At Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture, prospective students are likely to find a course of study that will interest them. The School’s newly revised undergraduate curriculum allows students to choose studios in their 4th and 5th year that concentrate on breadth or depth in the following topics of interest: Sustainable Design, Digital Design, Management and Critical Practice, Design/ Build, Urban Design, and Future Studios. For example, students interested in digital fabrication, computational design, and new materials may choose to concentrate in Digital Design.
Students interested in graduate school have a choice of eight different graduate degrees. CMU undergraduates can choose to apply for an Accelerated Master's degree and begin pursuing their master’s in their fourth year. The graduate degrees offered are an M.S. in Architecture, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Architecture-Engineering-Construction Management, Building Performance & Diagnostics, or Computation Design, an M.S. in Sustainable Design, a Master of Tangible Interaction Design, and a Master of Urban Design. Carnegie Mellon University is also offering a brand new academic program, the Doctorate of Professional Practice (DPP), that is targeted for mid-career professionals looking to create positive change in the AEC profession.
While the areas of focus are fairly specific, students are not confined only to their tracks. Each of the graduate level programs, which can take up to sixteen months if desired, carry a list of "selectives," or electives specific to that track, which can include classes from other CMU schools, such as the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, or the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Coursework in the various tracks is supported by several research centers and institutes, including the Computation Design Lab or CoDe Lab, the Remaking Cities Institute and the Urban Laboratory. Students are thus able to explore other subjects while investigating their own concentrations in more depth. Graduate degrees can result in academic positions, management, and research development opportunities.
Admission as an undergraduate is through the general admissions office, while graduate admission is through the School of Architecture. The cost of pursuing a graduate degree is $34,980 per year. For undergraduates, the cost is $46,670 for either four or five years. Ph.D. students are usually offered a way of supporting themselves, through a combination of Research or Teaching Assistantships or through grants and fellowships. Given that doctorate studies take considerably longer, it is advisable to check into further funding opportunities. As for Bachelor and Master level students, there are various annual travel and merit-based fellowships available.
Sherin Wing is the writer of ArchDaily's Architecture School Guides. She received her Ph.D. in the Humanities at UCLA and resides in Southern California. You can follow Sherin on Twitter (and send her tips) @SherinWing.