History of Architecture and Urban Development Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study


Program Description

History of architecture and urban development (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.

Contact Information

Website: https://aap.cornell.edu/academics/architecture/graduate/haud
Email: arch-grad-info@cornell.edu
Phone: 607 255-4376

235 Sibley Dome
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • history of architecture
  • history of urban development


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Jan. 3; no 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.
  • 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

HAUD students engage in original research that advances and challenges the discipline. At Cornell they learn to identify and frame questions for the field. Students also develop research strategies for libraries, archives, and museums as well as fieldwork on site and through oral histories. Through advising, seminars, and independent studies, our students learn to: situate a research topic within the existing literature; demonstrate facility with primary and secondary literature; and identify potential contributions to our discipline and others. Through teaching assistantships, they learn to impart this knowledge to students in a variety of undergraduate courses primarily in the department of architecture, but also, most recently, in the Knight Writing Center teaching Freshman writing seminars, as well as Teaching Assistantships in the Peace Studies Program, American Studies, Media and Performance Studies, Anthropology, Feminist and Gender Studies.