Urban Design and Architecture Studies Major

FAQs


   
1.   How Do You Declare a Major in Urban Design and Architecture Studies?
2.   What are the Goals of the Major?
3.   What are the Requirements of the Major?
4.   What are Upper-level Seminars?
5.   What is a Senior Honors Thesis?
6.   What do Course Numbers Mean?
7.   How Do Internships and Independent Studies Work?
8.   What Courses are Offered Abroad?
9.   What is Advisement?
10.  Can I Minor in Studio Art?
11.  Can I Take Urban Design and Architecture Studies as a Double Major or as a Minor?
12.  How can Transfer Students Receive Credit for Previous Coursework?
13.  What are the Urban Design and Architecture Studies Courses?


1.  How Do You Declare a Major in Urban Design and Architecture Studies?

To declare a major in Urban Design and Architecture Studies, students must meet with either the Director or Assistant Director of the program, and complete departmental forms.  We do not receive your information if you declare your major through CAS advisement or the LSP office:  You will not be registered as an Urban Design and Architecture Studies major unless you meet with the Urban Design and Architecture Studies faculty.  Failing to declare your major through the department may limit your eligibility to register for popular Urban Design and Architecture Studies courses.  The department reserves seats in these classes for majors, but the computer system will not record your major if you do not register properly.

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2.  What are the Goals of the Major?

Urban Design and Architecture Studies is a specialty major within the Art History Department.  The primary goal of this program is to encourage a critical and practical understanding of cities and architecture.  Two pre-requisite courses introduce students to key issues in the history of the built environment, preparing them to study the dynamics of urban development.  Professionals working in urban design and architecture teach many of our advanced courses; the major can help students prepare for professional careers in city planning, architecture and design, public administration, real estate, law, journalism, and allied fields.

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3.  What are the Requirements of the Major?

The prerequisite courses for an Urban Design and Architecture Studies major are “History of Architecture from Antiquity to the Present” and “Shaping the Urban Environment.”  Majors are also required to take at least six (6) advanced courses and one (1) upper-level seminar, for a total of nine (9) courses in the major.  The university offers Urban Design and Architecture Studies courses in New York and at NYU Abroad campuses in London, Paris, and Florence.
Urban Design and Architecture Studies courses offered in the department are listed below.  Students may also enroll in cross-referenced courses for Urban Design and Architecture Studies credit.  Cross-referenced courses in Anthropology, Economics, Metropolitan Studies, and Sociology are listed on the Urban Design and Architecture Studies registration form.  Please note that Urban Design and Architecture Studies students are exempt from the MAP-Expressive Cultures requirement, but may take the MAP course “Expressive Cultures:  Images, New York Field Study” for Urban Design and Architecture Studies credit.

Note that the total of nine (9) courses represents the minimum number necessary to complete the major.  The department encourages students to take more courses if possible.  Students should also consider courses in related fields.

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4.  What are Upper-level Seminars?

The Urban Design and Architecture Studies program and the Art History Department encourage discussion in classes, so that students and faculty may share ideas in a collegial environment.  Because small seminars promote discussion, all Urban Design and Architecture Studies majors are required to take at least one upper-level seminar, in which enrollment is limited to 12 students.   Any of the seminars listed below may be taken for seminar credit, except “Decision Making and Urban Design.”

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5.  What is a Senior Honors Thesis?

    Honors students —that is, students with a GPA of 3.65 or higher, both in their overall course work and within the major— are eligible to write a senior honors thesis.  This is a long (approx. 40 page) research paper on an advanced topic, written in close consultation with a faculty advisor.  The thesis will give the student a taste of graduate-level work in art history.  However, it should not be viewed simply as a step on the way to graduate school in art history.  Writing a senior thesis provides valuable training in research, organization, and self-expression, skills that will be equally useful to students planning careers in journalism, law, business, medicine, or education. 
    Honors students interested in writing a senior thesis should find a faculty advisor at the beginning of spring semester of junior year.  (As noted above, they may also wish to take their advanced seminar in spring semester of junior year, so that the research and writing required for seminar reports do not conflict with the research and writing for the thesis.)  In consultation with the advisor, they should refine a specific topic, which they may wish to begin researching over the summer between junior and senior years. 
    In the fall semester of their senior year, students writing theses work together in a special honors seminar on research methods and organization, while continuing to meet regularly with their faculty advisors.  In the spring semester, thesis students register for a four credit Independent Study and meet weekly with their individual advisers, writing and revising the text over a period of months.
     Please note that the fall honors seminar is not the same as—and does not replace—the advanced seminar required of all art history majors.  (As mentioned above, honors students who plan to write a senior thesis may take the advanced seminar in their junior year.)  Students doing a double major in art history and in another department should note that the honors seminar for the senior thesis counts as an elective, filling the electives requirement.  It is thus possible to write a senior thesis while taking no more than the basic nine courses required to complete the major. 
     The senior thesis should be completed three weeks before the end of the spring semester.  At that point, two more faculty members will be recruited to serve as readers, along with the student’s faculty advisor.  The student will then meet with the three readers for a Thesis Defense, at the end of which the readers will meet separately to assign a grade of no honors, honors, high honors, or highest honors.

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6.  What do Course Numbers Mean?

    All Art History and Urban Design and Architecture Studies courses have the heading ARTH-UA, taking the form ARTH-UA XXXX.   Most Urban Design and Architecture Studies courses take the form ARTH-UA 6XX, although some will conform to the chronological sequence followed by the Art History Department.  Study abroad courses are listed as ARTH-UA 9XXX.  
    Each semester the department prepares a summary of courses that will be offered in the following semester, explaining which courses will satisfy Urban Design and Architecture Studies requirements.  This summary is distributed to all majors through the department listserv.  It is also available in printed form in the department office, Silver 303.

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7.  How Do Internships and Independent Studies Work?

The Urban Design and Architecture Studies program encourages students to undertake internships at New York area design firms, government and non-profit agencies, and museums.  To receive course credit for internships, students must register for a two-point independent study with a professor who agrees to supervise the project.  Students must meet regularly with this adviser and complete a research paper, 15-20 pages in length, on a topic related to their experiences and duties.  Students should work with the adviser to create a reading list related to the project, and this material should be incorporated into the research paper.  Students must also provide their adviser with a letter from their work supervisor, confirming their participation and performance.

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8.  What Courses are Offered Abroad?

NYU encourages all students to study abroad for at least one semester.  For Urban Design and Architecture Studies students this offers a unique opportunity to experience and study the urbanism and architecture of other cultures.  The NYU Abroad programs in Florence, Paris, and London usually offer courses in Urban Design and Architecture Studies each semester.  Course offerings in other cities are more limited; note that NYU programs in Accra, Madrid, Prague, and Shanghai offer few or no courses that count toward the Urban Design and Architecture Studies major.  Courses given abroad with the same titles and course numbers as those given in New York generally count for Urban Design and Architecture Studies credit, but be sure to check with your adviser before registering for these courses.  Some courses offered abroad have no equivalent in New York, but can be counted toward the Urban Design and Architecture Studies major.

Students majoring in Urban Design can earn credit toward the major for 2 courses taken abroad or if a third course is taken (in a different location) then the student can earn major credit for 3 courses.  Students minoring in Urban Design can earn credit toward the minor for a maximum of 2 courses taken abroad.  All students must meet with a faculty adviser to discuss their Urban Design and Architecture Studies progress before leaving for a semester abroad.

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9.  What is Advisement?

Students are required to meet with the Director or Assistant Director of the Urban Design and Architecture Studies program once a semester, usually during the two weeks before registration.  At this meeting the student and adviser will discuss the student’s plan of study and assess progress toward the major.

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10.  Can I Minor in Studio Art?

    Urban Design and Architecture Studies majors are eligible to take studio art as a minor.  The minor consists of studio courses totaling sixteen (16) points, taken in the Steinhardt School of Education.  Students must take at least one course in each of three areas:  Drawing/Painting/Printmaking;  Sculpture; and Media, plus additional electives sufficient to make up the total of sixteen (16) points. The Studio Art minor may require four or five courses, depending on the student’s choice of classes.  Students wishing to take this minor should contact Ann Chwatsky, Student Advisement Coordinator in Steinhardt, as AC31@nyu.edu.  The main phone number for appointments is 212-998-5700.  See also the detailed list of requirements and courses, provided below.  

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11.  Can I Take Urban Design and Architecture Studies as a Double Major or as a Minor?

    Students often take Urban Design and Architecture Studies as a double major, along with Social Sciences, Journalism, History, or other subjects.  The relatively few courses for the major (9) allow most students to complete a double major in Urban Design and Architecture Studies within the normal eight semesters of college.  This does require careful planning, however, so double majors should consult with their advisers in both departments.  In some cases an Urban Design and Architecture Studies course may be “double counted” for credit in both majors, but CAS generally permits only one course to be credited in this way.
   Urban Design and Architecture Studies can be taken as a minor in conjunction with another major.  The minor consists of four courses taken in the department.  In this case the seminar requirement is waived; coursework consists of the two pre-requisite courses ("History of Architecture from Antiquity to the Present" and "Shaping the Urban Environment") plus two other courses in the program.

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12.  How can Transfer Students Receive Credit for Previous Coursework?

    Students coming into Urban Design and Architecture Studies from other college programs should meet with the Director or Assistant Director of the program to determine if courses previously taken can be counted toward the major.  Please bring copies of course syllabi, reading lists, and descriptions to this meeting.  Please note that Urban Design and Architecture Studies advisers will determine what previous courses count toward the major, but not how many points the will count toward graduation.  Decisions about credit points are made exclusively by the Registrar’s office.
    Students entering Urban Design and Architecture Studies from the Liberal Studies Program (LSP) should try to complete the pre-requisites while still enrolled in LSP.  The Department will offer a section of Shaping the Environment in the spring term to allow LSP students to begin the major in their Sophomore year.

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13.  What are the Urban Design and Architecture Studies Courses?

Pre-Requisites:
ARTH-UA 601    History of Architecture from Antiquity to the Present 
ARTH-UA 661    Shaping the Urban Environment                   

Urban Design and Architecture Studies Courses:
ARTH-UA 670        Decision Making and Urban Design               
ARTH-UA 662        Cities in History                           
ARTH-UA 672        Environmental Design:  Issues and Methods (seminar)   
ARTH-UA 674        Urban Design and the Law (seminar)               
ARTH-UA 104        Greek Architecture                           
ARTH-UA 105        Roman Architecture                           
ARTH-UA 301        European Architecture of the Renaissance           
ARTH-UA 302        Architecture of Europe in the Age of Grandeur          
ARTH-UA 408        Early Modern Architecture:  the 19th Century           
ARTH-UA 409        20th Century Architecture                       
ARTH-UA 650.xxx  Special Topics in Urban Design and Architecture
ARTH-UA 663        History of City Planning; 19th and 20th Centuries           
ARTH-UA 670        Decision-Making and Urban Design (seminar)
ARTH-UA 671        Architecture in Context (seminar)    
ARTH-UA 672        Environmental Design: Issues and Methods (seminar)          
ARTH-UA 673        Urban Design: Infrastructure (seminar) 
ARTH-UA 674        Urban Design and the Law (seminar)                  
ARTH-UA 675        Urban Options for the Future (seminar)              
ARTH-UA 676        Drawing for Architects and Others (2 points)
ARTH-UA 678        Architectural Criticism
ARTH-UA 850.xxx   The Layers of the City (seminar)                   
ARTH-UA 850.xxx   Greening the Urban Environment (seminar)          
ARTH-UA 801.002  Senior Thesis:  Urban Design and Architecture Studies  
ARTH-UA 802.002  Senior Thesis:  Urban Design and Architecture Studies  
ARTH-UA 803        Independent Study:  Urban Design and Architecture Studies                                       

Cross Referenced Courses:
MAP-UA 722        Architecture in New York:  Field Study          

Anthropology
ANTH-UA 44        Urban Society                            
ANTH-UA 322        Urban Anthropology                           

Economics
ECON-UA 227        Urban Economics                           

Metropolitan Studies
SCA-UA 103        Crisis of the Modern City:  New York City in Comparative   
                        and Historical Perspective
SCA-UA 630        City Planning:  Social and Economic Aspects           
SCA-UA 751        Urban Economics                           
SCA-UA 620        Culture of the City                           

Sociology
SOC-UA 460         Cities, Communities, and Urban Life                                       


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