Maryland Architecture, Planning and Preservation

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



The School has evolved into an academic center that is inclusive of the design, social, cultural and environmental aspects of human settlements. In 2005, New Urban News noted in a national survey of architecture programs that the University of Maryland offers the only architecture program in the nation to include professional Masters programs and related PhD-level studies in planning, preservation and real estate development within the same school.


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 the collaborative environment and cross-disciplinary communication among the faculty and students of all the programs.  Our mission is a quality built environment that promotes social justice, cultural value, resource conservation and economic opportunity.

Dean's Welcome

Welcome to the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation or, for short, MAPP!


MAPP is one of the nation’s leading innovators in the study and transformation of the built environment in all its complex interactions with the natural environment and the worlds of culture, ethics, science, technology, politics and economics. At MAPP, we strive to make the world—and I mean this literally, not just metaphorically—from brick to building and from neighborhood to city and region. We strive to plan, design, develop and preserve better buildings, better landscapes and better communities. Our dedication to building strong communities begins by embracing diversity and inclusion within MAPP's own students, faculty and staff, reaffirming the school’s mission to promote social justice, cultural value, resource conservation and economic opportunity. 


The aspiration to make a better-built environment comes with a great responsibility. The world around us is undergoing enormous changes and facing serious challenges, such as rapid and uneven urbanization; environmental degradation; persistent poverty, security and public health risks; continuous political strife; and growing social inequality. Creating a quality built environment is one of the most powerful ways to address these pressing societal and environmental demands. We must design buildings that save energy; plan cities that are compact and walkable; preserve communities that respect diverse cultures; and execute projects that contribute to a prosperous, just and equitable economy. In other words, we can and we must create a material environment that is conducive to a more sustainable way of life.


MAPP has long been a pioneer in this pursuit, with expertise in social, cultural, economic and, of course, environmental sustainability. In addition, we value beauty, passion, curiosity, diversity, creativity and imagination. These values permeate the four core programs that constitute the school: architecture, historic preservation, real estate development and urban studies and planning, each of which offers a master’s degree. (There are also many dual degree options both within the school and with other Maryland schools). The rich cross-fertilization of ideas that happens every day in MAPP’s classrooms, halls and studios, as well as the incorporation of real-life, community-based projects in the curriculum, invites precisely the type of imaginative, yet pragmatic collaborative problem-solving that today’s professional workplace demands. Interdisciplinarity is also a hallmark of our undergraduate programs in architecture, our new real estate and construction project management minors and the cross-school doctoral program in urban design and planning.


We offer rich study-abroad opportunities and other ways of participating in international projects, as well as exceptional opportunities for participating in projects that serve local communities; for instance, through our Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability program. Our success is proven by the long series of prestigious awards that our students have won from organizations such as the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Maryland Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Urban Land Institute


Together with our academic strengths, our school is a leader in research on livable and sustainable communities. We house the internationally acclaimed National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, which is a collaboration with three other UMD colleges, the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development and the University of Maryland Economic Development Administration University Center. We provide valuable service to many local governments and other entities interested in advancing an active sustainable development agenda; for example, through the work of the Environmental Finance Center, the Planning and Design Center, the Transportation Policy Research Group and the Housing Strategies Group.


In addition to all its other assets, MAPP offers students unparalleled opportunities for intellectual and professional growth with its proximity to Washington, D.C., and Baltimore and Annapolis, Md. Not only are these cities incredible laboratories for experimentation, they provide unique access to a plethora of world-class firms, the state’s and the nation’s government bodies and leading international agencies.


I invite you to learn about the world of possibilities offered at MAPP, and to join us in our quest to build a better and more sustainable world.


Sonia Hirt

Professor and Dean


The School's mission is to educate Architects, Planners, Preservationists, Developers and the many allied stakeholders whose work and scholarship focuses on the quality of the built environment and promotes social justice, cultural value, resource conservation and economic opportunity.


Our faculty, students and alumni collaboratively advance MAPP's vision and commitment through research, teaching, colloquia, writing, creative design, planning, policy formation and professional work. Our mission is historically rooted in our land grant mandate and enhanced by our regional and international activities.

Strategic Plan