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Please note: If you are not eligible for History & Theory or Building Tech advanced standing / waiver, the following are the required classes for M. Arch students. Columbia GSAPP does not offer advanced standing or a waiver for Visual Studies.
Course Sequence Semester 1
Semester 2
Semester 3
Semester 4
Semester 5
Semester 6
Design Studio
6x9pts = 54pts
Core Studio I Core Studio II Core Studio III Advanced Studio IV Advanced Studio V Advanced Studio VI
Building Tech
6x3pts = 18pts
Tech I Tech II Tech III, Tech IV Tech V Tech Elective
6x3pts = 18pts
Questions in Architectural History I Questions in Architectural History II Distribution 1 Distribution 2 Distribution 3 Distribution 4
Visual Studies
2x3pts = 6pts
Architectural Drawing & Rep II Visual Studies Elective(s)
2x3pts = 6pts
Architectural Drawing & Rep I Professional Practice
2x3pts = 6pts
2 Electives
18pts 18pts 18pts 18pts 18pts 18pts

Requirements by Distribution


Six sequential studios starting in Fall term, 1st year:

A4001 Core studio, I 9 pts
A4002 Core studio, II 9 pts
A4003 Core studio, III 9 pts
A4004 Advanced studio, IV 9 pts
A4005 Advanced studio, V 9 pts
A4006 Advanced studio, VI 9 pts

Total: 54 pts


Two sequential courses:

A4348 Questions in Architectural History I, 3 pts
A4349 Questions in Architectural History II, 3 pts

Total: 6 pts


For MArch students entering GSAPP in or after Fall 2019

Four courses: 12 pts

The M.Arch. history/theory curriculum aims to introduce students to a range of subjects broadly distributed in both space (geography) and time (chronology), while offering the opportunity to study at least one area in depth. Overall, the curriculum asks students to think and work across categorical East-West and North-South distinctions and the asymmetries these often reproduce. Similarly, while the year 1800 roughly marks the beginning of worldwide industrialization, the curriculum asks students to consider both continuity and change across this threshold.

As a matter of convention, all relevant course offerings will be given chronological and geographical coordinates: pre-1800, post-1800; North or West (N/W), South or East (S/E). Note that these may not describe the entire scope of a particular course, only its emphasis. Some courses may cover multiple areas and will be designated accordingly. Each of the four courses must be chosen from a different category, as follows:

  1. Pre-1800 (either N/W, S/E, or both)
  2. Post-1800; N/W
  3. Post-1800; S/E
  4. Open History/Theory Elective (Pre- or Post-1800; N/W, S/E, or both)

Students are expected to combine breadth in those fields they have not previously studied with in-depth seminars in at least one of these categories. Each term course schedule will identify those courses fulfilling the distribution requirements.

If a student has previously taken a similar graduate-level course or two advanced undergraduate-level courses in the same area, he or she may petition the Director of History and Theory to waive one requirement.

For MArch students who entered GSAPP in Fall 2018 or earlier

Four courses : 12 pts

Students must complete four courses (3 pts each for a total of 12 pts).

Of those four courses, one course must be Pre-1750 and one course must be Non-Western, unless waivers are granted.

The remaining two courses must be chosen from two of the following three categories (students may not take two courses in the same category toward the requirement):

  1. Modern: 1750 to the Present
  2. Urban Society
  3. American

Students are expected to combine breadth in those fields they have not previously studied with in-depth seminars in at least one of these categories. Each term course schedule will identify those courses fulfilling the distribution requirements.

If a student has had a similar class or classes, he or she may petition the professor of the class to waive the requirement.


A4023 Architectural Drawing & Representation I 3 pts
A4024 Architectural Drawing & Representation II 3 pts

Total: 6 pts


Visual Studies Electives 3 pts
A4560 Professional Practice 3 pts

Total: 6 pts


Six sequential courses:

A4111 Building Tech I (Tech I) 3 pts
A4112 Building Tech II (Tech II) 3 pts
A4113 Building Tech III (Tech III) 3 pts
A4114 Building Tech IV (Tech IV) 3 pts
A4115 Building Tech V (Tech V) 3 pts
Building Tech Elective 3 pts

Total: 18 pts

Download the Spring 2024 Building Tech Course Catalog here.

Electives are open to all students in the School, subject to the prerequisites listed in the course descriptions. Students waived out of Tech II; Tech III; Tech IV; or Tech V, must take an advanced elective course for each waived course. Some courses are not offered every year. Additional technology electives are taught occasionally. See the printed version of the bulletin for a full listing of qualified technical electives.

Spring 2023 Building Tech Elective Courses
National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)

The Master of Architecture program is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and as per https://www.naab.org thereby does meet the academic requirements for licensure in all 50 states.

Please note: states may have additional requirements to sit for the Architecture Registration Exam (ARE).

Date of Last Revision: June 2020

In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a preprofessional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning offers the following NAAB-accredited degree program:
- M. Arch (non-preprofessional degree + 108 credits)

Next accreditation visit: 2021

The following NAAB documents are available publicly on the NAAB Public Information page.

- 2009 NAAB Conditions for Accreditation and 2012 Procedures
- Visiting Team Report (2013)
- Confirmation Letter from NAAB (2013)
- Annual Reports
- Architecture Program Report (2012 - 2013)