Master of Science degree in Advanced Architectural Design

Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
Official Website Official Contact School Profile
Columbia University
Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP)
New York, New York, USA
1172 Amsterdam Ave, New York
BAM 2023
#2 / 19
12 months full time
93,870 USD

The Master of Science degree in Advanced Architectural Design is a three-semester program aimed at providing outstanding young professionals—who already hold a Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture—the opportunity to conceptualize design as a critical practice that shapes the world’s technological, relational, and environmental evolutions. The program is viewed as a framework for exploring both academic and professional concerns through a set of inquiries and premises: architecture and its design practices are critical in addressing contemporary challenges; architectural specificity is the result of transdisciplinary cooperation; architecture’s future agency lies in the discipline’s capacity to mobilize realities across different scales and time frames. These ideas are explored through innovations in representational tools and the embrace of new probationary artifacts, inviting students to shift away from the specialized mastery of specific scales towards methods of “interscalarity.” By aligning new models of response to new architectural modes of practice, the Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design program strives to empower graduating students in the face of unknown future scenarios.

The Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design program starts in the summer semester. Considered the core of the program, the summer semester consists of the Core Studio—offering up to eleven design studios each year—and two required courses that establish the critical and historical coordinates for the program: Metropolis, which focuses on the twentieth-century city, and Arguments, which explores contemporary theory in a unique combination of coordinated seminar sessions taught by current Architecture PHDs and guest lectures. For example, the summer 2019 Arguments Lecture speakers included architect Neeraj Bhatia of The Open Workshop; artist Amie Siegel; artist Andreas Angelidakis; designer Simone Farresin of FormaFantasma; aritsts Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen of Revital & Tuur; engineer and theorist Lydia Kallipoliti; and architect, urbanist, and writer Keller Easterling.

These lectures work in dialogue with the Core Studio throughout the summer to question the boundaries of architecture and to actively reshape architecture’s intellectual and cultural commitments.

In the fall and spring semesters, Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design students are joined with the third-year Master of Architecture students for the Advanced Studios. Like the Master of Architecture curriculum, Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design students must take a minimum of four elective courses in the History and Theory, Visual Studies, and Technology distributions.



The Advanced Studios bring together students in the Master of Architecture and Master of Sciences in Advanced Architectural Design programs. These studios, which take place during the fall and spring semesters at the School, have always explored the future of architecture in a diversity of ways. Each studio creates its own world—with its own intersection of social, cultural, formal, material, economic, and environmental concerns—and students have almost 20 worlds to choose from. After selecting a studio, students conduct experiments and develop projects through concepts and massings, programs and forms, drawings and models, materials and atmospheres, metrics and narratives.

At the same time, the various students and faculty of the Advanced Studios engage in a shared discussion about the most interesting research, practice, ideas, and design of the built environment. In the fall of 2018 this shared discussion focused on the theme of “Global Practice,” and during the following spring it focused on “Architecture and Environment.” Global Practice covered design as the distinctive tool of architects in contributing to the construction of the future. It investigated the field’s extraordinary accumulation of essays and research that can be considered a cross-section of the present. Architecture and Environment built on the hypothesis that climate change is ground zero for a shared discussion about architecture’s engagement with the world. Responding to climate change involves not only technical aspects (such as energy consumption and carbon footprint) but also social and political aspects (such as inequality and public policy). In this context, the Advanced Studios were framed as a unique opportunity to address climate change at the scale of the building and to address climate change through design.

Throughout each semester, studio-wide sessions involve a series of conversations and resources for the studios to draw on, including external guest lectures, faculty project talks, and paired studio exchanges. This concludes with a Super-Crit session during which each studio shares a single student project and guest critics respond to the studio-wide themes and issues.

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Admission Requirements

1.- Online Application

Create and complete an online application.

A fee of $75 (payable by Visa or MasterCard) is due at the time of application submission.


2.- Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required for all degree program applicants. GSAPP does not have a special form for letters of recommendation. Recommenders may scan and upload recommendation letters to the online application. Letters received directly from applicants will not be accepted.

One letter of recommendation is required for New York/Paris program applicants and Visiting Scholars. Non-degree program applicants (including Introduction to Architecture and Special Students) may include recommendations but they are not required.


3.- Personal Statement

A personal statement is required for admission to each program (with the exception of Introduction to Architecture). In approximately 500 words, describe your background, your past work in your intended field of study and your plans for graduate study and a professional career.


4.- Transcripts

An academic transcript/record from each university attended and credit earned is required for all applicants. All transcripts must be received by the application deadline. Applicants should upload a digital copy or scan of their transcript/s to the online application. We allow digital copies of transcripts for review purposes only.

Please note that the applicant may upload unofficial transcripts at the start of the application process. Once an applicant has been admitted and has indicated acceptance of our offer of admission, certified and secure online official transcripts must be submitted directly to Columbia from the applicant’s prior institution(s)’ Registrar Office. Please note that incoming students for the fall 2019 semester will be contacted with specific instructions on electronic submission from prior institution(s) for receipt of these documents. Only if a prior academic institution is unable to submit certified and secure online official transcripts, an official transcript in a sealed envelope must be sent directly from that institution’s Registrar Office to Columbia. Columbia will use its verification vendor to verify the applicant’s degree and transcript with the prior academic institutions and/or the relevant country’s Ministry of Education. Applicants will be asked to consent to participate in this verification process by submitting an authorization and release form.


5.- Resumé/CV

Resumes or CVs are required for all degree applicants and CVs are required for Visiting Scholar applicants.


6.- GRE

Applicants to the M. ARCH, M.S. HP, M.S. UP, M.S. CCCP, and M.S. RED* programs must take the GRE.

Applicants should contact ETS to have official test scores sent to the GSAPP Admissions Office via Institution Code 2164. GRE scores are valid for five years after the test date. At this time there is no minimum required GRE score for admission.



All applicants whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL scores (with the exception of Introduction to Architecture applicants). At this time there is no minimum TOEFL score required for admission.

International students who have successfully completed two years of study in an English-speaking institution may waive the TOEFL exam requirement provided they can submit relevant transcripts.

Applicants should contact ETS to have official test scores sent to the GSAPP Admissions Office via Institution Code 2164, Dept. Code 12. TOEFL scores are valid for two years after the test date.

We do not accept the TOEFL ITP. We do not accept the IELTS in lieu of the TOEFL.


8.- Dual Degree Option

The following programs are approved for dual degree within GSAPP: – M. ARCH & M.S. CCCP – M. ARCH & M.S. UP – M. ARCH & M.S. HP – M. ARCH & M.S. RED – M.S. UP & M.S. HP – M.S. UP & M.S. RED – M.S. HP & M.S. RED

The following programs are approved for dual degree with other schools at Columbia: – M.S. UP & Master of Business Administration (with the Business School) – M.S. UP & Juris Doctor (with the School of Law) – M.S. UP & Master of Science in Social Work (with the School of Social Work – M.S. UP & Master of Science in Public Health (with the Mailman School of Public Health) – M.S. UP & Master of International Affairs (with the School of International and Public Affairs)

Program requirements, including suggested course sequences can be found here.


9.- Application Status

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review application policies and procedures before submitting an online application. The GSAPP only accepts applications online.

Applicants may check the status of their application after submission by logging into their account with their email address and password and reviewing the status page.

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BAM Evaluation 2023
Total Points
50,00 pts
Overal Score
77,52 pts
Final Score
98,04 pts
Campus Location
** Some information about this program was extracted from its official website in order to be evalued by the BAM Ranking
Other programs of the BAM Ranking
University College of London (UCL), London, England, United Kingdom
Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Delft University of Technology (TUDelft), Delft, The Netherlands
Go to BAM Ranking 2023

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