Graduate Application Instructions
The information below applies to the programs housed solely within the Spitzer School: Master of Architecture I, MSc in Architecture, 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 2021 Candidates
Friday, January 15, 2021, is the fall 2021 application deadline for all Spitzer School graduate programs. (The online application will open in late summer 2020.) Applicants will receive admission decisions in March 2021.
Applications for admission are accepted for the following fall term only.
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. Please be sure to list your name consistently on all documents including within the online application.
- Portfolio: A portfolio of creative work is required for all Spitzer School applicants. The portfolio should reflect your level of creative ability and creative process and can include drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, graphic design, furniture design, photography, crafts, or other types of work. The portfolio for the post-professional programs (MS Arch, Urban Design, MLA II) should include design projects. Your portfolio should be a single file (PDF preferred). There is no maximum or minimum page count or project count. Submit your portfolio file at https://securetransfer.ccny.cuny.edu/filedrop/SSAGrad.
- 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. Please note that as per the university policy, students who present P (pass) or CR (credit) grades in their transcripts for courses taken during Spring 2020 will not be disadvantaged. This policy is intended to allow students to feel less pressure and anxiety about their grades as they contemplate their future graduate school options against the backdrop of the disruptions to daily life resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 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 immediately with full instructions (even if you have not submitted the online application). 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$75 is required via check or money order payable to The City College of New York. Please make sure that your name, program, and applicant ID are clearly specified with the payment. You will receive your applicant ID when you submit the online application. 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 email@example.com for instructions.
Mail the application fee to: Office of Graduate Affairs, Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York, 141 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031.
- 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.
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 precalculus (including intervals, inequalities, operations on functions, inverse functions, graphing polynomial and rational functions, binomial theorem, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions and formulas) and physics (including vectors and forces) with lab 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. If you wish to check whether a math or physics course you are considering fulfills our prerequisite, please complete this form at least two weeks prior to the registration deadline. Submit one form for each course you are considering.
MS in Arch: 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 digital “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 in the online application.
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.
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.
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 MS in Arch 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.