Student Organizations

Ask any successful alumni what educational opportunities they found most valuable during their college experience and a common response is the connections they made with peers or professors outside of the traditional classroom setting.  

The University of Maryland offers nearly 1000 clubs, fraternities and sororities, and sports groups on campus, from ultimate frisbee and acapella groups to robotics enthusiasts and service organizations. At Maryland, there is something for everyone. In addition, the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation offers many opportunities for students to experience student life, engage in life-changing projects and community engagement, and make enduring friendships within our tight-knit school. Details on organizations at MAPP are below.

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Form your own group! All you need is eight people with a shared interest. And you can always have fun attending the hundreds of cultural events, movies, lectures, and concerts held on campus each year.

Architecture Student Assembly (ASA)

The Architecture Student Assembly consists of all students enrolled in the Architecture Program including undergraduate and graduate students. The ASA provides official student representation to the Architecture Program Assembly and is the source from which student representatives are selected for membership in the program's committees.

Brian Kelly, AIA
Professor, Area Chair/Director, and Associate Dean, Architecture

American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is an independent, non-profit organization committed to promoting excellence in architectural education, training, and practice. Nationally recognized, the University of Maryland AIAS chapter belongs to a community of architecture students across the country devoted to bettering the educational and professional experience of its members. By hosting social, professional, academic, and service events, AIAS offers its members the opportunity to become more active in their scholastic careers.


Brian Kelly, AIA
Professor, Area Chair/Director, and Associate Dean, Architecture



AIAS logo

Architecture in the Schools (AIS)

Architecture in the Schools (AIS) matches volunteer architects with public school teachers to enrich the learning experience of children. AIS reinforces core academic skills and teaches children how to exercise their analytical and creative skills through the architectural design process. AIS fosters a heightened civic consciousness, bridging the gap between what is learned in school and everyday life.


Madlen Simon, AIA,
Professor, Associate Dean Academic Affairs & Outreach

Christine Hinojosa
Director, Communications and External Relations

Gerard Boulin
Business Services Specialist, NCSG



National Organization of Minority Architects Students (NOMAS)

NOMAS celebrates diversity in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation through programs and initiatives that value the mosaic of cultures and experiences that students bring to the table.


Michele Lamprakos
Associate Professor, Architecture



Alpha Rho Chi (APX)

APX is the national fraternity for architecture and the allied arts. Its brotherhood unites men and women for the purpose of fellowship and lifelong friendships and mutual interest in professional development. This is exemplified by the fraternity's motto: Fidelitas, Amor et Artesor, "Fidelity and Love of the Arts."


Brittany Williams
Lecturer, Architecture



Women in Architecture (WIA)

In a field that is predominantly male, it is vital to fill the absence of a well-established community to specifically empower women. Through weekly meetings and planned events, members discuss and understand how to empower women within the discipline as well as build a network of aspiring and established female architects and designers. If this is something you are interested in being apart of, please join our professional organization. Both men and women are encouraged to participate and become members of WIA.


Lindsey May
Interim Assistant Director, Architecture



Roots Home and Abroad

Roots is a student organization working to empower and create sustainable communities, both home and abroad, through long term projects. Although our team is based in the School of Architecture, we welcome students of all backgrounds. Our projects focus on the architectural design of living spaces. At home, we work in the communities of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Abroad, we accompany nongovernmental organizations in the journey to improve the communities of Haiti.


Ronit Eisenbach, Professor, Architecture



Student Planning Association (SPA)

The Student Planning Association (SPA) is an organization of students working toward a Master of Community Planning (M.C.P.) degree in the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of Maryland. Its primary function is to promote student involvement in the continued development of the planning program and profession, but it also provides a casual atmosphere in which students, faculty, and staff can interact socially as well as intellectually.

The SPA:

  • Functions as a liaison between faculty and students, and attends monthly faculty meetings

  • Serves as the "voice" for the URSP student population

  • Plans student social activities and promotes educational activities and lectures on campus and in the region

  • Works to strengthen the connection between current students and program alumni

  • Coordinates activities with the university's Graduate Student Government

  • Plans the URSP student trip to the American Planning Association's annual conference, held each spring

  • Appoints student representatives to attend APA meetings of the National Capital Area Chapter, and the Maryland Chapter

Officers are elected each spring to replace those who are graduating. If you are thinking about running for office, and would like more information about the duties involved, please contact any of the current officers.

Kari Nye, President

Alex Bailor

Anna Brinley

Sarah Bond

Ellen Kortesoja


Ariel Bierbaum
Assistant Professor, Urban Studies & Planning




Other Planning Organizations

American Planning Association (APA) is a non-profit public interest and research organization representing 30,000 practicing planners, officials, and citizens involved with urban and rural planning issues. The organization has 46 regional chapters and 17 divisions of specialized planning interests. The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is APA's professional and educational component, certifying planners who have met specific educational and experiential criteria and passed the certification. First year students receive a free year of membership to APA. Other full-time students interested in planning are eligible to join APA at a reduced cost. It's the best way to establish a solid professional foundation at the very beginning of your career. The New Planner, an online newsletter written by and for planning students, discusses what your peers are doing around the country. Chapter meetings and other functions foster networking and learning about planning in the real world. When you submit your membership form, remember to also join your local APA chapter, either the National Capital Area Chapter, or the Maryland Chapter.

Graduate Student Government (GSG) ensures that University of Maryland graduate concerns and opinions are represented on campus. The goals of GSG are to provide a measure of independent attention to university policies and services that affect graduate students, emphasize and encourage the growth of departmental grad organizations, and encourage a greater sense of community among graduate students. You are invited to social events organized by the GSG; there are several each semester.

University Senate provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, students, and administrators to participate in campus governance. The primary function of the senate is to advise the president on "virtually all campus policy matters and concerns, including but not limited to: education, budget, personnel, campus-community, long range plans, facilities, and faculty, staff and student affairs (subject to the limitations imposed by laws or mandates from the University of Maryland System Board of Regents or the Chancellor)”.

Historic Preservation Organization (HiPO)

The Historic Preservation Organization (HiPO) provides students who are working towards any historic preservation degree with opportunities to further engage the preservation community at the University of Maryland and beyond. Founded in 2004, our student-run organization offers lectures, site visits, and social events that connect Maryland students to current preservation issues, job opportunities, and the great group of people that make up the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Maryland.


Dennis Pogue
Adjunct Associate Professor and Interim Director, Historic Preservation