About Architecture at Drury

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Dean’s Message: The Drury Difference

Architects combine the raw materials of site, shelter, and human need to make significant places—places that are useful, durable, memorable, and inspiring. This equation is both incredibly complex and ancient. Today, however, the architect’s traditional tasks are supplemented by new ones: architects are leaders, collaborators, organizers, entrepreneurs, strategists, researchers, and inventors.

Portrait of Robert Weddle.The expanding demands placed on today’s architects require training beyond the limits of a strictly professional curriculum. Drury graduates are well prepared to meet these challenges with an education that is not only professionally rigorous and technically sound but also broadened and enriched by the foundation of a top-caliber liberal-arts curriculum. Our graduates think critically and creatively, communicate clearly and effectively, and empathize with their clients and the communities they represent.

The Drury Architecture program’s difference begins with its unique setting—a small liberal arts university committed to preparing students to think outside the limits of their particular discipline. Minors and double-majors are common and encouraged. Students have close one-on-one working relationships with faculty—facilitated by a student/faculty ratio below 14 to 1. For many graduates, these relationships lead to long-term and meaningful professional and personal mentorship.

In addition, the Drury Architecture curriculum extends beyond the design studio:

  • All Drury Architecture graduates study abroad. This exposes students not only to great architectural works and settings but also fosters a broad cultural awareness that is essential for professionals and leaders.
  • All Drury Architecture graduates engage communities directly through participation in Community Studies studios, which provide needed design and planning input to towns and cities throughout the region. Through these experiences, students learn to look and listen closely—developing sensitivity to the real concerns of community members and putting into practice the principles and skills they cultivate in classrooms and studios.
  • All Drury Architecture graduates complete internships in architecture or related fields. This exposes students to possible future professional settings, and to the kinds of collaborative leadership needed to excel in a changing world.

This sensitivity to the profession’s wider context is reflected in our student-body. While many students hail from the American Midwest, international students represent over 17% of our community. They are attracted by Drury Architecture’s rigorous professional program, but also by its difference—its emphasis on an education of both depth and breadth, its intense engagement with its local setting, and its commitment to the global dimensions of contemporary practice.

Robert Weddle
Professor and Dean, Hammons School of Architecture

Why the HSA?

Study Abroad

International study is a hallmark of the Drury Architecture program and tradition. The HSA is one of few professional programs nationally in which all graduating students participate in an architecturally based study abroad experience. These experiences not only expose students to buildings and sites of great significance and beauty, they also give access to other cultures and traditions in ways that contribute to richer professional and personal lives for our graduates. Considering architectural, urban, and landscape issues in a broad cultural context is increasingly essential, as architectural practice becomes more global in scale.

Most HSA students participate in semester-long experiences at Drury’s campus in Aegina, Greece. The Drury Center in Greece architecture curriculum is fully integrated with the HSA recommended courses of study, so students can stay on track while also enjoying a semester of engagement with the beautiful island setting of Aegina. Other students complete alternative or shorter-term experiences in places like Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Copenhagen, and Barcelona.

HSA study-abroad requirements and the Study Abroad Declaration Form can be found in the current edition of the HSA student handbook.


The Hammons School of Architecture is one of the only fully accredited architecture programs to exist within a small liberal-arts university. We emphasize one-to-one instruction from talented and connected professors, in classes and studios with low student-faculty ratios. Drury’s liberal-arts tradition and the personalized education it fosters give students broad preparation and superior critical-thinking and leadership skills.

  • Our curriculum is flexible enough to encourage minors and double-majors, and many students pursue these in diverse fields including fine arts, business, graphic design, and psychology.
  • Our curriculum and faculty support student involvement in music performance, athletics, student government, and other extra-curricular activities.
  • All students complete a two-semester fifth-year thesis, through which they apply research and design skills to individually defined topics of personal interest and importance, often incorporating skills and resources from courses outside architecture, and sometimes with mentorship from faculty in other departments.


To become a successful architect requires the cultivation of direct hands-on skills. Architects shape places and the lives of the people who use them, so they must be able to understand both how to put things together physically and how to communicate and relate to clients and building users. Our program complements theoretical understanding with direct practical experience in making and communicating.

  • Our students are makers—their exploration of materials and construction is supported by an advanced workshop with both traditional and digital fabrication capabilities, including laser cutting, CNC routing, and 3-D printing.
  • Students have access to design-build opportunities and have completed real projects for communities in need—including post-tornado Joplin. A student team is currently designing and building a solar-powered and storm-resilient house for the national Solar Decathlon competition.
  • All students take part in a community-engagement design studio, through which they gain experience working with real clients and solving problems for real communities. Drury community-engagement studios have contributed the equivalent of nearly 6 million dollars in design services to nearly 40 communities across our region.


While Drury’s liberal-arts environment creates a supportive setting for personalized architectural education, our students and our program are also connected to people and places around the globe—reflecting the increasingly global nature of architectural practice.

  • 100% of our students study-abroad for at least 5 weeks, and most for a full semester. Study-abroad opportunities exist through the Drury Center on the island of Aigina, Greece; through a student-exchange agreement with the famed ETSAB program in Barcelona, Spain; and through other summer and semester-long programs that have been based in Austria, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, and Spain.
  • 100% of our students complete 360 paid internship hours in architectural offices or related activities. Our Spring Break Internship Program places top students in high-level architectural practices around the country and abroad.
  • Lecturers and distinguished Visiting Professors expose students to broad perspectives and a range of critical issues, places, and approaches to architectural research and practice.
  • Our program attracts highly qualified students from diverse places. Students hail from 13 states and 21 foreign countries. International students make up 23% of our student body.
  • Students benefit from a growing alumni network spread around the world. HSA alumni can be found in 41 states and 16 foreign countries.


The Hammons School of Architecture prepares graduates for design excellence and professional leadership. These qualities are recognized by the many recognitions our students and graduates receive.

Among them:

  • Two students and an alumnus were recognized in August 2015 as third place winners in the ACSA/AISC Steel Design Student Competition. Current 5th-year students Tony Tai-An Yue and Junye (Spencer) Zhou, along with 2014 graduate Nick Fish, worked with Visiting Assistant Professor Yong Huang on the competition during the spring 2015 semester. The work will be published in an upcoming book and exhibited at the ACSA National Convention in Seattle in March. Learn more…

  • Eight HSA alumni and 4 projects were honored with the 2015 HSA Alumni Design Award. The Jury, headed by Jeffrey Day of Omaha and San Francisco based Min Day, recognized the following projects:
    • An Honor Award, in the “Design Team Member” category, went to Dake Wells Architecture’s Reeds Spring Middle School in Reeds Spring, Missouri. Alumni team members were Matt Thornton ’04, Bethany Henry ’08, Amy Ehlers ’09, Shane Algiere ’10, and Kirk Dillon ’10. Learn more…

    • A Merit Award in the “Design Team Member” category was given to Ian Ford ’01 for his work on the Field Elementary School in Weston, Massachusetts, by Jonathan Levi Architects. Ian is now a Senior Associate at Ann Beha Architects in Boston, Massachusetts. Learn more…

    • A Merit Award in the “Design Team Leader” category went to Andrew Wells ’91 for the Liberty United Methodist Church in Liberty, Missouri (pictured above as photographed by Gayle Babcock of Architectural Imageworks.) This project was also honored with a Best of Year Award from Interior Design Magazine. Learn more…

    • A final Merit Award was given in the “Design Team Leader” category to the Kissick Creek Farmhouse, by John Whitaker ’07 of Whitaker Design. 


The Hammons School of Architecture (HSA) offers a five-year first professional Master of Architecture degree that is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which requires that all accredited programs post the following statement:

In the United States, most 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 offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-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 require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Drury University, Hammons School of Architecture, offers the following NAAB-accredited program:

M.Arch. (168 total credit hours; minimum 30 master’s-level credit hours)

The program received a full-term re-accreditation in 2016, and will next be re-accredited in 2024.

The NAAB requires that the following public information be made available by the program:

NAAB-mandated Interim Progress Reports and Annual Reports:

2016 Hammons School of Architecture NAAB Architecture Program Report 

2016 NAAB Visiting Team Report

2016 NAAB Decision Letter

Admissions Information for prospective and current students

Advising Information for prospective and current students

Financial Information for prospective and current students

Financial Aid Information for prospective and current students

Career Development Information for prospective and current students