SCUP Excellence Awards

Strategic, integrated planning results in exemplary buildings, grounds, institutional success, and careers that inspire.

The SCUP Excellence Awards program is a juried competition that showcases how using strategic, integrated planning can result in exemplary buildings, grounds, institutional success, and careers that inspire! It is open to professional service providers and institutions that have prepared designs or plans for two year and four year colleges, universities, academic medical and research centers, public or private institutions. Entries are accepted from SCUP member and nonmember consultants or institutions. Submittals must be made by a team including the institution and the planning, landscape architect, or architect professional(s).

This award recognizes that comprehensive campus planning and design are collaborative and involve campus planners, architects, administrators, faculty, professional consultants and many stakeholders. We recognize that some plans may take years to fully implement, but it must be evident that a significant event such as a strategic, physical or facilities change, a change that triggered expansion, executive board actions, or establishment of a new strategic partnership has taken place.

  • Excellence in Planning for a New Campus This category recognizes an exemplary physical master plan for an entirely new campus or for planning a new satellite or branch campus physically separated from the established college or university campus.
  • Excellence in Planning for an Existing Campus This category recognizes a comprehensive campus-wide plan for adding, updating, augmenting or rearranging existing spaces due to institutional or community changes. These may include shifts in surrounding land use, enrollment, mission, academic or student life programs, property ownership, partnerships, and system mandates on an existing campus.
  • Excellence in Planning for a District or Campus Component This category recognizes an integrated plan for an entire geographic or functional sub-area of a campus. It includes plans for components of a campus such as athletic and recreational areas, housing districts, or academic medical centers. It could also be an historic preservation plan for a campus precinct that has undergone restoration, renovation or adaptive re-use due to obsolescence, deterioration over time, or deferred maintenance.

This award recognizes excellence in the planning and design of campus grounds for higher education. It includes the sensitive and skillful design of open space and landscape elements such as streetscapes, transit corridors, pedestrian routes, courts, quads, and garden areas, natural areas, and storm water management. The category emphasizes the distinctive use of paving materials, plantings, furnishings, fixtures, and special amenities that enhance the use and enjoyment of the outdoor campus environment. This category focuses on landscape as a system as opposed to a project. (The project should represent the mission, vision and values of the institution and support teaching and student life.) There are no time constraints concerning completion of the project with regards to your entry. Include information on institutional involvement that may have occurred throughout the project, if applicable.

  • Excellence in Landscape Architecture for General Design This category recognizes site-specific works of landscape architecture or urban design. Typical entries include: historic preservation, reclamation, conservation; green roofs, stormwater design, sustainable design; design for transportation or infrastructure; landscape art or installation; interior landscape design; and more. Entries in this category must be built. There is no time limit to when the projects were implemented.
  • Excellence in Landscape Architecture for Open Space Planning This category recognizes the wide variety of professional activities that lead to and guide landscape architecture design. This category focuses on landscape systems as opposed to a specific project. Typical entries include campus landscape master plans, development guidelines, transportation planning, cultural, historic, and natural resources planning, landscape operations and maintenance, stormwater planning, sustainability innovation, and more. Entries in this category do not need to be built or implemented. 

This award recognizes comprehensive campus design and planning are collaborative and involve campus architects, planners, administrators, faculty, professional consultants and many stakeholders. Submittals must be made by a team including the institution and the architect(s). Your project must have been completed and occupied within the past five years.

  • Excellence in Architecture for a New Building This category is for a completely new building(s) designed for single or multiple purposes. The design must respond to the institutional mission, academic and student life program requirements, architectural and cultural heritage, community context, and the campus master plan.
  • Excellence in Architecture for Building Additions, Renovation or Adaptive Reuse This category is for expanding or adding space to an existing building for the same or related use; or it could be for the addition, renovation or adaptive reuse of buildings that no longer suit their original use or architectural intention.
  • Excellence in Architecture for Rehabilitation, Restoration or Preservation This category is for demonstrated skill and sensitivity in restoration or preservation of an existing historic structure for its original or related use, respecting traditional and new building technologies.

SCUP 2018 Excellence Awards Program Calls for Entries


New This Year!
Award recipients for the SCUP 2018 Excellence Awards program will be featured in a special June 2018 edition of Learning By Design, a magazine that is a source for education facility design innovation and excellence.


Submission process: Payment and entries must be submitted through our online application. Prompt to pay by credit card will be when submission is completed.

Deadline: Friday, February 16, 2018, 11:59 pm EST
Cost: $300 USD SCUP members | $375 USD nonmembers (per entry)

Questions: Please direct questions to Martha Marotta at 734.669.3283 or


SCUP Excellence in Planning Submission Guidelines

SCUP Excellence in Landscape Architecture Submission Guidelines

SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture Submission Guidelines


Please review the Frequently Asked Questions prior to creating your submission.



The following information is required as part of the online submission.

Institution Name

Project Name

For the Primary Submission Contact Person, the Submitting Project Representative (Consultant or Institution), and the Institutional Project Representative:
Organization Name 
Mailing Address

For the firm of  each Additional Team Member:
Company Name
Company Specialty

For photographers, artists, renderers, etc. acknowledgement in print and electronic publications of winning entries:
Company Name
Mailing Address

Please be aware that submission to our program means agreement to the following:

The Submitter grants SCUP, the AIA-CAE and Designquest Media, LLC nonexclusive permission to reproduce the material submitted in print and in electronic media. If the submitter’s material is selected for publication, it may be published by or through SCUP or the AIA-CAE with materials from other submissions. Designquest Media, LLC will publish the information in a specially designated issue for the SCUP awards. By submitting materials, the submitter certifies that similar permissions have been obtained from the project's owner(s), consultant(s) and photographer(s) to allow SCUP, the AIA-CAE, and Designquest Media, LLC the right to publish such materials. The entrant (institution and consultant) also certifies that to the best of their knowledge, the information furnished is complete and accurate.


Each juror reviews all the entries on-line and creates his/her shortlist. During the in-person jury meeting, shortlisted entries are discussed and winners are selected for each category. The Honor Award is the highest award. Merit Awards, Special Citations or Honorable Mentions may be awarded. An entry may be moved to another category at the discretion of the jury. There may be minimal or no feedback available for entries that were not shortlisted. Identification of the consultants is concealed from the jurors until deliberation is completed.