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Portland Business Journal: Portland State builds a new master's degree
Author: Matthew Kish, Portland Business Journal
Posted: April 11, 2013

Read the original story here in the Portland Business Journal. 

Portland State architecture graduates can breath a sigh of relief.

The university launched a master's degree in architecture in 2009. The first class graduated in 2011.

This week, the program received initial accreditation, meaning the program's students, including those who have already graduated, can pursue professional licenses.

"The professional degree accreditation has long been a focus for PSU and the architectural community," said Barbara Sestak, dean of the College of the Arts, in a news release. "We are absolutely delighted that it has come to fruition and that our partnerships have flourished and can continue to grow."

The National Architecture Accrediting Board granted initial accreditation after evaluating the program for five years.

The accreditation is critical. In order to receive a license, an architect must graduate from an accredited program, complete an internship and pass an exam.

The job market is improving for architects as the real estate market improves.

Seventy-five percent of the students in the program's first class already have jobs.

"Over the last couple of months, we are beginning to see an upturn in hiring," said Saundra Stevens, executive vice president of AIA Portland and AIA Oregon, in a news release. "We expect growth to be slow for a while, but Portland firms tend to be very deliberate about their hiring practices. Generally, when they hire, they are hiring for the long term."