UTA’s Master of Architecture program receives STEM designation from state board

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2019 • Herb Booth : UT Arlington Media Relations

A change in designation for the Master of Architecture degree at The University of Texas at Arlington will increase scholarship and research opportunities for students and faculty.

The College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs has received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to designate the Master of Architecture program as one whose curriculum is significantly anchored in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. UTA is one of just three universities in Texas to receive that designation for its architecture master’s program.

The move will enable faculty and students to compete for STEM-discipline grants from entities such as the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, National Institutes of Health and others.

CAPPA Dean Adrian Parr said this designation will strengthen and expand the college’s cross-disciplinary research.

“Collaborative research endeavors with civil engineering’s architectural engineering program will benefit as well,” Parr said. “Expanded scholarship opportunities also will be available for students, especially those from underrepresented groups within the STEM professions.”

Because of the STEM designation, international students in the program will be granted an additional 24 months of Optional Practice Training, allowing them to seek employment for a total of 36 months after graduating. This enhanced ability of American architectural firms to hire and retain talented international UTA alumni for up to three years increases the value of a UTA graduate degree in architecture, both for employers and alumni.

“The designation recognizes our program’s strong emphasis on the STEM areas of digital fabrication, environmental systems, structural systems and materials research and construction,” Parr said.