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Cornell University    
 
    
 
  Sep 25, 2017
 
Courses of Study 2017-2018

Architecture


In the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning .

Course Offerings  

Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)


The undergraduate professional program is normally five years in length and incorporates both a general and professional educational base.

In the first three years, the student has the opportunity to establish a foundation in the humanities and sciences through electives. During the fourth and fifth years, this base may expand through further detailed studies in these areas. Within the professional program a basis for understanding architecture in its contemporary and historical cultural contexts is established.

B.Arch. Curriculum: For Students Matriculating in Fall 2017


The following curriculum applies to students matriculating in fall 2017. Students who matriculated in prior years should follow the curriculum in the Courses of Study catalog for the year in which they matriculated.  

First Year:


Second Year:


Total: 18

Spring Semester

Total: 18

Third Year:


During the third year, half the class is at Cornell in Rome each semester taking the core studio and ARCH 3301 . Students are assigned to the fall or spring semester in Rome through a lottery process. Those not in Rome are primarily in Ithaca taking the Ithaca-based design studio.

Rome: Fall or Spring Semester

Total: 15

Ithaca: Fall or Spring Semester

  • ARCH 3101 - Design V (fall)/ARCH 3102 - Design VI  (spring) (6 credits)
  • Free Departmental Elective* (3 credits)
  • Free Departmental Elective* (3 credits)
  • Free Out-of-Department Elective* (3 credits)
  • Free Out-of-Department Elective* (3 credits)
Total: 18

Fourth Year:


Fall Semester

  • ARCH 4101 - Design VII (6 credits)
  • Departmental Elective (architectural history suggested)* (3 credits)
  • Departmental Elective (theory  suggested)* (3 credits)
  • Out-of-Department Elective (MQR  or PBS  suggested)* (3 credits)
  • Out-of-Department Elective (Art)* (3 credits)
Total: 18

Spring Semester

  • ARCH 4102 - Design VIII (6 credits)
  • ARCH 5201 - Professional Practice (3 credits)**
  • Departmental Elective (architecture, culture, society  suggested) * (3 credits)
  • Free Out-of-Department Elective (required directed elective suggested)** (3 credits)
  • Free Departmental Elective** (3 credits)
  • **Notes:

  • ARCH 5201  can be taken in the fourth or fifth year without petition.
  • The required directed elective (RDE) is a Free Departmental or free Out-of-Department Elective. It can be taken in the ARCH 4101 4102 , or 5101  semester without petition. The RDE must be completed before thesis.
Total: 18

Fifth Year:


Fall Semester

  • ARCH 5101 - Design IX (6 credits)
  • Out-of-Department Elective (humanities suggested)* (3 credits)
  • Free Departmental Elective* (3 credits)
  • Free Out-of-Department Elective* (3 credits)
  • Free Departmental Elective* (3 credits)
Total: 18

Spring Semester

  • ARCH 5902 - Design X Thesis (8 credits)
  • Free Departmental Elective (3 credits)
  • Free Out-of-Department Elective (3 credits)
  • Free Out-of-Department Elective (3 credits)
Total: 17

Total Academic Credits: 176


 * Elective courses may be switched between different semesters, as long as total distribution requirements are met (except that the First-Year Writing Seminar should be taken in the first year).

Required Departmental Non-Elective Courses:


Semesters Subject Course Numbers Credits
10 Design ARCH 1101 , 1102 , 2101 , 2102 , 3101 , 3102 , 4101 , 4102 , 5101 , 5902   62
2 Structures ARCH 1612 , 2613   6
2 Environmental systems ARCH 1611 , 2616   6
2 Building technology ARCH 2614 , 2615   6
2 Analysis ARCH 2301 , 3301   6
2 History ARCH 1801 , 1802   6
1 Professional practice ARCH 5201   3
2 Architectural representation ARCH 1501 , 1502   6
      ______
      101

Electives:


Required Departmental Electives:

                Semesters   Credits
                      2 History of architecture   6
                      1 Architectural theory  or 6000-level design-related course 3
                      1 Architecture, culture, society   3
                      5 Free Departmental Electives*  18*
     _______
    30
Required Out-of-Department Electives:

 Semesters            Credits
 2     Art: any studio courses              6
 1     First-Year-Writing Seminar (FWS)              3
 1     Mathematics/quantitative reasoning (MQR) or physical/biological sciences (PBS)              3
 1     Humanities (CA, HA, KCM, LA, SBA)              3
 1     Mathematics/quantitative reasoning (MQR)              3
 varies     Free Out-of-Department Electives             27*
              ______
                45
 

  *The required directed elective is applied toward the free departmental or free out-of-department elective credits, depending on course enrollment.

 

 
  Total Academic Credits:               176

Architecture Concentrations for Majors


The following concentrations in architecture are offered within the department for B.Arch. and B.F.A. in architecture candidates only:

Architecture, culture, and society: required elective, plus 9 credits in this area.

Architectural science and technology: ARCH 1611 , 1612 , 2613 , 2614 , 2615 , 2616 , plus 9 credits in this area.

History of architecture: ARCH 1801 , 1802 , required history of architecture department electives (6 credits), plus 10 credits (including a 4-credit 6000-level seminar course) in this area.

Theory of architecture: ARCH 2301 , 3301 , required architectural theory electives (3 credits), plus 9 credits in this area.

Visual representation in architecture: ARCH 1501 , 1502 , plus 12 credits in this area.

Students wishing to receive recognition for a concentration must submit a completed Verification of Concentration form to the AAP Admissions and Academic Services office. For a course to count toward a concentration, the student must receive a grade of C or better.

Rules Governing Architecture Courses and Curriculum


1.0 Sequence and Credit Hours


1.1 Students should make every effort to follow the semester-by-semester required curriculum outlined in this catalog in order to graduate with a B.Arch. degree in five years. Students are permitted to switch the position of elective courses within their program as long as the total credit hours within each semester remain unchanged. In addition, ARCH 5201  can be taken in the fourth or fifth year, and the RDE can be taken in the ARCH 4101 ARCH 4102 , or ARCH 5101  semester. However, required non-elective courses must be taken in sequence during the semester indicated. To continue in the B.Arch. program, students deviating from the schedule of non-elective courses must have an adjusted curricular plan approved by petition. In particular, students who wish not to take a design course for any one semester, for any reason, must petition for permission to do so, including an adjusted curricular plan in their petition. In addition, students who wish to enroll in a required course during summer must petition for permission to do so.

1.2 Students may not take more than 20 credit hours per semester in Ithaca, New York City, or Rome.

1.3 During any summer session, students may not take more than 12 credit hours.

2.0 Independent Study Course


Students wishing to pursue an architecture department independent study course must complete a Request for Independent Study form, endorsed by a faculty member in the department, and submit it to the Department of Architecture office along with a course enrollment form in accordance with enrollment deadlines. In all cases, something to be reviewed must be produced. Credit will not be awarded for experience alone. Credit from independent study courses is applied as free departmental elective credit only.

3.0 Design Studio Courses


3.1 Advancing Grades in Studio

3.1.1 For all years, a minimum grade of C must be achieved for the student to advance in the design sequence. Design courses with university passing grades (D- or better), but below C, will be applied toward the free departmental elective requirement. 

3.1.2 Students receiving less than a C in any sequence design studio except thesis (ARCH 5902 ) must repeat that studio and obtain a grade of C or better before proceeding with their design sequence. B.Arch. students who do not earn an advancing grade in ARCH 1101  will be design-free in the spring semester and must re-enroll in ARCH 1101  in the following fall. ARCH 1101  will not be offered during the summer.

3.1.3 Students receiving less than C in design studio may petition to be allowed to continue in the design sequence. The petition must be supported by a written positive recommendation from the faculty member who granted the non-advancing grade and approved by the design faculty; only then will the student be unconditionally allowed to continue.

3.1.4 B.Arch. students receiving less than C for ARCH 5902  must register for ARCH 5104 , taking an advanced studio (i.e., sitting in ARCH 4101 , ARCH 4102 , ARCH 5101 ) to complete their design sequence. ARCH 5104  may not be taken in a non-Ithaca-based summer program. As ARCH 5104  has two fewer credit hours than ARCH 5902 , students required to take ARCH 5104  may graduate with 2 credit hours less than otherwise required for total design sequence credit and for total credit hours, if an F was earned in ARCH 5902  .

3.1.5 A student may repeat any given semester of design twice* (for a total of three semesters). If, at the end of the third attempt, the student does not achieve a grade of C or better, the student is automatically denied permission to enroll in design, the effect of which will be to drop the student from the professional degree program.

*Exceptions: ARCH 5902  may not be repeated and ARCH 5104  may only be repeated once.

3.1.6 Students may not repeat a semester of design by enrolling in a summer non-Ithaca-based design studio. Design courses taken in such circumstances will be credited only as free departmental elective credit and not for design sequence credit.


3.2 Studio Venues and Options

3.2.1 First- and second-year design (ARCH 1101 , ARCH 1102 , ARCH 2101 , and ARCH 2102 ) must be taken in Ithaca.

3.2.2 Summer Ithaca-based design studios are typically offered for all sequence design courses except ARCH 1101 , ARCH 1102 , ARCH 2102  and ARCH 5902 . Only one semester of first- or second-year design (generally ARCH 2101 ) may be taken during the summer. Enrollment in summer studio requires an approved petition with an academic plan.

3.2.3 Summer non-Ithaca-based programs, when available, are offered as advanced studios (ARCH 4101 , ARCH 4102 , ARCH 5101 ). No more than one such summer non-Ithaca-based design studio can count for design sequence credit. Any design credits earned at a subsequent summer non-Ithaca-based design studio will be applied to free departmental elective credit. Third-year students in good-standing and with an average design studio grade of at least 3.0 may petition to take a non-Ithaca-based summer studio, enrolling in ARCH 3109  and getting sequence credit for ARCH 4101  after successfully completing their third-year core design studio requirements. Students with a non-advancing grade in their prior studio cannot take an off-campus summer studio for sequence credit (only for free departmental elective credit). In addition, all student participants are expected to enroll in no less than 12 credit hours; approved petition is required to enroll in more than 12 credits, up to a maximum of 15 credits.  If enrolling in variable credit courses, 3 credit hours are recommended.

3.2.4 Rome: Third-year students spend one semester at Cornell in Rome; half of the class is in Rome each semester. Students are assigned to the fall or spring semester in Rome through a lottery process. Students may petition during their second year to study in Ithaca instead of Rome. Such students, as well as students repeating the studio after having received a non-advancing grade in the studio in Rome, will be assigned to an Ithaca-based design studio. Students may spend no more than one semester in Rome. For more information, visit the Cornell in Rome website.

3.2.5 New York City: Students may apply to spend one fall semester during the fourth or fifth year at AAP NYC, taking one of their fourth- or fifth-year studios in New York City.  Application is made by November 1 in the academic year prior to participation.  Detailed information can be found at on the AAP NYC website.

3.2.6 Advanced design studios: Students must take at least one advanced design studio (ARCH 4101 , ARCH 4102 , ARCH 5101 ) during the academic year (fall or spring) on campus in Ithaca.

3.2.7 No more than three semesters of design may be taken away from Ithaca.

3.2.8 Design credits earned at any non-Cornell study abroad program will be applied as elective credit only.


3.3 Thesis Requirement

3.3.1 Thesis Prerequisites: The pre-requisites for ARCH 5902 - Design X Thesis  are ARCH 5101  and the Required Directed Elective (RDE). The RDE is a required, free elective course related to the student’s proposed thesis. This course can be in- or out-of-department, but it must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor in order to fulfill the RDE requirement. The RDE should be explicitly related to the student’s thesis interests and research. An RDE will bring depth to a particular area of interest for which a foundation has been established in previous coursework. As such, the RDE is a co-requisite for ARCH 4101 , ARCH 4102  or ARCH 5101  and a pre-requisite for ARCH 5902 . The RDE must be officially recorded through an approved Required Directed Elective form no later than the add deadline during the ARCH 5101  semester.

3.3.2 Thesis Submission: Each student shall have an advisory faculty committee appointed by the department chair with the recommendations of the student and faculty. Advisors from outside the Department of Architecture may be added, at the student’s discretion, to serve as non-grading advisors.

A thesis statement is to be developed independently by the student, and a draft will be submitted at the end of the student’s ninth (ARCH 5101) semester. The final thesis statement and program will be developed and finalized with the advice and input of the student’s thesis advisor/s during the first three weeks of the thesis semester. This intensive period of engagement with and development of the thesis proposal under the guidance of your thesis advisors should provide for a productive and focused engagement with the thesis topic.

Prior to the final thesis review, students must complete a Thesis Presentation form indicating the specific content of work to be presented. A draft of this form should be discussed with the student’s committee at least one week prior to the final submission.

Presentation content indicated on the form must be validated by a committee representative at a designated time before the final review, after which time the material to be presented at the final review can be neither added to nor altered in any way. Late work will not be considered for review. Forms are collected by the department chair or a representative designated by the chair. Students may be asked to store physical presentation objects (e.g., drawings, models, or photographs of objects impractical to store) as well as files for any digital content in a secure location designated by the department.

The thesis may be excluded from review altogether if the material submitted is substantially incomplete, in which case the project will receive a mandatory grade of F.

Thesis students may receive assistance in the production of their final review material from a maximum of two current non-thesis students in the B.Arch. or M.Arch. programs; no other assistance will be allowed. All work performed by these assistants must be given proper credit at the final review, as well as in the thesis publication.

3.3.3 Thesis Grading: While critical evaluation is the primary focus of a final thesis review, the actual grading of a thesis project shall be the responsibility of the student’s thesis committee. Additional examining faculty in attendance at the review will be asked to submit recommendations for grades; these recommendations may be used by the thesis committee in determining the final grade.

3.3.4 Thesis Book: As a part of the thesis requirement, each student must submit a hardbound thesis book including representations of the final project for deposit in the Fine Arts Library. The book shall include a title page that lists the student’s full name, the title of the thesis project, the degree (i.e., B.Arch.), and the expected date of graduation (i.e., May, August, or January; plus year). This book must be approved by a member of the thesis committee (or, in the absence of a committee member, by the chair) before the student’s final grade is submitted to the registrar. Approval is noted on the title page (signature of faculty member and date of receipt). Larger pages may be folded, and all pages must be numbered.


3.4 Studio Attendance

All students are provided with workspace and are expected to be present during regular class hours for instruction and criticism.


3.5 Studio Culture

The department’s Studio Culture Policy is available online at the AAP website.

4.0 History of Architecture Courses


Students with an average grade of B+ (3.3) or higher in ARCH 1801 , ARCH 1802 , and a 3000 level elective history course  may substitute a 6000 level history elective for the second required 3000 level elective history course , subject to permission of the instructor of the 6000 level course.

5.0 Introduction to Architecture Courses


Students who successfully complete the Cornell University Summer Introduction to Architecture Program and subsequently enroll in Cornell’s B.Arch. program will automatically receive departmental free elective credit for the courses they have taken. 

6.0 Advanced Placement Courses


Advanced placement credit may be applied only as free out-of-department elective credit and may not be applied toward any required out-of-department electives.

7.0 Out-of-Department Required Courses


7.1 Art courses must be studio art courses .

7.2 First-Year Writing Seminar (FWS): Guidelines for First-Year Writing Seminars are available online at www.arts.cornell.edu/knight_institute/fws/fws.htm.

7.3 Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (MQR): See the list of course classification codes that can be applied toward the  mathematics and quantitative reasoning  requirement.

7.4 Physical & Biological Sciences (PBS): This requirement can be satisfied with an approved physical or biological sciences class or an additional MQR course  .  See the list of course classification codes that can be applied toward the PBS requirement  .

7.5 Humanities: Humanities courses are those designated under the categories cultural analysis (CA), foreign language (FL), historical analysis (HA), knowledge, cognition, and moral reasoning (KCM), literature and the arts (LA), and social and behavioral analysis (SBA).  If a course has been classified as a humanities course, the code will be included in its course description.  See the AAP definition of the humanities categories .

Note:

  • B.Arch. students can apply first and second-year core offerings in the Department of City and Regional Planning toward the humanities requirement (CRP 1100 , 1101 , 2000 , and 2010 ).
  • B.Arch. students can apply additional art studio courses in the Department of Art toward the humanities requirement.
  • B.Arch. students can apply art history courses in Rome (ART 3803 ) toward the humanities requirement.

8.0 Transfer Credit


8.1 Transfer students are responsible for completing that portion of the curriculum which has not been covered by equivalent work. B.Arch. applicants who have had no previous work in architectural design must complete the 10-semester design sequence. Students currently pursuing a degree in architecture at another institution should be aware that they may lose standing upon a transfer to the B.Arch. program at Cornell due to the rigor, specificity, and sequence of the curriculum. Placement in the design sequence is based on review of a representative portfolio and determined at the time of admission.

8.2 The Office of Admissions and Academic Services reviews all transfer credit to ensure that it meets the minimum college and university transfer credit criteria .  If so, transfer coursework will be automatically applied as free elective credit.  Students wishing to receive credit toward a specific degree requirement must submit a Transfer Credit Request form which requires that the coursework be reviewed by the designated Cornell faculty member in the appropriate subject area. Please note that First-Year Writing Seminars (FWS) and mathematics and quantitative reasoning coursework (MQR) have their own review and approval processes.  More information is available at the following links:

Questions about transfer credit should be directed to the AAP Office of Admissions and Academic Services.

8.3 Transfer students must complete a minimum of 70 credits and four semesters in residence, taking 35 of the 70 credits (including four semesters of design) in the Department of Architecture. Incoming transfer students should meet with AAP Office of Admissions and Academic Services staff during orientation to ensure a timely transfer of credit.

8.4 Current students wishing to complete transfer credit during summer or winter sessions or while on an approved leave from Cornell should consult with the AAP Office of Admissions and Academic Services prior to enrolling in courses to ensure compliance with department and college transfer credit policies.  

9.0 Deviating from Rules or Curriculum


9.1 Students wishing to deviate from the prescribed curriculum, enroll in fewer than 12 or more than 20 credit hours, seek a substitution for a specific graduation requirement, or adjust course enrollment after the add/drop period must petition for permission. Petitions must be submitted prior to the act to the AAP Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 235 Sibley Dome. Further, students wishing to take more than the standard number of credit hours should have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. Petitions should be submitted only if there are clearly extraordinary circumstances that merit special consideration. In order for a petition to be approved, circumstances must be extenuating. Once submitted and acted upon, petitions can only be reversed by subsequent petition.

9.2. Appeals. A student has ten days from the time of the petitions decision to appeal the decision in writing. Appeals should be submitted directly to the Department of Architecture, 139 East Sibley Hall, for review and vote by the full tenure/tenure-track architecture faculty.  The faculty decision on the appeal is final. No further appeals will be considered.

Minor in Architecture (For Non-Departmental Students)


A special minor has been formulated specifically for those students not enrolled in the Department of Architecture but who are interested in complementing their current academic program with an introduction to various facets of architectural studies. Some students may wish to use the Minor in Architecture as a means of investigating possible graduate studies in architecture. Some may wish to develop architectural specialties within other disciplines. Students meeting the requirements for this minor should complete a minor form, and submit it to the architecture department office. The minor will be validated by the architecture department and recorded on the official transcript at the time of degree completion.

The curriculum for students in the Minor in Architecture program totals 15 credit hours minimum. Grades earned must be C or better in all courses used for minor credit.  Distribution requirements for the minor are as follows:

Required Courses:


 1. Architectural Design Studio (3 credits minimum):

2.  Visual Representation (3 credits minimum):

 3. Architectural History (3 credits minimum):

4.  Any other department courses under the ARCH subject code* (two courses minimum, 6 credits minimum)

* Not all available courses have space for non-departmental students every time they are offered. See the Department of Architecture office or website for current information on available courses for non-departmental students. 

Graduate Degree Programs


Graduate programs in the Department of Architecture include studies in architecture, computer graphics, and history of architecture and urban development. The Ph.D. program in History of Architecture and Urban Development draws upon faculty and resources from both AAP’s Department of Architecture and other departments in the university. The program of Computer Graphics offers a M.S. degree, and draws upon faculty primarily from Computer Science and Architecture. A top-ranked program in the country, the fully accredited Professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree program is for individuals from diverse disciplines and backgrounds interested in practicing or teaching architecture. The Post-Professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch.II) program is open to applicants possessing a bachelor of architecture (B.Arch.) or professional master of architecture (M.Arch.) degree or the international equivalent.

Master of Architecture (Professional)


Cornell’s professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program is a seven-semester course of study dedicated to preparing individuals from diverse disciplines and backgrounds for careers in architecture. The M.Arch. program is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). In addition, the M.Arch. program is now designated as a STEM program in Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology (CIP code 04.0902) making international M.Arch. graduates eligible to extend their F-1 visas for up to three years in order to work in the United States.

Curriculum:


Total credit hours: 18

Total credit hours: 18

Semester Three: Ithaca

Total credit hours: 18

Total credit hours: 18

Semester Five: Ithaca

Total credit hours: 15

Semester Six: Ithaca

Total credit hours: 15

Semester Seven: Ithaca

Total credit hours: 12

Total Units/Credit Hours: 114

 * Total electives required for graduation:

Rules Governing M.Arch. Courses and Curriculum


Scholastic Standards

Good Academic Standing

To be in a good academic standing, a student must:

  • Follow the prescribed M.Arch. curriculum outlined in this catalog
  • Successfully complete a minimum of 12 academic credits each semester
  • Earn a minimum semester grade point average (GPA) of 2.300
  • Earn no letter grade lower than C in design
Academic Review

At the end of each semester, the M.Arch. committee reviews the record of each student who is not in good academic standing and decides an appropriate action, among those described below:

  1. The student is issued a warning. This means the student’s performance does not meet expectations. Unless improvement is shown in the subsequent semester, the student may be required to withdraw from the college.
  2. The student is placed on a required withdrawal. The student may not re-register in the M.Arch. program, is dismissed from the college, and is permanently prohibited from continuing studies in it.

The above actions are not necessarily sequential. A student may be placed on a required withdrawal if performance during that semester is deemed to be deficient.

Appeals. A student who has been placed on a required withdrawal from the M.Arch. program has two weeks from the time of being notified of the decision to appeal in writing. The appeal should explain any extenuating circumstances that contributed to the student’s academic performance. The faculty decision on the appeal is final. No further appeals will be considered.

Advanced Standing

Individuals who have already completed a nonprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture may apply for advanced placement in the M.Arch. program.  If accepted, students with advanced standing will start the program in Ithaca and be placed into the third semester of the design sequence; they will spend their second semester at AAP NYC. Equivalency credit will automatically be awarded for the two studios from the first year (ARCH 5111 - Core Design Studio I  and ARCH 5112 - Core Design Studio II ); all other courses need the teaching faculty’s approval in order for equivalency credit to be granted.  Please note that advanced studio placement does not guarantee that a student will be able to successfully complete the M.Arch. program in fewer than seven semesters.  Many of the required core courses are sequential, and successful completion of all required courses is a pre-requisite for enrolling in ARCH 8912 - Independent Design Thesis 

Advanced Placement through Course Equivalency

Individuals who have already completed coursework equivalent to any of the required courses in the M.Arch. curriculum with a grade of B or better can apply for equivalency credit. Credit will only be applied through an approved Course Equivalency Request, and this process must be completed in the summer prior to matriculation. Please refer to the AAP Office of Admissions and Academic Services for request forms and specific deadlines. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the request forms and supply all required documentation by the deadline. The department review is final, so students should be sure to submit all relevant documentation with their initial request. Please note that being awarded equivalency credit does not guarantee that a student will be able to successfully complete the M.Arch. program in fewer than 7 semesters. Many of the required core courses are sequential, and successful completion of all required courses is a pre-requisite for enrolling in ARCH 8912 - Independent Design Thesis .

Sequence and Credit Hours

Students are required to follow the semester-by-semester required curriculum outlined in this catalog. Required non-elective courses must be taken in sequence during the semester indicated. To continue in the M.Arch. program, students deviating from the schedule of non-elective courses must have an adjusted curricular plan approved by petition.

Students may not take more than 22 credit hours per semester. Students who wish to take fewer than 12 or more than 22 credits in any given semester must petition to the M.Arch. committee for permission.

During any summer session, students may not take more than 6 credit hours. A petition is required to complete a required course during summer.

Independent Study

Students wishing to pursue an architecture department independent study course must complete an Architecture Independent Study form, endorsed by a faculty member in the department, and submit it to the architecture department office in accordance with enrollment deadlines. Independent study courses cannot be substituted for required courses. Independent study courses of 3 or more credits can be applied toward elective requirements.

Grades

All required courses and required department electives must be taken for a letter grade. Open electives can be taken under the letter or satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading basis. A letter grade of D- or a grade of S or SX is required for the course to be applied toward the open elective requirement.

Students receiving less than C for ARCH 8912 - Independent Design Thesis  must register for ARCH 8104 - Design VIIa , taking a vertical studio (e.g., ARCH 5116) to complete their design sequence. As ARCH 8104 has three fewer credit hours than ARCH 8912 , students required to take ARCH 8104 may graduate with three credit hours less than otherwise required for total design sequence credit and for total credit hours, if a grade of F was earned in ARCH 8912.

A student may repeat any given semester of design once* (for a total of two semesters). If, at the end of the second attempt, the student does not achieve a grade of C or better, the student is automatically denied permission to register in design, the effect of which will be to drop the student from the M.Arch. program. Note: Repeating a core design studio given the curricular structure will generally not be possible during the following semester.

*Exceptions: ARCH 8912 may not be repeated and ARCH 8104 may only be repeated once.

Thesis Requirement

Thesis Submission:
Each student shall have an advisory faculty committee appointed by the department chair with the recommendations of the student and faculty. Advisors from outside the Department of Architecture may be added, at the student’s discretion, to serve as non-grading advisors.

Prior to the final thesis review, students must complete a thesis presentation form indicating the specific content of work to be presented. A draft of this form should be discussed with the student’s committee at least one week prior to the final submission.

Presentation content indicated on the form must be validated by a committee representative at a designated time before the final review, after which time the material to be presented at the final review can be neither added to nor altered in any way. Late work will not be considered for review. Forms are collected by the department chair or a representative designated by the chair. Students may be asked to store physical presentation objects (e.g., drawings, models, or photographs of objects impractical to store) as well as files for any digital content in a secure location designated by the department.

The thesis may be excluded from review altogether if the material submitted is substantially incomplete, in which case the project will receive a mandatory grade of F.

Thesis students may receive assistance in the production of their final review material from a maximum of two current non-thesis students in the B.Arch. or M.Arch. programs; no other assistance will be allowed. All work performed by these assistants must be given proper credit at the final review, as well as in the thesis publication.

Thesis Grading:
While critical evaluation is the primary focus of a final thesis review, the actual grading of a thesis project shall be the responsibility of the student’s thesis committee. Additional examining faculty in attendance at the review will be asked to submit recommendations for grades; these recommendations may be used by the thesis committee in determining the final grade.

Thesis Book: 
As a part of the thesis requirement, each student must submit a hardbound thesis book including representations of the final project for deposit in the Fine Arts Library. The book shall include a title page that lists the student’s full name, the title of the thesis project, the degree (i.e., M.Arch.), and the expected date of graduation (i.e., May, August, or January; plus year). This book must be approved by a member of the thesis committee (or, in the absence of a committee member, by the chair) before the student’s final grade is submitted to the registrar. Approval is noted on the title page (signature of faculty member and date of receipt). Larger pages may be folded, and all pages must be numbered.

Required Departmental Electives

M.Arch. students are required to successfully complete five departmental electives. This requirement can be satisfied with approved departmental elective courses of 3 or more credits. Advanced placement credit CANNOT be applied toward any of the departmental elective requirements.

Theory Elective:
Students are required to complete one theory elective. This can be satisfied with successful completion of any ARCH course of 3 or more credits offered under the numbers 6304 – 6309.

History Elective:
Students are required to complete one history elective. This can be satisfied with successful completion of any ARCH course of 3 or more credits offered under the numbers 5800 - 5819 and/or 6800 – 6819.

Theory or History Elective:
Students are required to complete one additional theory or history elective.

Visual Representation Electives:
Students are required to complete two visual representation electives. This can be satisfied with successful completion of any two ARCH courses of 3 or more credits offered under the numbers 6508 – 6509.

Open Electives

Students are required to successfully complete three open electives at the 3000-level or higher. Open electives can be taken in any academic department at Cornell. Open electives can be completed for a letter or S/U grade. Courses completed with an audit grade cannot be applied toward this requirement. Open electives cannot be satisfied with equivalency credit.

Studio Attendance and Culture

All students are provided with workspace and are expected to be present during regular class hours for instruction and criticism.

The department’s Studio Culture Policy is available on the architecture department website.

Leaves of Absence

Voluntary Leaves:
Students requesting a voluntary leave of absence should submit a Leave of Absence Request form to the AAP Office of Admissions and Academic Services, 235 Sibley Dome, which explains the reason for the leave and includes an academic plan outlining how all remaining degree requirements will be satisfied. The student’s academic status is subject to review at the time of the leave and upon the student’s return.

While on leave, the student may not attend classes at Cornell, including through the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions. In addition, students on a voluntary leave of absence are not eligible for privileges afforded to full-time registered students, including housing, dining, library, and transit privileges.

Leaves will be granted at the discretion of the college and M.Arch. committee, and leave dates must be approved by the University Registrar. Leaves granted through semester five will be granted for a minimum of one-year in length. At the end of the year, the student must either request to return from leave by submitting a Request to Return from Leave form or request to renew the leave by submitting a new Leave of Absence Request from. A leave of absence may be renewed up to two times. After three years, a leave will convert to a withdrawal from the program.

Return from a voluntary leave of absence is at the discretion of the college and M.Arch. committee, and funding is not guaranteed. Requests for spring-semester return must be made by October 1, and requests for fall-semester return must be made by March 1. Failure to return from leave or renew a leave at the end of the one year term will result in withdrawal from the M.Arch. program. Once withdrawn, a student wishing to return to study must reapply for admission.

Health Leaves:
Leaves of absence for health reasons may be granted by the college in conjunction with the M.Arch. committee upon the recommendation of Cornell Health. Leave dates must be approved by the University Registrar. Leaves granted through semester five will be granted for a minimum of one-year in length, even if an earlier return is approved by Cornell Health.  The student’s academic status is subject to review at the time of the leave and upon the student’s return.

While on leave, the student may not attend classes at Cornell, including through the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions. In addition, students on a leave of absence are not eligible for privileges afforded to full-time registered students, including housing, dining, library, and transit privileges.

Students wishing to return from a health leave must notify Cornell Health in writing via email at healthleaves@cornell.edu by the deadlines specified by Cornell Health. Deadline information and a checklist for returning from a health leave can be found online. Students should also keep the AAP Office of Admissions and Academic Services informed of their intent to return. Return from a voluntary leave of absence is at the discretion of the M.Arch. committee based on the recommendation of Cornell Health, and funding is not guaranteed.

Duration of Leaves:
If a leave is approved through semester five, it will be for a minimum of one academic year.

Master of Architecture (Post-Professional):


Cornell’s post-professional master of architecture is an intensive, advanced design research program. Open to individuals holding a B.Arch. or first-professional M.Arch. 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 three 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 & 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

Master of Architecture (Post-Professional) Curriculum


Semester 1: June and July in New York City


Total: 12 credits

Semester 2: Fall at Cornell in Ithaca


  • ARCH 7912 - Design B: Topics Studio (6 credits)
  • Territory of Investigation elective (3 credits)
  • Territory of Investigation elective (3 credits)
  • Open elective course of 3 or more credits at the 3000-level or higher (3 credits)
Total: 15 credits

Semester 3: Spring at Cornell in Ithaca


  • ARCH 8913 - Design C: Topic Studio (6 credits)
  • Territory of Investigation elective (3 credits)
  • Territory of Investigation elective (3 credits)
  • Open elective course of 3 or more credits at 3000-level or higher (3 credits)
Total: 15 credits

Total Credits: 42


 * Approved elective lists will be available prior to the fall and spring add/drop periods.

Expected Supply Fees


Architecture students should allow a minimum of $1,100 for expendable supplies each academic year.

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.

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.

The Department of Architecture at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning offers two NAAB-accredited degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture (176 undergraduate credits) and the Master of Architecture (pre-professional degree + 114 graduate credits).

Next accreditation visit for the B.Arch.: 2024
Next accreditation visit for the M.Arch.: 2021