2019-2020 ACSA Budget and Enrollment Survey Results

Budget and Enrollment Survey Results

This year’s Budget and Enrollment Survey reflects budget, applications, enrollment, and academic staffing changes at 98 member schools. For the first time, the survey was available to  all ACSA member institutions, including affiliate and international programs. 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 analysis of the budget and enrollment sections are provided below. Stay tuned for additional findings.


Changes in total budgets in architecture programs showed stability from last year to this year. While approximately 43% of US and Canadian schools reported no change in total budgets, the number of schools reporting a budget increase declined from 45% last year to 36% this year. Responses also showed little to no movement in the percent of schools reporting a decrease. Overall, schools report stable projections for the 2020-21 school year with total budgets showing a slight increase.

Most schools continue to report no changes in their travel budgets. Moreover, most schools are anticipating even greater stability as illustrated by the number of schools projecting no change in their respective travel budgets.

Similar to travel budgets, the majority of schools report no change in discretionary budgets from the 2018-19 to the 2019-20 academic year. Survey findings show a downward shift in participating schools that previously reported an increase, reporting no change this year.


Responses from preprofessional schools show increases that are second only to the B.Arch programs. Just over 1 out of every 4 schools reported a slight increase in both applications and enrollment.

When evaluating this year’s changes in enrollment and applications, the most salient point is the increase in enrollment and applications for B.Arch programs. Out of the responding institutions offering pre-professional programs only 16% of them saw a decrease in either metric.

Conversely, similar to recent year’s findings for M.Arch programs, respondents show a relatively positive correlation between applications and enrollment. While smaller programs tend to follow that pattern more rigidly, (as applications increase so does enrollment and vice versa), large programs most often saw no change or an increase in enrollment.

This positive correlation shown in professional programs is also seen in post- professional programs. However, post-professional programs showed the highest levels of decrease in enrollment as compared to other degree types.

Overall, enrollment and applications for the 2019-20 year showed positive gains in enrollment among undergraduate programs and a positive relationship between applications and enrollment among graduate programs.


Although not as strong as last year, MSIs were found to have a stronger relationship between applications and enrollment than PWIs in M.Arch and post-professional program, which nods to the changing face of architectural education.

Our research indicates that the percentage of schools that are reducing full-time faculty is still well below 5%.  The most noticeable finding on the topic of staffing from the 2019-20 report is that more schools are planning to add part-time faculty than in the previous year.

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.


Kendall Nicholson
Director of Research and Information