Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning

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College of Architecture and Planning (CAP)
The Architecture Building, looking northeast.
Established 1965
Type Academic College
Parent institution Ball State University
Dean Guillermo Vasquez de Velasco
Location North of University Green
40°12′16″N 85°24′25″W / 40.204517°N 85.407007°W / 40.204517; -85.407007Coordinates: 40°12′16″N 85°24′25″W / 40.204517°N 85.407007°W / 40.204517; -85.407007
Architect Birkey Associates & Crumlish/Sporleder and Associates
(Brutalism style)

The College of Architecture and Planning, also known as CAP, is an academic college of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana offering degrees in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Historic Preservation, and Urban Design, and is Indiana's only state-assisted Architecture school.[1]


In the mid-1960s, the Indiana General Assembly approved the development of a state-assisted architecture program at what was then Ball State Teacher's College. On March 23, 1965, the basis of the College of Architecture and Planning opened its doors in a converted reserve naval armory just north of the site of the current CAP building. CAP began with four instructors and only offered degrees in Architecture. In 1972, the west portion of the existing building was built, and an addition was added in 1980.[2] The College of Architecture and Planning has grown to house 700 students, as well as over 50 faculty members.

Degree programs[edit]

The College of Architecture and Planning offers many degree programs in the three departments:

  • Department of Architecture
    • Bachelor of Arts in Architecture
    • Bachelor of Science in Architecture
    • Master of Architecture
    • Master of Architecture II
    • Master of Science in Historic Preservation
    • Undergraduate Minor in Historic Preservation
  • Department of Landscape Architecture
    • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
    • Master of Landscape Architecture
    • Undergraduate Minor in Landscape Architecture
  • Department of Urban Planning
    • Bachelor of Urban Planning and Development
    • Master of Urban and Regional Planning
    • Undergraduate Minor in Urban Planning
    • Undergraduate Minor in Real Estate Development

The College also offers the interdisciplinary Master of Urban Design program and is a partner in the Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development program, both offered at the College's Indianapolis Center.

First Year Program[edit]

At the College of Architecture and Planning, all entry-level students are subjected to common course of study. Students entering the First Year Program will take classes introducing the professions in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. Students will also have to take four courses: two design studios and two design communication media classes. CAP 101 and CAP 102 are design studio courses to introduce environmental design and planning. CAP 161 and CAP 162 are design media courses which develop students' communication of ideas through diagramming, illustrating and other forms of media. Depending on when a student begins his/her CAP 101 and 161 classes, the student will either be a Farchy, Sparchy or AEP. These names originated by students: Farchys begin their design classes in the fall, Sparchys in the spring, and AEP (Accelerated Entry Program) have their design classes over summer sessions. At present the terms used to denote entry classes are falling out of use, especially as students progress through their selected majors.

Ranking and Recognitions[edit]

By tradition, the "CAP Sign," at the intersection of Neely and McKinley Avenues sports a new paint scheme each academic year.
  • Architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning are blended in a design college, and Ball State is unique in providing studios for urban planning.
  • Several CAP faculty members have been named fellows, presidents, officers, or board members of national professional organizations.


  • The Department of Architecture was ranked among the nation's top 15 architecture programs in the 2003 Almanac of Architecture and Design. The rankings were based on the hiring experiences of leading U.S. architecture firms, which cited programs that produced the most professional, best-prepared graduates over the past five years.
  • Ball State was cited as a national model for architecture education and practice in a special report by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • Ball State is a three-time winner of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Education Honor Award
  • Community-Based Projects earned a national Community Design Program Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture for combining "in-the-field" education with public service.

Landscape Architecture

  • In its 2009 edition of "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools", the journal DesignIntelligence ranked Ball State's undergraduate landscape architecture program eighth in the nation and its graduate landscape architecture program fifth.
  • The 2007 edition of "America's Best Architecture and Design Schools" named Malcolm Cairns, FASLA, Professor of Landscape Architecture, and past Chair of the Landscape Architecture, as one of the 2007 landscape architecture educators of the year.[3]

Urban Planning

  • The Muncie Urban Design Studio became the only university-based studio featured in a national online catalog of affordable housing designs, and MUDS has shared Indiana's top preservation award.[4]
  • Planetizen 2007 Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs ranked Ball State's Historic Preservation 7th among other preservation degrees.
  • Planetizen 2007 Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs ranked Ball State's Urban Planning program 17th nationwide[5]



In 2001 the College of Architecture and Planning opened the Indianapolis Center (CAP:IC), a university-based design center, in downtown Indianapolis. The Center provides immersive learning opportunities for students while working on community projects. The main goal of the center is to help change and recover urban spaces and to make models for sustainable urban life. It is home to the University's Master of Urban Design and Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development programs. In 2006 CAP:IC became a partner in the larger Ball State Indianapolis Center.

CAP:IC projects[edit]

  • East Washington Street Vision Plan
  • Indianapolis Regional Center Design Guidelines
  • Speedway Speedzone Development - Development for the areas just south of the Indianapolis Speedway
  • Historic Meridian Park Neighborhood Workshop
  • Alice Carter Place Park
  • Herron Resuse Study
  • Historic Irvington Neighborhood Plan
  • UNWA Neighborhood Plan
  • Central State Reuse Study
  • Indianapolis Regional Center Plan 2020


  • NUVO Cultural Vision Award, NUVO Newsweekly, 2004
  • Digital Education Achievement Award, Center for Digital Education, 2004
  • Hoosier Planning Award, Indiana Chapter of the American Planning Association, 2009
  • National Planning Award, American Planning Association, 2010

CAP Asia[edit]

CAP Asia is a ten week field-study that is offered during spring semester of every other year. Graduate and undergraduate students travel extensively through many South Asia countries and cities working "hand in hand with local schools, professionals, and educators" on collaborative projects rooted in both design and planning.[6] Nihal Perera is the director for this program. The program is made possible through Ball State University's Immersive Learning initiative that was implemented by President JoAnn Gora.[7]

CAP World Tour[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]