The Department of Architecture was founded in 1956 as the first department of METU with the primary mission of training design and planning professionals to address urbanism, housing and construction problems, among others, on a regional level. Currently, it offers undergraduate and graduate degrees with the aim to equip students with the requisite global and local knowledge and critical understanding in order to promote leadership in professional and academic practices of architecture at national and international levels.
The Department has a contextual, ethical and critical approach which, while developing students’ creative skills and initiative to challenge the mainstream, foregrounds the responsibility for physical and cultural environment and commitment to professional ethics. The Bachelor’s Program in Architecture is affiliated with the Faculty of Architecture together with the programs in the Department of City and Regional Planning, and industrial Design. It is based on a four-year study (including six-month summer practice in total), which is structured around design studios and supported by compulsory and elective courses in the tracks of ‘Design and Theory’, ‘History’, and ‘Technology’. The two-year Master’s, four-year Doctorate and Post-doctorate programs, affiliated with the Institute of Natural Sciences and the Institute of Social Sciences, conduct advanced theoretical, historical and applied research in the discipline with further creative explorations across disciplines, emphasizing social, environmental and technological issues of the built environment. Granting degrees in architecture, building science, computational design and fabrication technologies, conservation of cultural heritage, and history of architecture, the aim of graduate programs is to produce knowledge with a critical approach on the broad spectrum of architectural and urban studies. The Department also offers two undergraduate minor programs for students of other departments, which focus on conservation and architectural culture.
METU campus, situated on a 46 km2 forested land harboring a nature reserve with a private lake, has extensive facilities for educational, cultural and recreational activities, including a large library, a museum of science and technology, and a museum of archaeology that houses findings from the campus precincts. The Department is located in the two buildings of the Faculty of Architecture, which was specifically designed as an architecture school. For teaching and research, the resources of the Department and the Faculty include: Building Simulation Laboratory, Building Materials Library, Computer Lab, Digital Design Lab, Model Making Workshops, Materials Conservation Laboratory, Photogrammetry Laboratory, Photograph Laboratory, and the Faculty Archive. The resources of the University’s “Research and Implementation Center for Built Environment and Design” and “Centre of Research and Assessment of Historical Environment” also contribute to departmental research.
With a distinguished faculty of diverse interests and numerous visiting professors who have contributed to education since the founding years, the Department ranks among the most prominent architecture schools in Turkey, providing a cutting-edge education and research platform. Education in English, student and staff exchange programs, about 15 % foreign students, and joint research projects and education programs with institutions abroad contribute to the international reputation and academic connections of the Department.