Architecture (M.Arch)

  • The Master of Architecture (M.Arch) program is a three-year NAAB-accredited professional degree for students holding a pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture or a four-year non-architecture degree. New York City provides students with a comprehensive context in which to develop a critical voice, gain design-build experience, and explore architecture’s formal and sociopolitical dimensions.

    This program is part of Parsons’ School of Constructed Environments (SCE). Learn about the SCE community and explore our blog to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world.

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    Sites of Learning

    Students design for sites of critical importance to New York City’s evolution, they consider issues related to infrastructure, public space, housing, and other key matters at the forefront of dialogue about urban centers. In studios, they also address environmental challenges presented by sea-level rise and storm surge. The studio course sequence challenges students to contend with the demands imposed by use, site, context, structure, and construction. Interdisciplinary electives in history, theory, and technology highlight architecture’s pivotal role in shaping culture. Students can choose electives offered in other programs throughout The New School. 

    Professional Partnerships

    Courses draw on Parsons’ network of municipal and institutional partners, local practitioners, and commercial clients, providing students with internship, design competition, and research funding opportunities. Students in the Design Workshop design and construct a project for a nonprofit client — from schematics to punch list. Established in 1996, the workshop embodies the progressive values of Parsons and The New School. It unites theoretical and hands-on learning and trains students to develop practices to improve the social and physical environment. Past projects include a sustainable laundromat and information center for Hurricane Katrina survivors, a rooftop garden with educational and recreational facilities for Bronx youth, and pool changing pavilions for two New York City communities.

    Multidisciplinary Approaches

    The M.Arch curriculum focuses on contemporary issues directly affecting the field, ranging from new representational techniques to sustainable built and natural systems. It prepares students to enter the professional architecture community and shape the built environment and the field. The M.Arch is a program within Parsons’ School of Constructed Environments (SCE), alongside related degrees in interior, lighting, and product/industrial design. In the SCE studio, members of a diverse student body collaborate on complex design problems, from interiors to comprehensive architectural volumes, public spaces, and urban design.

    Architecture and Lighting Design Dual Degree

    Those who wish to pursue studies in lighting design and architecture can apply to the dual-degree program, a four-year, 120-credit-hour curriculum that combines the NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture and the MFA Lighting Design. Interested students should apply directly to the dual-degree program; they will automatically be considered for admission to the individual Master of Architecture and MFA Lighting Design programs as well.

    Future Opportunities

    Graduates have gone on to open their own practices and work in prominent firms, including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, LevenBetts, Bernheimer Architecture, Bjarke Ingels Group, Gensler, Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, Matter Architecture Practice, Smith-Miller Hawkinson, and Young Projects. Graduates have pursued careers in engineering, urban planning, landscape design, and interior design as well as architecture.

  • Curriculum

    The Master of Architecture degree is awarded for completion of 90 credits (or the equivalent as determined by the School of Constructed Environments). Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner. The program can be completed in two or three years, depending on an evaluation of the student's educational background. The standard course of study is three years.

    Students with a four-year Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from a recognized undergraduate program will be evaluated for advanced placement in the program. See below for details.

    M.Arch Program Advanced Placement

    Evaluation for advanced placement is conducted by the admission committee on the basis of a review of the applicant’s design studio work. Students granted advanced placement are awarded up to the equivalent of one year of graduate study (30 credits). They must complete a minimum of two years of study (60 credits) in residence and fulfill all other master’s degree requirements.

    To be considered for advanced placement, an applicant must have completed the following undergraduate curriculum with grades of B or better in all courses:

    • 6 semesters Studio
    • 2 semesters History
    • 2 semesters Structures
    • 1 semester Theory
    • 1 semester Environmental Technology
    • 1 semester Construction Technology

    Waiving Required Courses

    A student may be granted a waiver for a required course or courses if he/she has taken an equivalent course at another institution. A request for a waiver must be submitted at least one month before the registration deadline for the required Parsons course. If a waiver is granted, the student must make up the credits by taking additional electives.

    Students requesting a course waiver must submit a transcript for the equivalent course(s) showing grades of B or better, course syllabus/syllabi, and samples of their completed course assignments, including project images (8.5 × 11 inches format) and/or copies of tests or writing samples.


    1. The student submits a list of courses for which a waiver is sought along with the corresponding courses from the other institution(s), including the date each class was completed and the grade received.
    2. The School of Constructed Environments reviews and responds to the waiver request, evaluating each course separately.
    3. If a course or courses are waived, Parsons will officially revise the student’s program of study accordingly. Note: Only courses are waived, not credit requirements; electives must be substituted for the waived courses.


    Program Contact

    Full-Time Faculty

    Part-Time Faculty

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    Learn more about what Parsons students, faculty, and alumni are doing throughout the city and around the world.
    Explore the SCE Community

    NAAB Accreditation

    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 pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the pre-professional degree is not by itself recognized as an accredited degree.

    Parsons School of Design offers the following NAAB-accredited degree program: Master of Architecture (Pre-Professional Degree + 90 Credits)

    Next accreditation visit for this program: 2024


    Admission Requirements

    Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

    Application Deadline

    The application deadline is January 1. To be most competitive for admission and merit scholarship consideration, please apply before the deadline. We will continue to review applications submitted after the January 1 priority deadline pending space availability in the program. The Admission Committee will make a decision on your application only after all the required materials have been received. Spring term admission is not offered for this program. The fall term readmission deadline is August 1 (review readmission information below).

    Financial Aid Deadline

    All applicants selected for admission into our program are considered for a merit scholarship award that is determined by the strength of their application. Scholarship award notification is communicated at the same time as the admission decision. International students are eligible only for merit scholarships. If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found on the Web at The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid; we recommend submitting by our FAFSA priority deadline of February 1 for fall applicants. (The New School’s federal school code is 002780.)

    Application Instructions

    All applicants are required to apply online. Save your work frequently and print a copy for your records. You must complete all required fields and uploads prior to submission.

    Any additional supporting documents that need to be sent by mail must include an Application Materials Cover Sheet. All supporting materials must be received before your application can be reviewed.

    See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations.

    Some of your required materials will be submitted through SlideRoom:

    1. In addition to submitting the online application, Parsons requires that you submit a portfolio using SlideRoom.
    2. Finalize your portfolio at the time you submit your application. This will help prevent any delays in reviewing your application, as we need to receive all required materials before we can place your application under review.
    3. Once you have submitted the required SlideRoom materials, a confirmation number will be emailed to you. Save this for your records and enter it on the online application when requested.

    Required Application Materials

    1. Application Form: Complete the online application. All applicants are required to apply online.
    2. Application Fee: A nonrefundable $50 application fee paid as part of the online application. A $15 SlideRoom fee is also required.
    3. Transcripts:
      Unofficial Transcripts: Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript, mark sheet, or academic record for each institution (even if you didn’t receive a degree) in the Educational Background section of the online application.
      • All transcript uploads must be accompanied by a key, legend, or the back copy of the transcript.
      • Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. Records from non-U.S. institutions must have grades or marks and contain a copy of diploma if the degree has been conferred.
      • Make sure your name appears on the transcript/record. Scans must be clear and legible.
      • Do not mail materials that have been uploaded with the online application or any other materials unless requested by the admission office.
      • If you experience trouble uploading your transcript, email and give a detailed description of the issue and attach the document in question.
      The New School reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process. Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between uploaded and official transcripts will result in the immediate revocation of admission and/or dismissal from The New School. Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial.

      Official Transcripts: Applicants offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts (as well as official certified translations and evaluations of the transcripts/mark sheets and degree certifications if the degree was earned outside of the United States) to The New School. Admitted applicants must submit all official transcripts pertaining to their entire academic career.

      Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents. New students will not be permitted to register for their second semester of study until all official transcripts (including degree awarding transcripts) have been received by the Office of Graduate Admission. Transcripts uploaded with the online application do not satisfy this requirement.

      By Mail: Official transcripts should have an original signature or a raised university seal, and must be in a sealed envelope that has been signed or stamped by the issuing university’s registrar or records office. Applicants can either send official transcripts with an Application Materials Cover Sheet or request that institutions send transcripts directly to The New School. See “Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials” for our mailing address in the Additional Instructions and Information section below.

      Electronic Transcripts (U.S./Domestic Institutions Only): The New School accepts electronic transcripts only from our approved vendors. The New School’s approved vendors, in order of preference, are
      • Parchment Exchange
      • SCRIP-SAFE International
      • National Student Clearinghouse
      We do not accept electronic transcripts sent directly by a student or school offices. Note: All international academic credentials must be submitted as indicated in the International Academic Credentials sections below.

      International Academic Credentials: All transcripts not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation or be evaluated by World Education Services (WES), or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation must be prepared for each transcript. In the absence of an evaluation, the Admission Committee will do its best to render a decision. Please note: In some cases, a review cannot be made without an evaluation, and a committee decision will be delayed. The Admission Office reserves the right to request a transcript evaluation if necessary.

      If using WES, visit for instructions and to begin the application process. The “Required Documents” section will explain what to send. If you request your report online, search for “The New School” when selecting our institution. WES will send your completed evaluation directly to The New School.

      If using another NACES provider, follow instructions for that provider. Mailed evaluations and translations should be sent to the mailing address provided for supporting materials. Applicants forwarding these sealed documents should include an Application Materials Cover Sheet.
    4. Résumé: Submit a brief résumé/curriculum vitae summarizing your academic qualifications, relevant work experience, volunteer/community work, travel, exhibitions, public speaking, or any other relevant experiences as they may relate to your field of study, including dates and positions held. Please also note any special language or computer skills that you have.
    5. Statement of Purpose: Please outline your reasons for applying to this program. In what ways will you contribute to the subject matter of the program? You should include a thoughtful description of your background, tentative plan of study or area of inquiry in the field as you now envision it, your professional goals, and an explanation of how this graduate program will help you realize those goals. If you have not been enrolled as a student in the past five years, please address anticipated opportunities and challenges in pursuing the degree and future career expectations upon completion of the program. (500–750 word limit)
    6. Recommendation Letters: You are required to submit two letters of recommendation from faculty or people with whom you have worked professionally. Recommenders can submit recommendations online; instructions are included with the online application. If preferred, the recommendation form can instead be sent by mail in a signed, sealed envelope. To send by mail, download the PDF recommendation form found in the online application, complete the personal information, save the form, and forward it to the recommender for completion and submission. Applicants can also send signed and sealed recommendations to the Office of Admission using an Application Materials Cover Sheet.
    7. Portfolio: The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only. The purpose of the portfolio is to show your individual perspective and creative skills. Prepare a sequence of 15–25 images that best communicate your visual thinking. Include work that best demonstrates your skills from previous educational and/or professional experience. Sketches and conceptual work may also be included.

      We welcome students from a wide variety of disciplines. If you are an applicant without previous training in architecture- or design-related fields, you can demonstrate your aptitude by submitting examples of freehand drawing, photography, painting, sculpture, graphic design, three-dimensional work, furniture, product design, digital media, or other forms. Time-based works such as film, video, performance, installation, or sound are also accepted. Do not combine images in a prepared presentation or slideshow of any type (e.g., PowerPoint or Keynote).
    8. Test Scores:
      GRE: If English is the applicant’s native language, submit scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and general tests (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing). The institution code is 2638.

      TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE: All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores. The minimum score required for TOEFL (IBT) is 92, for IELTS is 7.0, and for PTE is 63. Our TOEFL institution code is 2638.

      The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores for applicants:

      • Whose native language is English
      • Who have earned a four-year degree from a U.S. college/university or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (minimum of three years attendance)
      Upon review of your application, the Office of Admission reserves the right to request a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score.

      Arrange for the testing service to send your test scores directly to The New School using the codes listed above. We accept scores from the past two years. If your scores are older, you must retake the test. For more information, visit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE.

      Applicants also have the option of enrolling in The New School's English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Students must pass Level 6 in order to waive the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement. Visit the ESL website for more information.

      A GRE or TOEFL/IELTS/PTE score is required of all applicants. International students who receive a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE waiver must instead provide a GRE score.
    9. Interview: Students may be invited for an interview in-person or by phone.

    Additional Information and Instructions

    1. Applying to More Than One Program: In any given term, a student can apply to only one department or program within The New School. Applicants who file more than one application in a given semester will be required to withdraw one of the applications, and application fees will not be refunded.
    2. Application Materials: All materials submitted in association with The New School application become the property of The New School and cannot be returned to you or transmitted to a third party.
    3. Test Score Codes:
      • TOEFL: The institution code is 2638.
      • GRE: The institution code is 2638.
    4. Application Status: Applications become complete and ready for review once all required items have been received by the Office of Admission. You can check your application status online at the Admission Hub.

      Allow at least 14 days from the date you submitted your application for items to be matched and shown as received on the Hub. Applicants are responsible for following up with schools and recommenders to confirm that items have been sent.

      The Office of Admission will periodically notify applicants by email if their file is missing any documents and again when their file is complete for review. These notifications are sent to the email address provided in the online application.
    5. Readmission
    6. The Application for Readmission (PDF) should be completed by students who wish to return after an absence of four semesters (fall and spring). Students must reapply to the program to which they were originally admitted. Readmission is only available for current New School programs. If you are looking to transfer 24 or more semester-based credits, you should apply for admission as a transfer student according to the instructions outlined above. The following materials are required of applicants seeking readmission:

      • Application for Readmission (PDF)
      • Statement of Purpose
      • One letter of recommendation
      • Transcripts if you have attended another college or university since last at The New School
      • An updated portfolio upon faculty request
    7. Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials:
      Parsons School of Design
      Office of Admission (PS 300)
      79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
      New York, NY 10003