Starting in fall 2010, South Dakota State University will begin offering a professional architectural degree program. Currently South Dakota is one of only a few states with no architecture degree program. The new program comes after two years of study by the university’s Architectural Feasibility Task Force, which was made up in part by architectural professionals from around the state. South Dakota firms have had trouble attracting younger architects without an in-state academic program. Additionally since South Dakota residents must go out of state for architecture, they face higher out-of-state tuition costs as well.

The new program, which will be apart of the College of Arts and Sciences, will include a four year Bachelor’s degree in architectural studies, and a six year Master’s of Architecture degree. Around 60 students are expected to enroll in prerequisite courses for fall 2010 semester, with about 30 to be admitted into the program the following year. Iowa State University typically admits 68 students each year, and North Dakota State has admitted 72 in recent years, so SDSU’s program will start out quite a bit smaller.

SDSU’s program structure follows a growing trend of providing a four year non-accredited B.S. or B.A. degrees in architectural studies, followed by a one or two year accredited Master of Architecture professional degree program. Iowa State currently offers a five year Bachelor of Architecture professional degree and a variety of Masters options. NDSU transitioned in 2005, from a five year Bachelors, to a five year Master of Architecture program that includes a pre-professional B.S. in Environmental Design degree after the fourth year.

It will be interesting to watch SDSU’s program develop over the next few years and see it’s affect on surrounding university’s programs.

> South Dakota State University: Regents approve first accredited architecture program