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About the College

Dean’s Message

Thank you for visiting the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts.

This is a creative, special place, and we aim for everyone to feel welcome. In our teaching, scholarship, and arts and design practices, we value inclusiveness, equality, and excellence.

We are lucky to be located in the vibrant city of Chicago, which serves as the college’s artistic canvas, its historical teacher, and everyday inspiration and collaborator.

We are proud of our international profile as a college—our alumni and faculty have won every award in their fields, including to name a few: USA Fellow Awards, the Rome Prize, Progressive Architecture Design Awards, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Design Awards, and the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects, Whitney Biennial and Venice Biennale invitations; Fulbright, Guggenheim, and Mellon Fellowships; AIGA Medals and Fellowships, National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships; IDSA Fellowships; Alliance Graphique Internationale Memberships; Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards, and Jeff Awards.

CADA is also proud to be able to offer a more accessible path to an arts and design education because we are part of the public University of Illinois at Chicago. The less debt you have after your education, the more freedom you will have to make bold and brave choices.

You can read more about the schools, the majors, and concentrations offered, as you explore our website. As you do, I want you to know that upholding all of what we do is our aim to educate multifaceted people who approach their education with a strong sense of purpose. In this, I am inspired by the great cellist Yo Yo Ma’s idea of the citizen artist.

What is a citizen artist? Citizen artists seek to discover how their unique voices can contribute to our world. They understand why they are artists: what they are here on earth to say, to study, to create. This is the sense of creative purpose that exists among all the citizens of our college – staff, faculty and students alike.

When you join the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, you’ll begin to seek this understanding, and you’ll have the chance to do it in the company of a diverse and tight-knit community of other inquiring students.

The French author Émile Zola said, “I came to live out loud.” The College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago is a perfect place to do just that, and in the process discover what you are here to make, to do, and to become.


Rebecca Rugg

Mission History Board of Advisors