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 term, an eight-year term with conditions, or a two-year term of continuing accreditation, or a three-year term of initial accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established education standards.
Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a non-accredited undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the non-accredited 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 2025.
The NAAB expects programs to be transparent and accountable in the information provided to students, faculty, and the public. As a result, all NAAB-accredited programs are required to ensure that the following information is posted online and is easily available to the public.
6.1 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 Conditions for Accreditation, 2020 Edition, Appendix 2, in catalogs and promotional media, including the program’s website. See above.
6.2 Access to NAAB Conditions and Procedures
The program must make the following documents available to all students, faculty, and the public, via the program’s website:
a) Conditions for Accreditation, 2020 Edition
b) Conditions for Accreditation in effect at the time of the last visit
c) Procedures for Accreditation, 2020 Edition
d) Procedures for Accreditation in effect at the time of the last visit
6.3 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
6.4 Public Access to Accreditation Reports and Related Documents
To promote transparency in the process of accreditation in architecture education, the program must make the following documents available to all students, faculty, and the public, via the program’s
a) All Interim Progress Reports and narratives of Program Annual Reports submitted since the last team visit
b) All NAAB responses to any Plan to Correct and any NAAB responses to the Program Annual Reports since the last team visit
c) The most recent decision letter from the NAAB
d) The Architecture Program Report submitted for the last visit
e) The final edition of the most recent Visiting Team Report, including attachments and addenda
f) The program’s optional response to the Visiting Team Report - not applicable
g) Plan to Correct - not applicable
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.
i) Statements and/or policies on learning and teaching culture
Academic Standards and Regulations
About The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture
Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Architecture
Bachelor of Architecture Program Description
Facilities and Resources
Facilities and Resources: Studios
j) Statements and/or policies on diversity, equity, and inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion
Anti-Racism in Thesis Workshop
A Manifesto and Call to Action
Cabinet Response to the Student Letter of June 8, 2020
Juneteenth at Cooper
Standing with the Asian Community
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.
(Excerpted from President Sparks' communication Opportunities for Involvement in Cooper's Future, dated April 6, 2017)
6.5 Admissions and Advising
The program must publicly document all policies and procedures that govern the evaluation of applicants for admission to the accredited program. These procedures must include first-time, first-year students as well as transfers from within and outside the institution. This documentation must include the following:
a) Application forms and instructions
b) Admissions requirements; admissions-decisions procedures, including policies and processes for evaluation of transcripts and portfolios (when required); and decisions regarding remediation and advanced standing
c) Forms and a description of the process for evaluating the content of a non-accredited degrees
d) Requirements and forms for applying for financial aid and scholarships
e) Explanation of how student diversity goals affect admission procedures
6.6 Student Financial Information
6.6.1 The program must demonstrate that students have access to current resources and advice for making decisions about financial aid. See Financial Aid and Financial Aid at Cooper
6.6.2 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 2022-23 Tuition & Fees.