School of Architecture


A Frontier for Ingenuity and Experimentation

Woodbury School of Architecture is distinguished by its multiple locations at the heart of the Southern California creative industries: Los Angeles, Hollywood and San Diego. Together, these sites form a critical infrastructure for architectural investigations.

Our undergraduate and graduate programs prepare students to effect positive change in the built environment, to tackle theoretical debates, and to take on architecture, interior architecture and landscape architecture as critical practices. We educate our students as entrepreneurs, citizen architects, and cultural builders equally committed to professional practice, theoretical discourse, social equity and to formal and technological inquiry. Our faculty is comprised of active and prolific architects, designers, and academics building and writing across Los Angeles and San Diego.

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A Commitment to the Power of Good Design

Woodbury School of Architecture offers a welcoming environment for students to develop their own unique design voice.  We approach the design disciplines multi-dimensionally, teaching a range of pedagogies and design methodologies. Our students leave Woodbury with the confidence to engage in local and global discourse.

Through engaged faculty-student interaction, we transform our students into innovative professionals with a commitment to the power of good design. We introduce students to resourceful, ethical practices through our curricula and in a myriad of ways through our co-curricular activities. Our students and faculty share a commitment to sustainable practices, community outreach and civic engagement.

Our School of Architecture is among the first 14 accredited architectural programs to be accepted for participation in the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative. Successful students will have the opportunity to have an architectural license upon graduation. With the support of our Career and Outreach Office, we have established a consortium of firms in Los Angeles and San Diego who hire qualified students as part of this program.

We believe that our school is a role model for the direction in which the profession is heading – improving gender parity and ethnic diversity among its members, and reaffirming the importance of ethical conduct and social responsibility. Ours is a welcoming community for every race and orientation, and we resist acts of intolerance in favor of thoughtfulness, generosity and kindness. The economic, ethnic, and academic backgrounds of our students reflect Southern California itself. We are determined to provide a place for open debate, the respectful airing of differences, and for rich forms of expression and imagination.

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“Woodbury University in 3 words: diverse, innovative, supportive.”

— Christine Lara, BArch 2003

“Woodbury has motivated me to achieve my goals. Woodbury is where I gained the knowledge and understanding of all aspects of architecture.”

— Ignacio Rodriguez, AIA, BArch 2007




School of Architecture History

The following is a timeline of major developments toward and within the School of Architecture, starting with the launch of the interior design program in 1931:

  • 1931 Woodbury College launches an interior design program.
  • 1984 Woodbury University adds a new architecture major directed by Don Conway.
  • 1994 Woodbury receives its initial NAAB accreditation under the leadership of Lou Naidorf.
  • 1996 Woodbury hires Linda Pollari as chair of interior design.
  • 1997 Woodbury’s BArch program receives it first 5-year NAAB term.
  • 1998 Woodbury establishes an additional location for its BArch program in San Diego in conjunction with Mesa Community College at the former Point Loma Naval Air Station under the direction of Geraldine Forbes, and changes the name of interior design to interior architecture.
  • 1999 Woodbury hires Norman Millar in its first external chair of architecture search.
  • 2001 Woodbury’s San Diego BArch program moves to a downtown location at 8th and C.
  • 2002 Woodbury hires Randy Stauffer as chair of interior architecture.
  • 2005 Woodbury’s department of architecture initiates a 12-month post-professional master’s degree in Real Estate Development for architects (MArchRED) at its facility in San Diego, and the department of interior architecture is accredited by FIDER (now CIDA).
  • 2005 Woodbury’s School of Architecture receives a $1 million gift from the renowned architectural photographer Julius Shulman, which makes it possible for Woodbury to establish the Julius Shulman Institute.
  • 2007 Woodbury’s School of Architecture establishes a $50,000 annual Maxine Stussy Frankel Faculty/Student awards program thanks to a $1 million endowment in the Frankel Foundation.
  • 2007 Woodbury’s School of Architecture receives the collection of West Coast modern painter Jan Stussy from the Frankel Foundation.
  • 2007 Woodbury’s School of Architecture and Design is reorganized into two new schools: the School of Architecture and the School of Media, Culture & Design. Norman Millar becomes the director of the School of Architecture, Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter and Catherine Herbst become Associate Directors of LA and SD respectively.
  • 2008 Norman Millar becomes the dean of the School of Architecture, Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter and Catherine Herbst became the chairs of LA and SD programs respectively.
  • 2008 The new 19,000-square-foot architecture studio building, designed by Rios Clementi Hale Architects, is completed as part of the LA architecture complex.
  • 2008 Woodbury’s San Diego BArch campus moves to a new 27,000-square-foot facility in the Barrio Logan district of southeast downtown San Diego.
  • 2008 Woodbury’s interior architecture program achieves National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation.
  • 2008 Woodbury establishes the Arid Lands Institute in the School of Architecture directed by Hadley Arnold and Peter Arnold.
  • 2009 Woodbury’s department of interior architecture leaves the School of Media, Culture & Design and joins the School of Architecture.
  • 2009 Woodbury’s School of Architecture launches its MArch program, Barbara Bestor is appointed LA graduate chair, and Vic Liptak is appointed School of Architecture associate dean
  • 2009 Woodbury’s School of Architecture receives a $2.8 million 5-year HSI PPOHA grant from the Department of Education to expand programming. Funding from this grant supports the construction of our Digital Fabrication Labs in LA and SD.
  • 2010 SoA establishes the new Architecture + Civic Engagement (ACE) Center under the direction of Professor Jeanine Centuori.
  • 2010 Cathryn Ziefle is appointed San Diego librarian.
  • 2011 Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter is appointed LA architecture graduate chair, Jeanine Centuori appointed LA architecture undergrad chair, SoA Communications Office is established, Mimi Zeiger is appointed director of communications.
  • 2012 Vic Liptak is appointed interim senior vice president of academic affairs, Randy Stauffer is appointed associate dean, Kristin King is appointed interior architecture interim chair, Hector Perez is appointed SD architecture graduate coordinator, SoA Career and Outreach Office is established, Catherine Roussel is appointed SoA career and outreach coordinator.
  • 2012 Woodbury’s MArch program receives its initial NAAB accreditation.
  • 2013 Randy Stauffer is appointed associate vice president of Academic Affairs, Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter is appointed SoA associate dean, Eric Olsen is appointed interim LA graduate chair.
  • 2014 Marc Neveu is appointed LA chair of architecture, Mark Ericson and Ewan Branda are appointed LA graduate and undergraduate coordinators respectively, Christoph Korner is appointed chair of interior architecture. Catherine Herbst remains SD chair of architecture for both BArch and MArch programs.
  • 2014 School of Architecture launches the Master of Interior Architecture program in Los Angeles.
  • 2015 School of Architecture is among first 14 schools nationwide to be accepted in the NCARB Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL)
  • 2016 SoA launches Master of Interior Architecture (MIA) and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) programs in San Diego.


In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a one 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.

Master of Architecture and Doctor 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.

Woodbury School of Architecture offers the following NAAB-accredited degree programs:

Bachelor of Architecture (160 undergraduate credits)
Master of Architecture (pre-professional degree + 63 graduate credits)
Master of Architecture (non-pre-professional degree + 93 credits)

Next accreditation visit for all programs: 2023.

NAAB Conditions and Procedures
The 2014 NAAB Conditions for Accreditation
The 2012 NAAB Procedures for Accreditation

Career Development Information may be found through the following websites : 
The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
The American Institute of Architects
The American Institute of Architecture Students
The National Architectural Accrediting Board
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
The Emerging Professional’s Companion
The NCARB Handbook for Interns and Architects
Toward an Evolution of Studio Culture

Woodbury Accreditation Reports
Find Architecture Program Reports, Focused Evaluation Reports, Annual Reports, Visiting Team Reports, and NAAB Letters here.

Architecture Registration Examination pass rates can be found here.

The post-professional graduate degree in architecture is considered supplementary and is not accredited by NAAB.  The Woodbury University School of Architecture degree programs of this status are the one-year Master of Science in Architecture- Real Estate Development and Master of Science in Architecture.  For more information on the role of advanced degree programs in the education of an architect, please visit NCARB.

Woodbury University School of Architecture’s Interior Architecture program leading to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation,, 206 Grandville Avenue, Suite 350, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503-4014.

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Woodbury University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Woodbury University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.