Graduate Residency

A professional residency is the culminating experience in which students work with well-established design firms, businesses, organizations, nonprofits or municipalities in a project-based, professional setting. Specific to the unique career goals of each student, a residency provides time for sustained participation in meaningful activities. The guided experience facilitates career development, expand professional relationships and provides a critical opportunity to apply new skills and knowledge to real problems.

In addition to established opportunities at the University of Arkansas Community Design Center and the U of A Resiliency Center, the Northwest Arkansas region provides many opportunities through existing relationships. Fortune 500 companies and nationally recognized architecture and design firms provide unique opportunities regionally, in the United States, and around the globe. The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design provides meaningful opportunities through 70 years of graduates in settings such as Walmart Inc., Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, J.C. Penney Co., Dillard’s Inc., Urban Land Institute Northwest Arkansas and Mayors’ Institute on City Design. Additionally, a meritorious lecture series provides access to international thought leaders such as Juhani Pallasmaa and Mónica Ponce de León.
The residency occurs after the required studios and cognate coursework are complete. Working with the graduate faculty and the graduate coordinator, each student will identify a setting reflecting individual goals. The student will participate as a member of a design team with identified goals and desired outcomes to be explored within the residency setting and time frame.

The student and the residency supervisor complete midterm and final evaluations during the residency experience. The final report will be submitted to the residency supervisor and graduate coordinator, and the report and supervisor evaluations will comprise the final grade.