Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

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Type Private
Established 1881
Parent institution
Columbia University
Dean Amale Andraos
Academic staff
195 (academic staff)
Students 629 (total enrollment)
Location New York City, U.S.
Campus Urban
Avery Hall, Columbia University.

The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University in New York City, also known simply as GSAPP, is regarded as one of the most important and prestigious architecture schools in the world.[1][2][3][4][5] It is also home to the well-regarded Masters of Science program in Urban Planning, Urban Design, Historic Preservation, and Real Estate Development.

GSAPP Architecture Studios at Avery Hall.

Among the school's resources is the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, the United States' largest architectural library and home to some of the first books published on architecture, as well as the origin of the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals.[6]

Recent deans of the school have included architect James Stewart Polshek, noted architectural theorist and deconstructivist architect Bernard Tschumi and Mark Wigley. The current dean is Amale Andraos.[7]


The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) has evolved over more than a century. It was transformed from a department within the Columbia School of Mines into a formal School of Architecture by William Robert Ware in 1881—making it one of the first such professional programs in the country.[8]


While the number of specialized programs being offered by the school has multiplied over the years, architecture remains the intellectual core of the school, providing the central focus for more than half of the students and faculty, in addition to conferring a unique identity onto each of the other affiliated programs. All programs share a commitment to both professional training and research. The curriculum and philosophy stress the necessity of analyzing and challenging the underlying history, premises, and future directions of the design professions, and applying this research and knowledge towards design and the built environment, as students are prepared to become accomplished practitioners in their respective fields of specialization.[9]

Degree Programs[edit]

  • Master of Architecture is a three-year professional degree program. Hilary Sample is the Director of Core Studios and Juan Herreros is Director of Advanced Studios.
  • Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design is a three-term program. Enrique Walker is the Director of the program.
  • Master of Science in Urban Design. Kate Orff is the Director of the program.
  • Master of Science in Urban Planning is a two-year degree program. Weiping Wu is the Director of the program.
  • Master of Science in Historic Preservation is a two-year degree program. Jorge Otero-Pailos is the current Director of the program.[10]
  • Master of Science in Real Estate Development is an immersive three-semester program. Patrice Derrington is the Director of the program.
  • Master of Science in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture (CCCP) is a two-year degree program consisting of one year of academic study followed by one year of an independent research thesis. Felicity Scott and Mark Wasiuta are Co-directors of the program.
  • Ph.D. in Architecture. Felicity Scott is the Director of the program.
  • Ph.D. in Urban Planning. Robert Beauregard is the Director of the program.


As of 2016, the program's ten-year average ranking, places it 2nd, overall, on DesignIntelligence's ranking of programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

Additionally, DesignIntelligence's ten-year median ranking also ranks the program 2nd, tied with Yale University.

Year DesignIntelligence ranking
2018 2nd
2017 4th
2016 4th
2015 2nd
2014 3rd
2013 2nd
2012 3rd
2011 4th
2010 4th
2009 3rd
2008 3rd (tied)
2007 9th
2006 4th

*(T) denotes tie

Select Current Faculty[edit]

Notable Former Faculty[edit]

Includes past faculty associated with the school.[16]

For a comprehensive list of individuals associated with Columbia University as a whole, see the List of Columbia University people.

Notable alumni[edit]

Research Centers[edit]

Center for Spatial Research – The Center for Spatial Research was established in 2015 as a hub for urban research that links design, architecture, urbanism, the humanities and data science. It sponsors research and curricular activities built around new technologies of mapping, data visualization and data collection and data analysis. CSR focuses on data literacy as well as interrogating the world of 'big data,' working to open up new areas of research and inquiry with advanced design tools to help scholars, students as well as our collaborators and audiences, to understand cities worldwide – past present and future. [22]

Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE) – The Center for Urban Real Estate was founded in 2011 in order to address the challenges of a rapidly urbanizing world and the most complex problems of the real estate industry. From the concerns of inequitable socio-economic outcomes in the urban environment, through the spectacular revitalization of urban centers, such as Lower Manhattan, after the devastation of terrorism, natural disaster, and deteriorating infrastructure, to creating technological systems for optimized investment decisions, the Center serves as a forum for robust discussions and rigorous analysis by real estate professionals and scholars. A major current focus of the Center is the development of advanced applied technology that can be achieved by bridging the gap between the compelling needs of the real estate industry and the advanced research and resources in technology within the extensive Columbia University ecosystem. [23]

The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture – The Buell Center was founded in 1982. Its mission is to advance the interdisciplinary study of American architecture, urbanism, and landscape. In recent years, the Center has convened issue-oriented conversations around matters of public concern, such as housing, that are addressed to overlapping constituencies including academics, students, professionals, and members of the general public. The Center’s research and programming articulate facts and frameworks that modify key assumptions governing the architectural public sphere—that is, the arena in which informed public analysis and debate about architecture and urbanism takes place.[24]


Collecting Architecture Territories Initiative, Mark Wasiuta

Conservation Lab, Dr. George Wheeler

Death Lab, Karla Rothstein

Embodied Energy Initiative, David Benjamin

Extraction Lab, Christoph Kumpusch

Fabrication Lab, Joshua Jordan

Global Africa Lab, Mabel O. Wilson and Mario Gooden

Hudson Valley Initiative, Kate Orff

Urban Community and Health Equity Lab, Malo Hutson

Waste Initiative, Tei Carpenter

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Americas Best Architecture Schools, 2012 Most-admired graduate architecture programs. Architectural Record. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  2. ^ Americas Best Architecture Schools, 2011 Most-admired graduate architecture programs. Architectural Record. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  3. ^ Best Architecture Graduate Schools,, referencing "2010 DesignIntelligence rankings" as reported by "Architectural Record". Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  4. ^ Architecture Graduate School Rankings,, referencing "Design Intelligence" as reported by "Architectural Record." Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b Architecture Graduate School Rankings, America's Top Architecture Schools 2016, referencing "Design Intelligence" as reported by "Architectural Record." Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  6. ^ Collections & History | Columbia University Libraries
  7. ^
  8. ^ Chewning, J. A. "William Robert Ware at MIT and Columbia."Journal of Architectural Education, v33 n2 p25-29 Nov 1979
  9. ^ Why Design Education Matters
  10. ^ "A/N Blog . Columbia GSAPP selects Jorge Otero-Pailos to lead its Historic Preservation Program". A/N Blog. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ America's Top Architecture Schools 2014 | 2013-11-19 | Architectural Record
  13. ^
  14. ^ New Leaders in Annual Design School Rankings - DesignIntelligence
  15. ^ Top Architecture Schools of 2018 | 2017-09-01 | Architectural Record
  16. ^ GSAPP History of the School
  17. ^ "A History of Swan Point Cemetery". Swan Point Cemetery. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  18. ^ Finding aid for the Richard F. Bach records (1913-1953). Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  19. ^ a b "The Rome Prize in Architecture has been awarded to UK/CoD Instructor Angie Co and Alumnus Lonn Combs | University of Kentucky". Archinect. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  20. ^ Hamlin, Prof. A.D.F. (January 1923). "The State Architect and His Works" (PDF). The Architectural Record. LIII (1): 27–43. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  21. ^ Hoffman, Milt (2012-09-01). "Former White Plains Mayor Sy Schulman dead at age 86". The Journal News. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  22. ^ "Laura Kurgan by Noah Chasin". Bomb Magazine. 
  23. ^ "Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE.)". Columbia University. 
  24. ^ "Buell Center". Columbia University. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°48′26″N 73°57′38″W / 40.80734°N 73.96049°W / 40.80734; -73.96049