About the School

The University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (MAPP) offers a unique combination of world-class resources, interdisciplinary opportunities, and intimate learning environments, all situated within easy reach of Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Annapolis. The school houses five academic programs:

Urban Studies and Planning
Historic Preservation
Real Estate Development
PhD in Urban and Regional Planning and Design

It also offers an exceptional number of interdisciplinary dual degrees that connect the academic programs within the school and across campus.

We believe that physical design and social environment are interrelated, and that best practice and research should reflect this interconnectedness. All of the school's programs benefit from a collaborative cross-disciplinary environment among faculty and students. Our mission is to create and preserve a sustainable built environment that promotes social justice, cultural value, resource conservation, and economic opportunity.

Dean's Welcome

Welcome to the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (MAPP), Maryland’s Built Environment School.

For over 50 years, our students have united under a common mission: to create work that is grounded in the service of others through the improvement of the built environment. Founded in 1967 with an initial graduating class of 19 architecture students, MAPP has expanded in size and scope to include the disciplines of urban planning, historic preservation, and real estate development. We are dedicated to preparing students to meet the cultural, ethical, economic, and environmental challenges facing the world today, while creating and preserving the beauty found in our communities. We introduce them to the practical, cutting-edge techniques needed to succeed professionally and provide opportunities for practice both in and out of the classroom; the Baltimore-Washington region provides unparalleled opportunities for our students.

Our fearless alumni are accomplished architects, designers, educators, artists, preservationists, developers, and leaders in public policy and government; among their ranks are a former Architect of the Capitol, a mayor, a past President of the American Institute of Architects, the planning director for the City of Baltimore, and tenured faculty at many great universities. Our alumni come back to campus to teach and share their experiences with students or invite them to participate in fellowships, internships, and post-graduate employment.

MAPP offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees within four disciplinary programs: architecture, historic preservation, urban studies and planning, and real estate development. MAPP is also a national leader in interdisciplinary graduate degrees, now offering fifteen dual degree programs within the school and across the University of Maryland campus. Learn more about these interdisciplinary options by visiting our website’s dual degree pages.

The innovative and creative spirit of MAPP is one of our biggest assets. Our students come from all over the U.S. and the world, bringing with them a wide range of interests and experiences. We are proud of our diverse community and work to foster opportunities for students to collaborate in studio and through project- and community-based work, often for real clients. This past year, MAPP students worked on projects for organizations such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation; the National Park Service; Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Harford counties, Maryland; the City of Baltimore; and the University of Maryland’s Office of Sustainability.

Much of MAPP’s coursework contains interdisciplinary elements because we recognize that different perspectives and talents make for great results and best mimic professional life. A hallmark of the school is the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS), the nation’s leading engaged and active learning program; PALS students work with faculty, professionals, and community stakeholders on real-world issues and challenges in communities across our region.

Our interdisciplinary student teams have successfully collaborated in national and international competitions, placing second in the world at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 as well as first place in 2011 and second place in 2007, first in the HUD Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Planning Competition in 2018 and 2019, and made the “Final Four” six times at the ULI/ Hines Urban Design Competition, winning in multiple years.

Our students make better sense of a changing world when they experience it. MAPP offers a diverse, growing roster of education abroad opportunities that foster enriching, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Read about all of our programs on our Education Abroad page.

We offer students an incredibly talented, diverse, and growing faculty that includes practitioners, national and international fellows, artists, and policymakers. In the past few years, we have welcomed six new faculty working in architectural history, affordable housing, environmental justice, climate change and resilience, high-performance building design, cultural heritage, and public education.

MAPP benefits from the leadership, opportunities, and expertise of three research centers—the internationally acclaimed National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development, and the Environmental Finance Center. These centers provide cutting-edge research while offering valuable services to jurisdictions interested in advancing sustainable and equitable development. Recent projects include creating a plan to leverage “smart city” technology in underserved West Baltimore, working with stakeholders and government to create pathways to opportunity along the Purple Line light rail, and assisting jurisdictions in procuring funding for sustainable infrastructure and programming.

Our long tradition of change-making research and creative projects, like Resurrection City in 1968, endures today in community engagement efforts throughout the state and region. It equates to planning and developing walkable, equitable places; designing buildings that save energy and resources; and protecting our cultural and physical assets, particularly those that often go unseen. Shaping better communities defines our legacy and obligation as a school. 

I invite you to learn more about our community by exploring our website; I know you will find us to be an engaged, active, and supportive community dedicated to improving the built environment.

Donald W. Linebaugh, Ph.D., RPA
Interim Dean and Professor