In 1973, the State University System completed A Study of Florida's Future Need for
Architects that concluded that the state would need more than twice the number of
professional architects the two schools then existing in Florida could produce. Since
the Board of Regents (BOR) had no control over the private University of Miami and
the program at the University of Florida was considered too large to expand further,
a new school of architecture at one of the other eight universities was proposed.
At the same time, the 1974 version of Florida's Plan for Equalizing Educational Opportunity
in Public Higher Education was completed. This document, along with the Federal Equalizing
Educational Plan of 1974, called for increasing the number of Black students in the
eight state universities, which were traditionally White schools, and for increasing
the number of non-Black students at the traditionally Black Florida A&M University.
The establishment of a professional school that historically attracts very few other-than-White
males provided a solution to both the desegregation of FAMU and the need to educate
more architects to practice in the state. Consequently, the School of Architecture
(SOA) at Florida A&M University (FAMU) was opened in September 1975 as a joint degree
program with the University of Florida under the leadership of Dean Richard Chalmers
from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited the Master of Architecture
program in 1980 and the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) program in 1986. Both professional
architecture programs have been continuously re-accredited ever since. In 1983, the
Board of Regents approved the School's request to offer a non-professional Master
of Science degree that allows concentration and special study for students who already
have a professional degree or for those who do not seek one. In 2013 the School offered
a Facilities Management track withing the Master of Science. The Facility Management
Accreditation Commission (FMAC) accredited the Master of Science in Architecture--Facilities
Management in 2018. This degree is unique in Florida and amongst HBCUs. Now with
three distinct professional architecture degree programs, the School serves the needs
of a broad range of students, using its resources more effectively while promoting
both the professional and research interests of the graduate faculty.
In 1981, the Institute for Building Sciences was approved by the BOR, and a faculty
member was appointed part-time to direct this umbrella organization for conducting
sponsored research projects, community service, and continuing education. The Institute
has now completed over $10 million in externally funded work.
As part of the University's 2011 reorganization, the School was organized into two
Divisions: the Division of Architecture and the Division of Engineering Technology.
In February 2014 the Board of Trustees approved the renaming of the School to the
School of Architecture and Engineering Technology (SAET). The Division of Engineering
Technology offers ETAC-ABET accredited undergraduate degrees in Construction Engineering
Technology and Electronic Engineering Technology, and also maintains an active research
program. Fall 2020, the SAET offered the Master of Science in Construction Management
& Engineering Technology.
The FAMU School of Architecture & Engineering Technology (SAET) is organized as two
Divisions - a Division of Architecture and a Division of Engineering Technology.