Department of Architecture and Planning, NIT Calicut: Nurturing Talent, Achieving Success 

Department of Architecture and Planning
Department of Architecture and Planning, NIT Calicut

The architecture and planning are undergoing a magnificent shift in terms of new opportunities. While core technical skills remain vital, institutes are increasingly emphasizing design thinking, sustainability and social impact. This prepares graduates to tackle complex urban challenges and fosters collaboration across disciplines. Institutes play a crucial role by providing cutting-edge facilities, industry connections and diverse faculty to equip students for a rapidly evolving built environment.

Within this dynamic backdrop, the Department of Architecture and Planning at the National Institute of Technology, Calicut, shines as a prime example of excellence and innovation in the field, situated amidst the serene environs of Kattangal, Kozhikode, Kerala.

Originally founded in 1961 as a Regional Engineering College (REC), NIT Calicut underwent a developmental arc, earning its status as a National Institute of Technology in 2002. With its comprehensive offerings in Engineering, Science, Technology, and Management, the Department of Architecture and Planning emerged as a distinguished entity in 1999.

Under the astute leadership of Dr. Mohammed Firoz C—an esteemed Associate Professor and Head of DepartmentNIT Calicut’s Department of Architecture and Planning has continually pushed boundaries and set new benchmarks.

From its inception, the department has been a pioneer in architectural education, offering the B.Tech. (Architectural Engineering) program since 1985. This pioneering spirit continued with the introduction of the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) program in 1999, further solidifying the institute’s commitment to producing well-rounded professionals in the field.

Actively seeking innovation, the Department of Architecture and Planning expanded its horizons by introducing the Master’s in Urban Planning program in 2015. This forward-thinking move reflects the institute’s adaptability and recognition of the industry’s changing demands.

With a current intake of 59 students in the B.Arch. program and 16 students in the M.Plan program including additional seats in the self-sponsored category, NIT Calicut’s Department of Architecture and Planning continues to attract the best and brightest minds from across the country.


To develop professional expertise and proficient scholarship in architecture, planning and allied disciplines, ingrained with social and environmental responsibility through interdisciplinary knowledge integration and cutting-edge research.”


To advance and disseminate approaches to address complex challenges faced by the society at large, by equipping students to actively participate, anticipate and respond to the contemporary built environment milieu.”

From Humble Beginnings

Establishing the department within a technological institute primarily focused on engineering sciences posed significant challenges in carving out an identity for architectural education. Unlike engineering programs with a standard four-year duration, architecture students underwent a five-year graduation period, requiring a distinct approach emphasizing creativity and innovation in architectural sciences. Initially housed within the civil engineering building, the architecture department faced a prolonged journey before attaining its current status.

Building Excellence

The department steadily enhanced its portfolio through the dedicated efforts of its faculty and students. Engaging in numerous consultancies and contributing to various building projects within the institute, the department established itself as a reputable entity in architectural education.

Moreover, graduates from the department left a significant mark on the profession, commanding the highest remuneration rates. These collective endeavors garnered recognition for the department across multiple platforms and led to accolades from various agencies.

Comprehensive Architectural Training

The Department consists of several laboratory facilities designed to impart comprehensive training in various architectural technologies to its students. Emphasizing creativity and innovation, the department fosters these qualities through diverse engagements such as competitions, exhibitions and workshops. Notably, students actively participate as organizers in these events, further enriching their educational experience and nurturing their leadership skills.

Dr. Firoz shares, “Our students also attend multiple courses in various disciplines associated with other departments and centers of NIT Calicut providing them with an all-round development required for the practice.”

Bridging Worlds

The institute proactively engages with global experts to keep students and faculty abreast of the latest advancements in architecture and design. The institute facilitates knowledge exchange and fosters a culture of continuous learning through invitations to experts from around the world. Additionally, it hosts international conferences focused on architectural pedagogy, deliberating on future trends and evolving methodologies to align with contemporary needs.

Recognizing the importance of staying current, the institute regularly updates its syllabus to incorporate new courses reflecting the latest demands of the profession. This ensures that students receive a comprehensive education that prepares them for real-world practice.

Moreover, students are actively involved in various projects and internships from the early stages of their architectural education. This hands-on experience allows them to develop a competitive portfolio, ensuring they are well-equipped to enter the profession upon graduation.

Excellence Recognized

The Department has achieved remarkable recognition, securing the prestigious second position in the NIRF rankings for Architecture and Planning consecutively for three years – 2023, 2022 and 2021. Prior to this, it secured the third position in the rankings in 2020 and 2019, as per the NIRF Ranking of the Government of India.

Building upon its consistent performance, the Department of Architecture and Planning has maintained its prominence, previously ranking fifth in India among the Best Schools of Architecture by the Outlook Survey 2017. Remarkably, this marked the fourth consecutive time, starting from 2014, that the Department has maintained its position in the top ten schools in India. Notably, it was ranked sixth in the years 2016 and 2015 in the Outlook Survey.

The Department’s impact extends more than academic rankings. It played a pivotal role in securing the UNESCO tag for the City of Literature for Kozhikode, garnering praise for its efforts. Moreover, the Department recently achieved the esteemed status of Centre of Excellence in Urban Planning and Design for the institute, receiving an endowment fund of Rs 250 crore. This designation, one of four centers designated for India under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, is an exclusive one for the Southern region further highlighting the Department’s significance on a national scale.

Hands-On Learning

Graduates from DAP-NITC forge connections with top-rated architectural practices through their internships and actively engage in a wide array of architectural competitions. Their involvement spans beyond academic realms as they actively participate in NASA (National Association of Students of Architecture) activities and organize exclusive architectural events and workshops. Through these experiences, students hone their skills as effective managers, organizers and leaders within their community.

Moreover, students benefit from the training provided by industry professionals and practicing architects, who serve as adjunct faculty members and industry experts in their respective subjects and design studios. This collaboration ensures students stay abreast of the latest developments in architectural practice, equipping them with relevant and up-to-date knowledge as they embark on their professional journeys.

Diverse Perspectives

NIT Calicut’s steadfast commitment to inclusivity and diversity resonates within the Department of Architecture and Planning, where participation from the entire community is actively encouraged. The department comprises a diverse faculty body hailing from over 11 states of India.

Similarly, the student body represents almost 20+ states, fostering a vibrant and inclusive learning environment. Notably, many batches exhibit a positive gender ratio, with increased participation from girls at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Furthermore, the research segment within the department is well-represented, with more than 50 women researchers actively engaged in exploring various facets of architecture and planning.

Empowering Entrepreneurs

The Department actively organizes exclusive sessions with industry leaders, providing students insights into professional practice. Notably, 5-10 percent of each graduating batch ventures into entrepreneurship, establishing successful practices and creating employment opportunities. Faculty and students also collaborate with the Institute Innovation Council, conducting workshops and mentoring sessions for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Towards Multidisciplinary Excellence

The institute is striving to attain the status of a Multidisciplinary Educational and Research University, fostering collaborations with agencies from India and abroad. In line with this goal, the Department of Architecture and Planning has forged multiple partnerships with architectural and planning agencies, aiming to become India’s top-ranked department and a global leader.

Alumni from the department are spread across various countries worldwide, with ambitions to expand further and establish a top-level educational consortium shaping towns and cities globally. Moreover, the department is actively promoting advanced research using AI and ML, with projects under the Centre for Excellence in Sustainable Cities at NIT Calicut.

Additionally, the department aims to be the premier choice for high-value architectural consultancies in Kerala and beyond, leveraging its expanded faculty team and talented student pool to drive impactful urban development initiatives.

Celebrating Success

The Department of Architecture and Planning at NIT Calicut takes immense pride in the achievements of its students, reflecting their dedication and excellence in various domains.

Fathima Zehba M.P., a PhD scholar, was honored with the prestigious Commonwealth Split-Site PhD Scholarship in 2023. Currently, she is engaged in her research at The Bartlett School of Architecture, London, further enhancing the department’s global presence.

In the NIUA-NMCG Sponsored Student Thesis Competition and Scholarship Awards, several students have showcased their brilliance. Arunima K, Vishrut Goswami and Sakshi Katekhaye emerged as recipients in both UG and PG categories, securing a scholarship amount of Rs 50,000 each. Their outstanding achievements are testament to their commitment to excellence.

Meghna Anilkumar’s accolade as the recipient of the Best Thesis – M. Plan. prize in 2022 from the ITPI-Kerala Chapter underscores the department’s commitment to academic excellence. Similarly, Promiti Mallik’s dual awards in the Institute of Town Planners India’s Best Thesis Award and Best Thesis – M. Plan. from the ITPI Kerala Regional Chapter highlight the caliber of students produced by the department.

The achievements of Muhammed Misfar Mustafa, Mehrin Fathima, Joel P Anil, Anagha Jyothi Kumar, and Ramjith K Jayan in various competitions including the AIS Design Olympiad and NIUA’s urban youth unit Logo design competition exemplify the diverse talents nurtured by the department.

Moreover, several students have been recognized for their original research contributions in conferences across India. Vandana Yadav, Damarla Sai Puneeth, Sharon Ann Mathew, Ajay A P, Priya Sinha, Athulya B Raj, and Aswin M have received the Best Paper Award for their exemplary work, showcasing the department’s commitment to fostering research excellence.

These achievements collectively reflect the department’s commitment to nurturing talent and fostering a culture of academic and research excellence.

Top stories