four people seated at table signing documents; half the table has GVSU tablecloth, half of it is a Kendall College of Art and Design tablecloth

GVSU engineering students now have pathway to master's degree in architecture from KCAD

Top Photo: From left are, from GVSU: Paul Plotkowski, dean of the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing; Chris Plouff, interim provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs; from KCAD: Stephen Halko, KCAD dean of Academic Affairs; and President Tara McCrackin.

Leaders at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) and Grand Valley have signed an articulation agreement that establishes a pathway to degree completion for GVSU interdisciplinary engineering students interested in pursuing a master's degree in architecture from KCAD.

The articulated curriculum will allow students to develop deep knowledge in the disciplines of architecture and engineering, which is essential for effective collaboration and success in the built environment industry. The agreement also provides students with an accelerated timeline to degree completion and reduced costs.

Beginning in the Fall semester, students who participate in the articulated curriculum will be able to complete KCAD Master of Architecture requirements as electives to fulfill their undergraduate degree requirements at GVSU, allowing them to complete both degrees in six years rather than the typical seven-year timeline.

three men standing near bulletin board; man at front gestures with hands at content on board. He is wearing a suit coat with no tie, white shirt.
Michael McCulloch, KCAD associate professor of architecture and program chair, talks with Chris Plouff and Paul Plotkowski.
four people standing, man in suit coat gestures to other three; small 3D printed items on table in front of them
From left are Chris Plouff, Paul Plotkowski, Lindsay Corneal and Michael McCulloch. Corneal is the assistant director for the School of Engineering and an associate professor.

“By collaborating with KCAD, this agreement will provide uniquely effective preparation,” said Paul Plotkowski, dean of the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing. “This collaboration by two regional institutions is a great example of working together to answer the interests of our students and employers in a high-demand field.”

Students who pursue this curriculum will have the unique opportunity to develop a thesis within the architecture program that has an engineering component, supported by engagement with a GVSU engineering faculty advisor.

KCAD’s Master of Architecture program engages students in a deep exploration of the discipline that considers innovation, sustainability and context as equally as aesthetics. Michael McCulloch, associate professor of architecture and program chair, said the imperative to design a sustainable built environment has only increased the importance of adopting an integrated design process, which engages both architectural and engineering considerations from the beginning of a project.

“Students will benefit from the diversity of experiences available between the two campuses, including the opportunity to engage with artists and designers from across KCAD,” said McCulloch.


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