Jun 17, 2024  
2018-2019 University Catalog 
2018-2019 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation

Mission Statement

The School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation brings diverse individuals together into an educational community dedicated to the creation and stewardship of the built and cultural environments. We prepare students for leadership in professional practice, service and individual creative pursuits. We achieve this through multidisciplinary educational programs set within a collegial environment guided by the principles of inquiry, conscience and tolerance espoused by the University’s namesake, Roger Williams. The School exists to prepare students from many backgrounds and experiences for a variety of roles within a global society, with its continuing need for educated citizens who have the knowledge, skills and commitment to improve our surroundings.

Educational Philosophy

The School is committed to balance between creation and conservation, aesthetic and technical pursuits, national and international perspectives, individual exploration and community involvement, classroom and lifelong learning. We work to achieve this balance through a variety of teaching situations - studios, lectures, seminars, internships, study abroad, field work, tutorials, public forums, required community service - which engage students, faculty, and those active in the field in close relationships.

We serve a continuum of student groups, building from a core of undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs to include High School and Career Discovery, post-professional and continuing education opportunities. The School extends itself most fully as a center for the study of architecture, art and historic preservation by bringing people together around topics and works of international significance in public events, professional conferences and community-generated initiatives.

We view the worlds of knowledge and experience as open-ended. Education in the School therefore encourages the complementary pursuits of learning and practice, reflection and action, of accessibility and flexibility; along with a sense of perspective, adaptation, and transcendence. The skills which best serve these values incorporate intuition, critical thinking and problem solving; as well as abilities with spoken, written, graphic and spatial media. In a world of continuous technological change, which presents challenges to established cultures, these timeless values and skills endure. They exist as relevant tools for contemporary life and practice, and as a means toward advancing the cause of a humane and civilized environment for all.

Programs of Study

The School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation offers an array of undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs in Architecture, Art and Architectural History, and Historic Preservation. Undergraduate students in all majors pursue parallel University Core Curriculum and program Core studies in foundation years, before expanding into optional tracks and topical areas at advanced levels. Students are encouraged to assume increasing responsibility for the choice and direction of their inquiry and career path as they advance. Architecture majors pursue either the four year Bachelor of Science degree, or the NAAB-Accredited Bachelor of Science/Master of Architecture professional degree sequence, which is normally completed in a 4+2 year advisement sequence, but other advisement options are available. Art and Architectural History majors complete a foundation of introductory and intermediate courses before pursuing optional concentrations in Art History or Architectural History at the advanced level. Historic Preservation majors complete a introductory courses before advancing into focused studies in Field Training and Professional Practice, and can also pursue a 4+1 BS/MS in Historic Preservation advisement program. All students in the School are encouraged to pursue minors throughout the University.

Majors/Degree   Years Study   Credits   Professional Accreditation   Admissions Requirements
B.S. in Architecture   4   120       Univ. Req., Portfolio
B.S in Architecture/ Master of Architecture sequence   5 ½-6   181   NAAB   Univ. Req., Portfolio; Mid-point review
Master of Architecture   3½   101   NAAB   B.A. or B.S. degree
B.A. in Art and Architectural History   4   120       Univ. Req.
B.S. in Historic Preservation   4   120       Univ. Req.
M.S. in Historic Preservation   1   32       B.A. or B.S. in Historic Preservation
M.S. in Historic Preservation   2   52       Univ. Req.
B.S./M.S. in Historic Preservation   5   152       Univ. Req.
J.D./M.S. in Historic Preservation   3-4   101-120       See Graduate Req.
MINORS   Courses   Credits        
Architecture   5   19        
Art and Architectural History   6   18        
Historic Preservation   6   18        
Historic Preservation   5   19        
Urban & Regional Planning   5   19        


The School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation is located in an award-winning 45,000-square-foot building that opened in 1987, that was expanded in two phases by an additional 20,000 square-feet beginning in 2005. Kite-Palmer Associates, Providence, R.I., were selected to design the original building through a national competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, and William Kite Architects were again selected for the expansion. The building includes the Samsung Design Studio featuring 400 Architecture student workstations equipped with Samsung monitors connected into the University rCloud virtual desktop computing infostructure, review and seminar rooms, Design Computing Laboratory, Architecture Library, Photography Studio and Darkroom, a Woodworking Studio/Model Shop, Exhibition Gallery, a well-equipped Lecture Theater, seminar/classrooms and review space, equipped with Samsung interactive touch screens for presentations and  work-in-progress, Building Materials and Conservation Lab, Digital Manufacturing Lab, and faculty offices. Lecture and classroom courses are held in shared University facilities in Bristol. Roger Williams University Florence Study Abroad includes a dedicated Architecture Design Studio for 32 students at the Palazzo Bangani, with classroom and design review space at the Palazzo Rucellai, a landmark of the Renaissance. Barcelona Study Abroad students in Architecture share facilities at the Barcelona Architecture Center.

Students have free access to software in computer labs and from their own devices, and to plotting. Available software packages in labs and on the rCloud include the complete Autodesk Suite (AutoCAD, Revit, Maya, 3D Studio Max), the Adobe Design Premium Creative Suite (Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop, Form Z, Bonzai, Sketchup, Rhino, Final Cut Pro, Arch GIS, Multiframe, Flovent and CATT Acoustics packages for a variety of visualization, lighting, acoustics, energy and structural analysis activities. Students have access to video cameras, and mobile computing and projection stations, which can be relocated around the building in support of Design Studio Reviews, lectures, and class presentations. The laboratory space is able to be re-configured to accommodate individual seminar and design studio presentations. The entire Architecture Design Studio is networked for student laptop access from their desks, with the new graduate studio featuring wireless access.

The Architecture Library collection includes more than 24,000 books and 60,000 slides, a digital collection comprising over 80,000 images, and subscribes to over 200 periodicals and journals. The Historic Preservation collection, considered one of the best of its kind in New England, includes the H.R. Hitchcock Collection of American Architecture books on microfilm, the complete HABS photographic collection, and international serials. The Woodworking Studio/Model Shop is configured to accommodate studio and lab classes, and is well-equipped to serve individual student use over extended hours.

Samsung Design Studio

Thanks to a partnership with Samsung Electronics America, Inc. Roger Williams University is on the cutting edge of technology with industry-leading screen quality and a virtual desktop infrastructure (also known as the rCloud) that mirrors - and in some cases exceeds - the professional environment.

Samsung has established the Samsung Design Studio in the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation, where each architecture student workstation is outfitted with a 27-inch LED monitor and anytime access to critical design software and advanced applications (including AutoCAD, Revit and Adobe Creative Suite, among others) via the rCloud, the enhanced technology is greatly improving design time and cohesion among students. In addition, 65-inch interactive whiteboards are located through the building in meeting anc conference areas, yielding greater interaction among students and faculty.

Roger Williams is one of the first universities nationwide to implement this advanced technology program, which includes the University Learning Commons, and rCloud in all academic areas.

School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation Faculty

Stephen White, Dean and Professor of Architecture
Gregory Laramie, Associate Dean

Architecture Programs

Majors include the four-year Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree, the 4+1.5-2 Bachelor of Science/Master of Architecture professional degree sequence, the Master of Architecture sequence for those with pre-professional degrees in Architecture from other institutions. An undergraduate minor is also available.

Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Historic Preservation:

Hasan-Uddin Khan


Edgar G. Adams, Jr., Julian Bonder, Sarah Butler, Luis Carranza, Andrew Cohen, Robert Dermody, Gail Fenske, Nermin Kura, Eleftherios Pavlides, Jeffrey Staats, Stephen White

Associate Professors:

Patrick Charles, Gary Graham, FAIA

Assistant Professors:

Nathan Fash, Olga Mesa, Anthony Piermarini, Anne Proctor, Elaine Stiles, Roberto Viola Ochoa, Ginette Wessel, Leonard Yui

Art and Architectural History Programs

Majors include the Bachelor of Arts in Art and Architectural History, with concentration options in either Art History or Architectural History and the Master of Arts in Art and Architectural History. Minors are also available in Art and Architectural History.


Sarah Butler, Luis Carranza, Gail Fenske, Nermin Kura

Associate Professors:

Randall Van Schepen

Assistant Professor:

Anne Proctor

Historic Preservation Programs

Majors include the Bachelor of Science in Historic Preservation, and the Master of Science in Historic Preservation. Minors are available in Historic Preservation.

Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Historic Preservation:

Hasan-Uddin Khan


Edgar G. Adams, Jr., Julian Bonder, Sarah Butler, Andrew Cohen, Gail Fenske, Nermin Kura, Eleftherios Pavlides, Stephen White

Associate Professors:

Randall Van Schepen

Assistant Professors:

Anne Proctor, Elaine Stiles, Ginette Wessel

Special Programs

Degree programs in the School are supplemented by many special programs:

Teaching Firm in Residence Program

Since 2007, the School has hosted a unique Architecture Teaching Firm in Residence program, bringing the highest quality educators and practitioners to the Architecture Program. Teaching Firms have included MASS Design, Aamodt Plumb Architects, CBT Architects, Gray Organschi Architecture, Charles Rose Architects, Studio Luz, Ann Beha Architects, Perkins & Will, Kallmann McKinnell Wood, Brian Healy Architects, Taylor Burns Architects, Alex Anmahian Associates, designLAB; Paul Lukez Architects, Sasaki; Tangram Architects Amsterdam; Hernan Maldonado and Max Rohm, Buenos Aires.

Studio Critics and Lecturers

More than 250+ Visiting Critics and Lecturers attended Architecture design studio reviews and coursework across the school each year, supported through donor gifts, and through the School’s operational funds. The Visiting Critic program is by far the most extensive professional-academic collaboration that takes place at the School, and one of the most important.

Public Events Series

The series introduces students, professionals and the public to the work and ideas of people celebrated in their fields, and helps establish a standard of excellence for the School through lectures, exhibitions and conferences.

Evening Lectures

Lecturers who have visited the School in the past several years include architects, landscape architects, artists, historians, critics and preservationists of national and international achievement. These include Mark Andre Plasse of Snohetta, Hanif Kara, Laurajane Smith, Jean Carroon, Ken Tadashi Oshima, Charles Rose, Florencia Rodriguez, James O’Gorman, Tom Deininger, Michael Mills, Sally Cornelison, Lone Wiggers, Vladimir Belogolovsky, Jose Ramon Ramirez, Patricia Hillis, Sarah Walko, Anthony Piermarini, Brian Healy, Kyu Sung Woo, Lawrence Speck, Karl Daubmann, Kenneth Frampton, Shari Mendelson and Ilene Sunshine, Robert Miklos, Eve Andre Laramee, Mark Tsurumaki, David Burns, Natalie Kampen, Ciro Najle, Jess Frost, Suzanne Blier, R. Shane Williamson, Mark Foster Gage, Bart Mispelblom and Charlotte ten Dijke, Paul Lukez, Alan Organschi, Fernando Lara, Marty Doscher, Hunter Palmer, Ken Yeang, Mary Bergstein, Greg Pasquarelli, Jeff Talman, Nader Tehrani, Marlon Blackwell.

Endowed Historic Preservation Events Series

A generous anonymous bequest has permitted the establishment of an endowment to support public and special events programs related to Historic Preservation. Additional support from the Felicia Fund, the Newport Restoration Foundation, the Amica Foundation, and individual donors enhance the series. Since 2002, the fund has supported the RWU International Fellows Summer Program, focusing on interrelationships between regional and international historic preservation and architecture issues, as well Historic Preservation Endowed lectures, including Gustavo Araoz, Jean Carroon, Scott Simpson, T. Gunny Harboe, David Perkes, Michael Mills.

Exhibitions and Conferences

As part of the School’s ongoing exhibition program of professional, alumni, and student work, many traveling exhibitions are brought to campus, supplementing the annual Student Academic Showcase and Visual Arts Studies Senior Show. Recent exhibitions have included “Welcome to Snohetta: People, Process Place”, “All Natural - Charles Rose Architects”, “New Portraits”, Tom Deininger,, “Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis - Recent Work”, “SAAHP Architecture Faculty: Explorations and Realizations”, “Be Brave”, Eve Andre Laramee, “The Preservation Movement Then and Now”, “Finders Keepers: Work by Shari Mendelson and Ilene Sunshine”, “Tangram Works”, Amsterdam, “Supersymmetry”, Mark Foster Gage, “Shaded Cities”, Charles Hagenah, “Building as a Radical Act: Gray Organschi Architecture”, “In The Making”, William Lamson Artist, “Movement” by Robert Siegel, “China Three Rivers Project” by Joy Garnett, “Seeking Intersections: Hernan Maldonado and Max Rohm, “Mouth to Mouth” by Jeff Talman, “Firenze XP: RWU Architecture Florence Program”, “The Big Blue” by Tayo Heuser. Recent conferences include “Directions in 21st Century Preservation” co-sponsored by Historic New England, and “The Tectonics of Teaching”, a conference of the Building Technology Educators Society (BTES), co-sponsored by NJIT.

Regional Resources

The nearby cities of Providence, Newport, Boston, and New Haven are excellent laboratories of design, and the sites of major works by 19th and 20th century architects and landscape architects such as Alvar Aalto, Walter Gropius, Louis Kahn, LeCorbusier, McKim Mead and White, Fredrick Law Olmsted, H.H. Richardson, I.M. Pei, Steven Holl, Frank Gehry, and Jose Lluis Sert. New England is an exceptional resource for the arts with many cultural institutions and extensive collections, and for preservation education as an extensively preserved historic environment. These traditional and contemporary environments are continually engaged by students in the School in field activities integrated with student coursework.

International and National Travel Opportunities

The School supports many special short-term travel opportunities for coursework each year to international and national sites of important for the schools majors. In recent years, this has included support for faculty-led trips to Barcelona, Mexico City, Athens, Paris, Egypt, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and other sites.

Study Abroad Opportunities

The School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation sponsors undergraduate study abroad opportunities in Florence through a semester long study Abroad for all SAAHP majors, as well with the Barcelona Architecture Center for Architecture majors. Several three week Winter or Summer session programs are available to undergraduate and graduate students. Architecture semester long Graduate Study Abroad is available at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and in Barcelona at the Barcelona Architecture Center. Additionally, faculty periodically lead shorter study trips to other international sites as part of Roger Williams coursework.

Summer Programs in Bristol

Summer Studies

Summer studies in each of the School’s major and minor areas are aimed at enrichment, acceleration and special projects in the interactive environment that characterizes summer study. A program of studies is scheduled each summer for students at the introductory, intermediate and advanced levels at the Bristol campus, with study abroad opportunities each summer as well.

Summer Academy in Architecture

The School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation offers an intensive four-week Summer Academy program in Architecture for high school students who have successfully completed their junior year of study, and who are interested in considering future college level studies. Students receive 3 college credits upon completing the program. The Summer Academy offers a variety of studio, seminar and field experiences, extracurricular activities and field trips. Students are advised on college admission processes and portfolio development in preparation for college applications. Supervised dormitory life, with student activities programming on evenings and weekends, is included in the program. Students receive college credit in ARCH 100 - Exploring Architecture  (3 credits), for successfully completing the Academy.

Summer Academy students study in the School’s award-winning facilities alongside undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in School’s Summer Programs. They are encouraged to participate in our Summer Public Events Series inclusive of Lectures and Exhibitions, and a major summer event, the International Fellows Program, which brings world-renowned practitioners and scholars to campus for a two-day conference.

International Fellows Program

The SAAHP International Fellows Program has focused broadly since its inception in 1999 on issues and practices dealing with the contemporary built environment. The sessions are aimed at graduate students, and mid-career and senior professionals who convene in a multi-disciplinary, low-residency forrmat where participants gather over a two day period, sometimes conducted in conjunction with other institutions add greater diversity to the offering, and then students continue their work with Director Hasan-Uddin Khan, Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Historic Preservation, in an online format. Topics have included “Sustaining the Built Heritage: International Preservation and Urban Conservation”; “Extreme Architecture: Conservation and Revitalization”, “International Architects: Asia featuring Charles Correa”,, “Building the Future: Difference in International and Local Urban Conservation and Development”, “Value and Vision: International Scenarios for Architecture, Urban Conservation and Development”, “Iconic Architecture and Places”, “Sustainable Urban Conservation and Development”, and “Cultural Resistance: Refugees and Redevelopment in the Aftermath of War and Natural Disasters”.

Architecture Programs

Architecture programs at Roger Williams University develop the broadly educated person through exposure to the liberal arts and humanities, while also offering rigorous professional training at the undergraduate and graduate levels, culminating in an accredited professional Master of Architecture degree.

Architecture is an integrative discipline that expresses human values through the design of the built environment. It considers a diverse range of issues at the scale of the region, site, space and detail in a way that speaks to the past, present, and possible sustainable futures. Architecture, as a profession, engages nature and culture, art and technology, service and practice, within both the local and global realms in a way that is respectful to the diversity of our increasingly pluralistic society.

Students acquire the design and technical skills and expertise needed to be effective as collaborators and leaders working across disciplines. They develop the strategic thinking and communication skills required to tackle the diverse range of issues that influence architectural discourse and practice, from those of sustainability and urbanism to historic preservation. Students are challenged at each stage of their education to consider the consequences of their actions in a culturally and environmentally responsive manner.

Students expand their scope and knowledge through the pursuit of minors at the undergraduate level and concentrations at the graduate level. Study abroad opportunities, community engagement, and close working relationships with faculty, visiting critics, and regional and international practitioners, enhance their education. The Roger Williams University architecture program fosters a lifelong engagement with critical issues, helping students to be active in enhancing their profession, their communities, and society at large.


The Architecture program offers pre-professional, professional and post-professional degree programs. The Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree program melds a liberal arts education with intensive pre-professional education leading to a professional Master of Architecture degree or to advanced studies in any number of related disciplines including Historic Preservation, and Art & Architectural History. The Master of Architecture program also accepts students from other pre-professional degree programs in Architecture. Students who have attended architecture-related undergraduate programs may also be considered for transfer credit in certain courses.

Professional Degree Program Accreditation

In the United States, most state 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 U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-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 consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Roger Williams University offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

M. Arch. (pre-professional degree + 23 undergraduate credits + 38 graduate credits)
Next accreditation visit: 2018

Special Academic Regulations

Professional Degree Threshold Review: Mid-Point and Advanced Reviews

Bachelor of Science/Master of Architecture 4+1.5-2 degree sequence

Students are required to have achieved a 2.67 cumulative GPA, and completed all required coursework in published program outlines, at the end of the five semester Architecture Core in order to continue directly toward completion of the Bachelor of Science/Master of Architecture professional degree sequence.

At the end of the 7th semester of study, students must successfully pass a Portfolio Review of Advanced Architectural Design Studio work. The portfolio may include other exemplary work from Architecture as well as other creative and research work.

Students pursuing the professional degree sequence subsequently complete all 500-600 level coursework at graduate academic standards, which include achieving a minimum passing grade of B- in any 500-600 level course, and a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all 500-600 level courses. Students with Senior Standing and who have achieved a 2.67 cumulative GPA may register for graduate coursework with approval of the instructor and the dean.

Re-application to Master of Architecture professional degree programs

Eligible students choosing not to pursue the professional degree, and those who are unsuccessful in meeting the above requirements, work to complete the four-year Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree, or pursue other options. Students who do not initially meet Professional Degree Threshold Review requirements may re-apply for admission to the professional degree sequence, following completion of additional coursework that improves their record, consistent with GPA and Portfolio Review levels outlined above.

Special Academic Regulations

B.S. in Architecture / Master of Architecture 4 + 1.5-2 program

The following regulations supplement standard RWU Graduate Academic Regulations.

Semester Course Load, Status and Aid Eligibility

To be classified as a full-time student, students must be enrolled in coursework totaling at least 9 credit hours at the graduate level per semester. To be eligible for financial aid, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester. Bachelor of Science in Architecture/Master of Architecture students may not enroll in coursework totaling more than 17 credit hours per semester, with a normal graduate load of 12-14 credits.

Students pursuing the 4+1.5-2 degree subsequently complete all 500-600 level coursework at graduate academic standards, which include achieving a minimum passing grade of B- in any 500-600 level course, and a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all 500-600 level courses.

Change of Major/Internal Transfer Requirements

Students who are undeclared or are majors in other programs of the University interested in pursuing architecture must apply for admission to the program as internal transfer candidates in either Fall or Spring semester. Interested students should contact the Dean’s Office for more information.

Grade Appeal-Studio Courses

A student may appeal a grade received in a studio course he or she believes to be inaccurate by making a written request to the Dean. The Dean then appoints a faculty panel, usually consisting of three faculty members, to hear the appeal. The panel consults with the student as well as the instructor. The student may bring another student’s work for the panel to consider for comparative purposes. The panel carries out its deliberations in private, following discussion of the work by the panel, student, and instructor. The panel has the authority to maintain the grade, or to raise it. The panel’s decision is final and is communicated to the student immediately.


Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Science/Master of Architecture

Bachelor of Science/Master of Science

Master of Architecture

Master of Science

Master of Science/Juris Doctor