Introduction to Architecture

Danielle Smoller

Director: New York / Paris, Intro to Arch,
Associate Dean

Summer 2016: Wednesday, July 6 - Friday, August 5
Introduction to architecture is a pre-professional program for those who are interested in architecture and may be considering it as a career, and for those students who have prior educational experience in design and may wish to complete an additional studio to prepare for application to graduate school. Students should fill out an online application which can be found here. An official transcript of the applicant’s most recent work and a resume are required. Submission of examples of graphic, photographic, or other design work is encouraged but not required. When the application is complete, the Office of Admissions will notify the applicant of the admission decision.
Download the Introduction to Architecture Summer Program Booklet.


Introduction to Architecture is a summer program giving university credit with the purpose of familiarizing students of all skill levels with different aspects of design, history and theory and practice of architecture. For some, the five-week intensive course may function as an introduction to design, for others as an introduction to the field, a new method of working, to Columbia University or New York. The program is structured to accommodate all students, from those without experience who have an interest in architecture and may be considering it as a career, to those students with significant prior experience or education who wish to develop additional studio design skills, perhaps in preparation for graduate school.

Students attend optional classes five days a week for five weeks. In the mornings, interested students are invited to participate in discussion groups; office tours, site visits and workshops organized and lead by teaching assistants. In addition, students may choose to attend the weekly afternoon or evening lectures sponsored by the school. In the afternoon of evening, students are required to attend the 3-credit design studio - an educational method unique to architecture - where they are given an intensive training in the skills and critical thinking involved in architectural design. Students work in small groups directly with one studio instructor and one teaching assistant (a graduate student from the GSAPP) to develop their individual designs. Students then represent their work in periodic reviews and juries, a discussion forum that provides an opportunity for students to receive comments and criticism from invited architects, design professionals and professors.

Together the studio, workshops, and lectures present an introduction to many aspects of architecture as it is practiced today. From Columbia University's Upper West Side neighborhood to the tip of lower Manhattan, students enrolled in the program will become familiar with a range of architectural and urban design projects in the world's preeminent center for architectural culture.

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