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.
SoA Awards & Prizes
The SoA offers a range of awards and funding opportunities for students to recognize outstanding achievement and help support new thought and research to advance the state of architectural practice. All students receiving awards will be asked to write thank you notes to any scholarship sponsors or representatives. All students who have been granted awards must prepare a short presentation in the form of a small exhibit or public lecture.
Detailed information on awards and prizes offered by the SoA, including documentation from previous award winners and application forms, is available at the links to specific awards and prizes listed below.
Bachelor of Architecture Fourth-Year Design Awards
The School of Architecture recognizes and celebrates design excellence through the Bachelor of Architecture, Fourth-Year Design Awards program.
The 2017-2018 theme, Processes, identifies a style of working that situates architecture within complex systems of material, labor, economy, technology, and ecology. How does one use architectural tools and methodology to critically engage, facilitate, or disrupt different types of processes?
Students learn early to carefully consider their personal design process—a series of actions or operations that lead to an end. Instead, this award challenges applicants to consider how their work interacts with natural, technological, or social phenomena, and responds to gradual change through time.
- The Luther S. Lashmit and Louis Valentour Traveling Scholarships recognize design excellence and support international travel and research. All Bachelor of Architecture students in their fourth year of studies are eligible to apply to the multi-round program. SoA faculty review submissions and select up to eight finalists to proceed to the second round where shortlisted students stage an exhibit of their design work in the school and online through the SoA website. SoA faculty conduct a second jury of these finalists to select winners and runner-up(s). The faculty may elect to split and award a scholarship to two students.
- The Stewart L. Brown Memorial Scholarship recognizes professional promise as measured in both attitudes and scholastic achievement. The award serves as a balance to the AIA Medal Award, which is given only on the basis of scholarship. All Bachelor of Architecture students in their fourth year of studies are eligible to participate. A jury convened by the Pittsburgh AIA will review the portfolios and select up to four (4) students for interviews with members of the Pittsburgh AIA leadership. The interviews will facilitate the determination of professional promise and ultimate selection of the awardee.
Students that elect to apply to the awards program are required to submit an anonymous 11” x 17” landscape format portfolio (PDF) of up to 25 pages, which includes their design work to date as well as a positioning statement, of up to 200 words, that situates their work within the awards program annual theme. The 2018 electronic portfolio submission deadline is 9:00AM Tuesday, January 15. Awardees shall submit travel proposals following their selection and are required to receive proposal approval prior to the distribution of funds. Travel award winners are expected to provide a verbal and visual presentation of their travels and research to the School at the annual SoA awards celebration. All students receiving awards will be asked to write thank you notes to any scholarship sponsors or representatives. All students who have been granted awards must prepare a short presentation in the form of a small exhibit or public lecture.
Students must indicate if they would like to also be considered for the Stewart L. Brown award through at the time of submission. In addition to the design portfolio, students should articulate their interests in professional practice through a statement of up to 200 words. Participants may include limited examples of work conducted during internships. Attributions and contributions by others to one’s projects must be clearly stated.
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.
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 $3000 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.