Message from Tom Buresh, Chair

Tom Buresh

Tom Buresh, Eva Li Chair and Professor of Architecture

Berkeley's Department of Architecture was founded on strong principles of multidisciplinary collaboration and respect for experimentation.

As part of the College of Environmental Design, the Department’s evolution has been nourished by social, cultural, and environmental values, reflected in our innovative teaching, scholarly research, critical design inquiry, and synthetic practice. Fifty years later, our founding principles remain a strong underpinning of our department, while supporting our continual exploration of emerging theory and knowledge in design thinking, innovative materials and technologies, digital design and fabrication, and sustainability. And these fundamental principles and values have never been more relevant. They are precisely what are needed most in our discipline today, and in our world at large, to help us tackle the complex challenges we face in profound and meaningful ways.

Our world-class, award-winning faculty bring both broad and deep intellectual diversity to our educational community. Our undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as our faculty’s research endeavors, cover fields of design and design theory, history of architecture and urbanism, building science and sustainability, structures and construction, social and cultural processes, environmental design in developing countries, digital design and virtual environments, urban design, and visual studies. Rather than embrace a single conception of architecture, by intention, we welcome and value distinct views that broaden each of our own horizons through respectful debate. We are interested in the entire life cycle of the building process, from conceptualization, through design and representation, craft and construction, and the performance of both constructed and virtual environments.

We look forward to a busy and productive year of design innovation and intellectual excellence!


In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards. Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

University of California Berkeley, College of Environmental Design, Department of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

  • M. Arch. (pre-professional degree 120 credits + 48 graduate credits)
  • M. Arch. (non-pre-professional degree + 72 credits)

Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2016