The professional Master of Architecture program (M.Arch.1) is a three-and-a-half-year course of study dedicated to preparing graduate students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds for careers in architecture. The program builds on the excellence and distinction of Cornell’s renowned B.Arch. degree, but is specifically crafted to engage the unique strengths and needs of the graduate student. Committed to the view that the question of appropriate practice must be continually investigated and reassessed in today’s globally expansive and technologically dynamic context, the program places this question at the center of the learning process, seeking to empower the student’s sense of inquiry, responsibility and creativity. Teaching in the program complements basic skills and knowledge essential to the profession with engagement in emergent social, cultural, technical and environmental concerns that characterize architecture’s expanded field in the 21st century.
The curriculum comprises a rich offering of courses in visual representation, history and theory of architecture, technology, and professional practice, complemented by six semesters of design studios. The design studio is the core of the curriculum, with the design project serving as a negotiating platform between diverse practices, technologies and fields of knowledge. The intensive course of study encourages the development of individual research trajectories at the upper levels, and culminates in a one-semester design thesis. Making full use of Cornell University’s excellent resources across all disciplines, the M.Arch.1 situates itself globally, drawing upon distinguished national and international visitors, Cornell Architecture’s New York City studio, and traveling studio locations worldwide. The M.Arch.1 program is open to applicants possessing a four-year bachelor’s degree in any area.
Doctor of architecture and master of architecture degree programs may consist of a preprofessional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.
In order to meet the education requirement set forth by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, an applicant for an NCARB certificate must hold a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by the NAAB; the degree must have been awarded not more than two years prior to initial accreditation.
AAP's M.Arch.1 (professional) program was formally granted a three-year term accreditation effective January 1, 2009.