The School

The UHM School of Architecture provides an undergraduate foundation in design and offers advanced students the opportunity to earn accredited degrees in the fields of architecture and landscape architecture.

Located at the very center of the Pacific Ocean, the School of Architecture is actively engaged in the life and mission of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa as one of the most diverse institutions of higher learning in the United States. The rich cultural diversity of the faculty and student body, the emphasis on bridging Asia and the West, the close ties with institutions in Korea and China, and the curricular structure of the school’s programs themselves directly address the current global context. As a Carnegie tier one research institution, the University provides many opportunities for pursuing funded research unique to the region, resulting in an exceptional level of support for many of the research and study areas the School has chosen to pursue. UH is home to the only National Resource Center for Pacific Island Studies, and to one of only nine National Resource Centers for Southeast Asian Studies. The Asia Collection in Hamilton Library on the Mānoa Campus is recognized as one of the nation’s best, and the  Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge is the only one of its kind.

It is in this rich context that the School of Architecture offers the four-year undergraduate Bachelor of Environmental Design degree, the two or three-year LAAB-accredited Master of Landscape Architecture degree, and the three-year Doctor of Architecture degree, Hawaii‘s only accredited degree in architecture. Our undergraduate program provides a solid foundation for careers in the design and building industries, including architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, historic conservation, and construction management. Our accredited graduate program prepares students for leadership in the professional workforce. Students who earn the DArch are eligible for licensure as registered architects in all 54 U.S. jurisdictions, including Hawai‘i. Students who earn the professional MLA are eligible for landscape architectural licensure.

Hawai‘i offers students one of the world’s richest settings for the study of built and natural environments. UHM is a land, sea, and space grant university especially well-situated to engage design inquiry and experimentation in a twenty-first century context.

Our programs are aligned with the responsibility of the University of Hawai‘i as a native Hawaiian place of learning. These core values include: Hawai‘i’s gracious spirit of aloha; collaboration and respect; academic freedom and intellectual vigor; institutional integrity and service; access, affordability, and excellence; active learning and discovery; diversity, fairness, and equity; leveraged technology; innovation and empowerment; accountability and fiscal integrity; and malama‘aina sustainability.  The values and aspirations serve as the intellectual and professional foundation on which we build our mission and curriculum.

SoA Values in Practice

Global Connection + Diversity

The University of Hawai‘i is one of the most culturally diverse universities in the United States, and the student body and faculty within the School reflect that diversity.

The extensive opportunities for cross-cultural collaboration in coursework and research, the availability of a wide range of scholarly and research options on campus, the proximity of the East-West Center and the surrounding Honolulu community, all support the mission, goals and programs of the School.

Connections are the essence of architecture, which are complimented within our diverse student body consisting of 300 students, representing over 14 countries. These students are encouraged — even required — to step outside the normal bounds of their cultural comforts and pursue experiences far and wide. Opportunities to participate in our Study Abroad and Practicum Firms programs further our vision of establishing global connections, providing the opportunity to experience a growing list of 50 professional practices. These highly involved firms are globally respected and connected.

The UHM heavily participates in exchange agreements with various universities in the Asia-Pacific Region.

UHM International Programs

Students have also participated in short term international exchange experiences between architecture schools in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Micronesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan & Thailand. Recent class and student organization trips include Japan, Europe, Peru, Korea, Alaska, Samoa, Los Angeles, Oregon, London, Florida and Malaysia.

Asia-Pacific Focus

Our international collaborations lend to a multi-perspective lens, providing greater marketability in a global world. The School is evolving its educational mission and research efforts to take full advantage of the unique opportunities that result from this diversity and Asia-Pacific Focus.

Student Organizations

American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Hawai‘i Chapter is the primary student support group. The AIAS is the voice of students not only at the University of Hawai‘i but also for the state and nation.

Founded in 1956, AIAS has a deep history of closely working with professionals and promoting excellence in architectural education. AIAS continues to improve students’ lives by working with professors, administration, and professionals, as well as flying to Washington DC to advocate for students’ rights.

Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (SCASLA)

The Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (SCASLA) was founded in 2018 with the first class of the School of Architectures Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program.

SCASLA Mānoa creates events and opportunities focusing on education, service, and professional and community engagement.

SCASLA Hawaii on Facebook

From Dean Chapman
"Our DArch program integrates paid internships, advanced research, topics relevant to contemporary practice and design inquiry.”
Dean's Message