Reaching Others University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content

Dean's Welcome

Dean Robert G. Shibley, FAIA, AICP standing in the UB Solar Strand.

Dean Robert G. Shibley, FAIA, AICP

Join us as we create beautiful, healthy and ecologically sound communities through the study and practice of architecture and planning. 

Here in Buffalo we are preparing and inspiring not only future architects and planners, but global citizens responsible for creating places and spaces that enable people to live life well on an increasingly fragile planet. 

You’ll study under internationally distinguished faculty who are pushing the boundaries of knowledge in our fields and promoting innovation in the practice of architecture and planning. Whether it’s in the classroom, the design studio or the community, you will be immersed in a vibrant hub of new research related to concerns of the built and social environment, and in the center of some of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. Your experiences here will change your life, and start an exciting professional journey in architecture and planning.

From the studio to the community, we are constantly “doing” and “making” through research, built works, special projects and creative activities. Our learn-by-doing approach translates into a culture of enterprise and creative problem-solving embraced by faculty and students alike.  

Perhaps you are interested in exploring our Master of Science in Architecture or our professional Master of Architecture program, the only such program provided through the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Both degrees offer the unique opportunity to conduct focused research through our Graduate Research Groups in Situated Technologies, Inclusive Design, Ecological Practices and Material Culture. Or you may be looking to become a professional planner through the Master of Urban Planning degree, distinguished by its close engagement in the Buffalo region. If a career in teaching and research is what you seek, you’ll find SUNY’s first and only PhD in planning available here at our school. Whatever academic path you pursue, you’ll find a lively, diverse environment that encourages experimentation and engages a rich discourse across the disciplines and in our local and global communities. 

Our school is distinguished by its location in Buffalo, an international city with rich architectural, planning and urban design legacies that is transitioning to a more vibrant economy. An ideal site of investigation for globally-relevant issues in architecture and planning, Buffalo offers inspiring spaces to build and test ideas and a community ripe for change. Our work has ranged from material installations and exhibitions in Buffalo’s Grain Elevators to the development of food systems planning policies for regions across the U.S. with origins in the community gardens of Buffalo’s West Side. 

As UB’s campus architect, I have had the privilege of overseeing the development and implementation of UB's campus plan, "Building UB," which will guide development of facilities to support the growth of research in our strategic strengths and to improve the student experience in classrooms, labs, libraries, dining halls, dormitories and recreational facilities. Best of all, it will make UB’s campuses places that people can truly love. Recently, we completed the UB Solar Strand, which defines a new design vocabularly for ground-mounted solar installations as statements of land art, culture and technological innovation. Of course, the restoration of our own Hayes and Crosby Halls is our statement to the world on sustainable design, historic preservation and 21st century educational facilities for architecture and planning.

While our program is deeply rooted in Buffalo, our faculty and students engage in a robust study abroad program -the largest at UB -taking our programs around the world, from studying suburban sprawl in Estonia to holding design studio in the parks, squares, cafes and monuments of Barcelona. Situated within one of the most international universities in the nation and the largest, most comprehensive campus in the SUNY system, our program draws students from around the world and reaches out to disciplines as diverse as fine arts and engineering. Indeed, our philosophy of diversity and inclusion extends from our classrooms to our approach to pedagogy, research and practice in architecture and planning. 

Today our school is on a strong trajectory of growth, with new degree programs and research endeavors, and ambitious goals to grow our faculty and enrollment. With the potential for even greater global impact, it is certainly an exciting time to be a part of our community. I welcome you to join us — enroll, donate, volunteer, mentor, share your story — as we work together to create a more beautiful, healthy and ecologically sound world.