M.S. AUD Policies and Rules

1. Required Courses 

Students are expected to follow the semester-by-semester required curricula. Required design studios, tools and methods courses, and theory / analysis classes must be taken in sequence during the semester indicated. Elective classes not satisfied in the specified semester must be taken in subsequent semesters, together with all other required elective classes.

2. Elective Courses

M.S. AUD students choose open electives from any of the offerings at AAP NYC and select Cornell Tech courses. Electives must be at the 5000-level or higher. 

3. Credit Hours

Students may not take more than 20 credit hours per semester. Students who wish to take fewer than 12 or more than 20 credits in any given semester must submit a petition to the M.S. AUD committee requesting permission.

4. 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.

5. Grades

All required courses (design studios, tools and methods courses, and theory / analysis classes) must be taken for a letter grade. Electives can be taken under the letter or satisfactory / unsatisfactory (S / U) grading basis. Classes completed with an audit grade cannot be applied toward any curricular requirement.


  • A letter grade of C or higher is required for a design studio class (ARCH 7131, 7132, and 7133) to be applied toward the design studio requirement.
  • A letter grade of D- or higher is required to apply tools and methods (ARCH 6131, 6132, and 6133) and theory / analysis courses (ARCH 6331, 6332, and 6333) toward those degree requirement areas.
  • A letter grade of D- or higher or a grade of S or SX is required for an elective class to be applied toward the elective requirement. 

Students who fail to maintain these grading standards are not in good academic standing.

6. Good Academic Standing

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

  • Follow the prescribed M.S. AUD curriculum;
  • Successfully complete the minimum number of academic credits specified for each semester with minimum course grades as stipulated below;
  • Earn a minimum semester grade point average (GPA) of 2.300;
  • Earn no letter grade lower than C in design.

7. Academic Review

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

  • 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 program.
  • The student is placed on a required withdrawal. The student may not re-register in the M.S. AUD program 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.


A student who has been placed on a required withdrawal from the M.S. AUD program has 10 days from the time of being notified of the decision to appeal in writing. The appeal, addressed to the director of the M.S. AUD program, should explain any extenuating circumstances that contributed to the student’s academic performance. The decision of the M.S. AUD committee on the appeal is final. No further appeals will be considered.

8. Advanced Standing

There is no advanced standing, or credit for classes taken elsewhere, in the M.S. AUD program. All students must complete all curricular requirements at Cornell AAP's New York City campus during the semesters specified.

9. Leaves of Absence

Cornell's Graduate School Code of Legislation stipulates that a "leave of absence can be granted for personal or health reasons. Leaves run for a period of up to 12 months and may be renewed annually to a maximum of four calendar years." Detailed information about leaves for reasons related to personal issues, health, or parental accommodation can be found on the Grad School website.

10. Petitions

Students may request to deviate from the curriculum or other program requirements by submitting a petition to the M.S. AUD committee in accordance with enrollment deadlines.

11. Faculty Advising

All students matriculating into the M.S. AUD program will be assigned a faculty advisor from the graduate faculty representing the field of advanced urban design. This assignment will take place before the third week of classes.

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