Architectural Portfolio – Submission Guidelines

For forty two years, the Architectural Portfolio has been the industry’s most recognized awards program for education design excellence. Published in cooperation with the American Institute of Architects, this prestigious competition celebrates architects and education institutions for their achievements in outstanding school design.

[How the Program Works] [Awards & Recognition] [Submission Guidelines] [Often Imitated Never Equaled] [Unmatched Exposure] [Entry Categories] [How to Enter] [Multi-Page PDF Offer] [Materials for Entry] [Publication Fee] [Judging] [Complimentary Marketing for Published Firms] [About AS&U]

How the Program Works
As an awards program and corresponding sourcebook for school administrators, the Architectural Portfolio gives your projects both industry acclaim and national exposure. Enter your best work and upload a presentation portfolio of project information and pictures. A jury of architects and school and university administrators award Citations and other Outstanding Projects to be published in the fall 2024 Architectural Portfolio issue of American School & University.

Awards & Recognition
Three levels of awards are recognized by the jury and published in the Architectural Portfolio issue.

  • Grand Prizes: Louis I Kahn Award (K-12), William W. Caudill Award (post-secondary)
  • Category Citations
  • Outstanding Projects

Submission Guidelines
Entries are accepted for instructional, administrative and service facilities for public, private and parochial schools of all levels, up to and including technical, community/junior colleges, and colleges and universities. New buildings, renovations, additions, restorations, adaptive reuses and landscaping/campus master planning projects are eligible. The entry may reflect an entire educational entity or a specialized facility, such as an auditorium, child-care center, gymnasium, library, health-care facility, etc. Firms may submit projects outside the United States.

Projects must have been completed after January 1, 2019, or under contract for construction on or before September 1, 2024. It must not have been previously published as a completed project in AS&U’s Architectural Portfolio.

Often Imitated, Never Equaled
First published in 1983, the Architectural Portfolio is the acknowledged “Academy Awards” of school design, putting your project in the company of the best in educational facilities today. The program is published in cooperation with the AIA, and members of the AIA’s Committee for Architecture in Education serve along with school administrators on the jury. Ask any school administrator and he or she will say that the Architectural Portfolio issue is the premier sourcebook for planning school and university projects.

Unmatched Exposure
If selected for publication, you get unmatched exposure for the school/university, architectural firm, and those who worked on the project. The Architectural Portfolio issue reaches a nationwide audience of AS&U subscribers, thousands more who read AS&U, expanded reach through industry event partners and unlimited worldwide exposure on AS&U’s site. Just ask how the Architectural Portfolio stacks up against any other competition for school and university design; it’s the best investment you can make to showcase your project.

Entry Categories

Projects will be accepted for the following categories:

  • Pre-K/Early-Childhood
  • Elementary School Facilities
  • Middle School Facilities
  • High School Facilities
  • Combined-Level School
  • Prototype Facilities
  • Post-Secondary Facilities
  • Specialized Facilities
  • Modular Facilities
  • Community Use
  • Adaptive Reuse
  • Renovation/Modernization
  • Historic Preservation
  • Work In Progress
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Campus Master Planning
  • Signage/Wayfinding
  • Parking Facilities
  • Sports Stadiums/Athletic Facilities
  • Residence Hall

How To Enter
1. Complete the Official Entry Form:
Click here to download a PDF version of the Call For Entries with entry form or enter online. Complete an entry form for each project you want to enter and email to:

Heather Buzzard
American School & University

2. Select your Page Layout
When you enter the Architectural Portfolio, you choose how many pages you want dedicated to your project in the fall issue of AS&U. Additional pages can let you include a quote from the school/university, bigger and more photos, a floor plan or rendering, a design team and allow readers to see all aspects of the design. Multi-page layouts have double the images in the gallery.

Typical Page Layouts:

Pages Photographs Description Quote from School
1 Page 6-8 photos 100-175 words No
2 Pages 8-10 photos 250-300 words Yes
3 Pages 12-15 photos 300-400 words Yes
4 Pages 15-18 photos 400-450 words Yes

Multi-Page Reprint Bonus
Firms with layouts of more than one page and firms that enter more than one project get a free print-ready PDF file of their magazine layout(s) to print their own reprints. PDFs of the pages from the magazine are not available for purchase and are only available to multi-page entrants.

3. Upload Your Portfolio Materials:
To upload portfolio materials, use the instructions emailed to you at the time your projects are entered with link to access our online submittal form. Required materials include project data, project description, space plans and images. No hard copy binders are required.

Materials for Entry

  • Project Description
  • Project Data Sheet
  • Space Plans
  • Photographs/Renderings (minimum of four)

If you are chosen for publication, the materials submitted in your portfolio will be used to create your page in the magazine.

Publication Fee
If your project is selected for publication in the Architectural Portfolio, a fee is incurred to help cover judging expenses, and production, printing and distribution of the magazine. Pay nothing when you enter. If published, you receive an invoice in November.

Publication Fee (per page)

1 page 2 Pages 3 Pages 4 Pages
$1,990 $1,875/$3,750 total $1,730/$5,190 total $1,620/$6,480 total

Per-page discounts apply to multiple pages for one project, or when entering multiple projects.

The AIA’s Committee for Architecture in Education selects architects to serve alongside school administrators on the Architectural Portfolio jury. The jury begins the judging process by determining the criteria they will use to evaluate that year’s entries. They then carefully evaluate the submissions in each category and select projects for publication in the Architectural Portfolio issue: Two Grand Prizes, Category Citations and Outstanding Projects.

Complimentary Marketing for Published Firms

  • Free copies of the Architectural Portfolio issue for the entrant
  • Free project posting in the online searchable Gallery on
  • Free plaque
  • Free Design Professionals Directory listing with logo on
  • Free distribution through industry event partners
  • Free Educational Bond Alert leads alert you to upcoming education construction projects
  • Free project featured in American School & University’s e-newsletter

About American School & University
Founded in 1928, American School & University is devoted to education facilities and business. The authority for information about the school facilities market, AS&U delivers a combination of exclusive reports special focuses and how-to articles. Each fall, AS&U publishes the Architectural Portfolio as a special sourcebook issue celebrating outstanding school and university designs. Ask for a statement that shows the circulation, schools, universities, and business titles we reach.

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