Mission & History
Spitzer School Mission
The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture is deeply committed to creating a just, sustainable, and imaginative future for a rapidly urbanizing planet. Through innovative research and interdisciplinary collaboration, the degree programs in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, and Sustainability in the Urban Environment seek to educate a diverse student body to become engaged professionals, both reflecting and enriching the complex communities of local and global environments. The School acts in the spirit of the City College of New York’s historic Ephebic Oath: “To transmit the city, not only not less, but greater, better, and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”
Architecture Programs Mission (Adopted 2016)
Our mission is to prepare students to design for the betterment of our shared global community. At the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, the only public school of architecture in New York City, our professional B.Arch. and M.Arch. programs are shaped by the diversity of our students, the inventive research of our faculty, and by multidisciplinary collaborations. We prepare students to become engaged designers and to apply an expansive set of skills to address pressing social, cultural, environmental, and professional challenges. With a rigorous foundation in the core competencies of building design, history, theory, and technologies, and with an emphasis on agile thinking, the Architecture programs aim to educate the next generation of innovators redefining the role of the architect in the twenty-first century.
Landscape Architecture Program Mission (Adopted 2012)
Landscape architecture plays an essential role in connecting social justice to environmental design and the planning of landscape systems in the urban realm. The Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture at the Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York prepares students to be leaders in the field of landscape architecture through innovative research and practice in urban ecological design, planning, and policymaking. The Program aims to meet the profession’s current and future challenges through the lens of environmental justice, including globalization, availability of natural resources, land management, and climate change. The curriculum engages critical thinking about complex systems, empowering students to work across multiple scales of the urban landscape.
Urban Design Program Mission
The Graduate Program in Urban Design is dedicated to the creation of sustainable, equitable, and beautiful cities. Knowing that no single discourse can account for the urban, we seek to work at the convergence of many. Our goal is to give our students – all citizens of this exponentially urbanizing planet – tools that will enable them to expand the forms, means, and understandings vital to the design and flourishing of cities new and old.
City College’s Architecture Program was founded in 1961 as a small intra-departmental architecture program in the School of Engineering and later became a department. The School of Architecture and Environmental Studies was established in 1968. Programs in Urban Landscape and Urban Design were added the following year. The Master of Science in Sustainability in the Urban Environment program launched in 2010.