New York City Colleges that Offer Architecture Degree Programs

Feb 21, 2019

The New York City area has seven colleges that offer degrees in the field of architecture. To find out which one is a good fit for your goals, learn about the program options, requirements and admission policies for three of the schools located in the heart of the city.

Architecture Schools in New York City

Students living in New York City can pursue professional architectural degrees designed to prepare them for licensure, such as the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) or Master of Architecture (M.Arch.). Several New York schools also offer pre-professional programs, such as the Bachelor of Fine Arts, or programs with additional training for architects, such as the Master of Science. This article highlights the learning opportunities and coursework available at three of the city's institutions. Also included is a table of stats on the colleges as well as details on a few other area school options.

  • Located in downtown NYC, The New School features an architectural design bachelor's degree program along with M.Arch. and graduate-level dual degree programs. The latter allows students to earn a Master of Architecture with a master's degree in lighting design.
  • Columbia University, about five miles from the downtown area, offers an M.Arch. program as well as master's degrees in advanced architectural design. A doctoral program in architecture is also available.
  • Students can find programs leading to both the B.Arch. and M.Arch. at City College of New York (CUNY City College), which is situated in central New York City.

Comparison of Schools

Being located in NYC, all of the profiled schools offer an urban campus environment for students. The colleges do differ in a number of ways, however, including in the areas of cost, student enrollment and acceptance rates. Learn more about the architecture schools in this table.

The New School Columbia University City College of New York
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 10,389* 30,454* 16,001*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $47,276 undergraduate; $44,607 graduate (average)* $46,956 graduate (average)* $6,940 in-state and $14,330 out-of-state undergraduate
$10,762 in-state and $19,632 out-of-state graduate (average)*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 86%* 59%* 86%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 62%* 7%* 46%*
Retention Rate (full-time students, 2016-2017) 81%* 97%* 86%*
Graduation Rate (Students began in Fall 2011) 67%* 95%* 50%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

The New School

The New School offers degree programs in several design-related areas, including architectural design, urban design, interior design, fashion design and product design. Undergraduate programs focus on the liberal arts and ensure that students take a wide range of courses in the humanities, social science and business. Both of the graduate programs in architecture are professional programs that can prepare students for licensure.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architectural Design

The BFA program comprises a pre-professional curriculum that prepares graduates to work in a variety of fields, such as architecture, urban design, interior design and landscape architecture. Through hands-on studio courses and seminars, students learn about environmental factors that can affect structures and urban designs. Opportunities are available to learn outside of the classroom as well, in the form of site tours, internships and research projects. A senior design workshop allows each student to design a full-scale project. This program does not prepare students for licensure as an architect.

Master of Architecture

The 3-year Master of Architecture program at The New School accepts students who have undergraduate degrees in areas other than architecture. It seeks to educate students regarding current issues in architecture through education in architectural theory, history, design and technology. By participating in a program called the Design Workshop, students complete a project from design to the final building for a nonprofit organization.

Master of Architecture/MFA in Lighting Design

This 120-credit, dual degree program can be completed in four years. Students take advanced architecture courses and learn about the physiological and technical aspects of lighting. Prospective students apply to the dual program and are considered for admission to each of the individual programs as well.

Columbia University

Columbia University offers several graduate-level architecture programs through its Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. The college also provides prospective students with an opportunity to participate in its 5-week Introduction to Architecture program during the summer. This program, which offers college credit, teaches students about architecture through studio work, lectures and workshops and helps them determine whether this is a career they want to pursue.

Master of Architecture

The Master of Architecture is a 3-year professional program. Students complete studio courses, such as architectural drawing and architectural technology, along with seminars in architecture methods and practice, architecture history and theory, building technology and visual studies.

Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design

The Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design is a 3-term program designed for students who have already earned a bachelor's or master's degree in architecture. Students focus on both the educational and professional aspects of architecture. Coursework addresses contemporary architecture theory and the integration of computer programs into architectural work.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Architecture

A Ph.D. in Architecture is the terminal degree in the field and prepares students for careers in research and academia. Students take courses related to architectural theory and history and learn about modern and contemporary architecture.

City College of New York

The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York offers programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and sustainability. Prospective architects can enroll in the Architecture Summer Career Lab, a program that exposes students to the world of architecture and offers them an opportunity to explore a career in the field.

Bachelor of Architecture

The Bachelor of Architecture is a first professional degree program that provides students with the education and training needed to design individual structures and buildings. The program is five years, and students must apply to the final year of the program. Coursework includes world architecture, construction technology, site technology, structures and structural systems, design and physics.

Master of Architecture I

This professional degree program comprises 108 credits and is designed for students who have a bachelor's degree in another subject area. Students learn about architecture as it relates to public and private spaces. Course topics include site design, world architecture and construction materials. Students also must complete several studios, a professional practice course and a thesis.

Master of Architecture II

Students who have a first professional degree in architecture can enroll in the Master of Architecture II program and advance their knowledge and skills in the field. This is a 48-credit program that includes both studios and seminars. A thesis project is required.

Other Schools

Students who live in New York City can also find architectural programs at Barnard College and Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. The Pratt Institute in Brooklyn also offers architecture programs, as does the New York Institute of Technology, located in Manhattan.

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