Architectural science (M.S.). Students with an undergraduate degree in architecture, architectural engineering, engineering, or computer science are likely candidates for the graduate program in architectural science. Program objectives are (1) to afford an opportunity for students of architecture to expand their creative design potential by increasing their knowledge and understanding of environmental science and building technologies and (2) to provide a framework within which students who have graduated from other technical disciplines may explore computer science, computer graphics, and computer-aided design methods. Students enrolling for studies in computer graphics use the facilities of the interdisciplinary Program of Computer Graphics.
Ordinarily four terms of residence are required to complete the program of study, depending on the student's background and experience.
Architecture (M.Arch. professional) the professional Master of Architecture program (M.Arch.1) is a three-and-a-half-year course of study dedicated to preparing graduate students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds for careers in architecture. The program builds on the excellence and distinction of Cornell’s renowned B.Arch. degree, but is specifically crafted to engage the unique strengths and needs of the graduate student. Committed to the view that the question of appropriate practice must be continually investigated and reassessed in today’s globally expansive and technologically dynamic context, the program places this question at the center of the learning process, seeking to empower the student’s sense of inquiry, responsibility and creativity. Teaching in the program complements basic skills and knowledge essential to the profession with engagement in emergent social, cultural, technical and environmental concerns that characterize architecture’s expanded field in the 21st century.
The curriculum comprises a rich offering of courses in visual representation, history and theory of architecture, technology, and professional practice, complemented by six semesters of design studios. The design studio is the core of the curriculum, with the design project serving as a negotiating platform between diverse practices, technologies and fields of knowledge. The intensive course of study encourages the development of individual research trajectories at the upper levels, and culminates in a one-semester design thesis. Making full use of Cornell University's excellent resources across all disciplines, the M.Arch.1 situates itself globally, drawing upon distinguished national and international visitors, Cornell Architecture’s New York City studio, and traveling studio locations worldwide. The M.Arch.1 program is open to applicants possessing a four-year bachelor’s degree in any area.
Note on Professional Accreditation
In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: bachelor of architecture, master of architecture, and doctor of architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.
Doctor of architecture and master of architecture degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
In order to meet the education requirement set forth by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, an applicant for an NCARB certificate must hold a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by the NAAB; the degree must have been awarded not more than two years prior to initial accreditation.
AAP's M.Arch. (professional) program was formally granted an eight-year term accreditation effective 2013-2021.
Advanced Architecture Design (M.S., Post-professional)
Cornell's Post-professional M.S. in Advanced Architectural Design is an intensive advanced design research (ADR) program. Open to individuals holding a B.Arch. or an M.Arch (first-professional) degree, the three-semester program beginning the first weekday in June offers a critical framework for investigating pertinent design concerns, practices, and technologies in 21st-century architecture and urbanism.
A structure of core and elective studios and courses allows students to pursue trajectories of inquiry within one of four interrelated territories of investigation:
Architecture and Discourse (A+D): Theory, criticism, publishing, cultural production, design research, history and contemporaneity
Architecture and Ecology (A+E): Sustainable practices, soft infrastructures, materials research, environmental simulation, computational design, digital fabrication, performance driven design
Architecture and Representation (A+R): Emerging technologies, drawing fields, digital and generative design, new cartographies, media spaces, architectural publications and exhibitions, theories of representation
Architecture and Urbanism (A+U): Urban geography, typological studies, urban theory, networks, infrastructures, urban imaging, ecological urbanism
History of architecture and urban development (M.A., Ph.D.). Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in architecture, archaeology, history, history of art, or anthropology, or appropriate experience in the field. Applicants may apply for the master's or doctoral programs in architectural history or urban development history. Applicants with previous graduate work can be considered for advanced standing. Master's degree candidates in the history of architecture or urban development programs are required to have reading proficiency in at least one modern language other than English; Ph.D. degree candidates must have proficiency in two languages other than English before beginning the second year of study.
This area offers many opportunities for enrichment through other educational institutions and public or nonprofit agencies. Cornell cooperates with Harvard University in the archaeological exploration of Sardis in Turkey. Students and faculty members often work with summer programs in architectural design, history of architecture, and landscape architecture offered by departments and graduate fields.
Subject and Degrees
Concentrations by Subject
Advanced Architectural Design (Post-Professional)
- advanced architectural design
- theory and criticism of architecture (minor)
- urban design (minor)
- building technology and environmental science (minor)
- computer graphics
History of Architecture and Urban Development
- history of architecture
- history of urban development