Advanced Architectural Design (Post-Professional) [Administered by A.A.P] M.S. (Ithaca)

Field of Study


Program Description

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

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-5236

139 E. Sibley Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • advanced architectural design
  • theory and criticism of architecture (minor)
  • urban design (minor)


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Summer, Jan. 3; no fall or spring admission

Requirements Summary:

Applicants to the architecture (M.Arch. professional) and design programs must also submit a portfolio of visual materials.

International students whose undergraduate training has been completed outside the United States are admitted as provisional candidates. They should plan to spend at least four terms in residence for the master's degree. TOEFL minimum score of 600 (paper-based) or 250 (computer-based) .

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the English Language Proficiency Requirement for all applicants
  • Two recommendations
  • Transcripts: Submit completed and official transcripts from each college or university previously attended to the field to which you are applying. If it is against an institution's policy to send transcripts to the applicant, the transcripts can be mailed by the school directly to the field to which you are applying.
  • GRE general test scores are optional
  • Portfolio of creative work (Post-Professional M.Arch applicants only)
  • Statement of purpose (A one- or two-page statement, preferably printed on white paper, outlining your research interests and intents for graduate study at Cornell. Please relate these intents to your previous design and academic experience, and to your future goals. Include your full name and your proposed field of study at the top of each page.)

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: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the 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. Master's 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.

The NAAB grants candidacy status to new programs that have developed viable plans for achieving initial accreditation. Candidacy status indicates that a program should be accredited within 6 years of achieving candidacy, if its plan is properly implemented.

Learning Outcomes

There are four primary learning outcomes for the post-professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch II) program:

  1. Develop understanding of how current technological, social, cultural, ecological and economic forces are influencing architectural design, research, practice and pedagogy, specifically as they engage the now four "territories of investigation" (TIs): discourse, ecology, representation and urbanism (disciplinary knowledge, information literacy).
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in computational thinking, ecological design, advanced representation, and fabrication techniques used in architectural design (engagement in the process of discovery or creation). 
  3. Identify and articulate a specific topic within the four TIs for further investigation in the student's future professional or academic career (critical thinking, communication skills and self-directed learning).  
  4. Exhibit an ability to synthesize representational techniques, computational thinking, current cultural demands, and emergent disciplinary issue within an applied research setting (engagement in the process of discovery or creation; communication skills).