University of Kansas

Health & Wellness Option
Master of Architecture Program

Architects have long recognized the importance of good design in promoting human health and wellness. From the Greek Aesclepion, to the monastic cloisters, to the Florence Nightingale model, to the contemporary Planetree model hospital, architects have always been concerned with the connection good design has to well-being. This recognition has taken on added importance recently with research that connects attributes of the physical environment – noise levels, air quality, connections to nature, legibility and clarity of building form – with specific and measurable indices of human well being. Evidence-based design principles have become an essential component in the architectural design process, and this graduate program gives students a foundation in research and design processes that will prepare them for professional careers in healthcare architecture and associated fields that promote human wellness.
This program is carefully crafted so as to prepare students with an essential understanding of:
  • the American healthcare delivery system;
  • theories of health-architecture relationships;
  • progressive approaches to pre-design services (strategic planning, etc.);
  • approaches to integrated practice and comprehensive project delivery;
  • the need for sensitivity and critical thinking regarding architectural design; and
  • the need for these mindsets in the rapidly changing world of architecture
Some topics that students might research and design in this program are:
• Inpatient and ambulatory healthcare facilities
• Environments for special populations
• Natural or built environments that enhance human wellness
• Environments that support alternative healing practices
• Neighborhoods that improve the physical, social and cultural health of the community.
This 75 credit (typical) option is crafted so as to prepare students for professional careers in healthcare and lifecare architecture, or in any building type concerned with the promotion of human wellness (e.g. workplaces, homes, schools). more
Core Faculty
The core faculty of this track provide a rich, multidisciplinary resource to students and include award winning professors, practitioners and leaders in healthful design. more
To Apply

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