UMKC Announces New Bachelor of Architecture Program

First public university in Missouri to offer a Bachelor of Architecture degree
Two students working on architecture projects in workshop

The University of Missouri-Kansas City will launch a Bachelor of Architecture program this fall.

The UMKC Bachelor of Architecture program will be a five-year undergraduate degree program housed in the School of Science and Engineering. It will include courses, studio work and internships with various architectural firms in Kansas City. As part of their coursework, students will also have access to industry-grade equipment at the UMKC Innovation Studio for rapid prototyping their designs, alongside many Kansas City architectural firms that also use the facility.

This new bachelor’s degree offering joins a current joint architecture program, in which students start coursework at UMKC and transfer to Kansas State University to complete a Master of Architecture. Among the benefits of the new program is that UMKC students will get to complete their full degree in Kansas City, a metropolitan area rich in career opportunities.

“We are excited to provide students the ability to pursue architecture and design in a city that’s known for its local and global architectural projects, allowing our students to have real-world experiences in their educational program,” said Kevin Truman, dean of the UMKC School of Science and Engineering.

Student presenting in front of a class with a architecture model

The program is the first of its kind in the state of Missouri and has strong industry support. Kansas City architectural firms Focal Design Studio, SLATTERY Design + Architecture (formerly Odimo Architects), Populous, Multistudio, Burns & McDonnell and DRAW Architecture + Urban Design signed letters in support of the program. These prominent firms have worked on major Kansas City developments, such as the Kansas City International Airport, Children’s Mercy Park and Rock Island Bridge. There’s also an international profile from these Kansas City architecture firms, such as Super Bowl, FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games venues.

“It is an honor to have the support of local architectural firms as we launch this program at UMKC,” Truman said.

Dawn Taylor, executive director of the American Institute of Architects in Kansas City, said the benefits of the offering an architecture program in Kansas City are far reaching.

“Expanding the opportunities at UMKC for students to achieve an architecture degree is exciting and positive, as it offers students an affordable and accessible option to earn their degree,” Taylor said. “Our chapter wants to see more students, especially from our region, choose careers in architecture and design to increase the talent pipeline for all of our firms.”

architecture student working on a project

Faculty from the architecture, urban planning and design program are also excited about the new degree offering. 

“As a former student of the UMKC architectural studies curriculum, I am happy, proud and honored to be a part of the new UMKC Bachelor of Architecture program,” said Dominic Musso, a UMKC architecture instructor who will teach in the new program. “Kansas City is an international hub of world-class architectural firms, and having a degree program to provide new graduates to that market is a natural fit. Kansas City’s rich historic character and urban environment provides the ideal backdrop for students to become the next generation of our city’s architects.”

Top Stories