School of Architecture


Director of the School of Architecture: James Eckler, B.DESIGN, M.ARCH., MSAS

Belal Abboushi, B.ARCH., M.SC.ARCH., Ph.D.

Miguel A. Calvo Salve, B.A., M.ARCH., COAG (Spain)

Randy Damico, M.ARCH.

Stephen Garrison, B.F.A., M.F.A.

Maria MacDonald, BFA, BIA, MA

Margaret McManus, B.S., M.ARCH.

*Sean McNamara, B.ARCH.

Kate O’Connor, B.ARCH., M.ARCH.

Michelle Pannone, B.ARCH., M. SC. US.

Emily Pellicano, M.ARCH.

*Russell Roberts, B.ARCH., AIA

*Jayashree Shamanna, B.ARCH., M.SC.ARCH.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to educate a new generation of architects and interior architects who engage the world passionately and intelligently. As a professional school in a liberal arts university, we endeavor to contextualize a rigorous studio-based curriculum within an educational environment that encourages critical thinking, collaboration, and speculation.

From interior objects to urban environments, we value architecture as a disciplined practice, which we define as a medium to engage the world at a range of scales with conceptual and formal clarity, disciplinary awareness, social agency, and material speculation. We believe that architecture offers ways of making and thinking that enable architects and interior architects to do good in the world through their work. Our shared values enable differences between and among our programs to become opportunities for productive exchange, collaboration, and growth.

Program Overview

Marywood University School of Architecture offers undergraduate professional and pre-professional programs in Architecture and Interior Architecture. These programs emphasize disciplinary knowledge within a broad liberal arts framework, and study abroad opportunities, including in Florence, Italy.

The professional undergraduate program in Architecture, the Bachelor of Architecture (B.ARCH.), is a five-year curriculum that is intended for students who will pursue a career as a license architecture or advanced study in the field of architecture. The B.ARCH. is the primary architecture degree offered in the School. This degree provides the opportunity for advanced standing into the School of Architecture’s Master of Interior Architecture Program

The pre-professional undergraduate program in Architecture, the Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture (BEDA), is a four-year curriculum that is intended for students who will pursue a professional master’s degree or enter into a related field. The BEDA curriculum follows the B.ARCH. curriculum but with the option to substitute some selected professionally-oriented courses with courses from other areas of the curriculum or other university course offerings.

The professional undergraduate program in Interior Architecture, the Bachelor of Interior Architecture (B.I.A.) is a four-year curriculum that is intended for students who will pursue a career as an interior architect and/or designer or advanced study in the field of interior architecture or architecture. The B.I.A. is the primary interiors degree offered in the School. This degree provides the opportunity for advanced standing into the School of Architecture’s Master of Interior Architecture Program

The Center for Architectural Studies

The School of Architecture occupies The Center for Architectural Studies, the spacious, extensively-renovated former Health and Physical Education Building located in the heart of the campus next to the University’s highly acclaimed Insalaco Center for Studio Arts. The close proximity of these two places of creative exploration encourages cross-disciplinary learning and discovery, and students in our programs are encouraged to pursue art courses as electives.

The Center for Architectural Studies has been designed to showcase a number of sustainable design features, including a geothermal passive cooling system, daylight harvesting, roof water capture/reuse, and a green roof. The Center features a primary circulation/exhibition area connecting two sides of the campus, two levels of studios, classrooms, shop and digital fabrication facilities, and a central three-story-high Commons with clerestories that admit abundant natural light throughout the day. The Commons, which runs the entire length of the building and is located on both sides of the building’s major cross axis, serves as the building’s agora (in ancient Greece, the place of public assembly), open, shared, central spaces for exchange among all faculty and students. In this flexible space, learning is dynamic with for formal and informal design critiques, serendipitous encounters, collective discussions, debates, displays, and exhibitions.

Special Features

Design Studios

Architecture education must seek, generate, transfer, and question knowledge with breadth and imagination. The fundamental place of learning is the design studio—long considered the core of an architect’s education. It is the place of creative exploration, research and discovery, and the testing of ideas, theories, and concepts. Through a sequence of studio projects, students develop means of critical thinking and a design process that enables them to effectively address various design issues, from problem-solving and aesthetics to building assemblies and environ- mental systems.

Each student has an individual, custom-made work space designed to accommodate a laptop computer, drawing board, personal storage cabinet for equipment and supplies, and integral pin-up space.

Shop Facilities

The School of Architecture maintains a deeply-rooted commitment to craft, making, and fabrication as a means of understanding the design potential of construction. To support this understanding, well-equipped wood, metal, and digital fabrication shop facilities are available to extend and enrich any design explorations that might begin in the studio and/or the classroom. Studio projects are often formulated to involve the use of these shop facilities to investigate material, form, connection, joinery, detail, and space.

The materials currently used in these facilities include plaster, wax, paper, concrete, wood, composite boards, cardboard, plastic, steel, and aluminum. The shop facilities also include a large CNC router, commercial-grade 3-D printers, laser cutters, spray booth, sandblasting room, and a space for material demonstrations and assembly. Metal shop facilities include an MIG welder, a shear break and roller, bench grinder, bandsaw, angle grinder, 16-ton hydraulic pipe bender, and a manual tubing roller.

All School of Architecture students are allowed access to the shop facilities upon completion of a safety orientation and tool-specific training sessions. The shops are managed by a full-time shop technician, who oversees safety training and skills development and is responsible for machinery maintenance.


The School’s CAD Lab provides computing equipment and facilities for students to explore computational design and digital representation. The 24-seat lab operates with all site licenses required for classroom teaching in basic and advanced digital media classes. Output devices for student use include laser printers, plotters, and scanners.

Study-Abroad Program

The School’s Study-Abroad Program is available to advanced upper-level students. The venue for this educationally and culturally enriching program is the International Studies Institute (ISI) in Florence, Italy. Headquartered in the Palazzo Rucellai located in the heart of the historical center of Florence, this program has an international faculty, and design studios are taught by local practicing architects.

Students have opportunities to take courses unique to their foreign experience in Italy while being pertinent to their growth and maturation as architects and designers. Students must apply to this program and be accepted by both Marywood and the ISI.

Studio Reference Library

A reading area surrounded by reference books and monthly periodicals is positioned at one end of the first-floor studios and provides students with immediate access to information materials that augment the University’s central Learning Commons.

Student Laptop Program

All first-year Architecture and Interior Architecture students are required to purchase their own laptops for use in the spring semester of the first year of studies. Computers function as important digital tools in the design process, and they have become nearly as omnipresent as textbooks. As computer software becomes more varied and sophisticated—offering programs ranging from two-D drafting and three-D modeling to rendering and energy performance analysis—the computers required to run these programs demand certain specifications for optimal performance. Our laptop requirement is similar to that in many schools of architecture and ensures that students will be suitably equipped with a flexible, portable means of basic computing in the classroom, dormitory, and/or apartment, as well as in the studio to work on design projects.

For current laptop specifications, please see the School’s website.

Additional Enrichment Opportunities

The School of Architecture believes that students must be exposed to ideas, designs and viewpoints occurring beyond the confines of the campus. We are therefore committed to bringing diverse people and ideas to the Marywood campus, while we also introduce our students to new urban/cultural experiences.

To this end, the School of Architecture offers numerous enrichment activities, such as an invited lecture series of prominent architects, interior exhibitions, guest critics, visiting faculty, and field trips to New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other locales to expose students to new points of view, cities, building designs, theoretical positions, and a wide range of professional achievements. Together, these opportunities serve to heighten the students’ awareness of the built world and the breadth of professional challenges and opportunities they will encounter upon graduation.



In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Marywood University School of Architecture offers the following NAAB- accredited degree programs:

B.ARCH. degree (162 credits)

Initial Accreditation: 2016

Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2019

Interior Architecture

Marywood University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The B.I.A. degree in Interior Architecture is included in this accreditation.

Admission and Matriculation

For entering freshmen, a minimum SAT score (Math and Critical Reading) of 1000 and a QPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) are generally required for admission to the undergraduate program in Architecture.

Design Portfolio

Applicants to any of the School of Architecture’s undergraduate programs may submit a Design Portfolio, but it is not specifically required unless otherwise mentioned. However, transfer students to any program in the School of Architecture must submit additional materials, including a portfolio.

Transfer Students

Marywood students who wish to transfer into the School of Architecture degree tracks from other programs within Marywood must have a 3.00 overall QPA on a minimum of 12 credits. If a Marywood student is accepted, the student must complete a “Change of Primary Goal” form available from the Office of Academic Records.

Students from other accredited institutions who wish to transfer into the Architecture programs must have a 3.00 overall QPA on a minimum of 12 credits. Students seeking transfer credit must submit a portfolio and/or other course materials and course work.

Acceptable Academic Standing

A minimum QPA of 2.50 is required in any of the School of Architecture degree tracks for any student to be in good academic standing. Students must have a minimum QPA of 2.33 in their degree tracks’ required courses, including program electives, to graduate.