Ccny Architecture Application Essay

The information below applies to the programs housed solely within the Spitzer School: Master of Architecture I and II, Master of Landscape Architecture I and II, and Urban Design (MUP). Candidates for the interdisciplinary MS Sustainability in the Urban Environment program, including its architecture track, should refer to its application instructions.

Graduate study is open to qualified students who have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or who have been awarded the equivalent of the bachelor’s degree from an international institution of acceptable standards. Minimum undergraduate GPA is 2.7, although exceptions may apply. See also specific prerequisites detailed below.

International applicants’ credentials will be evaluated based on the characteristics of their respective countries’ educational systems and the level of work completed. Refer to the information for International Students for additional requirements.

Deadline – Fall 2018 Candidates

Tuesday, January 16, 2018, was the 2018 application deadline for all Spitzer School graduate programs. Applicants will receive admission decisions in March. The application for fall 2019 will open in spring 2018. Applications for admission are accepted for the following fall term only.

Application Process

2018 requirements are provided below for reference. This information is subject to change prior to the 2019 application cycle. City College only accepts applications submitted online. Required sections include personal information, educational history, and personal statement. You may save and edit your application using your login credentials; it does not have to completed and submitted in one sitting. Once you have completed the application to your satisfaction, you should submit it, after which you will not be able to make changes. Please do not mail materials that you have uploaded unless specifically requested by the Admissions Office.

  • Portfolio (submit in hard copy): A portfolio of creative work must be submitted in hard copy to the “Supporting Materials” address below. All work must be printed, and the portfolio should be no larger than 8.5″ x 14″ (216 x 356 mm). The portfolio should reflect your level of creative ability and can include drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, graphic design, furniture design, photography, crafts, or other types of work. Do not include the original artwork. The portfolio for post-professional degrees such as Urban Design and M Arch II should include design projects.
  • Transcript(s)* (Educational History section): Upload an unofficial transcript, mark sheet, or academic record for each institution of higher education previously attended, even those that did not confer a degree. All transcript uploads must include a key, legend, or back copy or the transcript. Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by a credential evaluation and official English translation. Scans must be clear and legible, and all transcripts/records should include the student’s name. Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial and will be used for evaluation purposes only.
  • Personal Statement/Essay (Personal Statement section): In up to 500 words, describe your interest in your chosen program of study and your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree. For Landscape Architecture, the essay should discuss your commitment to civic and environmental issues and indicate a level of comfort with and an understanding of changing environments emphasizing the place and importance of cities.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (Personal Statement section, at the bottom): A resume of your academic and employment history, awards, honors, and other skills and accomplishments.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation* (Important Links: Recommendations): Letters of recommendation are required from persons familiar with your intellectual and/or design abilities. At least one should be from a professor/instructor who has worked with you in an academic setting; the others can be academic or professional. Enter your recommenders’ names and contact info into the online application, after which your recommenders will be contacted with full instructions. The recommender will complete a brief assessment of your ability to be successful at the graduate level and will also upload a narrative letter in support of the application. Recommendations can be added after the application has been submitted but must be posted by the application deadline. For any recommendations that cannot be submitted online, hard-copy letters should be sent in sealed and endorsed envelopes directly from the recommenders to the “Supporting Materials” address below.
  • Application Fee (submit check or money order): An application fee of US$125 is required via check or money order payable to The City College of New York and submitted to the “Supporting Materials” address below. Please make sure that your name, program, and applicant ID are clearly specified with the payment. Application fees are non-refundable, not applicable toward any other fees, and subject to change. City College does not accept credit cards for payment of the application fee. If you are applying from abroad and would like to pay via wire transfer from a non-U.S. bank, please contact for instructions.
  • GRE (optional, in Standardized Tests section): The Graduate Record Exam General Test (GRE) is optional for all programs. If you wish to have scores considered as part of your application, you should take the GRE no later than January of the same application year. (While there is no score required, a competitive candidate will score in the top 50th percentile on each of the three sections.) GRE score reports must come directly from ETS (Educational Testing Service) to be considered. GRE scores expire after five years. The Institutional Code for City College is 2083; City College does not use department codes.

* Non-U.S. credentials must be evaluated by an authorized agency. For non-English-language transcripts and recommendations, we require authorized English translations along with copies in the native language. Refer to the information for International Students for additional requirements.

Supporting Materials

Materials not submitted online should be directed to:

Hannah Borgeson
City College of New York – Spitzer School of Architecture
141 Convent Avenue, Room 120
New York, NY 10031
United States
Tel. +1 212 650 5663
Deliveries are accepted during business hours.

Interview (optional)

School tours, studio visits, and portfolio reviews available on selected dates by advance reservation. Contact the Graduate Student Services Office ( or +1 212-650-5663) to schedule an appointment. For M Arch candidates, interviews are conducted during the fall semester only.

Application Integrity

All information you submit must be complete, accurate, and your own work. Failure to submit accurate and complete information will jeopardize consideration for admission for current or future terms. Students found to have falsified application information will be subject to penalties. Falsified application information may include but is not limited to: making inaccurate statements on the application, withholding information requested on the application, giving false information, or submitting fraudulent or falsified documents in support of an admissions application.

Any admission offers will be contingent on receiving and verifying all official transcripts, certified translations, and/or credential evaluations pertaining to the applicant’s entire post-secondary academic career, prior to the registration deadline. Post-acceptance, official transcripts must arrive in the envelope, sealed and stamped by the Registrar’s Office, or must be sent by a secure online provider. If the official transcript does not include the conferral date of baccalaureate degree, submit an official copy of the diploma or provisional certificate as well. Transcripts (and diplomas) not in English must be accompanied by a translation and evaluation.

Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between unofficial and official transcripts will result in the immediate revocation of the admission offer.


M Arch I: Applicants accepted to the M Arch I program are required to have successfully completed one semester of both college-level calculus and physics prior to beginning graduate studies, preferably with grades of B or better. These courses may be taken after the application deadline, however, failure to successfully complete the courses before the registration deadline for the fall semester will result in an automatic one-year deferral. Additionally, all students should feel comfortable with computers and computer-related technology.

M Arch II: Applicants should hold a NAAB-accredited professional degree in architecture or the international equivalent.

MLA I: Students will be expected to start the program with an awareness of current versions of design software (AutoCAD, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop) and basic graphic design skills: color theory, fonts, and 2D layout. Students lacking these skills should take our late-summer, intensive “boot camp”—Spatial and Regional Representation—at the Spitzer School in order to gain proficiency prior to the fall semester.

MLA II: Applicants should hold an accredited professional degree in landscape architecture, have significant professional experience, and submit a thesis proposal as part of their personal statement.

Urban Design: Applicants to the Urban Design program should hold a professional degree in either architecture or landscape architecture. Applicants from other backgrounds will be considered only in exceptional circumstances and on demonstration of a high level of design ability. Students will be expected to start the program with an awareness of current versions of design software (AutoCAD, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop) and basic graphic design skills: color theory, fonts, and 2D layout. Students lacking these skills should take our late-summer, intensive “boot camp”—Spatial and Regional Representation—at the Spitzer School in order to gain proficiency prior to the fall semester.

Immunization Requirement

Admitted students born after December 31, 1956, must prove immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella, to attend college in New York State. All admitted students (regardless of age) must complete the meningitis response form. Students need to submit the immunization record and meningitis response form before registering for classes (not as part of the application). Students who have questions regarding the immunization policy may contact the office of Student Health Services.

Program Expectations

The M Arch, MLA, and UD programs in the Spitzer School of Architecture are full-time programs with all required courses scheduled in fall and spring semesters. For the M Arch II program, the academic year consists of consecutive fall, spring, and summer semesters. There are no part-time or non-degree programs.

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for all CCNY graduate students for continuance and graduation. Failure to meet this standard will result in academic probation or dismissal.

In addition to tuition, fees, and books, students should expect to bear an additional expense for studio equipment and supplies.


See our FAQ and the CCNY Admissions FAQ page for general questions. You may also contact or +1 212 650 5663.

Physical spaces are a gauge, a measure of any society’s attitude toward children. About 500 years ago, it would have not been possible to find a house with a child’s bedroom, a neighborhood with a playground, or a city with a public high school. Fast foward to the 2st century, when children live, learn, work, and play in spaces purposely made for them, usually by architects and other design professionals; they also create and appropriate places for these purposes. This interdisciplinary seminar looks at how modern architecture, modern cities, and concepts of childhood have chnaged as special places have been made for children – from houses and schools to streets and playgrounds.

We will give architects their due, as we discuss ideals of the good childhood and how hopes (and fears) for children are embodied in the built environment. What does the word child mean? Design? Modern? What does the design of a school, for example, tell us about adult values? How does it contribute to the modernization of cities? To the discourse of modern architecture? To the ideological construction the “good” childhood in the US? Europe? Elsewhere in teh world?

We also will consider children and children’s experiences, as they consume, play, resist, rebel, contest, experiment, and otherwise use the physical city to creat culture. Who has rights to the city? How are they express? In the end, we want to come to terms with the multiple identities of children and examine how space, place, and experience are engaged in the performance and critique of them. Teenagers and youth culture are also discussed, part of the processess under consideration in this class.

This course includes in-class discussions, short critical papers, and a research project, involving fieldwork that will develop and extend this website, authored by former students in this class: The course is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates, with permission. Students should be prepared to read, to write and above all to think critically.


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