Skip over navigation

The School of Architecture

The School of Architecture, Princeton’s center of teaching and research in architectural design, history and theory, provides students with a course of study that reflects contemporary and emerging issues in architecture. Its roots reach back to 1832, when Professor Joseph Henry, an amateur architect and scientist, taught a course on the history of architecture. The School of Architecture was opened in 1919; its official opening was delayed due to World War I.

Principal degrees offered by the school include a bachelor of arts (A.B.), a master of architecture (M.Arch.) and a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.). The master of architecture program, accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), is intended for students who plan to practice architecture professionally. The curriculum for the master’s degree emphasizes design expertise in the context of architectural scholarship.

Architecture is understood as a cultural practice involving both speculative intelligence and practical know-how. Students are encouraged to construct a personal course of study around a core of required courses that represent the knowledge essential to the education of an architect today. Graduates of the master’s program are qualified to take the state professional licensing examination after the completion of a required internship.

The four-year doctoral program focuses on the history, theory and criticism of architecture, urbanism, landscape and building technology. The approach is interdisciplinary, covering a broad range of research interests from an architectural perspective. Working closely with the faculty of the school and allied departments in the University, students build individual programs of study involving at least two years of coursework, general examinations and a dissertation.

Students at the School of Architecture benefit from its small size and thorough integration with the University community. In recent years, the school has enrolled approximately 60 graduate students and roughly the same number of undergraduates. Its curriculum always has responded to changes in the profession and in architectural education, providing students with courses that reflect contemporary and emerging issues in architecture.