Name Change for M.Arch.II Post-professional Degree Program

September 6, 2017

The Department of Architecture has announced that the name of the M.Arch.II post-professional degree program has changed to Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design, or M.S. AAD. The name change is mandated by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and applies to all U.S. post-professional M.Arch.II programs.

The department has top-ranked accredited bachelor of architecture (B.Arch.) and professional master of architecture (M.Arch.) degrees. The name change affects only the non-accredited post-professional master's degree (M.Arch.II), which is open to applicants possessing a bachelor of architecture (B.Arch.) or professional master of architecture (M.Arch.) degree or the international equivalent.

Although the M.S. AAD degree name replaces M.Arch.II going forward, the program is similar to what has been offered up to now.

"We want to assure the department and students, both current and prospective, that the program content, curriculum, and requirements remain essentially the same," said Professor Jonathan Ochshorn, interim director of graduate studies. "The change in name is required by NAAB, but pedagogically, there is virtually no difference in the program."

In early 2010, NAAB began discussions on the nomenclature or titling of non-accredited, post-professional degrees offered by institutions that also offered NAAB-accredited degree programs. The principal concern was for post-professional, non-accredited degree programs using the title master of architecture, or M.Arch. Specifically, if an institution with a NAAB-accredited degree(s) used the same degree title for a non-accredited post-professional degree program, it could be a violation of a section of NAAB's Procedures for Accreditation, Professional Degree Programs in Architecture, Condition II.2.2., Professional Degrees and Curriculum.

In 2015, NAAB determined that "any institution that uses the degree title B.Arch., M.Arch., or D.Arch. for a non-accredited degree program must change the title." The determination requires programs to initiate the appropriate institutional processes for changing the titles of their non-accredited programs by June 30, 2018.

The name change will be implemented with the class matriculating in summer 2018; current post-professional students are therefore the last class that will receive Cornell's M.Arch.II degree.

The M.S. AAD is designated as a STEM program in Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology (CIP code 04.0902) making international graduates eligible to extend their F-1 visas for up to three years in order to work in the United States.

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