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Amy Dalrymple, Published July 26 2009

NDSU not worried about South Dakota architecture competition

North Dakota State University leaders say they’re not worried about competition from a new architecture program developing about 200 miles south of Fargo.

South Dakota State University plans to launch an architecture program in fall 2010 so aspiring architects no longer have to leave the state for training.

At NDSU, officials have been watching what SDSU is doing, said Ganapathy Mahalingam, interim chairman of NDSU’s program.

“We welcome the competition, but I think we can still hold our ground as one of the best programs in the region,” Mahalin-gam said.

South Dakota students do not account for a significant part of the enrollment in NDSU’s architecture and landscape architecture program.

Of the 502 students enrolled so far for fall in architecture and pre-architecture, 12 – or 2.4 percent – are South Dakota residents, said Registrar Kristi Wold-McCormick.

Minnesota residents make up 335, or 66.7 percent, of those students and North Dakota has 141, or 28.1 percent, in NDSU’s program, she said.

NDSU could see a greater impact if students from southern and western Minnesota opt to go to SDSU, Mahalingam said.

South Dakota was one of three states that didn’t have an architecture program, said Dan Landes, SDSU’s assistant dean of the College of Arts and Science.

SDSU, located in Brookings with an enrollment of about 12,000, will spend this year recruiting someone to lead the program and developing the curriculum, Landes said.

The first classes will be offered in fall 2010, with the advanced classes starting in the years following.

SDSU’s program is four years of undergraduate training plus two years for a master’s degree.

“I think it will be competitive, very competitive,” Landes said.

NDSU’s program has an advantage because students can earn the master’s degree in five years, Mahalingam said.

NDSU also is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, while SDSU is in its probationary period.

About 150 to 200 students apply each year for NDSU’s program. The past few years, NDSU has admitted 72, Mahalingam said.

“We do turn away quite a few students, and these students may go to South Dakota State,” he said.

Architecture students

NDSU has 502 students registered so far for fall in architecture and pre-architecture.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590