Policies and Resources
Key Terms & Concepts
In the School of Architecture & Design, we define a course as a studio if it meets all of the following criteria:
Meets for 2.5 to 4 hours at a time
Meets at least once per week
Features a creatively-focused, project-driven curriculum
While not universally true, most courses in ADS, ARCH, BDS, IA, ILLU, INDD, PHTO, and VISC are studio courses. Students should anticipate that these courses will demand a substantial amount to time and effort above and beyond that which is required to succeed in other coursework.
Because of the intense workload of studio courses, we don’t recommend that any student take more than 3 studio courses in any given semester.
An Academic Year is any given fall semester, spring semester, and following summer semester. For instance, the 2021-2022 Academic Year includes fall 2021, spring 2022, and summer 2022. The 2022-2023 Academic Year will include fall 2022, spring 2023, and summer 2023.
The following programs are under the management of the faculty of the Department of Architecture:
The Department of Architecture is led by Dr. Hui Cai. The Department of Architecture is under the purview of the School of Architecture & Design, led by Dr. Mahbub Rashid.
The following programs are under the management of the faculty of the Department of Design:
The Department of Design is led by Associate Professor Tim Hossler. The Department of Design is under the purview of the School of Architecture & Design, led by Dr. Mahbub Rashid.
What is the studio sequence?
The core of each of our undergraduate programs is a carefully-arranged sequence of studio courses. This sequence begins in the fall semester of each year without exception.
The studio sequence for each program varies from 4-5 years as outlined in that program's degree requirement check sheet. Please contact your advisor if you do not have a copy of your program's degree requirement check sheet.
How does the studio sequence affect me?
Unless you are transferring in specific studio credit that is approved as equivalent to first-year studios in your intended program, you will follow the full studio sequence of your program if you are admitted. You'll also need to meet or exceed the academic standards for your program of study in order to proceed through your program's studio sequence.
Students who have completed coursework beyond the studio sequence for their program prior to their admission may have additional time throughout their studies to focus on coursework, connect with the Lawrence community, and/or engage professionally in their desired field!
Why are studios strictly sequenced?
Because of the small size of our programs, we are only able to offer each sequenced studio one semester per academic year with very limited exceptions. Each studio builds on the skills and information taught in the previous semester's studio(s) to optimally develop each student's skill set, which contributes significantly to our students' high rates of professional engagement prior to and immediately following graduation.
The minimum standard workload for courses at the University of Kansas entails a ratio of at least 2 hours of outside-of-class work per week for each credit hour. For instance, a typical 3-credit-hour course at KU features at least 6 hours of outside-of-class work each week.
In order to provide impactful training and prepare students for the rigor of professional work, courses offered by the School of Architecture & Design often exceed that minimum standard. Students can anticipate 3 or more hours of outside-of-class work per week for each credit hour. This means that a 3-credit-hour course offered by the School of Architecture & Design usually features at least 9 hours of outside-of-class work each week. Variability certainly exists due to student aptitude, instructors' pedagogical strategies, and other factors, though these guidelines can be trusted as a general rule.
Because of the intense workload of our courses, we recommend that students avoid extracurricular engagements (e.g. a job) that would constitute more than 10-15 hours per week. We also recommend that students live within the city of Lawrence if possible, since an extended commute to campus has proven exceptionally challenging for students in the past. We realize that isn't always possible, and your academic advisor may be able to help you find a healthy balance! Please contact your academic advisor if you have questions or concerns about your workload.
What is the KU Core?
The KU Core is our university's approach to general education requirements. In order to maximize student course options while maintaining the rigor of a degree at KU, the KU Core requires the completion of certain competencies rather than specific courses (with a couple of exceptions).
The KU Core is common to every degree at KU. It ensures that our graduates learn a common set of fundamental skills, build a broad background of knowledge, strengthen an appreciation of cultural and global diversity, and cultivate ethical integrity. Through the KU Core and their Design-specific degree requirements, our students graduate as well-rounded people with the fundamental skills, inspiration, and Design know-how to make the world a better place.
Information about the six goals of the KU Core and much more is available at the kucore.ku.edu.
How does it relate to my degree?
Great architects and designers are well-rounded people who draw inspiration from the world around them, then use their skills to create solutions. The KU Core affords our students the opportunity to spark their curiosity while building their professional skills in their studios.
Our degrees feature some professionally-oriented requirements which also fulfill KU Core goals in order to save students money and time.
Can I petition to have a course or experience counted toward the KU Core?
Students can submit a petition for a substitution to a KU Core requirement in exceptional circumstances. Lack of knowledge of KU Core requirements, either on the part of student and/or through misadvising, is not an extraordinary circumstance for a petition to be considered.
Students should contact their academic advisor for guidance if they’re considering a KU Core petition.
Proper enrollment is critically important to a student's time in college (every class is an investment), but enrollment advice is only part of what an advisor can do to help.
Academic advisors are guides to help students navigate the wealth of resources and opportunities at the University of Kansas. They are advocates for students in need, and they are liaisons between students and the institutions that serve them. Most importantly, advisors help students identify their ambitions and, from time to time, mentor them to effectively pursue those ambitions.
In addition to professional academic advisors for undergraduate students, certain faculty in the School of Architecture & Design also support students through academic advising, because we know that it takes a village to train some of the best architects and designers around!
Common Holds and How To Resolve Them
This hold is generally placed on the account of any student whose high school and/or college transcripts are not yet officially in KU's systems. Sometimes, that means that transcripts have arrived at KU, but are in processing. Alternatively, this hold could mean that transcripts have yet to be received. Regardless, students should call KU Admissions at 785-864-3911 for clarification and assistance.
This hold is generally placed on the account of any student who hasn't completed the mandatory alcohol education online module called AlcoholEDU. The module has two parts: Part I is available at the start of the semester, and Part II is available 30 days after the completion of Part I.
Students can access the Mandatory Alcohol Education module at Enroll & Pay under Student Center near the top of the page.
If a student completes Part I after their Enrollment Time and have no other holds on their account, they can request that the ALC hold on their account be lifted for 24 hours so that they can enroll. Students who do this still need to complete Part II of Mandatory Alcohol Education when it becomes available to avoid future trouble with the ALC hold!
If you've already completed Part I and were granted a 24-hour waiver to enroll last semester, you'll only need to complete Part II.
This hold prevents students from enrolling for a future semester unless they meet with our academic advisor to discuss the current semester and make a plan for future enrollment.
To resolve this hold, you'll need to schedule a meeting with your academic advisor.
In order to prevent unintended consequences for any student who is interested in dropping a class, this hold is placed on the account of every student in the School of Architecture & Design each semester. Any student who is considering dropping a class should be mindful of the deadlines associated with dropping a class.
Note that short courses have accelerated deadlines for drops, Credit/No Credit, etc.
Any student who is interested in dropping a class should consult their advisor during their drop-in hours or by appointment to discuss the class in question and, if appropriate, have the hold removed to allow the drop.
Students who are interested in dropping a class should be mindful of the Academic Calendar and relevant deadlines.
This hold is generally placed on the account of any student who hasn't yet submitted their immunization records to Watkins Health Center. For more information about KU's immunization policy and the IMM hold, check out the Watkins Health Center's website, visit their office in person (behind the School of Business and adjacent to Amber Student Recreation Center), or give them at call at 785-864-9533.
This hold is generally placed on the account of any student who has an unpaid ticket for a parking violation on KU's campus. For more information about the ticket and to resolve the hold, students can use KU Parking's online portal, call their office at 785-864-7275, or visit their office in the Allen Fieldhouse parking garage.
If this is your first parking ticket with KU, you may be eligible to complete the Ticket Forgiveness Quiz to remove the fine from your account!
This hold is generally placed on the account of any student who has an unpaid bill with the university. For more information about the nature of the outstanding bill, students can look at the "Finances" page at Enroll & Pay > Student Center or call Student Account Services at 785-864-3322.
Students who are interested in seeking additional financial aid should consult the Office of Financial Aid in the KU Visitor Center or by phone at 785-864-4700. While the Office of Financial Aid may or may not be able to find additional aid through KU for a student, they are the best first place to check!
This hold is generally placed on the account of any student who hasn't completed their obligations with the Office of Student Affairs. To learn more, students will need to visit the Office of Student Affairs in Strong Hall room 133 or give them a call at 785-864-4060.
This hold is generally placed on the account of any student who hasn't completed the mandatory sexual harassment education online module. Once complete, the SXH hold will be removed from the student's account within approximately 24 hours.
If a student has questions about the Mandatory Sexual Harassment Education, they should visit the Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Center's website (SAPEC).
This hold is generally placed on the account of any student who require further medical testing based on their answers to the Tuberculosis survey conducted through Enroll & Pay prior to the student's initial enrollment at KU. More information is available on Watkins Health Center's website.
To resolve the hold, you'll need to visit Watkins Health Center in person. They are located behind the School of Business and adjacent to Amber Student Recreation Center.
Students must meet or exceed a minimum 2.0 KU Cumulative Graduation GPA (just KU grades) and a 2.0 KU + Transfer GPA (KU and transfer grades) in order to graduate.
- Make an appointment with your academic advisor at least one semester in advance of your intended graduation term to ensure that you're on track to complete the requirements for your degree
- Submit your application for degree through Enroll & Pay
- Monitor your KU email account closely for updates and information regarding graduation
- Check out the commencement.ku.edu for key dates and information for the University-wide Commencement ceremony and check the school's website for communications about the School of Architecture and Design ceremony.
Commencement ceremonies for Design students only occur in May of each year.
Students who graduate in a fall semester will officially graduate in December of the year of their graduation. Fall graduates are welcome to participate in the May graduation ceremonies in the spring semester following their official graduation from KU! (For instance, a December 2018 graduate could participate in May 2019 commencement ceremonies.)
Students who graduate in a summer semester will officially graduate in August of the year of their graduation. Summer graduates are welcome to participate in the May graduation ceremonies in their year of their intended graduation date! (For instance, an August 2019 graduate is welcome to participate in May 2019 commencement ceremonies.)
Each spring, the School of Architecture & Design awards the academic honors of Distinction to the top 10% of our graduates from certain semesters according to KU Cumulative Graduation GPA. (e.g. for our spring 2021 list, we included summer 2020, fall 2020, and spring 2021 graduates in our calculation) The academic honor of Highest Distinction is awarded to the top 3.33% of our graduates using the same time frame and GPA.
BIPOC Industrial Design Group