Real world projects. Hands-on learning. An incredibly safe and comfortable setting. These are among the things that define a Master of Architecture at Roger Williams University (RWU). Students will gain a holistic architecture education that will equip them with the right mindset and the perfect skillset to integrate and express human values through designs of the built environment.
The programme fuses architecture skills with training in cultural awareness that addresses environmental, social, historical and artistic concerns. Not only is the M.Arch STEM-designated and NAAB-accredited, it also encourages tomorrow’s architects to develop designs that enhance their context through the region, the site, spaces and detail.
And it’s at RWU where experience meets opportunities. Set in one of the most important locations for architectural practice and education, the Cummings School of Architecture is nestled in Bristol, Rhode Island, between Boston and New York City. Here, students from many backgrounds gain the knowledge and commitment to become tomorrow’s leaders in the creation and stewardship of the built environment.
The curriculum is rigorous. Students achieve a depth of understanding of the components of architectural practice and of the diverse nature and variety of roles for architects in relation to other fields. They develop strategic thinking and communication skills that nurture them into well-rounded graduates capable of tackling a range of issues from sustainability and urbanism to historic preservation. This can be credited to the variety of ways in which classes are delivered. Students learn in a variety of settings – including studios, lectures, seminars, internships, study abroad trips, field work, public forums, conferences and community service.
Students also learn concepts of creation and conservation, aesthetic and technical pursuits, national and international perspectives, individual exploration and community involvement, classroom and lifelong learning – further developing them into career-ready graduates equipped with a universal outlook. M.Arch 2020 graduate, Juan Osorio testifies to this: “I’ve learned more and more that RWU’s Architecture programme is really good. We are competitive against really big schools. I heard from firms that we are better prepared.”
What’s more, the M.Arch programme makes it possible for students to continue to achieve such greatness thanks to its US$20 million partnership with the Cummings Foundation. “Powered by this historic partnership, the Cummings School of Architecture will serve as a catalyst for the university’s continued and growing success in preparing our students to be leaders in all facets of sustainable and equitable design, preservation, and development at the intersection of the natural and built environments,” says Ioannis N. Miaoulis, president of RWU president.
Coupled with state-of-the-art facilities such as the Architecture Design Studios that encourage limitless opportunities to learn in and out of the classroom, M.Arch students gain valuable insight from world-renowned firms and architects who visit and teach on campus in the Cummings School of Architecture Events Series. The bridge between academia and industry is further strengthened through the Teaching Firms in Residence programme that is led by the highest quality educator practitioners from the region, the country and abroad for semester-long stays.
These industry connections lead to unparalleled job opportunities for M.Arch graduates — greater so for international students as they seek Optional Practical Training (OPT). For a STEM-designated programme like M.Arch, international students are eligible for the 24-month extension of OPT.
This was one of the main reasons Saudi Arabian national, Abdulmajed Aljabhan chose RWU. “During my searching for M.Arch programmes, I found that the Teaching Firm in Residence at the Cummings School of Architecture is an interesting and unique feature that is going to enrich my experience and will allow me to visit and meet practitioners from top architectural firms,” he says.
Perhaps the biggest impact of their RWU experience is how M.Arch students are ready to hit the ground running by the time they graduate. As part of the award-winning Career Investment Programme, on-ground experiences and experiential learning help enrich student experiences and enhance career-readiness spanning multiple industries. This includes guaranteed paid assistantships and internships, the latest state-of-the art software and technology in rCloud (a free cloud environment) as well as short- and long-term study abroad opportunities.
Just ask M.Arch graduates Bridgida Capicotto and Abdullah Soufan. “The architecture school has a very smart programme for assistantships and internships. Each student has an amount of money provided by the school during the year which can be used for assistantships or internships,” Soufan says.
“This programme encourages employers to hire RWU students. The programme helped me and many others find a full-time job after graduation thanks to the summer internship.” Capicotto agrees. “The graduate programme was career-driven and they offered a lot of different internships through the school. It gave me a lot of experience that helped me get my job.”