College of Architecture, Design and Construction


The College of Architecture, Design and Construction celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2007. It began with the establishment of a curriculum in architecture in 1907 in the Civil Engineering Department. Auburn was the first university in the South to offer a degree in architecture. The Department of Architecture was established in the School of Engineering in 1912. In 1927, the School of Architecture and Applied Arts, which included a curriculum in art, was formed. Auburn was one of the first universities to grant autonomy to an architecture program originating in an engineering school. A distinctive achievement of Auburn’s architecture program was the graduation of several women as early as the 1920s and 1930s.


A new program in Industrial Design was established in the Art Department in the 1930s. Landscape Architecture and Interior Design programs that were created in the 1930s became part of the Architecture Department, as did the newly formed program in Building Construction in 1942. The school was renamed the School of Architecture and the Arts and retained that basic form until 1986. In 1996 it became the College of Architecture, Design and Construction (CADC), and in 1997, the Interior Design program formally became the dual Interior Architecture/Architecture program. The Graphic Design Program joined CADC and the Department of Industrial Design in 2007, and the department’s name officially changed to the Department of Industrial + Graphic Design in 2009.


Today more than 1,200 students are enrolled in the CADC’s highly regarded graduate and undergraduate programs.


Auburn University’s College or Architecture, Design and Construction (CADC) programs rank among the nation’s best. In the annual DesignIntelligence magazine survey, “America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools 2014,” the College of Architecture, Design and Construction’s undergraduate Architecture and both the undergraduate and graduate Industrial Design Programs are ranked in the top 10 degree programs in their fields nationally.


Auburn University’s Architecture Program is ranked number eight, rising from nine in 2013. This marks the ninth consecutive year the Architecture Program has been ranked in the top 20 architecture programs nationally. 


Rising from ninth in 2012 to sixth in 2013 and 2014, the undergraduate Industrial Design Program in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction continues to be a leader in the field. The Industrial Design graduate program is ranked third and has been ranked in the top twelve programs nationally seven out of the last eight years.


Tin Man Lau, Alumni Professor of Industrial Design, was named one of DesignIntelligence’s 30 Most Admired Educators for 2013. This is the fourth time Lau has been named on this list. He was also honored in 2007, 2008 and 2009. For the seventh consecutive year a CADC faculty member has been named one of the most admired educators by DesignIntelligence.


Vini Nathan, dean of the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, said, "I am delighted that our programs continue to receive national recognition. It serves to support the high academic rigor and professional relevance of the design programs in the CADC. The extremely strong reputation of our programs is testimony to the convergence of bright students, dedicated faculty and staff and supportive alumni, advisory board, administration and industry partners."


Other CADC programs recognized by their respective industries are the Graphic Design and Building Construction undergraduate programs. The Graphic Design program in the CADC is one of only four public graphic design programs listed by HOW magazine, one of the premier and most respected graphic design publications in the industry.



Vini Nathan

Vini Nathan

Dean and McWhorter Endowed Chair