Architecture is the art and science of designing and constructing buildings. A wider definition would include within its scope the design of the total built environment, from the macro-level of town planning, urban design, and landscape to the micro-level of furniture and product design. Architecture, equally importantly, also refers to the product of such a design.

Architecture is a profession requiring long and intensive preparation. Architectural education develops the capacity in students to be able to conceptualize, design, understand, realize and meet the expectations of societies for sustainable human settlements and better working and living environments.

Architecture and Urban Planning Department as the name indicates comprises two components. The Architecture component concerns with the work of design and planning of buildings. Urban planning is an activity carried out to guide socio-economic and spatial developments of urban centers.

Brief history

The Architecture Department was launched in October 2005 under the Engineering Faculty based on the premises that there is a strong need of manpower in the field so as to realize the development plan of the nation. Currently the program runs a 5 years curriculum offering B.Sc. degree in Architecture and urban planning.


The department has a mission of promoting democratic thinking, offering high quality education and training, conducting need based research and consultancy, and rendering community service in order to contribute to the development endeavors of the country.


The Department shall be the center of excellence in teaching, research and consultancy in the fields of architecture in the region and produce professionals who are socially responsible, globally competitive and responsive to the specific needs of Ethiopia. To achieve the above stated visions, the department is moving towards better curricular and organizational readjustments. The curriculum revision task at hand is a part of this vital task since it marks:

A. A streamlining of the existing Department of Urban and Regional Planning into two separate but interrelated departments of Architecture & Urban and Regional Planning

B. A birth of a large and strong Environmental Design Institution comprising: School of Architecture and School of Urban and Regional Planning.

Academic program

Architecture is an interdisciplinary field that comprises several major components: humanities, social and physical sciences, technology and the creative arts. "Since architecture is created in a field of tension between reason, emotion and intuition, architectural education should be regarded as the manifestation of the ability to conceptualize, co-ordinate and execute the idea of building rooted in human tradition."

The future of architecture also depends on an understanding and assimilation of the achievements of other disciplines and professions. Although, like other branches of professional education, it is primarily assigned the task of educating future architects, architectural education is, generally, part of the university system and must adjust to and benefit from the traditions of the university, such as doing research and seeing the professional practice within the context of society and science.


The Department of Architecture (More appropriately, A School of Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning) is to undertake researches in the areas of:

Urban dynamics

  • Urban growth and land resource management
  • Urban-rural linkage
  • Urban revitalization


  • Housing design, cost , affordability and identity
  • Socio economic development and housing

Urban infrastructure planning and management

  • Land use planning
  • Local and low-cost building materials
  • Urban community development
  • Urban life style changes

Teaching-Learning Methods


  • Design and planning projects backed by classroom lectures, tutorials and assignments
  • Intensive consultations and one-to-one discussions on proposed ideas and design solutions
  • Lectures by practicing professionals and resource persons on a periodic basis
  • Interactive based “Blended E-Learning” and other such self learning modules,
  • Workshop Practice and Laboratory Exercises,
  • 3D Model Studies,
  • Field visits related to community development/intervention
  • Practical and development oriented planning and design projects
  • Inpidual and group seminars/ project work presentations
  • Group tasks/discussions/Case studies

Core Areas of Specialization

  • Architectural Design Specialized
  • Urban Design
  • Digital Design Engineering
  • Interior Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Environmental Studies
  • Ecological Planning
  • Project Management
  • Facility Management
  • Building Construction and Technology
  • Appropriate Building Technology
  • Construction management
  • Urban planning
  • Rural planning
  • Regional planning

Contact Us

Department of Architecture and Urban Planning
P.O. Box 21
Arba Minch University

Tel: +251-46881-4980
Fax: +251-46881-0279/0820
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.