2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 22, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Architecture

Michael Speaks, Dean
201 Slocum Hall

About the College

Dean’s Message

The Syracuse University School of Architecture consistently ranks among the best schools of architecture in the nation. The reasons most often cited are our committed and diverse faculty, our number and variety of study abroad opportunities, and our nationally-accredited, professional degree programs, which provide students the technical skill and the cultural knowledge necessary to practice in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

Consistent with our commitment to prepare students for a world shaped by globalization, the Syracuse School of Architecture has created the Global Studio program with facilities and full time faculty in Florence, London and New York. Students may spend up to two semesters studying full time in each of these programs. In addition, we offer a range of other study abroad options with shorter programs of study in Turkey, Japan, China and India. We are also committed to bringing world-class practitioners and educators to teach and lecture at our home campus in Syracuse. Each semester we organize a visiting lecture series featuring architects and designers from around the world. And, each semester, as part of our Visiting Critic Program, nationally and internationally recognized professors lead studios on our Syracuse campus.

The School of Architecture is equally committed to local and regional engagement projects, and over the last several years we have worked in conjunction with the University and the city of Syracuse to develop numerous projects in the city and in the region. Many of these projects have been organized by Upstate, an interdisciplinary design, research and real estate program located in downtown Syracuse, started and run by the Syracuse University School of Architecture.

Shaped by globalization and rapid technological transformation, the practice of architecture, over the last decade, has undergone dramatic change, placing the architect, once again, at the center of some of the most defining issues of our time. The School of Architecture at Syracuse University has not only kept pace with these changes, but our faculty, staff, students and alumni have led and continue to lead the effort to make a better world through the design of better buildings and cities. We invite you to visit and to join us.

Michael Speaks, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Architecture

Educational Mission

Program Mission

As a professional-degree-granting college within a research university, the School of Architecture at Syracuse University is dedicated to creating a rich academic environment marked by the confluence of advanced practice, contemporary theory, and social engagement. Our primary goal is to help students develop the capacity and judgment necessary to understand the built environment and generate architecture as a critical response, so that each student can engage both the discipline of architecture and the multiple discourses-artistic, technological, social, political, environmental, economic-necessary to be a successful practitioner and a conscientious citizen. Through our teaching and public programming, we help students gain a deep knowledge of architecture’s techniques, traditions, methods of inquiry, and modes of production, so that they emerge with the intellectual breadth and acuity to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world that demands agility and innovation. Through both programming and outreach activities, we aim to engage a wider public audience in a dialogue about the role of architecture in society.

To serve this mission we are committed to the following principal objectives:

  • Recruiting, enrolling, and retaining the most qualified students.
  • Recruiting, employing, and retaining the most qualified faculty and staff.
  • Creating and sustaining a supportive academic environment marked by academic integrity, cultural diversity, and social responsibility.
  • Providing the best professional education possible by offering professional degree programs that combine expertise specific to the discipline of architecture with critical thinking skills and intellectual knowledge central to humanistic study.
  • Teaching an integrated curriculum within which courses in design and other specializations support the proposition, exploration, and development of architectural ideas.
  • Maintaining and enhancing our expertise and capabilities in significant areas of research and practice.
  • Providing opportunities for students to participate in international study programs to better understand the global forces and local cultural contexts that contribute to the production of architecture and urban design in these settings.
  • Offering visiting critic studios both on and off campus that provide students with an exposure to alternative perspectives and advanced building practices.
  • Demonstrating overall competency through a self-directed process of research, documentation, proposition, and project development within the capstone experience of thesis.
  • Increasing student awareness of and ability to engage with major issues such as social equity, economic development, and ecological balance.
  • Encouraging faculty and students to participate in interdisciplinary initiatives offered within a diverse and rich campus setting.
  • Preparing graduates to enter the profession in a variety of ways, with strong basic design skills coupled with the technical ability, business acumen and an understanding of the ethical role of the architect in society.
  • Supporting faculty achievement in creative activity and scholarly research.
  • Generating advocacy and support for School initiatives from alumni, faculty, staff, and advisory board members, and among civic and business leaders.

Syracuse Architecture Studio Culture Policy

The primary goals of the School of Architecture at Syracuse University are to promote research into architecture and to educate students for professional practice and other forms of architectural engagement. Faculty instructors challenge students to develop the capacity for understanding the built environment and generating architectural design proposals as a critical response. They assist students in cultivating manifold design capabilities linked to critical intelligence about the discipline and supported by state-of-the-field expertise in representation, technology, structures, theory and history.

A central component of this mission is the cultivation of a learning environment that supports students in the fullest development of their capacities as designers, scholars, professionals, and citizens. To this end, students, faculty and staff are dedicated to the task of working together to foster five fundamental values:

  • mutual respect among all members of the School;
  • optimism about the potential for student learning, creativity and contribution;
  • collaboration among students, faculty, staff and the broader public in pursuing advances in learning, knowledge, and practice;
  • critical engagement with the discipline, the profession and the world; and
  • continual innovation in teaching, learning, and research.

These values inform all of our activities. In the context of classrooms, studios, and other learning environments, they translate into these guidelines:

  • The School encourages students and faculty alike to embrace the design studio and the classroom as places of intellectual and creative exploration and collaboration. The frequently open-ended pursuit of knowledge through design and other forms of learning requires generosity of spirit on all parts, including the recognition that faculty members bring a high level of expertise to their teaching and that students bring a diversity of valuable prior knowledge to their learning. It also requires clear communication, rigorous testing of ideas, and a commitment to excellence on the part of all participants.
  • The School encourages collaboration among students in their academic work and in extracurricular activities, as well as among students, faculty and staff in continually advancing knowledge and improving the ways we work together. It also promotes a culture of engagement in which students develop intellectually, technically and ethically through interaction with problems, opportunities and people not only within the field of architecture but also beyond it.
  • The School values social, intellectual and disciplinary diversity in its staff, faculty and student population, as well as in its curriculum. In its teaching, research and daily activities, it strives to support and promote each of these kinds of diversity.
  • The School recognizes that balance is a crucial element in the pursuit of excellence, and it encourages faculty to guide students in developing the capacity to reconcile what often seem to be competing imperatives in their work and in their lives. This includes managing expectations so as to minimize conflicts among courses, helping students to manage their time effectively, and promoting an appropriate balance between academic work and the other essentials of life.
  • The School expects students to uphold the principles of academic integrity in their work and ethical conduct in their daily lives. Honesty, trustworthiness and fairness are essential attributes for conduct in class, within the university community, and in academic activities beyond Syracuse. These principles should guide behavior not only in the completion of course assignments, but also in treatment of buildings and equipment; interaction with university staff, systems and procedures; and behavior in the studio and elsewhere.


The School of Architecture B.Arch and M.Arch I programs are fully-accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB).

In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a six-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Master’s degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree, which, when earned sequentially, comprise an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

For further information about NAAB accreditation, visit the NAAB website.

Graduate Education

Chair Jean-François Bédard, 225 Slocum Hall

Contact Speranza Migliore, 225 Slocum Hall, (315) 443-1041

Founded in 1873, the Syracuse University School of Architecture provides a diverse and intensive approach to the design of the built environment. The program is committed to providing rigorous professional training and, simultaneously, emphasizes the creative and intellectual foundations of the discipline. The integrated curriculum is designed to prepare students to unite design, research, and technical understanding. Architecture is a dynamic profession, and like the society in which it functions, increasingly complex and fluid. The program seeks to respond with skill, intellect, and passion to the challenges and opportunities of contemporary practice.

Students benefit from extensive one-on-one communication with dedicated professors, in both formal reviews and informal interactions. Our faculty members are recognized for their level of commitment to each student’s progress and represent a broad range of the profession, from practicing architects, architectural historians, and theorists to professional artists and engineers. For a complete listing of faculty members affiliated with the School of Architecture, see the faculty listings under Master of Architecture programs.

The school hosts lectures, symposia, and exhibitions featuring leading practitioners, critics, and scholars. As part of a major liberal arts university, students in the School of Architecture have access to a wide variety of courses throughout the campus and have the opportunity to broaden their intellectual and creative foundation. Students are encouraged to participate in the cultural and social life across the wide spectrum of offerings on campus and in the city of Syracuse.

The Syracuse Architecture M.Arch. I is a fully accredited professional degree open to students with non-architecture as well as architecture backgrounds. The Syracuse Architecture M.Arch. II Research Program supports independent, timely, and innovative research projects in the field of architecture and urbanism. Applications to this program require a brief research proposal.


In addition to the awards and financial aid described in the graduate prospectus, graduate assistantships are available with responsibility in the areas of teaching or research, depending on the needs of the school and faculty. To qualify, students must have appropriate experience, mainly in the areas of design, architectural history, theory, building technology, drawing, structures, and computing.

For further information about our Graduate programs, visit our website.

Global Campus Programs

The Programs

Syracuse Architecture offers opportunities for advanced-level architecture students to spend a semester or a summer studying in one of our global campus centers - New York City, Florence, or London. Undergraduate students typically study away in the spring semester of their third year and/or the fall semester of their fourth year of the B.Arch program. Virtually 100% of students study away for a single semester, but opportunity exists to enroll for two consecutive semesters as well - 50% of our students choose to study away for a full year. Our programs are also open to non-SU students who study architecture and are currently enrolled in an accredited architecture program. Special scholarship opportunities exist to aid students in taking advantage of study away programs.


As part of the Florence Architecture Program, established in 1980, students engage the traditional European city and gain an international perspective on design and theory. Annual symposia attract European architects and international critics who are in the forefront of the profession, and there are extensive field trips to sites of architectural significance such as Venice, Milan, Rome, Lucca, Bologna, and Pisa. The Florence Center includes five separate structures that house classrooms, lecture halls, a library, computer clusters, language center, and gardens. The recently renovated architectural studios are housed in 19th-century artist studios on Piazza Donatello, just a 15-minute walk from the historic center of Florence.


The London program is based at the Syracuse University London Center in central London, near Covent Garden and the British Museum. The program is structured around a design studio and includes history courses and a field studies seminar exploring the historic and contemporary architecture of London, with excursions to other cities in the UK. Students may also select from the wide range of nonprofessional courses available to satisfy elective requirements. The program is staffed by London-based faculty and includes guest lecturers and visiting critics drawn from the extensive London architecture community.

New York City

The University’s new Fisher Center is based at 136 Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The New York City program offers opportunity to study in one of the most architecturally rich and culturally vibrant cities in the world. The curriculum focuses on the city’s history, urban morphology, planning, real estate development, as well as urban theory. The program draws on Syracuse Architecture faculty and NYC-based critics, combined with guest lecturers, collateral programming, and extensive field studies in and around the city.

Short-term/summer global programs

In addition to the regular semester offerings, summer and other 2-5 week study away opportunities, including summer studies abroad, are easy and attractive options that play an integral part of the undergraduate curriculum. Previous programs have taken students to India, France, Turkey, Greece, Germany, Russia, Spain, Austria, China, South America and Japan.


For further information about our global campus programs and how to apply, contact the Syracuse Architecture Associate Dean’s office at (315) 443-3324 or visit our website.

Facilities, Research, Institutes

Slocum Hall

Slocum Hall, the School of Architecture’s campus home, offers an ideal environment for teaching, research, production, and exhibition. Constructed in 1918 and listed on the National Register of Historical Places, the five-story building underwent a dramatic redesign from 2006-2008 to enhance and restore original qualities while updating it technologically, functionally, and aesthetically. Slocum Hall now includes a vast open central atrium space, an auditorium as well as expanded studio, research, and office space.

The building’s openness provides a cohesive setting that generates activity and communication between students, faculty, and visitors, supported by interconnecting vertical spaces or atria within the building. The central atrium and additional openings in the bearing wall allow pathways for natural light and ventilation. Facilities are closely integrated with the school’s pedagogical priorities. Public review spaces, an exhibition gallery, the architecture reading room, faculty offices, and the café are located along the perimeter of these atria in order to encourage collaboration and exchange.

Computing and Fabrication

The School of Architecture has two computer clusters. Equipment includes 60 Dell PCs connected to their own network and servers. State of the art software is available for a wide range of applications: 2D and 3D drafting; modeling, visualization, rendering and animation; image manipulation; desktop publishing; web page generation; video production; and GIS mapping. An output room provides an assortment of plotters, printers, and scanners. Digital fabrication equipment includes multiple 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mill and vacuum former. Required and elective courses range from introduction to the 3D computing environment to digital animation and digital production.

The fully equipped model shop is staffed by a full-time professional instructor and includes such woodworking equipment as saws, drills, planers, routers, sanders, a lathe, and various hand tools. There is also a ventilated spray booth for painting and finishing.

Reading Room and Library

Bird Library, the University research library, has an excellent collection of more than 10,000 architecture titles. In addition, the Architecture Reading Room on the third floor of Slocum Hall serves the needs of the School of Architecture and its students for quick access to course reserves, current periodical titles, and reference works. The general stack collection of more than 2,500 titles includes such commonly used architecture books as history surveys, monographs on key figures in architecture, technical sources, and reference standards. The Architecture Reading Room also houses a significant collection of prints of architectural working drawings. It provides a quiet and convenient place to study between classes, and is supported by the Syracuse University library system.