A Guide to Applying to the Architecture Program at CCNY
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Gail Fong, Admissions Counselor for CCNY, in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
The Spitzer School of Architecture
The City University of New York (CUNY) system consists of 25 campuses and colleges spread out across New York City. These campuses range from junior colleges with Associate’s Degree programs, to larger universities with postgraduate degree programs. City College of New York (also known as City College or CCNY), the founding institute of the CUNY state school system, is a senior college that offers Bachelors, Masters and Phd programs of study to a campus of about 15,000 students.
As the only public New York City architecture program, CCNY’s Spitzer School of Architecture has a lot to offer students looking to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree in architecture, or in related topics such as urban design and sustainability in the urban environment.
Students at the Spitzer School are strongly encouraged to study abroad and participate in national competitions to enrich their studies. In fact, a group of architecture students designed and built a solar roof pod to provide local green energy that was runner-up for People’s Choice Award at the Department of Energy’s 2011 Solar Decathlon on the National Mall in Washington D.C.
The Architecture program also hosts specialized career fairs leading paid internship opportunities as well as part and full-time job opportunities for students and graduates.
For students interested in studying architecture at CCNY, it is strongly recommended to reach out to the school directly as they conduct their own admissions process separate from the rest of CCNY. Students will need to apply and be accepted to CUNY and the Spitzer program separately to enroll in the architecture program.
For undergraduate students, the program is typically five years long, where students will focus on designing individual buildings, complex groups of buildings, and open spaces within the urban environment. What better place to tackle these topics than in the city of New York?
What It Takes to Get Accepted
For first year applicants, the Spitzer admissions team is looking for an overall GPA of B or higher. That said, as this is a specialized program, applicants should aim to take challenging math courses and achieve strong grades in those classes before applying.
Unlike the rest of CCNY, Spitzer only accepts students starting during the fall semester, and has a strict February 1 deadline for all applicants. To reiterate, you’ll need to complete applications for both CUNY and for Spitzer, which includes their Creative Challenge (six to eight questions testing your knowledge and creativity when it comes to design), as outlined on the school’s website. Both applications need to be completed by this February 1 deadline.
To learn more about the application process, upcoming information sessions, and open houses, check out their website.
Unsure of whether an architecture major is right for you? Check out this post to learn more about the types of courses you’ll take as an architecture major and what you can expect if you pursue it as a career!