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Columbia University Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Jan 
International :15 Jan 

MS Architecture and Urban Design

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

1.5 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee


Application fee

International 105 USD
National 105 USD
Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
GRE (avg)315

World University Ranking

About this course

The Urban Design Program is focused on the city as an agent of resilient change and on the role of design in redefining the 21st century urban landscape. The program advances new paradigms of research, practice and pedagogy to meet the urgent challenges of rapid urbanization, the increasing threats of climate change and social inequality. Students and faculty in the Program aim to integrate the essential links between public space, social justice and ecological systems. We ask the venerable and necessarily shifting question: what is “the good city?”
Global shifts in the climate system require resetting the paradigms that have guided urban growth for centuries. The Program frames the city not as a fixed, delineated territory—a modernist fixation on boundaries—but instead as a gradient of varied landscapes supported by networks of food, energy, resources, culture, transportation and capital. In this light, the historical terms urban, rural or suburban are no longer sufficient to address the “wicked problem” of climate change. Program work stresses near and long term threats to local, regional and global ecosystems, framing urban design as both an inclusive, activist, tools-based project for specific sites and communities and as a critical project examining urban form, knowledge and research processes.

Students and faculty work together over a series of three intensive semesters to weave a multi-scalar analysis of urban-regional fabrics and infrastructures with on-the ground, detailed studies of places and lived conditions. New York City serves as a primary initial case study for a design methodology; the scope expands in the second semester to regional research about New York and other American city-regions and concludes in the final semester with investigations in emerging global capitals and agglomerations in Asia, Africa, and South America.

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Eligibility Criteria

  • The M.S. AUD program is a second/post professional degree program for students interested in exploring urban design. All applicants must have a first professional degree, B. Arch, M. Arch, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, or Master of Landscape Architecture degree (5 yrs, eligible for licensure) by the time they start the M.S. AUD program.

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Course Modules

  • Public Space and Recombinant Urbanism
  • Montage City: Filmmaking as Urban Observation
  • Books, Figures, Objects
  • Curatorial Practices and Place Making
  • Data Visualization For Architecture, Urbanism and The Humanities
  • Architecture and the Free Market
  • Architecture of Colonial Modernity
  • Global Cities & Climate Change
  • New Towns To Smart Cities
  • Urban Design Studio III


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How to Apply

  • Create and complete an online application.
  • Enter contact information for recommenders. M.S. AUD requires three letters of recommendation.
  • Upload a personal statement into the application. This may not be changed or updated after submission.
  • Upload scanned copies of official academic transcripts for each university attended and credit earned, including certified English translations (if applicable).
  • Send TOEFL score report to Columbia GSAPP (International students only). A minimum score of 100 is required. Please find our institution codes here.
  • Submit online application and fee ($75 USD, payable only by VISA or MasterCard).
  • Mail a copy of your portfolio to the Columbia GSAPP Admissions Office: 400 Avery Hall, 1172 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027. Portfolios must be postmarked or received by the application deadline; we do not accept digital portfolios under any circumstances. Portfolios must not exceed 8.5 X 11 inches (21.5 X 27.9cm) or be more than 0.5 inch (1.27cm) thick. Large Portfolios with glass or protruding metal parts, slides, DVD's, or CDs are not acceptable. Portfolios must be marked with the applicant's name.

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