University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture

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The University of Texas at Austin
School of Architecture
UT Austin School of Architecture Logo.png
Type Public
Established 1948
Dean Frederick R. Steiner
Administration Michael Oden, Associate Dean for Research and Operations
Elizabeth Danze, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs
Juan Miro, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs
Jeff Evelyn, Assistant Dean for Administration
Academic staff
Students 665
Undergraduates 321
Postgraduates 344
Location Austin (pop. 885,400)[1], Texas
Nickname UTSOA
Goldsmith Hall from the West Mall
Eden & Hal Box Courtyard in Goldsmith Hall
Goldsmith Hall from Inner Campus Drive
Sutton Hall from Inner Campus Drive
Sutton Hall, south side
Interior of the Architecture & Planning Library in Battle Hall

The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture (UTSOA) is a college within The University of Texas at Austin, with its major facilities located on the main university campus in Austin, Texas.

UTSOA's dean is Frederick R. Steiner, a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Dean Steiner received his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in city and regional planning and a Master of Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a Master of Community Planning and a B.S. in Design from the University of Cincinnati. Dean Steiner was also awarded an honorary M.Phil. in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic. In Fall 2013, Dean Steiner served as the William A. Bernoudy Architect in Residence at the American Academy in Rome.

UTSOA has more than 700 graduate and undergraduate students. There are approximately 50 full-time, and 35 adjunct and part-time faculty members. The student/faculty ratio is 11:1. The school has six faculty members that are Rome Fellows, including Dean Fritz Steiner, adjunct professor Coleman Coker, associate professors Hope Hasbruck, Mirka Benes, Nichole Wiedemann, and most recently, 2014-15 recipient Vincent C. Snyder.

The school is located within the historical core of The University of Texas at Austin campus. As part of the 40 Acres, the college fully occupies Goldsmith Hall, Sutton Hall, and Battle Hall. In 2007, Battle Hall was listed as one of America’s Top 150 Favorite Works of Architecture by The American Institute of Architects (AIA),[2] however, the building, according to the dean, "is suffering from the symptoms of old age and desperately needs rehabilitation."[3] UTSOA also occupies part of the West Mall Office Building. Efforts for the preservation of Battle Hall and the West Mall Office building began in 2010.

Two of these buildings were designed by Cass Gilbert and another by Paul Philippe Cret. Cret is credited as the designer of the campus master plan for The University of Texas at Austin, and helped to build the Beaux-Arts-style Main Building tower. Cret collaborated with Herbert M. Greene (of Texas firm Greene, LaRoche, and Dahl) and UTSOA Class of 1921 alumnus Robert Leon White for several of his projects.

UTSOA celebrated its centennial in 2010.


In 1910, The University of Texas at Austin College of Engineering began offering a professional degree in architecture. Two years later, the program had over 30 registered students. The school was expanded over the next two decades under the leadership of Frederick Giesecke and Goldwin Goldsmith. In 1925, the school became the first in Texas to be accepted for membership in the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. The program was accredited in 1935 by the National Architectural Accreditation Board. The school moved into its permanent home in the Architecture Building (Goldsmith Hall) in 1933 and became the School of Architecture in 1948.[4] The school's first graduate is Bertram Ernest Giesecke.

Deans, Directors, and Chairmen[edit]

  • Hugo F. Kuehne, Chairman (1910 - May 1912)
  • F.E. Giesecke, Chairman (June 1912 - August 1928)
  • T.U. Taylor, Acting Chairman (September 1927 - May 1928)
  • Goldwin Goldsmith, Chairman (June 1928 - May 1935)
  • Walter T. Rolfe, Chairman (June 1935 - May 1946)
  • Hugh McMath, Chairman (June 1946 - June 1950)
  • Robert Talley, Acting Director (July 1950 - August 1951)
  • Harwell Hamilton Harris, Director (September 1951 - June 1955)
  • Hugh McMath, Acting Director (July 1955 - July 1956)
  • Philip D. Creer, Dean (August 1956 - August 1967)
  • Alan Y. Taniguchi, Director (September 1967 - August 1968)
  • Alan Y. Taniguchi, Dean (September 1968 - May 1972)
  • Sinclair Black, Acting Dean (June 1972 - July 1973)
  • Charles Burnette, Dean (August 1973 - December 1975)
  • John A. Gallery, Acting Dean (January 1976 - August 1976)
  • Harold "Hal" Box, Dean (September 1976 -1992)
  • Lawrence Speck, Dean (1992 - July 2001)
  • Frederick "Fritz" Steiner, Dean (August 2001 – Present)[5]

Facilities, Research Units, Libraries, and Centers[edit]

UTSOA is home to:

  • The Center for American Architecture and Design (CAAD), which focuses on architectural history, theory, and criticism. The CAAD produces a series of publications and hosts several symposia annually—including Latitudes, an international conference that explores American modern architecture);
  • The Center for Sustainable Development (CSD), which advocates balance in the study of the environment, social equity, economics, and design aesthetics. The CSD’s two Thermal Labs help the UTSOA community analyze energy efficiency in building materials and architectural designs. Additionally, the CSD offers a summer Public Interest Design Program for advanced students from across the nation who are interested in the built environment and public service;
  • The University Co-op Materials Resource Center, which has over 27,000 pieces of literature and material samples available for research within the UTSOA community. The MatLab is home to the Architectural Conservation Lab, a research space often utilized by students enrolled in UTSOA's Historic Preservation Program;
  • The Alexander Architectural Archives, is a unit of The University of Texas Libraries within the Architecture & Planning Library. The archives support research and education about the history of the built environment by acquiring and preserving research collections and by making them accessible. The archives also support learning opportunities and scholarly activities for students studying preservation of the cultural record and archival enterprise.
  • The Architecture & Planning Library, is a research branch of The University of Texas Libraries system. Providing over 100,000 volumes with over 20,000 in Special Collections, the Architecture & Planning Library serves the academic and research needs of scholars and professionals in the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and planning, as well as those whose focus is in the history of art and American studies. The library also hosts over 200 current periodical subscriptions in its reading room.
  • Visual Resources Collection, a library resource that contains over 250,000 slides and 100,000 digitized images.

The Austin Historical Survey Wiki is a partnership between UTSOA, The University of Texas at Austin School of Information, the City of Austin, and Preservation Austin, formerly the Heritage Society of Austin. The wiki enables visitors to search for and contribute information about historic buildings, sites, and landscapes as part of a collaborative effort to share the history of the City of Austin with others.

UTSOA is also partnered with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Sustainable SITES Initiative, which aims to use water management, biodiversity protection, and pollution reduction techniques based on green building standards set by the aforementioned City of Austin and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). SITES' mission is to transform land development, site components, and management practices with a national rating system for sustainable landscapes.

Student Organizations[edit]

UTSOA student organizations include:

  • Undergraduate Architecture Student Council (UASC) serves as a nucleus for student activities and acts as a liaison between students and faculty members, as well as administrators;
  • Graduate School of Architecture Representative Council (GSARC) is an advocacy group charged with serving the school by supporting the voice of graduate students;
  • Alpha Rho Chi (APX) is a professional/social co-ed fraternity for architecture and the allied arts. The Dinocrates Chapter at The University of Texas at Austin unites students from various years and studies through philanthropic and professional activities;
  • Ampersand combines the student chapters of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). They provide students with networking opportunities and promote involvement within the interior design community;
  • National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) strives to enhance educational and professional networking for students from diverse backgrounds;
  • Global Architecture Brigades is a student-led design/build organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in developing nations through the design of sustainable, socially responsible solutions to architectural problems;
  • Community and Regional Planning Student Organization (CRPSO) works to host a variety of activities and address student concerns. CRPSO representatives also address broader student issues with program administrators and faculty;
  • Student Historic Preservation Association represents Historic Preservation graduate students, but is open to students from all programs in the school;
  • ISSUE: is an annual student publication featuring graduate and undergraduate student work. Its intent is to foster interaction and exchange of ideas among students and record the intellectual activities of the school.
  • "'Tau Sigma Delta'" is an honors society for advanced students pursuing architectural study and the allied arts;
  • American Society of Landscape Architects Student Chapter is an organization for students of landscape architecture; and the
  • American Institute of Architect Students (AIAS) is a professional organization whose mission is to promote excellence, appreciation, and advancement of architecture and to enrich communities in a spirit of collaboration

Study Abroad and Other Opportunities[edit]

  • Study in Italy is a semester at the Santa Chiara Study Center in Tuscany, approximately an hour from Florence. The program allows for the study of design, history, and visual communication, while the Center provides a campus environment and a base for travel throughout Italy.
  • Europe Program is a semester of study that emphasizes a broad and integrated experience covering the buildings and landscapes (as well as the urban fabric) across Europe.
  • Studio Mexico includes a 4-5 week travel component during which participants visit pre-Columbian sites, 16th century churches, small villages and contemporary architecture in Mexico.
  • Sustainable Architecture and Design in Munich is a 6-9 week faculty-led summer program

In addition, the Study Abroad Office at The University of Texas at Austin offers faculty-led programs and facilitates exchanges with various foreign institutions.

  • Professional Residency Program provides upper-level architecture students with the opportunity of a 6-7 month internship to expand their education through work experience in the architectural profession. Over the past twenty years, students have been linked with 260 firms in 29 countries.[6]
  • Design Build opportunities offer educational experiences where students, design and construct architectural projects. Most recently, the school has been involved with the United States Department of Energy 2015 Solar Decathlon, The Alley Flat Initiative, and Design>Build>Texas.
  • Summer Academy in Architecture is a community outreach program that introduces students of all ages to the architecture and design fields as a possible career. Summer Academy has an average student-to-teacher ratio of 10:1. The program helps students develop drawing and model-building skills; one assignment includes constructing a sturdy cardboard bridge that is able to support the average human’s weight, without any adhesive.


UTSOA degree programs include:



  • Master of Architecture I/II - A four-year first-professional or two post-professional degree
  • Master of Landscape Architecture - A three-year first-professional or two year post-professional degree
  • Master of Interior Design - A two-year post-professional degree
  • Master of Arts in Architectural History - Ordinarily completed in two years and requires a minimum of 30 hours of coursework, reading knowledge of a foreign language, and a thesis
  • Master of Science - In Architectural Studies, Historic Preservation, Urban Design, Sustainable Design, and Community & Regional Planning
  • Doctor of Philosophy - In Architectural History, Historic Preservation, and Community & Regional Planning

Additionally, there are multiple dual degree graduate programs. The school also added a certificate program in Latin American Architecture in Fall 2013.


All undergraduate applications are evaluated with emphasis on the following areas: SAT or ACT scores, class rank, essays, academic preparation, extracurricular activities, and other achievements. Out of approximately 1,000 freshman applicants, 95 students are admitted. External transfer admission is offered to a few qualified applicants each year. Portfolios are not accepted from freshman applicants.[7]

Graduate programs accept applications only for the fall semester. Applicants to all graduate degree programs are evaluated on The University of Texas requirements for graduate admissions. Most admitted graduate students have at least a 3.0 GPA in their higher-level college work. For example, the average GPA of a student admitted into the First-Professional Master of Architecture program is a 3.68.[8]

Program Rankings[edit]

In 2012, UTSOA’s undergraduate Architecture Program was ranked second in the nation[9] according to DesignIntelligence. The graduate Architecture Program was eleventh, and the Community and Regional Planning Program was fifteenth. UTSOA Assistant Professor Hope Hasbrouck and Distinguished Teaching Professor Lawrence Speck were also recognized as being among DesignIntelligence’s “25 Most Admired Educators of 2012.”[10]

In 2013, DesignIntelligence ranked the undergraduate Architecture Program sixth; the graduate Architecture Program eleventh; the undergraduate Interior Design Program sixth; and the graduate Landscape Architecture Program thirteenth. In the Dean’s Survey, the aforementioned undergraduate Interior Design Program was ranked fourth “for excellent faculty, resources, and studio culture.”[11] UTSOA Assistant Professor Allan Shearer was named one of the “30 Most Admired Educators” for 2013.[12]

In 2014, UTSOA placed in the top 10 for graduate (#10) Architecture Programs. In the Dean's Survey, the undergraduate Architecture Program was ranked fourth and the undergraduate Interior Design Program was tied for fifth. In addition, UTSOA Professor Cisco Gomes was identified as one of the “30 Most Admired Educators” for 2014. The school was ranked #2 in student satisfaction. The graduate Landscape Architecture Program was also ranked fourteenth by Planetizen.

Rankings were recently updated for 2016, with UTSOA placing in the top 10 for its undergraduate Architecture Program at #7.[13]

All Current Faculty[edit]

  • Dean Almy
  • Anthony Alofsin
  • Kevin Alter
  • Simon Atkinson
  • Mirka Beneš
  • Michael Benedikt
  • Kory Bieg
  • Sinclair Black
  • Danelle Briscoe
  • Barbara Brown Wilson
  • Richard Cleary
  • Ulrich Dangel
  • Elizabeth Danze
  • Larry Doll
  • Sarah Dooling
  • Matt Fajkus
  • Michael Garrison
  • Tamie Glass
  • Francisco Gomes
  • Hope Hasbrouck
  • David Heymann
  • Michael Holleran
  • Nancy Kwallek
  • Fernando Lara
  • Junfeng Jiao
  • Petra Liedl
  • Christopher Long
  • Talia McCray
  • Smilja Milovanovic-Bertram
  • Juan Miró
  • Steven Moore
  • Elizabeth Mueller
  • Michael Oden
  • Clay Odom
  • Robert Paterson
  • Allan Shearer
  • Igor Siddiqui
  • Bjørn Sletto
  • Vincent Snyder
  • Jason Sowell
  • Lawrence Speck
  • Frederick Steiner
  • Rabun Taylor
  • Danilo Udovicki-Selb
  • Wilfried Wang
  • Nichole Wiedemann
  • Patricia Wilson
  • Robert Young
  • Ming Zhang

All Current Adjunct Faculty[edit]

  • John Hart Asher
  • Nadia Barrera
  • Judith Birdsong
  • John Blood
  • Coleman Coker
  • Charles DiPiazza
  • Fran Gale
  • Sarah Gamble
  • Carmen Garufo
  • Michael Hargens
  • Barbara Hoidn
  • Richard Jennings
  • Brian Kelsey
  • Katharine Brett Koenig Greig
  • Charlton Lewis
  • Katherine Lieberknecht
  • Mark Macek
  • Robert Mezquiti
  • Natsumi Nonaka
  • Lynn Osgood
  • Adam Pyrek
  • Rachael Rawlins
  • Edward Richardson
  • Joyce Rosner
  • Stephen Ross
  • Clay Shortall
  • Keith Shuley
  • Mark Simmons
  • Marla Smith
  • Stephen Sonnenberg
  • William Storrer
  • Alyosha Verzhbinsky
  • Gary Wang
  • Dason Whitsett

Notable Former Faculty[edit]

During the 1950s, former UTSOA dean Harwell Hamilton Harris recruited several architects who practiced in the Bauhaus style of Josef Albers as faculty members. This move ushered in the era of the Texas Rangers (architects) Between 1951-1957, these faculty (Bernhard Hoesli, Colin Rowe, John Hejduk, Robert Slutzky, Lee Hodgden, John Shaw, and Werner Seligmann), cultivated a postmodern program that challenged conventional theories and pedagogies present in architectural education.

Notable Alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Austin, TX State & County QuickFacts
  2. ^ Crossette, Amy. "Battle Hall at The University of Texas at Austin Selected As One of the Nation’s Top 150 Architectural Works". The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  3. ^ Steiner, Frederick R. "Support UTSOA: Dean's Introduction". 
  4. ^ Traces and Trajectories: The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture at 100. 2010. 
  5. ^ University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture Archives, Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.
  6. ^
  7. ^ UTSOA Freshman Admissions FAQ
  8. ^ UTSOA Graduate Admissions FAQ
  9. ^ "America's Best Architecture Schools 2012". Architectural Record. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  10. ^ "DesignIntelligence 25 Most Admired Educators of 2012". DesignIntelligence. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  11. ^ "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools 2013" (PDF). DesignIntelligence. Retrieved 2013-02-14. 
  12. ^ "DesignIntelligence 30 Most Admired Educators for 2013". DesignIntelligence. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  13. ^ "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools 2016 - DesignIntelligence". Retrieved 2015-12-14. 

External links[edit]