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The School

The School

The UHM School of Architecture is first and foremost a flagship professional school, providing the opportunity for a student to earn an accredited degree in the field of architecture. The only U.S. school of architecture in the middle of the Pacific region, it has been actively and directly engaged in the life and mission of the Mānoa campus by participating in a number of design/research/outreach efforts on campus and in the community.

The University of Hawai‘i is one of the most culturally diverse universities in the United States, so the student body and faculty within the School are naturally diverse. The University is a Carnegie tier-one research institution, and the only National Resource Center for Pacific Island Studies, and one of only nine National Resource Centers for Southeast Asian Studies. This status 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. The Asia Collection at Hamilton Library at the Mānoa campus is recognized as one of the nation's best, and the Hawai‘inuākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge is the only one of its kind. The rich cultural diversity of the faculty and student body, the emphasis on bridging between Asia and the West, the close ties with institutions in Korea and China, and the curricular structure of the program itself directly address the current global context.


Global Connections

The School of Architecture inspires transformative design at the global scale with pre-eminence in the Asia-Pacific region.


Building for the 21st Century

The School of Architecture responds to our unique location in the Asia-Pacific region and recognizes the privilege and responsibility to address cultural, environmental, and social diversity. We commit to passionate and engaging community participation through teaching, learning, research, professional practice, and service.





Community + Environmental Responsibility


1946 Architectural education at the University of Hawai‘i begins with a Pre-Architecture program offered in the College of Applied Science with an inaugural class of 25 students

1960 The university transfers all pre-architecture courses to the Department of Art.

1965 The faculty establishes the four-year B.A. in Pre-Architecture.

1967 The Department of Art becomes the Department of Art and Architecture and the B.F.A. in Environmental Design was replaced the B.A. in Pre-architecture

1969 The College of Arts and Sciences forms new Department of Architecture, with Bruce Etherington as founding chair.

1971 The university approves the Master of Architecture program

1972 The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) awards the M.Arch. initial accreditation.

1976 The faculty reorganizes the Department of Architecture and develops a professional Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree.

1976 The NAAB accredits the B.Arch. program

1980 The School conferred the first B.Arch. degree

1985 The State Legislature budgets funds to construct a new building adjacent to George Hall.

1993 Raymond Yeh succeeds Elmer Botsai as dean.

1994 The university completes the school's present building at 2410 Campus Road, designed by John Hara

1996 The School received full-term NAAB re-accreditation for both its existing B.Arch. first professional degree and its M.Arch. first professional degree.

1999 The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa proposes the Architecture Doctorate degree and the first class to enroll enters the program.

2004 The National Architectural Accrediting Board recognizes the Doctorate of Architecture D.Arch degree as a professional architecture degree, and makes the program's accreditation retroactive to January 1, 2001, to be concurrent with the terms of accreditation for the Bachelor and Master of Architecture programs.

2005 The Arch.D. replaces the M.Arch. degree

2007 Clark Llewellyn succeeds Raymond Yeh as dean.

2008 In accordance with the 2004 NAAB Conditions of Accreditatqion, the school changes its degree nomenclature from "Architectural Doctorate" (Arch.D.) to "Doctor of Architecture" (D.Arch.).

2011 The school introduces the Global Track/China Focus program, which features a dual professional degree with Tongji University in Shanghai.

2012 The school separates the 7-year D.Arch. program into a 4-year pre-professional B.Env.D. (Bachelor of Environmental Design) degree, and the 3-year NAAB-accredited Doctor of Architecture.

2014 Daniel Friedman succeeds Clark Llewellyn as dean.

2015 The school signs a Memo of Understanding with the Nagaoka Institute of Design in Nagaoka, Japan, establishing a student/faculty exchange program.

archawai'i advantage

archawai‘i is a dynamic community made up of students and faculty from all over the world coming together to work and study in the incredibly beautiful and globally unique tropical environment of the Hawaiian Islands.

When people hear about an architecture program at the University of Hawai‘i they assume collaboration takes place over "coconut wireless" and gatherings take place on the beach. While our beaches are some of the best in the world, we foster strong collaborative connections from East to West and around the globe. We are the opposite of isolated.

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 archawai‘i which is complimented within our diverse school of architecture student body consisting of 380-plus students, representing over 13 countries. These students are encouraged — even required — to step outside the normal bounds of their cultural comforts and pursue experiences far and wide. Our Study Abroad and Practicum Firms opportunities further our vision of establishing global connections, providing the opportunity to experience a growing list of 37 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.

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 in 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.

News + Events



Feb. 8, 2016

WPA 2.0 Creation of 21st Century Public Infrastructure: Beauty, Economics, Politics, Ecology
Susannah Drake, FASLA, RLA, RA
Principal, DLAND studio Architecture + Landscape Architecture

Feb 22, 2016

Practicing Architectural Education
Michael Monti, PhD
Executive Director, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture,
Washington, DC

Mar 14, 2016

Lecture: Our Model of Models
Exhibition:  My Model of Models
Kiel Moe, AIA
Associate Professor of Architecture and Energy
Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Cambridge, MA

Mar 28, 2016

Lo-Fab [Locally Fabricated]
Sierra Bainbridge
Senior Director, MASS Design Group Ltd.

April 11, 2016

Local Code: 3,659 Proposals About Data, Design, and the Nature of Cities
Nicholas de Monchaux
Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design,
College of Environmental Design, UC-Berkeley,
Berkeley, CA


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