For over 50 years, the mission of the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation has been to educate and engage our students in the issues, challenges, and opportunities of creating a resilient built environment.

The school was first established in 1967 as simply an architecture school, created to meet the growing need for practitioners in the region. It was the first professional program in the state of Maryland. Without a real home to call its own, the first class of just 19 students studied and sketched in an adapted WWII barracks building slated for demolition by the university; students and faculty took advantage of this, deconstructing classroom walls to see how they were put together. MAPP’s inaugural faculty, educators, and practitioners—recruited by the university to build the school’s first curriculum—designed the program’s coursework to be grounded in the service of others for the betterment of communities, a philosophy that carries to the school’s work today.

Some of the school’s earliest projects set the tone for decades of work in socially- and environmentally-minded pursuits, beginning with Resurrection City on the National Mall, part of Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign. The program quickly established a reputation of excellence; its mesh of theoretical and real-world practice, studio culture, and global education has guided generations of students in tackling the complex design problems of their time.

Over the next several decades, the school expanded its reach to include programs in community planning, historic preservation, and real estate development. Like the architecture program, these disciplines have established a culture of excellence in applied, socially-conscious learning, with respect for our environment, human settlements, and heritage. Today, these programs work in tandem to produce highly-accomplished professionals and practitioners, who leave the University of Maryland to make their mark on the world.

School Timeline


  • AIA blue-ribbon committee recommends that the University of Maryland open an architectural school at the College Park campus


  • School of Architecture opens to students
  • Five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree program established
  • John Hill appointed first dean and serves until 1981


  • Accredited Master of Community Planning degree established in the School of Social Work and Community Planning at the University of Maryland at Baltimore (UMAB)


  • School moves into present building
  • Bachelor of Architecture program gains full accreditation


  • First graduating class


  • Professional degree name changed from B. Arch to B.S. Arch


  • Certificate program in historic preservation established


  • John Steffian appointed dean and serves until 1990


  • Master of Architecture program gains full accreditation


  • Master of Community Planning program moves from Baltimore to College Park


  • Steven Hurtt appointed dean and serves until 2004


  • Masters of Community Planning Program moves from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences to the School of Architecture


  • The school is renamed the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation to reflect its increasingly diverse and interdisciplinary offerings


  • Master of Historic Preservation degree program established
  • The National Center for Smart Growth Education and Research is established as a cooperative venture of four academic units: Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Public Policy; Agriculture and Natural Resources; and Engineering


  • PhD in Urban and Regional Planning and Design program established


  • Garth C. Rockcastle appointed dean and serves until 2010


  • Master of Real Estate Development program established


  • Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development established with a gift from Baltimore Developer and Maryland Alumnus, John Colvin
  • University of Maryland places 2nd in the world in the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon with our entry LEAFHouse


  • David Cronrath becomes dean of the school and serves until 2016.


  • University of Maryland's submission to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon wins first place for the design of WaterShed, named for the largest estuary in the country
  • The University of Maryland — Morgan State Center for Economic Development becomes a designated University Center funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The center works with State and local economic developers on applied research and technical assistance projects


  • The school celebrates 40 years since the first graduating class


  • Launch of first undergraduate real estate development course, and the Real Estate Development Mentorship program
  • Students win the ULI Hines Students Competition with Professor Matthew Bell as advisor
  • The school's National Center for Smart Growth launches a major new initiative for community outreach, the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS), a university-wide experienced based learning platform for students


  • Planetizen ranks UMD’s urban and community planning program as one of the 20 best planning programs in the U.S. 
  • MAPP debuts new interdisciplinary archaeology minor for undergraduate architecture students
  • The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation wins the ULI Hines Student Competition for the second year in a row
  • UMD’s Environmental Finance Center launches the Municipal Online Stormwater Training (MOST) Center, a resource to help municipalities within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to improve water quality
  • UMD Team awarded the grand prize in the academic category at the 22nd Annual Congress for New Urbanism Charter Awards
  • A 2013 design studio that re-envisioned the future of McKeldin Library was featured in The Living Library: An Intellectual Ecosystem, co-written by Dean David Conrath


  • Sonia Hirt appointed dean and serves until 2018
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selects the University of Maryland as the recipient of a six-year award to expand the work of its Environmental Finance Center (EFC)
  • UMD’s architecture program was accepted into the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB) Integrated Path to Architectural License (IPAL) initiative


  • MAPP celebrates 50th anniversary
  • UMD takes second place in U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon 2017 with its house, reACT


  • Don Linebaugh appointed interim dean and serves until 2021
  • Four UMD students take home Excellence in Design Awards in the 2018 AIA Maryland Student Design Awards competition
  • The historic preservation program celebrates its 30th year anniversary
  • UMD team wins first place in HUD’s 2018 Innovation in Affordable Housing student design & planning competition



  • UMD team wins first place in HUD’s 2019 Innovation in Affordable Housing student design & planning competition
  • The historic preservation program adds two new dual degree master programs: a Dual Masters in Historic Preservation and Arts in History (HIHP) and a Dual Masters in Historic Preservation and Landscape Architecture (HPLA)



  • UMD team takes second place in HUD's 2020 Innovation in Affordable Housing student design & planning competition



  • UMD team wins the NAIOP Regional Real Estate Competition
  • Dr. Dawn Jourdan appointed as dean of the school



  • Launch of the major in Real Estate Development in the Built Environment
  • Launch of the Creative Placemaking Minor
  • UMD Team Takes First Place in HUD's 2022 Innovation in Affordable Housing Design Competition student design & planning competition
  • Six UMD studio projects were recognized at the 2022 AIA Maryland Excellence in Design Awards. UMD alumni also earned professional accolades in the  jury citation, merit and honor categories. 
  • Two student projects were honored and sixteen alumni projects were recognized for design excellence during the 2022 AIA Baltimore Design Awards. 



  • Seven studio projects were honored and thirteen alumni projects were recognized during the 2023 Maryland AIA PV Excellence in Design Awards. 



  • UMD wins first place for their "The Hill at Greenbelt" project at the 2024 NAIOP Capital Challenge.
  • Students make it to the Final Four at the 2024 ULI Hines Student Competition.
  • Students make it to the Final Four at HUD's 2024 Innovation in Affordable Housing student design & planning competition
  • Three MAPP faculty members— Brandy Espinola, Julie Gabrielle and Marccus Hendrickswere recognized with the Provost’s Do Good Innovator Award.