A Spotlight on the College of Architecture and the Built Environment

Do you know what’s special about the College of Architecture and the Built Environment at Philadelphia University?

  • Our new Dean, Barbara Klinkhammer—she came to us after a national search with many years of experience teaching both in the US and abroad
  • Our educational style, Nexus Learning (http://www NULL.philau NULL.edu/nexuslearning/)—an interdisciplinary, collaborative, real world, team approach to learning
  • Our students—focused, hardworking, and driven by the learning challenges presented to them!

The College of Architecture and the Built Environment encompasses five majors: 5-year Architecture, Architectural Studies, Construction Management, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture.  We offer a comprehensive first-year approach that addresses all areas relating to the design and construction of our built environment. Our programs create design professionals that have a thorough understanding of both technical and aesthetic aspects of their disciplines. We have over 800 students currently enrolled in these majors.

The Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) (http://www NULL.philau NULL.edu/arch/index NULL.html) is a professional degree earned over a five year course of study. After an interdisciplinary foundation shared with other programs, the curriculum continues with more advanced technical and professional courses, supporting studio design projects of increasing complexity and scope. In the fourth and fifth years, systems synthesis and collaboration are emphasized in addressing complex urban/suburban and theoretical problems, encouraging independent research, programming, and critical analysis in establishing the theoretical basis for design work.

The Architectural Studies (http://www NULL.philau NULL.edu/environdesign/) program offers several concentrations, ranging from areas that are essential to making and constructing buildings and environments, such as Architectural Design Technology to fields that support the rehabilitation and documentation of architecture and sites, such as Historic Preservation and Photography.

Our Interior Design (http://www NULL.philau NULL.edu/interiordesign/) program prepares students to work with clients and architects to successfully design interior building space that complements our rapidly evolving technology and information driven society.

The 4-year Landscape Architecture (http://www NULL.philau NULL.edu/larch/index NULL.html) program promotes sustainable urban planning and design and is committed to providing leadership in confronting issues that affect urban neighborhoods and ecological systems.

Construction Management (http://www NULL.philau NULL.edu/constructionmgt/index NULL.html) prepares students to play an integral role in the development, construction, and maintenance of commercial, residential, institutional, and industrial buildings, as well as civil and transportation infrastructure. Courses in construction, architecture, engineering, business and liberal arts prepare students to be ethical, innovative problem solvers who understand the full construction business model.

The goal of all programs at PhilaU is to prepare students to be creative, independent thinkers and innovative problem solvers, combining professional learning with a broad-based liberal arts education.  Students in the College of Architecture and the Built Environment majors take advantage of study abroad opportunities in Italy, Denmark, South Africa, India and many other countries.  Paid internships are available as well!

Some quick reads about student accomplishments:

Kimberly Wannop graduated from PhilaU with a B.S. in Interior Design and currently works as the set decorator for FOX’s hit TV show “Bones.” Wannop was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the show in 2009, and she has worked on productions from “Wheel of Fortune” to “American Dreams” and multiple Hallmark TV movies. She moved to Los Angeles after leaving PhilaU and broke into the film and television set decorating industry.

Schendy Kernizan, received a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 2008. After spending most of his childhood in Haiti, Kernizan has been active in assisting with the rebuilding efforts in Haiti following the massive earthquake in 2010. He worked in the impoverished nation while on a one-year fellowship with Architecture for Humanity and currently works in an architecture firm in Boston.

TD Bank officials presented three Philadelphia University students with the first-place award in March 2012, as part of the national student competition to design TD Bank’s energy-efficient store of the future.  The competition included students from Philadelphia University’s architecture and interior design programs, who incorporated their knowledge of sustainable building design into fully-developed models for a TD Bank branch in the year 2020.

If you’d like to see some of our students’ work, click here (http://www NULL.philau NULL.edu/architectureandthebuiltenvironment/studentwork/index NULL.html).

-Deborah Kaminski, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions