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Residency Program

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The Residency Program is an individually structured, practice based, studio-learning experience.  This program allows a student to replace one Topical Design Studio with an intense, 7-month professional experience under the direct tutelage of a mentor who is a licensed architect.  It accepts, as its basic premise, the notion that professional practice engages intellectual issues that enhance the academic experience of the student.


Residency is a 7-month employment in a firm that is willing to commit a mentor to the education of the student. The student is hired for 32 hours a week. During this period the student works on the schematic design and design development of a project for the firm. This is the ‘practice work product’. The ‘practice work product’ does not count for academic credit. As the student becomes more involved with the project he/she completes a series of exercises designed by the mentor and the Associate Dean for External Programs. These are intended to parallel the practice work but ask intellectual questions through the discipline of architecture by conjecturing alternative solutions to the work. For example: how would the change from wood to steel windows affect the design of a porch? The student should respond with orthogonal, axonometric and detail drawings followed by a written critique of the alternative.

Learning Objectives:

Residency addresses the same criteria as an advanced Topical studio, 5301-3. It should address both NAAB Criteria 2 critical Thinking and 4 Research Skills. It should also address the nature and structure of “critical practice”. It addresses all of these learning objectives through a series of exercises that are reviewed by both the mentor and the Associate Dean for External Programs.

Operations and timetable:

As the Residency Program is a 7-month program it includes either a summer and a fall or a spring and a summer. The students and the firms are matched and not all firms or students who apply are approved. The firms must demonstrate that they are willing to invest time in the mentorship of the student by providing a written projection of the work and academic products. The students must have the recommendation of a faculty member who can evidence that the student has the maturity and initiative to complete the work. The students may also sign up for a 4000 independent 3-hour study that may take the form of a paper or a project. This application must include the written support of an advising faculty member and a clear proposal that includes: objective, methodology, timetable and scope.