ACSA 2017-18 Budget and Enrollment Survey Results

November 2017


This year’s Budget and Enrollment Survey reflects budget, applications, enrollment, and academic staffing changes at 71 schools, comprising approximately 50% of ACSA’s full and Canadian member institutions. The survey is conducted annually and this report includes data collection dating as far back as the 2010-11 academic year. The purpose of this report is (1) to provide a cross-section of information regarding the current status of funding and admissions at architecture schools and (2) identify any ongoing trends survey results may suggest.

An exploration of the budget and enrollment sections are provided below. Stay tuned for additional findings.

Part 1: Architecture Program Budgets

Changes in total budgets at architecture schools saw a downward shift from last year to this year. While approximately 76% of schools reported no changes or slight increases in total budgets, the number of schools reporting a decrease rose from 23% last year to 27% this year. However, the number of schools reporting no change is the highest it has been as documented by this survey at 35%. 
Overall, schools report optimistic projections for the 2018 school year with total budgets showing a slight increase.
Most schools continue to report no changes in their travel budgets as illustrated over the past six consecutive years. However, there appears to have been a 7% shift in the percent of schools reporting increasing travel budgets (2016-17) to the percent of schools reporting no change in 2017-18.  Unlike last year, most schools are anticipating an even further decline to travel budgets in their projections for 2018-19.

Similar to travel budgets, the majority of schools report no change in discretionary budgets from the 2016-17 to the 2017-18 academic year. Survey findings also show a slight upward shift in participating schools that report an 1%-6% increase in budget allocations.

Part 2: Architecture Program Enrollments

When evaluating this year’s changes in enrollment and applications, the most salient point is the repeated increase in enrollment and applications for pre-professional programs.  Out of the responding institutions offering pre-professional programs, almost half of the schools reported an increase in both applications and enrollments and only 12% of them saw a decrease in either metric.

Enrollment for B.Arch programs appears to have decreased from last year's report with more than a third (34%) of schools experiencing this phenomenon.  However, the majority of the remaining schools reported no change in both applications and enrollment.

Similar to last year’s findings at the the M.Arch/D.Arch level, respondents show a relatively positive correlation between applications and enrollment with just over a third (34%) of schools reporting an increase in both metrics.  Also notable, 30% of schools reported recruitment that remained steady (no change) when compared to the previous year.

As illustrated, the majority of participating schools reported no change in both applications and enrollment.  With a small number of schools (10%) reporting an increase in enrollment, the trends in recruitment numbers from last year remain fairly stable.


Overall, enrollment and applications for the 2017-18 year showed not much change in applications and enrollment suggesting stability in architectural education admissions.

Part 3: Other Survey Findings

This year's report shows a promising change in faculty dynamics.  Our research indicates that more schools are adding full-time faculty and fewer schools are seeing a reduction of full-time and part-time faculty than in the previous year.  With the exception of 2016, the reduction of full-time faculty continues to decrease  year after year from its 2010 high of approximately 37%. Schools also reported that there would not be an increase in faculty loads.

ACSA would like to thank all of the schools that shared their data in regards to budget, enrollment, applications and academic staffing. School participation is integral in our quest to provide a full and accurate picture of these dynamics across architecture schools. For questions and comments about this report, contact Kendall Nicholson, Director of Research + Information.

Return to ACSA's Budget and Enrollment Survey page or Data Resources.