The History of Architecture and Urban Development (HAUD) program at Cornell represents a sophisticated blend of interdisciplinary research and scholarship. Projects, lectures, and publications coming out of the HAUD group showcase the diverse range of topics and methodologies embraced by the field. The awards, fellowships, and conference invitations our HAUD students receive underscore the vitality of the program.
Fields, rather than departments, define graduate education at Cornell. The HAUD program offers both a M.A. and a Ph.D. degree. A master's essay is required for students in the program. Those who enter the program with a master's degree from another institution or program at Cornell — whether in the history of architecture, or a closely allied field such as History of Art or Historic Preservation Planning — are asked to submit their master's essay or thesis for review by the HAUD faculty two weeks prior to the start of their first semester. This should be submitted to the department graduate field assistant in 139 E. Sibley Hall. In some cases, the requirement of a master's essay written at Cornell will be waived.
Faculty in the HAUD program include professors Foster, Lasansky, MacDougall, and Woods. These faculty also serve in other fields (including Asian Studies, History of Art and Archeology, Landscape Architecture, American Studies, German Studies, and Romance Studies).
A special committee monitors and mentors a student's graduate study. Students select their own committee members with the advice of the faculty. The faculty member representing the major subject is the chair of the special committee. For the master's committee one additional minor member is required. For the Ph.D. committee typically two additional minor members are required. The special committee members in turn reflect the major and minor areas of study. Until the student has chosen a principal adviser, a temporary adviser assigned to each student upon entry into Cornell serves in this position. By the start of the third semester the student should have selected all of his/her committee members. This special committee system results in a flexible graduate education tailored to each individual student. Cornell faculty encourage interdisciplinary approaches to the student’s selected major field.
Program of Study
Each student selects his/her courses in consultation with his/her temporary adviser and/or special committee chair. A normal load for first-year students is four courses or a minimum of 12 credits per term. In the second and third years, when most students have teaching assistantships, the number of courses per term may be fewer. Students should seek to work with all members of the HAUD faculty at some point during their initial semesters at Cornell. They should also select courses with a view towards their M.A. essay topic and/or future Ph.D. dissertation topic.
For those students for whom a master's essay is required, a master’s degree examination or defense of the essay must be scheduled before final submission of the essay by the end of the second year of study. In addition the "A" examination — the Admission to Doctoral Candidacy Examination — is usually taken in the third year of study. This exam is administered by the student’s special committee consists of both written and oral components. Ph.D. candidates must also prepare and defend a dissertation in the "B" examination by the end of the sixth year of study. Again, this is administered by the student’s special committee. The dissertation should demonstrate the student’s ability to pursue independent and independently motivated research. As a contribution to scholarship and human knowledge, the dissertation represents a substantial creative endeavor.
The Graduate School of Cornell requires 6 residence units for a Ph.D. degree. The special committee chair determines if the student’s work warrants a full unit for any given semester. The residence units are based on full-time study, not necessarily in residence at Cornell. A student can typically fulfill the 6 residence units in three years of full-time study. In addition, HAUD requires that all M.A./Ph.D. students take two graduate seminars in historiography and methodology (Arch 6800 and 6801) typically offered in alternating fall semesters, the Practicum (Arch 6805) preferably at some during their first two years, and one additional graduate seminar in the history of architecture or urban development. Students pursuing research and writing a of a master’s essay or Ph.D. dissertation additionally enroll in directed research and directed writing courses.
Foreign Language Requirements
Students must demonstrate competency in one foreign language by the end of their second year, and a second foreign language by the completion of their "A" examination. The primary language should be directly related to the student’s thesis research. The secondary language should support their research.
Currently any student in need of funding is offered a financial aid package that may include both fellowship and teaching assistantship support with tuition, health care, and a summer stipend. After the first year, most students work as a teaching assistant. Cornell offers other fellowship opportunities to minority students. Students are required to apply for outside fellowships for work on their dissertation. In recent years HAUD students have received fellowship support from FLAS, SSRC, the Kress Foundation, and the Society for the Humanities at Cornell. Other funding opportunities include residence hall assistantships, which typically cover room and board. Limited funds are also available from the Graduate School, various programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the architecture department to support travel to conferences for students delivering a paper, and to help defray research travel expenses.
Recently Completed Master's Essay and Dissertation Topics
- “Architecture, Anxiety, and the Fluid Topographies of Renaissance Florence”
- “(Re)scripting a (Post)colonial Streetscape: Tunis’ Avenue Habib Bourguiba”
- “Tasting Fascism: Food, Space, and Identity in Italy”
- "Invisible Text: Reading between the Lines of Frank Wills's Treatise, 'Ancient English Ecclesiastical Architecture' "
- "Architecture in the Making: An Analysis of the Emergence of Representational"
- "Conventions in Architectural Design in 15th- and 16th-Century Italy at the New Saint Peter's"
- "Designing Garden City Landscapes: Marjorie L. Sewell Cautley"
- "Dwelling on the Edge of Empires: Foreigners and Architecture in Guangzhou (Canton) China"
- "Women as a Force in Landscape Architecture, 1893-1942"
Recent Books by HAUD Graduates
- Thaisa Way, Unbounded Practice: Women and Landscape Architecture in the Early 20th Century (2009)
- Vikramaditya Prakash with Francis Ching and Mark Jarzombek, Global History of Architecture (2007)
- Kazys Varnelis with Robert Sumrell, Blue Monday: Stories of Absurd Realities and Natural Philosophies (2006)
- Chad Randl, A-Frame. Princeton Architectural Press (2004)
- Vikramaditya Prakash, Le Corbusier's Chandigarh: The Struggle for Modernity Postcolonial India (2002)
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