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Columbia University Architecture Program Overviews

Columbia University in New York established its first architecture program in 1881. Today, Columbia continues to offer high quality educational offerings. Here, you can find an overview of Columbia University's architecture programs.

Columbia University offers several graduate-level architecture programs and a bachelor's degree option. Students considering the programs should look at the curricular offerings and admissions requirements when deciding whether or not to apply or enroll.

Graduate Architecture Programs at Columbia University

The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation offers specialized programs for students of architecture and awards both master's and doctoral degrees. Columbia has six main programs of study related to architecture, planning and preservation, which are:

  • Architecture
  • Historic preservation
  • Real estate development
  • Urban planning
  • Urban design
  • Critical, curatorial and conceptual practices

Master of Architecture

The Master of Architecture program at Columbia University focuses on merging the historical, cultural, social and economical aspects of architectural design through the use of traditional and modern technology. Students in this 3-year first professional degree program develop visual and analytic skills and learn to apply them to today's culture through design studio courses. Admission to the program requires an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. Applicants are required to complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design

This Master of Science program requires applicants to have earned a professional bachelor's degree or master's degree in architecture or landscape architecture. The program is three semesters in length, and students complete a sequence of three seminar courses and studio design projects that are collaborative in nature. This master's degree program emphasizes both design and research in various areas of architecture.

Master of Science in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture

The Master of Science in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture program provides advanced training in curation, criticism, publishing, writing and research. The 2-year program is full time, and successful completion requires independent research leading to a final thesis. This non-professional program is designed for students with a background in architecture; applicants must have a 4-year bachelor's degree or a master's degree that includes coursework in architecture.

Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture

Columbia's Ph.D. in Architecture program requires applicants to have either a Master of Architecture or a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture in addition to a master's degree, preferably in architectural history and theory. Master's degrees in other areas may also be considered. The Ph.D. program emphasizes the historical and theoretical aspects of architecture. Students participate in doctoral colloquia seminars, and they must also fulfill teaching requirements. The program culminates in the defense of a final dissertation.

At Columbia University, aspiring graduate students can earn a professional master's degree, a Master of Science degree or a Ph.D. through the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Bachelor of Arts in Architecture Program at Columbia University

In partnership with nearby Barnard College, Columbia University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture program. This program provides students with a foundational knowledge of the field of architecture, as well a broader education in the liberal arts. Students take courses in the history and theory of architecture, and they must submit a final portfolio and research paper. Topics of study related to architecture may include the following:

  • Architectural design
  • Architectural representation
  • Urban design
  • Architectural social theory
  • Architecture curation

At Columbia University, architecture programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Graduate programs may focus on a particular subfield.


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