The Spitzer School is committed to providing a well-rounded education, cultivating critical thinking and speculation while rigorously preparing students for the professional opportunities available in metropolitan New York and beyond. The majority of members of the design faculty are licensed professional who bridge academia and practice, exposing students to the ways in which real-world considerations impact design thinking. Visiting faculty, studio critics, and special guest lecturers provide regular professional insights and contacts, as do the full-time faculty and adjuncts. The school also has close ties to important professional and cultural organizations such as the Center for Architecture, ASLA-NY, AIA, the Architectural League, Open House New York, Archtober, and the Van Alen Institute as well as the CCNY Architecture Alumni Group.
Professional practice, technical classes, and electives prepare students for a diverse array of employment opportunities in private and public sector design and planning offices, NGOs, and advanced academic work. Below are examples of ways the school supports professional development both in and outside the classroom.
- Students may work with faculty on a number of independent research initiatives, which provide professional contact beyond the borders of the required curriculum. Students in the professional degree programs may also receive independent study credit for internships, allowing them to gain valuable experience in the professional world.
- The professional degree program curricula require a Professional Practice course. Additionally, these programs regularly conduct licensure information sessions for students.
- Student work is regularly published in the student journals City Works, Informality, and PLOT, which provide platforms for professional visibility.
- Student clubs provide platforms for developing leadership skills and offer numerous social events, educational functions, professional development activities, and more.
- As a way of encouraging students to network with practicing professionals, selected students from all programs are invited to dinner receptions each week with speakers from the Sciame Lecture Series.
- The college’s Career and Professional Development Institute offers a database of job and internship listings, workshops and trainings, and job fairs. School faculty, administration, and staff also seek out and share job opportunities and inquiries with eligible students.
- Students are encouraged to apply for professional and academic awards and scholarships to strengthen their resumes and gain exposure both within and beyond the boundaries of the school.
- In both the B Arch and M Arch programs, students are required to regularly update their portfolios and to attend events in which alumni and other professionals review portfolios and share their experience transitioning from school to the world of practice.
- Extensive alumni surveys for the 2017 NAAB report revealed a 100% success rate in M Arch I graduate employment across a wide range of firms in the United States. The M Arch program has also developed an events program each semester including office tours, lectures, construction site visits, ARE preparation workshops, and portfolio/career fair events.
- The graduate student LinkedIn group helps students develop their professional identities, network across years and programs, and research contacts.
See also Architectural Career Development for additional information and resources for future architects.