School of Architecture & Community Development

  • 100%

    0f 2015 grads were employed within 60 Days

  • 1964

    through 2022, SOA is fully accredited by NAAB

  • 4

    students won best student project from AIA MI

  • 1

    Only Michigan Architecture school to require formal internships

  • 1st

    Best pass rates in MI on Architect Registration Exam, averaged over 7 years

  • 1 of 6

    schools in the country with a commitment to social justice

Building on our heritage of over 55 years and our unique relationship with Detroit as our home, the School of Architecture & Community Development is internationally recognized for our social, economic and environmental justice-driven and student-centered approach. The School is divided into two departments, Architecture and Community Development, and the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, an applied teaching and research center.

The School is strongly committed to a broad-based liberal arts education that prepares architects to understand the spectrum of human endeavors. The School intentionally keeps its enrollment small to maintain relationships with each student. SACD advocates an open dialogue about architectural issues and philosophies, then searches for deeper architectural meaning than that offered by trend, fad or style.

Thanks to the Downtown Boxing Gym for creating this video and for its use.

The curriculum provides a foundation in design excellence, and also addresses contemporary issues, including a focus on urban revitalization, and issues of environmental justice and sustainability. This foundation is provided through both in-class and out-of-class experiences that develop a student's understanding of societal concerns.

The School is actively involved in the life of the community. Through its design studios and Master of Community Development, and through the Detroit Collaborative Design Center — an outreach of the School — SACD serves the community of which it is a part. The ability to gain real world understanding is further enhanced through the mandatory cooperative education program and through the optional international studies programs.

The Architecture master’s program offers a National Architectural Accrediting Board-accredited professional degree. Read more on NAAB accreditation.

Learn more about our programs in our own words.

Studio Culture

Community Engagement

Practice-Ready Graduates

Study Abroad in Italy

Study abroad in Poland

Workshops and Labs

Faculty Mentors

Home Away from Home

Financial Aid

Alumni Success

About MCD


Student-published journal, focusing on social justice and critical thought

Student Work Gallery

Find student work from all programs

Detroit Collaborative Design Center

A multi-disciplinary, nonprofit design center based in Detroit Mercy's School of Architecture & Community Development


Meet our graduates and see what they're working on

SACD Lecture Series

Presented by the Great Lakes Fabricators and Erectors Association