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The mission of the architecture program is to investigate critically the architectural systems and social forces that define sustainable built environments both locally and globally, while honoring cultural identities through teaching, research and practice.


The School of Architecture and Planning is an integral part of the University of New Mexico. While the University was founded by an act of the Territorial Legislature in 1889, the role of designing and building settlements in the Rio Grande valley has been prominent in the development of the region since statehood in 1912. The School has strong historic ties with both the College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts on the main campus. The University of New Mexico has been educating architects since the early part of the twentieth century.

  • 1937 - The first architectural concentration at UNM was established within the College of Fine Arts.

  • 1947 - A four-year architectural engineering program was approved within the College of Engineering and grew to an enrollment of 70 students.

  • 1956 - A five-year architectural program was established in the Division of Architecture, responsible to both the College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts.

  • 1967 - A six-year (4+2) program with the four-year undergraduate pre-professional degree leading to the professional degree of Master of Architecture was established. The program has been fully accredited since 1968. The following year, the Design and Planning Assistance Center was established—the center is now one of the country's oldest and most prestigious community design centers.

  • 1975 - The Department became an independent School with its own Dean, within the University. The School became a place where architecture and planning could exist in an atmosphere of mutual growth.

  • 1978 - A four-year undergraduate pre-professional degree of Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design was added to the School's offerings and the Institute for Environmental Education was founded.

  • 1980 - The School established a two-year graduate program leading to a Master of Community and Regional Planning. The newest degree program, Master of Landscape Architecture, was established in 1999.

ARE Pass Rates for the Architectural Registration Examination are listed online by school.

Career Development information is available at,,,,


In the United States, most state architecture registration boards require an accredited professional degree as a prerequisite for licensure. At UNM the accredited degree is the Master of Architecture. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards. Master’s degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree. The next accreditation visit is scheduled for the spring of 2018. NAAB conditions and procedures are available online. Our annual reports, and reports from the previous site visit are available at The Center for Southwest Research at Zimmerman Library under the call number LD3781.N565c688 [year].

Licensing for Architects

In the State of New Mexico and most other states, an applicant for examination for registration as an architect must have a professional degree from an architectural program accredited by NAAB and also a National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) certificate showing compliance with Intern Development Program (IDP) training requirements.