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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
Learn more about what Parsons students, faculty, and alumni are doing throughout the city and around the world.
Explore the SCE Community
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 preprofessional 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: 2016
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
www.fafsa.gov. 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.)
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
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:
Andrew Bernheimer, Program Director