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Architecture was first taught at what is now The University of Texas at Arlington in the early 1940s as a two-year, non-degree program within the School of Engineering. In 1968, with the support of professional architects in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, architecture became a department of the College of Liberal Arts, granting the degree of Bachelor of Science in Architecture. The department prospered, and by 1973 a decision was made to establish a separate school of architecture based on a four-year undergraduate program with a two-year master of architecture program as the professional degree.
The school's location at the center of the Dallas/Fort Worth area is especially important for students of architecture and landscape architecture. Almost every cultural, social and professional opportunity is nearby. The urban setting serves as a laboratory to observe the issues that confront current design and to test the proposals put forward. Built work by many of the foremost contemporary architects and landscape architects may be experienced and studied firsthand. Kahn, Pei, Wright, Johnson, Meier, Legoretta, Rudolph, Giurgola, Barnes, Predock, Holl, KPF, Kiley and Walker all have major projects here.
The School of Architecture offers large and up-to-date facilities for research and study. Constructed in 1984, the Architecture Building houses studios, classrooms and offices in addition to a CAD laboratory, a photography studio, a materials shop, a slide library and the Architecture and Fine Arts Library, with 40,000 books and 190 periodicals. The UT Arlington Libraries contains more than 1 million volumes, and students have access to The University of Texas System Library, which house 12 million volumes.
The School of Architecture has an enrollment of approximately 1,000 students, of whom about 160 are graduate students. They come from all parts of the United States and the world; more than 20 percent are international students. About one-third of the graduate students are women.
The school offers the Master of Architecture and the Master of Landscape Architecture as first professional degrees in the respective programs. The former is accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board and the latter by the Landscape Architecture Accrediting Board. The M.Arch. and the M.L.A. taken as second, or post-professional degrees, do not carry professional accreditation.