M.Arch Student & Academic Advising

The GSAPP Administration maintains an Open Door Policy and architecture students are encouraged to visit the Student Affairs / Admissions Office in 400 Avery Hall daily between 9 am – 5 pm for guidance and support.

Advising at the GSAPP is multifaceted and one is always adding to her or his network of advisors. Advisors are not only individuals who formally hold that title; throughout students’ years at the school, they will seek and receive mentorship and support from their professors, administrators, staff and classmates. Likewise, the GSAPP Student Affairs Office liaisons with multiple University wide student services and offers additional avenues of support for GSAPP students.

Students meet with upper class student advisors, studio critics, the Dean of Students, the IDP Coordinator, alumni, the Development Office staff, at the following required advising sessions: 

Curriculum Advising with the Dean of Students, Faculty & Distributional Advisors

Following the completion of Core Studio I (Fall Term 1), first year March students sign up for a curriculum meeting with the Dean of Students to coordinate their academic schedule for the three-year M. Arch Program. Students who require more focused studio/ history theory or building technology advising will be directed to the appropriate faculty member.

Also, during the first week of term, the directors of the required distributions and individual faculty members present the curriculum and their courses at the Building Technology and Visual Studies Presentations. The History Theory and Building Technology faculty schedule sessions to discuss waivers, advanced standing and are available throughout the semester for guidance. Similarly, individual roving engineers are assigned to Core and Advanced students and available throughout the year.

Prior to registration for Advanced Studio IV (Fall Term 5), all third year MArch students meet with the Dean of Students to verify all graduation requirements will be fulfilled. 

Peer Advisors

Following the completion of Core Studio I (Fall Term 1), an All MArch meeting is held. This event is run by students for students. No administration or faculty is present. Upper class students take this opportunity to mentor and openly share their experience with1st year students. In the past, issues concerning portfolio preparation, saving and organizing digital work, and comprehensive reviews have been discussed. 

Core Studio Curriculum Discussion

Following the completion of the Core III Studio (Fall Term 3), the housing faculty hosts an exhibition and/ or group review with second year Master of Architecture students. This event is meant to mark and celebrate the conclusion of the Core Studio Sequence and allow students and faculty an opportunity to discuss expectations for the Advanced Studio Sequence. 

Comprehensive Studio Review

At the conclusion of their second year of study (Spring Term 4), students produce a comprehensive studio portfolio, and meet with an assigned group of faculty members for a Comprehensive Review of their work in Core Studios 1, II and III and Advanced Studio IV. During the Comprehensive Studio Review faculty will use an evaluation form /checklist that provides a structure within which reviewers may thoroughly and consistently discuss the student work. Comprehensive review discussions attempt to briefly convey to each student the general impressions of the faculty about his or her design work and make suggestions on how to prepare for the remaining design studios. In those cases where student progress is deemed unsatisfactory, the review committee may recommend and/or require one or more of the following actions:

  • 1. That the student complete additional design work before advancing to the next term
  • 2. That a tutor (peer or faculty) be assigned to the student
  • 3. That a failing grade be given for Advanced 4, even if no warning letter was sent

M.Arch Program Required Advising Schedule

Year When Type With Format Requirements
1st Year Fall Individual w/ Dean of Students and Faculty Curriculum Advising NA
  Spring Group w/ M.Arch II and III Students All MArch Meeting- Student to Student Advising NA
2nd Year Fall Group w/ Studio Faculty Core Studio Exhibition / Discussion NA
  Spring Individual w/ Studio Faculty Comprehensive Studio Review Portfolio Required
3rd Year Fall Individual w/ Dean of Students and Faculty Transcript Review Transcript Supplied by Admission's Office
  Spring Individual Submission Faculty Portfolio Review Portfolio Required

Advising at the GSAPP is meant to help guide students in their journey within the GSAPP and beyond. To this end, the IDP Coordinator and Office of Alumni and Development Affairs also organize professional development, career counseling, portfolio, and interviewing events.

Portfolio Reviews

Multiple portfolio events are held each semester by the Advanced Studio Coordinators, Office of the Dean of Students, Student Council, alumni, and Office of Development to aid MArch students in the development of a portfolio. Portfolios are reviewed bi-annually by studio critics, as well as at the end of the Core Studio Sequence in a Comprehensive Review format where student work is evaluated by multiple studio critics. In addition, prior to graduation, students are required to submit a portfolio of representative work from each semester.


At the conclusion of each studio the studio critic completes an evaluation form. Copies of evaluations are kept in the student files, and may be requested in the Student Affairs / Admissions Office, 400 Avery Hall. 

Quick Links

M.Arch Degree requirements: 

Portfolio Resources, Lectures and InDesign Tutorial see: 

GSAPP Academic Calendar: 

GSAPP Office of Development and Alumni Relations for career counseling: 

Columbia Health & Counseling Services: 

Columbia University Ombuds Office: 

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