Welcome to the SoArch website! Perhaps you are a new visitor wanting to join our student community, or you may be a repeat visitor looking for specific information about our school – maybe you are one of the thousands of the proud alumni or a good friend of the school wondering what is new in Cheever. In any case, the School of Architecture invites you to explore our new website. Welcome and Enjoy.

School of Architecture Vision

Recognizing that architecture is a basic human need, we strive to play an essential and innovative role in enhancing the human condition.

School of Architecture Mission Statement

The School of Architecture empowers students to critically engage the complexities of society and the natural environment by instilling the fundamental principles of design and inspiring a spirit of exploration and creative experimentation in shaping the built environment.


As a School Community we have identified the following Values that guide us in achieving our vision and mission:

Citizen: We value our role and responsibility as citizens and recognize the need to approach our profession in a humanistic manner as stewards of our built and natural environment.

Passion: We value a steady and unrelenting passion and excitement for design, creativity,innovation and engagement with the issues of the built and natural environments.

Design: We value the design process as an essential process in all aspects of a student’s academic and professional life. Design becomes the fundamental means for actively, creatively and critically engaging the issues of the world.

Agility: We value the ability to transform and innovate in response to the shifting conditions and opportunities in society.

Experimentation: We value an education that embraces experimentation and risk taking that leads to innovation and discovery in order to influence the role and impact of design on society and the future.


Learning, Discover, Engagement, Integration, Access and Stewardship

MSU identifies 6 key areas through which the University, College and School’s strategic plans will be pursued: Learning, Discovery, Engagement, Integration, Access, and Stewardship. These six areas are presented on the following pages as a means for the School of Architecture to achieve its vision and mission as well as the vision and mission for Montana State University.

Through Learning

Allow our students to contribute to solutions with knowledge, design and creative thinking.

Objective L1

Assess, and improve where needed, student learning of critical knowledge and skills.

  • SOArch Pedagogical Strategy Increase integration between courses and program.
  • SOArch Pedagogical Strategy Teach, promote, and assess critical thinking/critical position through program.
  • SOArch Cultural Strategy Promote Independent self-directed learning.
  • SOArch Cultural Strategy Promote emergence, innovation, and experimentation throughout curriculum and school.

Objective L3

Increase job placement and further education rates.

  • SOArch Logistical Strategy Actively connect with profession through increased internships, growth of advisory council and professional participation in mid and final studio reviews.
  • SOArch Logistical Strategy Conduct advising sessions with students on requirements and benefits for professional architectural education and on the graduate admissions process.
  • SOArch Logistical Strategy Actively connect with recent graduates.

Through Discovery

Prepare students to solve complex problems in society and our built & natural environment.

Objective D.1:

Elevate the research excellence and recognition of MSU faculty.

  • SOA Logistical Strategy Complete Visiting Professorship Endowment and begin inviting national and internationally known visiting professors.
  • SOA Logistical Strategy Identify barriers preventing faculty from applying for internal research/creative activity funding (CAA Block Grant, Faculty excellence Grant, S&C Grant, sabbatical) and develop mechanisms to overcome these barriers.
  • SOA Logistical Strategy Disseminate research.
  • SOA Cultural Strategy Institute faculty/student research day within the School and College.
  • SOA Cultural Strategy Host Conferences and Symposium within the School of Architecture.
  • SOA Cultural Strategy Promote faculty and student collaborations, collaborative presentations.
  • SOA Logistical Strategy Identify possible collaborations with departments on campus to seek external funding.

Through Engagement

Our students can understand the complexities of the world and its interconnectedness and use this understanding to engage in the issues of the world and create broader, far reaching, and enduring solutions.

Objective E.1:

Strategically increase service, outreach and engagement at MSU.

  • SOA Logistical Strategy Maintain outreach courses in curriculum, add additional 2-6 week summer courses (see strategies below).
  • SOA Logistical Strategy Develop relationship with external groups (such as Red Feather Development or Atlas Cultural Foundation, etc.) through outreach/engagement activities by students/faculty on Native American reservations or in underserved populations/areas.
  • SOA Logistical Strategy Maintain engagement courses in curriculum, add additional 2-6 week summer courses (see strategies below).
  • SOA Logistical Strategy Increase endowment for study abroad and engagement activities.
  • SOA Cultural Strategy Develop faculty-student mentoring to promote awareness of engagement opportunities.

Objective E.2:

MSU graduates will have global and multicultural understanding and experiences.

  • SOA Logistical Strategy Maintain global/cross-cultural courses. Add additional 2-6 week summer courses (see strategies below).
  • SOA Logistical Strategy Increase endowment for study abroad and engagement activities.
  • SOA Pedagogical Strategy Develop summer courses, ranging in duration from 2-6 weeks, which are targeted to global and multi-cultural/cross-cultural experiences.

Through Integration

Provide students with opportunities for all students to gain an education in architecture and participate in the special programs offered by the school.

Objective I.1:

Increase the integration of learning, discovery and engagement.

  • SOA Pedagogical Strategy Incorporate community projects, design/build and research labs into curriculum at various scales.

Through Access

Provide students with opportunities for all students to gain an education in architecture and participate in the special programs offered by the school.

Objective A.1:

Educate more students while maintaining the quality of programs.

  • SOA Logistical Strategy Review and revisit scholarship criteria to identify more opportunities for need based scholarships to assist more students to complete their education.
  • SOA Logistical Strategy Develop transfer articulation agreements with targeted universities (i.e. international transfer agreements, etc.).

Through Stewardship

provide for the best use of physical, environmental and financial resources; promote balanced, healthy academic, professional and personal lifestyles in order to enhance creativity, productivity and educational opportunities.

  • Objective (SOA) S.1.2 : Human Resources. Attract, develop and retain the best students to achieve the MSU mission.
  • SOA Pedagogical Strategy Revise studio culture policy and publicize this policy amongst students and faculty.
  • SOA Pedagogical Strategy Embed studio culture policy within curriculum.

Objective S.2:

Physical Resources. Enhance aesthetic appeal and functional quality of MSU physical resources to support high quality learning, research and work environments.

  • SOA Logistical Strategy Improve air quality in studio labs.
  • SOA Logistical Strategy Increase and control day lighting in studio spaces and classrooms.
  • SOA Logistical Strategy Investigate options for better artificial lighting in studio.
  • SOA Logistical Strategy Create better interior physical space (color, furniture, layout, art, landscaping, etc.)
  • SOA Cultural Strategy Create studio layouts to encourage collaboration amongst students and between students and faculty.

Objective S.4:

Environmental Resources. Promote sustainable stewardship and a culture of resource conservationat MSU.

  • SOA Logistical Strategy Develop strategies for recycling or repurposing materials when projects are presented or developed through physical models and drawings.