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IU’s J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program earns national accreditation

For Immediate Release Jun 6, 2024

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The Indiana University J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program in the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design has been recognized with initial accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, the only accrediting body for professional architectural degree programs in the United States. The accreditation makes the program one of only three NAAB-accredited architecture degrees in the state.

The decision from the NAAB Board of Directors was shared by letter May 24, marking the culmination of an extensive five-year review process. With a National Architectural Accrediting Board-accredited degree, graduates can register as an architect anywhere in the nation. Accreditation will extend retroactively to all degrees granted by the program since May 2021, when the program’s first cohort of students graduated.

The J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program at Indiana University is housed in the Republic Building in downtown Columbus. Photo b... The J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program at Indiana University is housed in the Republic Building in downtown Columbus. Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

“This milestone signifies a continuation of the growth IU has built, generation over generation, as a leader in art and design,” IU Bloomington Provost Rahul Shrivastav said. “The NAAB accreditation of IU’s architecture program places students in a prime position to reach their goals, improve communities and advance infrastructures here in Indiana and beyond.”

“Accreditation represents a goal that was on the distant horizon when our beloved architecture program got its start,” Eskenazi School Founding Dean Peg Faimon said. “It is truly gratifying for our program to be recognized among its peers in higher education.”

Approved by the state of Indiana in 2017 and having welcomed its first students in 2018, the school’s Miller Master of Architecture program offers a unique approach that links architecture training with studio art practice. The program draws upon the Columbus community’s reputation for outstanding architecture, which includes more than 80 significant works and seven buildings that are National Historic Landmarks of modernist architecture. Leveraging the city’s culture of public-private collaboration, the program often creates opportunities for the school to partner with the city through urban initiatives.

Along with its accreditation, the architecture program received distinction from the National Architectural Accrediting Board for its curricular model. The program’s exceptional physical infrastructure and community access were also noted as merits.

The J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program is housed inside the Republic Building, which was once the location of Columbus’ daily newspaper. Designed in 1971 by Myron Goldsmith, the Republic Building is on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. The city of Columbus and a cohort of community members donated $2 million to adapt the modernist landmark to its current use, which now includes studio space, classrooms, offices, an auditorium, a fully equipped woodshop and the Miller M.Arch Gallery.

Peg Faimon, left, founding dean of the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, and T. Kelly Wilson, director of the J. Irwin Mille... Peg Faimon, left, founding dean of the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, and T. Kelly Wilson, director of the J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program. Photo by Yael Ksander

An additional distinguishing factor of the degree program is its Nomadic Studio, which offers students the opportunity to study abroad. Students are immersed in architecturally notable cities around the world twice during their course of study, including Rome and Mexico City. In these cities, students learn to analyze and interpret spaces and buildings in urban landscapes through the lens of history and culture.

“The Miller M.Arch program is unique among architectural design programs for our curricular pairing of art and architecture, our international study component, our legendary architectural milieu, and our relationship and collaboration with the Columbus community,” program director T. Kelly Wilson said. “Our students tell us that these attributes attracted and have retained them. Now, NAAB accreditation confirms our approach as foundational for tomorrow’s architects.”

NAAB accreditation is based on a program’s compliance with numerous criteria relating to curriculum, student learning objectives, resources, and relationship to its institutional, geographic and community setting. The complete list of criteria is available in “Conditions for Accreditation, 2020 Edition.” The accreditation process involved three site visits by National Architectural Accrediting Board teams, starting in 2019. A subsequent site visit and re-evaluation will take place in 2027, with scheduled opportunities for accreditation renewal every eight years.

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IU Newsroom

Mark Bode

Executive Director of Media Relations
Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design

Yael Ksander

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