Prospective Students

Our department is jointly shared by Barnard College, Columbia College, and The School of General Studies. Undergraduate students at these three colleges may declare a major in architecture. Students at Barnard College and SEAS may declare a minor in architecture. 

Students who desire the architecture major or minor must apply directly to Barnard College, Columbia College, or The School of General Studies. Please note that the Architecture Department does not participate in the admissions process or decisions for any of these schools. For detailed information on all aspects of the application process, please visit the admissions website for Barnard College, Columbia College, or the School of General Studies. Similarly, all inquiries regarding institutional, federal, and state financial aid should be directed to the appropriate Office of Financial Aid.

Inquiries regarding graduate studies in architecture should be made directly to the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University.

Columbia College Office of Undergraduate Admissions
212 Hamilton Hall
Phone: 212-854-2522
Fax: 212-854-3393
Admissions Website
Financial Aid Website

Barnard College Office of Admissions
3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Phone: 212-854-2014
Admissions Website
Financial Aid Website

School of General Studies Admissions Office
408 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Tel (212) 854-2772
Admissions Website
Financial Aid Website


Book an Appointment with an Architecture Faculty Member

Prospective students are welcome to book appointments with our faculty to learn more about the architecture major. The following four architecture faculty members offer regular appointments:

Kadambari Baxi
Professor of Professional Practice, Architecture
500Q Diana Center
Available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00-3:00 PM.
Sign up for an appointment here.

Karen Fairbanks
Professor of Professional Practice and Chair, Architecture
500N Diana Center
Available on Mondays from 2:00-3:30 PM and Wednesdays from 2:00-3:00 PM.
Sign up for an appointment here. 

Ralph Ghoche
Assistant Professor
500K Diana Center
Available on Thursdays from 2:30-3:30 PM.
Sign up for an appointment here. 

Ignacio G. Galán
Term Assistant Professor
503B Diana Center
Available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00-5:30 PM.
Sign up for Professor Galan's office hours here.



Undergraduate Study in Architecture

Studying Architecture at Barnard and Columbia Colleges leads to a liberal arts degree—a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Architecture. Barnard College is the administrative location for all undergraduate architecture studies at Columbia University and its partner institutions. A liberal arts education in architecture holds a unique position in academia and in relation to the discipline. If the goal of a professional education in architecture is to enable students to participate directly in the world as an architect – a liberal arts education asks that students consider the broader and myriad conditions in which architecture is conceived and practiced and, in turn, to understand how architecture inevitably alters those conditions. Students are asked to confront and interpret the complex social, cultural, political, and environmental processes that weave through architectural design and urbanism. The purpose of an undergraduate liberal arts degree in architecture is to educate students to think about the world through architecture.

The Architecture curriculum introduces design at a variety of scales, acknowledging that integrated design thinking is effective for problem solving at any scale and in any discipline. Students will experiment with full-scale installations and devices and make small-scale models of urban conditions from which they extract, interpret and invent new possibilities of inhabitation and use. The curriculum intentionally balances the traditions of handcrafted representation with evolving digital technologies of architectural design and communication.

The Architecture major complements, and makes great use of its University setting. With access to superb libraries, research centers, graduate programs, and abundant intellectual resources, our students have the opportunity to follow their creative instincts to great depth and breadth – and they do. The major depends on New York City as more than a convenient site for many design and research projects and frames the City as one of the key social and architectural, and thus didactic, markers of Modernity. Architecture students study with peers from countries around the world in one of the most diverse cities in the world. A large majority of the Architecture students expand their education by interning in Architecture or a related field during their undergraduate studies. Alumni of the Department are leaders in architecture and design fields around the world. The faculty teaching in the undergraduate program are dedicated teachers who are also at the forefront of practice and research and are similarly drawn to New York City as a nexus of global design thinking.

Students interested in obtaining a professional degree in Architecture continue on to graduate programs after their undergraduate degree, and students from the Barnard-Columbia program have enjoyed enormous success in their admissions to the most competitive graduate programs in the country. Students who study Architecture as undergraduates have also pursued graduate degrees in a wide variety of disciplines including Urban Planning, Law, and Media and Communications.