Interest in the new Indiana University Master of Architecture program, which will be taught and administered in Columbus, has been especially strong considering it’s not yet accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

That’s a five-year process, said T. Kelly Wilson, director of Indiana University Center for Art + Design Columbus, who will oversee the program when classes begin Aug. 21.

About 35 students submitted applications to be in the first class. About 24 of them should be receiving acceptance letters soon, he said.

Students who applied have varied backgrounds and don’t necessarily come with an undergraduate architecture degree. Some have liberal arts degrees, for example.

Wilson said it’s important to have a diversity of backgrounds in the master’s degree program, especially with students who show potential and have an appetite for learning.

IU is helping the first cohort with fellowships for the entire three-year program, which — depending on a student’s circumstances — could cover about half of their tuition, Wilson said.

The reach of IU and the new Master of Architecture program, he said, is reflected in where the prospective students are from — the states of Indiana, Minnesota, Arkansas, California, Nevada and Maine, as well as the countries of China and Bangladesh.

Additionally, Wilson said he received 85 applications for four faculty positions:

  • Outreach coordinator
  • Visual studies
  • Core design
  • Digital design and fabrication

Wilson said a lot of work remains in order to have the new master’s program ready for the students. Faculty has to be finalized, IUCA+D’s information technology systems need to be upgraded, fabricating equipment has to be purchased and new computers are needed, for example.

About the program

Indiana University has been approved to begin a Master of Architecture program. Here’s how it would work:

  • Offered through the IU School of Art, Architecture + Design
  • Three-year degree program, open to students coming from different disciplines
  • The IU Center for Art + Design Columbus would administer the program and teach classes
  • The program would utilize Columbus’ more than 65 examples of Modern architecture, its size, its fabrication technology at local manufacturing companies and its coalition-building process
  • Students would study abroad late in the second year
  • It would involve hands-on learning that would include building projects that aid and support the Columbus community’s interests
  • Students will learn how to become entrepreneurs and community contributors

Sources: IU School of Art, Architecture + Design Dean Peg Faimon, IU Center for Art + Design Director T. Kelly Wilson

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at or (812) 379-5639.