Accreditation Compliance & Planning

In addition to the eight PMU core competencies, each of the programs in the College of Architecture and Design will demonstrate that their graduates have achieved program learning outcomes of their respective international accrediting bodies.
The Architecture program is designed to meet the student performance criteria of (NAAB) which are:


Realm A: Critical Thinking and Representation.

Graduates from NAAB-accredited programs must be able to build abstract relationships and understand the impact of ideas based on the study and analysis of multiple theoretical, social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental contexts. Graduates must also be able to use a diverse range of skills to think about and convey architectural ideas, including writing, investigating, speaking, drawing, and modeling.

Student learning aspirations for this realm include

  • Being broadly educated.
  • Valuing lifelong inquisitiveness.
  • Communicating graphically in a range of media.
  • Assessing evidence.
  • Comprehending people, place, and context.
  • Recognizing the disparate needs of client, community, and society.

The accredited degree program must demonstrate that each graduate possesses the following:

  1. Professional Communication Skills: Ability to write and speak effectively and use representational media appropriate for both within the profession and with the general public.
  2. Design Thinking Skills: Ability to raise clear and precise questions, use abstract ideas to interpret information, consider diverse points of view, reach well-reasoned conclusions
  3. Investigative Skills: Ability to gather, assess, record, and comparatively evaluate relevant information and performance in order to support conclusions related to a specific project or assignment
  4. Architectural Design Skills: Ability to effectively use basic formal, organizational and environmental principles and the capacity of each to inform two- and three-dimensional design.
  5. Ordering Systems: Ability to apply the fundamentals of both natural and formal ordering systems and the capacity of each to inform two- and three-dimensional design.
  6. Use of Precedents: Ability to examine and comprehend the fundamental principles present in relevant precedents and to make informed choices about the incorporation of such principles into architecture and urban design projects.
  7. History and Global Culture: Understanding of the parallel and divergent histories of architecture and the cultural norms of a variety of indigenous, vernacular, local, and regional settings in terms of their political, economic, social, ecological, and technological factors.
  8. Cultural Diversity and Social Equity: Understanding of the diverse needs, values, behavioral norms, physical abilities, and social and spatial patterns that characterize different cultures and individuals and the responsibility of the architect to ensure equity of access to sites, buildings, and structures.

Realm B: Building Practices, Technical Skills, and Knowledge.

Graduates from NAAB-accredited programs must be able to comprehend the technical aspects of design, systems, and materials and be able to apply that comprehension to architectural solutions. In addition, the impact of such decisions on the environment must be well considered.

Student learning aspirations for this realm include

  • Creating building designs with well-integrated systems.
  • Comprehending constructability.
  • Integrating the principles of environmental stewardship.
  • Conveying technical information accurately

The accredited degree program must demonstrate that each graduate possesses skills in the following areas

  1. Pre-Design: Ability to prepare a comprehensive program for an architectural project that includes an assessment of client and user needs; an inventory of spaces and their requirements; an analysis of site conditions (including existing buildings); a review of the relevant building codes and standards, including relevant sustainability requirements, and an assessment of their implications for the project; and a definition of site selection and design assessment criteria.
  2. Site Design: Ability to respond to site characteristics, including urban context and developmental patterning, historical fabric, soil, topography, ecology, climate, and building orientation, in the development of a project design.
  3. Codes and Regulations: Ability to design sites, facilities, and systems that are responsive to relevant codes and regulations, and include the principles of life-safety and accessibility standards.
  4. Technical Documentation: Ability to make technically clear drawings, prepare outline specifications, and construct models illustrating and identifying the assembly of materials, systems, and components appropriate for a building design.
  5. Structural Systems: Ability to demonstrate the basic principles of structural systems and their ability to withstand gravitational, seismic, and lateral forces, as well as the selection and application of the appropriate structural system.
  6. Environmental Systems: Ability to demonstrate the principles of environmental systems’ design, how design criteria can vary by geographic region, and the tools used for performance assessment. This demonstration must include active and passive heating and cooling, solar geometry, daylighting, natural ventilation, indoor air quality, solar systems, lighting systems, and acoustics.
  7. Building Envelope Systems and Assemblies: Understanding of the basic principles involved in the appropriate selection and application of building envelope systems relative to fundamental performance, aesthetics, moisture transfer, durability, and energy and material resources.
  8. Building Materials and Assemblies: Understanding of the basic principles used in the appropriate selection of interior and exterior construction materials, finishes, products, components, and assemblies based on their inherent performance, including environmental impact and reuse.
  9. Building Service Systems: Understanding of the basic principles and appropriate application and performance of building service systems, including lighting, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, communication, vertical transportation, security, and fire protection systems.
  10. Financial Considerations: Understanding of the fundamentals of building costs, which must include project financing methods and feasibility, construction cost estimating, construction scheduling, operational costs, and life-cycle costs.

Realm C: Integrated Architectural Solutions.

Graduates from NAAB-accredited programs must be able to demonstrate that they have the ability to synthesize a wide range of variables into an integrated design solution.
Student learning aspirations for this realm include

  • Comprehending the importance of research pursuits to inform the design process.
  • Evaluating options and reconciling the implications of design decisions across systems and scales.
  • Synthesizing variables from diverse and complex systems into an integrated architectural solution.
  • Responding to environmental stewardship goals across multiple systems for an integrated solution.

The accredited degree program must demonstrate that each graduate possesses skills in the following areas:

  1. Research: Understanding of the theoretical and applied research methodologies and practices used during the design process.
  2. Integrated Evaluations and Decision-Making Design Process: Ability to demonstrate the skills associated with making integrated decisions across multiple systems and variables in the completion of a design project. This demonstration includes problem identification, setting evaluative criteria, analyzing solutions, and predicting the effectiveness of implementation.
  3. Integrative Design: Ability to make design decisions within a complex architectural project while demonstrating broad integration and consideration of environmental stewardship, technical documentation, accessibility, site conditions, life safety, environmental systems, structural systems,

Realm D: Professional Practice.

Graduates from NAAB-accredited programs must understand business principles for the practice of architecture, including management, advocacy, and the need to act legally, ethically, and critically for the good of the client, society, and the public.
Student learning aspirations for this realm include

  • Comprehending the business of architecture and construction.
  • Discerning the valuable roles and key players in related disciplines.
  • Understanding a professional code of ethics, as well as legal and professional responsibilities.
The accredited degree program must demonstrate that each graduate possesses skills in the following areas:

  1. Stakeholder Roles in Architecture: Understanding of the relationships among key stakeholders in the design process—client, contractor, architect, user groups, local community—and the architect’s role to reconcile stakeholder needs.
  2. Project Management: Understanding of the methods for selecting consultants and assembling teams; identifying work plans, project schedules, and time requirements; and recommending project delivery methods.
  3. Business Practices: Understanding of the basic principles of a firm’s business practices, including financial management and business planning, marketing, organization, and entrepreneurship.
  4. Legal Responsibilities: Understanding of the architect’s responsibility to the public and the client as determined by regulations and legal considerations involving the practice of architecture and professional service contracts
  5. Professional Conduct: Understanding of the ethical issues involved in the exercise of professional judgment in architectural design and practice and understanding the role of the NCARB Rules of Conduct and the AIA Code of Ethics in defining professional conduct.

The Interior Design program is designed to meet the learning standards of the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) which are:


Standard 4: Global Context - Interior designers have a global view and consider social, cultural, economic, and ecological contexts in all aspects of their work.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Students understand that human and environmental conditions vary according to geographic location and impact design and construction decisions.
  2. Student work demonstrates understanding of how social, economic, cultural, and physical contexts inform interior design.
  3. Student work demonstrates understanding of how systems thinking informs the practice of interior design.

    Program Expectations

  4. The interior design program provides exposure to the current and relevant events that are shaping contemporary society and the world.
  5. The interior design program provides exposure to a variety of cultural norms.
  6. The interior design program provides opportunities for developing multi-cultural awareness.

Standard 5: Collaboration - Interior designers collaborate and also participate in interdisciplinary teams.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Students have awareness of the integration of multi-disciplinary collaboration in design practice.
  2. Students understand the terminology and language necessary to communicate effectively with members of allied disciplines.
  3. Students understand technologically-based collaboration methods specific to the built environment disciplines.
  4. Students understand the dynamics of team collaboration and the distribution and structure of team responsibilities.
  5. Student work demonstrates the ability to effectively collaborate with multiple disciplines in developing design solutions.

Standard 6: Business Practices and Professionalism - Interior designers understand the principles and processes, and responsibilities that define the profession and the value of interior design to society.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Students have awareness of the contexts for interior design practice.
  2. Students have awareness of the impact of a global market on design practices.
  3. Students have awareness of the breadth and depth of interior design's impact and value.
  4. Students have awareness of the components of business practice.
  5. Students understand types of professional business formations.
  6. Students understand elements of project management.
  7. Students understand Instruments of Service.
  8. Students understand professional ethics and conduct.

    Program Expectations

  9. The interior design program provides exposure to career opportunities an interior design education can afford and the options for advanced study.
  10. The interior design program provides exposure to role models who are qualified by education and experience in interior design.
  11. The interior design program provides exposure to the role and value of legal recognition for the profession.
  12. The interior design program provides exposure to the role and value of professional organizations.
  13. The interior design program provides exposure to the role and value of life-long learning.
  14. The interior design program provides exposure to the role and value of public service.

Standard 7: Human-Centered Design - Interior designers apply knowledge of human experience and behavior to designing the built environment.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Student work demonstrates understanding of theories related to the impact of the built environment on human experience, behavior, and performance.
  2. Student work demonstrates understanding of the relationship between the natural, built, virtual and technological environments as they relate to the human experience, wellbeing, behavior, and performance.
  3. Student work demonstrates the ability to gather and apply human-centered evidence.
  4. Student work demonstrates the ability to analyze and synthesize human perception and behavior patterns to inform design solutions.
  5. Student work demonstrates the ability to apply human factors, ergonomics, inclusive, and universal design principles to design solutions.
  6. Student work demonstrates the ability to apply wayfinding techniques to design solutions.

Standard 8: Design Process - Interior designers employ all aspects of the design process to creatively solve a design problem.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Student work demonstrates the ability to apply space planning techniques throughout the design process.
  2. Student work demonstrates the ability to apply knowledge and skills learned to solve progressively complex design problems.
  3. Student work demonstrates the ability to apply knowledge and skills learned to identify and define issues relevant to the design problem.
  4. Student work demonstrates the ability to apply knowledge and skills learned to synthesize information to generate evidence-based design solutions.
  5. Student work demonstrates the ability to apply knowledge and skills learned to use precedents to inform design concepts or solutions.
  6. Student work demonstrates the ability to apply knowledge and skills learned to explore and iterate multiple ideas.
  7. Student work demonstrates the ability to apply knowledge and skills learned to design creative and effective solutions.
  8. Student work demonstrates the ability to apply knowledge and skills learned to execute the design process: pre-design, quantitative and qualitative programming, schematic design, and design development.
  9. Students understand the importance of evaluating the relevance and reliability of information and research impacting design solutions.

    Program Expectations

  10. The interior design program includes exposure to a range of problem identification and problem solving methods.
  11. The interior design program includes opportunities for innovation and risk taking.
  12. The interior design program includes exposure to methods of idea generation and design thinking.

Standard 9: Communication - Interior designers are effective communicators.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Students are able to effectively interpret and communicate data and research.
  2. Students are able to effectively express ideas and their rationale in oral communication.
  3. Students are able to effectively express ideas and their rationale in written communication
  4. Students are able to effectively express ideas developed in the design process through visual media: ideation drawings and sketches.
  5. Students are able to effectively express project solutions using a variety of visual communication techniques and technologies appropriate to a range of purposes and audiences.

    Program Expectations

  6. The interior design program provides opportunities for exposure to evolving communication technologies.
  7. The interior design program provides opportunities for students to develop active listening skills in the context of professional collaboration.

Standard 10: History - Interior designers are knowledgeable about the history of interiors, architecture, decorative arts, and art.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Students understand the basic context and framework of history as it relates to interior design.
  2. Students understand the basic context and framework of history as it relates to furniture, decorative arts, and material culture.
  3. Students understand the basic context and framework of history as it relates to architecture.
  4. Students understand the basic context and framework of history as it relates to art.
  5. Students understand the social, political, and physical influences affecting historical changes in design of the built environment.

Standard 11: Design Elements and Principles - Interior designers apply elements and principles of design.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Students understand the elements and principles of design, including spatial definition and organization.
  2. Student work demonstrates the ability to explore a range of two- and three-dimensional design solutions using a variety of media.
  3. Students effectively apply the elements and principles of design and related theories throughout the interior design curriculum to two-dimensional design solutions.
  4. Students effectively apply the elements and principles of design and related theories throughout the interior design curriculum to three-dimensional design solutions.

Standard 12: Light and Color - Interior designers apply the principles and theories of light and color effectively in relation to environmental impact and human wellbeing.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Students are aware of the environmental impact of illumination strategies and decisions.
  2. Students understand the principles of natural and artificial lighting design.
  3. Students understand strategies for using and modulating natural light.
  4. Students competently select and apply luminaires and light sources.
  5. Students have awareness of a range of sources for information and research about color.
  6. Students understand how light and color in the interior environment impact health, safety, and wellbeing.
  7. Student work demonstrates understanding of color terminology.
  8. Student work demonstrates understanding of color principles, theories, and systems.
  9. Student work demonstrates understanding of color in relation to materials, textures, light, and form.
  10. Student work demonstrates the ability to appropriately select and apply color to support design concepts.
  11. Student work demonstrates the ability to appropriately select and apply color to multiple design functions.
  12. Student work demonstrates the ability to appropriately use color solutions across different modes of design communication.

Standard 13: Products and Materials - Interior designers complete design solutions that integrate furnishings, products, materials, and finishes.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Student work demonstrates understanding of how furnishings, objects, materials, and finishes work together to support the design intent.
  2. Student work demonstrates understanding of typical fabrication process, installation methods, and maintenance requirements for products and materials.
  3. Student work demonstrates understanding of appropriate design or specification of furnishings, equipment, materials and finishes in relation to project criteria and human and environmental wellbeing.
  4. Students select and apply products and materials on the basis of their properties and performance criteria, including ergonomics, environmental attributes, life safety, and life cycle cost.
  5. Students are able to design and specify a broad range of appropriate products, materials, furniture, fixtures, equipment, and elements in support of the design intent.

Standard 14: Environmental Systems and Wellbeing- Interior designers use the principles of acoustics, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, and water and waste systems in relation to environmental impact and human wellbeing.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Students understand that design decisions relating to acoustics, thermal comfort, and indoor air quality impact human wellbeing and the environment.
  2. Students understand the principles of acoustical design.
  3. Students understand appropriate strategies for acoustical control.
  4. Students understand the principles of thermal design.
  5. Students understand how active and passive thermal systems and components impact interior design solutions.
  6. Students understand the principles of water systems and waste systems
  7. Students understand strategies for integrating water systems and waste systems.
  8. Students understand the principles of indoor air quality.
  9. Students understand how the selection and application of products and systems impact indoor air quality.

Standard 15: Construction - Interior designers understand interior construction and its interrelationship with base building construction and systems.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Students have awareness of the environmental impact of construction.
  2. Student work demonstrates understanding that design solutions affect and are impacted by base-building structural systems and construction methods.
  3. Student work demonstrates understanding that design solutions affect and are impacted by interior systems, construction, and installation methods.
  4. Student work demonstrates understanding that design solutions affect and are impacted by detailing and specification of interior construction materials, products, and finishes.
  5. Student work demonstrates understanding that design solutions affect and are impacted by the integration of building systems including electrical (such as power, data, lighting, telecommunications, audio visual) and mechanical (such as HVAC, plumbing, and sprinklers).
  6. Student work demonstrates understanding that design solutions affect and are impacted by monitoring systems pertaining to energy, security, and building controls systems.
  7. Student work demonstrates understanding that design solutions affect and are impacted by vertical and horizontal systems of transport and circulation such as stairs, elevators, or escalators.
  8. Students understand the formats, components, and accepted standards for an integrated and comprehensive set of interior construction documents.
  9. Students are able to read and interpret base-building construction documents.
  10. Students are able to contribute to the production of interior contract documents including drawings, detailing, schedules, and specifications appropriate to project size and scope.

Standard 16: Regulations and Guidelines - Interior designers apply laws, codes, standards, and guidelines that impact human experience of interior spaces.

Student Learning Expectations

  1. Students have awareness of the origins and intent of laws, codes, and standards.
  2. Student work demonstrates understanding of standards and guidelines related to sustainability and wellness.
  3. Student work demonstrates understanding of sector-specific regulations and guidelines related to construction, products, and materials.
  4. Student work demonstrates the ability to apply federal, state/provincial, and local codes including fire and life safety.
  5. Student work demonstrates the ability to apply barrier-free and accessibility regulations and guidelines.

The Graphics Design program is designed to meet the National Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) program standards and guidelines for Graphic Design which are:

Standards and Guidelines for Specific Professional Degree Programs

J. Graphic Design

Graphic design is the profession that plans and executes the design of visual communication according to the needs of audiences and contexts for which communication is intended. Graphic designers apply what they have learned about physical, cognitive, social, and cultural human factors to communication planning and the creation of appropriate form that interprets, informs, instructs, or persuades. Graphic designers use various technologies as means for creating visual form and as an environment through which communication takes place.

Graphic designers plan, analyze, create, and evaluate visual solutions to communication problems. Their work ranges from the development of strategies to solve largescale communication problems, to the design of effective communication products, such as publications, computer programs, packaging, exhibitions, and signage.

Titles normally used to identify the four-year professional programs with a major qualifying students for entry to the field are Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design, or Bachelor of Graphic Design. Only schools with sufficient qualified design faculty, technological resources, and a comprehensive curriculum of study in graphic design have the prerequisites to offer these degrees or others with different titles having career entry objectives.

  1. Curricular Structure
    Curricular structure, content, and time requirements shall enable students to develop the range of knowledge, skills, and competencies expected of those holding a professional baccalaureate degree in graphic design. Curricula to accomplish this purpose normally adhere to the following guidelines: studies in graphic design comprise 25-35% of the total program; supportive courses in art and design, 20-30%; studies in art and design history, 10-15%; and general studies and electives, 25-35%. Studies in the major area, supportive courses in art and design, and studies in visual arts and design history normally total at least 65% of the curriculum.

  2. Recommendations for General Studies (in addition to those stated for all undergraduate degree programs)
    Curriculum requirements and strong advising should direct students to general studies that support their study in design. Appropriate areas of study for all graphic design majors include communication theory, writing, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and business, as well as the humanities. Professional degree programs with a specific focus (example: advertising, design planning/management, interactive media) should require or strongly recommend study in relevant areas such as marketing, economics, organizational psychology, human factors, systems theory, or computer science. Course work in the major should make use of concepts and skills acquired through study in areas other than design. Design faculty, technological resources, and a comprehensive curriculum of study in graphic design have the prerequisites to offer these degrees or others with different titles having career entry objectives.

  3. Essential Competencies (in addition to those stated for all professional degree programs)
    1. The ability to solve communication problems, including the skills of problem identification, research and information gathering, analysis, generation of alternative solutions, prototyping and user testing, and evaluation of outcomes.
    2. The ability to describe and respond to the audiences and contexts which communication solutions must address, including recognition of the physical, cognitive, cultural, and social human factors that shape design decisions.
    3. The ability to create and develop visual form in response to communication problems, including an understanding of principles of visual organization/ composition, information hierarchy, symbolic representation, typography, aesthetics, and the construction of meaningful images.
    4. An understanding of tools and technology, including their roles in the creation, reproduction, and distribution of visual messages. Relevant tools and technologies include, but are not limited to, drawing, offset printing, photography, and time-based and interactive media (film, video, computer multimedia).
    5. An understanding of basic business practices, including the ability to organize design projects and to work productively as a member of teams.

  4. Relevant Competencies for Specialized Programs (in addition to those stated above for all graphic design programs, and to those stated for all professional degree programs)
    1. For graphic design programs with special emphasis in advertising, design experiences should include the application of communication theory, planning of campaigns, audience/user evaluation, market testing, branding, art direction, and copyrighting, as well as the formal and technical aspects of design and production.
    2. For graphic design programs with a special emphasis in design planning and strategy, design experiences should include working in interdisciplinary teams, systems-level analysis and problem solving, writing for business, and the application of management, communication, and information theories.
    3. For graphic design programs with a special emphasis in time-based or interactive media, design experiences should include storyboarding, computer scripting, sound-editing, and issues related to interface design, as well as the formal and technical aspects of design and production for digital media.

  5. Essential Opportunities and Experiences
    1. Easy access to studios and libraries with appropriate graphic design resources and reference material in other relevant disciplines, such as the social sciences and the humanities.
    2. Easy access to appropriately equipped labs and technology necessary for the execution of design solutions.
    3. Ongoing access to instruction and critique under faculty with educational and professional backgrounds in graphic design. Sufficient numbers of qualified faculty to provide the diversity of expertise required for a comprehensive education in graphic design.
    4. Field experiences and internships are strongly recommended.