer scientists and engineers.  In addition, the average graduate with an architecture degree makes between $3,000 and $5,000 more per year than the average person with a business degree.

Now is the time to study architecture at UNM. 

At UNM we want to shape future design leaders.  The rigorous design training you can receive at UNM is already helping our graduates take on complex problems that are putting them in leadership positions. UNM architecture alumni have found successful careers as licensed architects, real estate developers, artists, web designers, fabricators, community leaders, set designers, construction management professionals.  Our program has a strong reputation for providing a quality education.  UNM architecture students receive a lot of personal attention due to a low student / teacher ratio.  We offer degrees for both graduate and undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in Architecture.

The tuition in the architecture program is substantially lower than our peer schools, even compared to other public institutions.  This makes a UNM architecture degree a great value in this era of rising costs in higher education. In addition, non-resident students can convert to receive in-state tuition after 12 months.

At UNM we have faculty with advanced degrees from the top architecture schools in the country. They have a wide range of backgrounds, interests and experiences.  Some are native New Mexicans who know the region well, and others come from all four corners of the U.S. and from various countries abroad.  Many of our dedicated faculty members have national reputations in their areas of expertise, ranging from digital fabrication to sustainability, and from public interest design to offsite construction. Yet all are focused on design as their primary agenda.  Our students are never bored. They often find their minds stretched in ways that they did not necessarily expect.  Learning to design can be invigorating and exciting.

The architecture program is housed in our iconic building -- George Pearl Hall, designed by internationally renowned architect Antoine Predock.  Pearl Hall is located right on historic Route 66.  It provides us with a dynamic 21st century learning environment equipped with generous design studio spaces and natural light in all directions.  From the top floor, you get a fantastic view of the Sandia Mountains to the east, and to the west, the Rio Grande valley, distant hills and mesas.  The building houses the latest design and fabrication tools, including various methods of digital fabrication and other modes of making.  The newest addition to Pearl Hall is a metalworking shop.

Now is the time to study architecture in New Mexico. 

New Mexico is a place of exquisite beauty and stark contrasts: the great houses of Chaco Canyon juxtaposed with the Very Large Array radio telescope; verdant strands of Bosque and farmland along the Rio Grande Valley abruptly shift to arid high desert.  

Albuquerque is situated at the foothills of the Sandia Wilderness Area, where one can go skiing in the winter, biking in three seasons and hiking year-round.  The city provides endless opportunities to experience art, music, local food and natural beauty.  Local resources include the restored Old Town district, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, a world class biological park, a zoo, a science center and museum of natural history.  Situated on a high plateau (higher elevation than Denver), the city experiences four distinct seasons, and moderate weather. 

Two National Research Laboratories – Sandia and Los Alamos – are close by, offering vast technological and entrepreneurial expertise.

Within striking distance for a day trip or weekend excursion you’ll find Santa Fe, Taos, Taos Ski Valley, Acoma Pueblo, Los Alamos, Abiquiu, mountains and valleys with hiking paths, as well as various national parks, national forests, and a national grassland.  Slightly further afield you’ll find Mesa Verde, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Las Cruces and the Four Corners area.

There are many reasons to consider applying to the UNM architecture program.  We welcome questions via email and in-person visits to our building. 

On behalf of the faculty, staff and students I’d like to welcome you and thank you for your interest in the University of New Mexico Architecture Program.

John Quale, Director and Professor of Architecture:

For questions about graduate admissions, please contact:

Beth Rowe:

For undergraduate admissions, contact:

Angela Pacheco: