School of Architecture Awards & Opportunities  

A variety of awards, prizes, internship opportunities, scholarships, and design competitions are available annually to students, faculty, and alumni of the School of Architecture. Please refer to the information listed below for further details.

SoA Awards & Prizes

Detailed information on awards and prizes offered by the SoA, including examples of work from previous award winners and application forms, is available at the links to specific awards and prizes listed below.

SoA Design Competitions 

Please reference the School communications for information regarding design competitions. The following Carnegie Mellon-specific competitions are held in conjunction with the design studios.

  • The Epic Metals Corporation sponsors the EPIC Metals competition for Carnegie Mellon third-year Bachelor of Architecture students to design an innovative object utilizing metal deck systems. Students compete for up to three prizes – first, second, and third place – which share $2,400 in prize money. The first-place team may be invited to tour Epic Metals’ manufacturing plant in Rankin, PA.

SoA Financial Aid Scholarships 

The School of Architecture offers scholarships based on the financial need of student recipients.

  • The Lewis J. Altenhof Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a student(s) with financial need studying in the School of Architecture who exhibit(s) extraordinary academic and extracurricular achievement. The amount of such scholarships and the selection of the recipients shall be determined by the Office of Financial Aid and the Head of the School of Architecture and will be applied directly to the student’s account. Funds are to be used to support study abroad activities, and will be directly applied to the student’s account.

SoA Commencement Recognition

The School of Architecture recognizes outstanding undergraduate student work through its annual commencement awards program. The following awards are given to students either at the College of Fine Arts Honors Ceremony or the School of Architecture Diploma Ceremony.

  • AIA Medal and Certificates are given each year as a part of the AIA/AIAS Foundation Scholarship Program. The AIA awards the Henry Adams AIA medal to the top-ranking graduate in each architecture program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. The Henry Adams AIA Certificate is awarded to the second-ranking graduate. The School selects candidates based on the guidelines provided by the AIA national organization.
  • The Alpha Rho Chi Medal is awarded to the graduating student who demonstrated leadership, performed willing service for the School, and shows promise of real, professional merit through his/her attitude and personality. The award encourages and promotes professional qualities in the student that do not necessarily pertain to scholarship. High ideals and professional aspirations, public service, and leadership are worthy of reward. Alpha Rho Chi, the National Professional Architectural Fraternity, tenders its bronze medal only to schools with accredited and/or approved architectural programs.

  • The John Knox Shear Traveling Scholarship is the preeminent School of Architecture award given by SoA Faculty to a graduating Bachelor of Architecture student with a record of outstanding design work. All graduating Bachelor of Architecture students are required to submit an electronic portfolio in accordance with the formatting guidelines distributed in the spring semester. These portfolios comprise the graduation exhibit staged in the School of Architecture. The awardee, as selected by SoA faculty, is announced at commencement.

SoA Internships 

The following internship opportunities are available to SoA students to help advance their experience in architectural practice and prepare them for their future career endeavors.  

  • The Measuring & Monitoring Services, Inc. Internship Fund has been established through the generosity of James Halpern, BAC ’81. The Fund provides $3,000 of financial support to a SoA undergraduate student who wishes to undertake a summer internship or related program under the guidance of established professionals. The internship fund recognizes the importance and advantage of being immersed for an extended period in the creative processes and organizational dynamics of an architecture firm, non-governmental organization, non-profit organization, or CMU faculty member.

    Funds may be used to supplement paid internships, to volunteer for non-profit or non-governmental organizations, or to participate in a research project with a CMU faculty member. Funds are not to be used to compensate for unpaid internships with for-profit firms. Application for this award occurs in the Spring semester.

  • The SOM Internship is a job opportunity established at the School of Architecture by one of the most noted international architecture practices in the world. The internship provides two (2) paid summer positions in the firm’s New York office for exceptionally talented and dedicated fourth-year students in the Bachelor of Architecture program. Candidates are selected by a faculty committee and then interviewed and approved by SOM. Approved students receive a salary directly from SOM and are responsible for their own living expenses in New York. Upon completion of the internship, the students give a joint presentation of their work and experience to the School in the fall semester of their fifth year.