The doctoral program in Architecture currently offers two tracks of study: History and Theory of Architecture, and Ecosystems in Architectural Sciences. Both tracks aim to educate teachers capable of effectively instructing future architects in their own field and its manifold connections with the culture at large. The program forges a unique combination of professional knowledge with a historical and analytical grasp of architecture, deepening awareness of the field’s current state and the critical issues it faces.

The History and Theory track provides sound training in historical study and historiography, and cultivates understanding of intellectual trends that inform the reception and role of architecture in the world at large. It prepares candidates for careers in university teaching, cultural advocacy and administration, museum curatorship, and publishing, among others. Students draw on a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to, the history of science and technology, social and political history, media theory, as well as the fine arts, literature, and popular culture.

The Ecosystems in Architectural Sciences track provides preparation in interdisciplinary scientific inquiry, qualifying students to incorporate scientific methods into experimental design frameworks in order to research and develop novel material and informational ecosystems. Students in this track engage in research related to the behaviors of living ecosystems, emphasizing their interconnection with the built environment.

Joan Ockman, Director of Doctoral Studies


Author Date Title Publisher
Aaron Tobey 2019 “Architect as User: Software and the Value of Work” Journal of Architectural Education: Work

Past dissertations

David Turturo

Caryatid: Architecture and the Framing of Bodies (2022). View dissertation.

Theodossios Issaias

Architectures of the Humanitarian Front, 1915-1930: The American Red Cross and the Refugee Settlement Commission of the League of Nations (2021). View dissertation.

Eugene Han

A Theory of Common Form in Aesthetic Perception (2019). Abstract.

Skender Luarasi

Where Do You Stop? A Critical Inquiry into Style, Geometry, and Parametricism in History (2018). Abstract.

Tim Altenhof

Breathing Space: The Architecture of Pneumatic Beings (2018). Abstract.

Anna Bokov

Teaching Architecture to the Masses: Vkhutemas and the Pedagogy of Space, 1920-1930 (2017). Abstract

Surry Schlabs

Waiting for Architecture: John Dewey and the Limits of Modern Art (2017). Abstract.

Kyle Dugdale

Architecture After the Death of God: Uriel Birnbaum’s Der Kaiser und derArchitekt (2015). Abstract.

Joseph Clarke

The Architectural Discourse of Reverberation, 1750-1900 (2014). Abstract.

Forms and Resources

Graduate Research Assistant and Teaching Fellow Experience

The program in Architecture considers teaching to be an important part of graduate training. Students in the Ph.D. program in Architecture are expected to teach or serve as research assistants for four terms, normally in their third and fourth years. During these four terms, it is anticipated that a student in the History and Theory track will teach in two survey courses in the student’s area of study at the School of Architecture or elsewhere in the University and teach in two design studios at the School of Architecture. Students in the Ecosystems in Architectural Sciences track are expected to serve as both teaching fellows in the School of Architecture and research assistants in the School’s Center for Ecosystems in Architecture. All assignments are carried out under the direct supervision of senior faculty.

Master’s Degree

M.Phil. The Master of Philosophy degree is awarded en route to the Ph.D. The minimum requirement for this degree is the completion of all requirements for the Ph.D., with the exception of the teaching or research assignments and the dissertation.

Required Courses, History and Theory Track

551a, Ph.D. Seminar I 1 credit. (Required in, and limited to, Ph.D. first year, fall term.) This seminar centers on a thorough examination of fundamental ideas of historiography, centering on Rome and exploring aspects of geology, culture, mapping, site development, the establishment of institutions, and the construction of buildings across several millennia, as well as a study of literature on the urbs and its worldwide impact. Faculty

552b, Ph.D. Seminar II 1 credit. (Required in, and limited to, Ph.D. first year, spring term.) This seminar centers on concepts of history and their application to architecture from Jacob Burckhardt to the present and a close reading of historiographic theories, including ethnography, modernity, and the emergence of the profession of architecture in the light of present-day critique. Faculty

553a, Ph.D. Seminar III 1 credit. (Required in, and limited to, Ph.D. second year, fall term.) Seminar content to be announced. Faculty

554b, Ph.D. Dissertation Preparation 1 credit. (Required in, and limited to, Ph.D. second year, spring term.) Ph.D. tutoring in preparation for oral examinations and formulation of a thesis topic. Faculty

Required Courses, Ecosystems in Architectural Sciences Track

558a, Ph.D. Seminar: Ecosystems in Architecture I 1 credit. (Required in, and limited to, Ph.D. first year, fall term.)

559b, Ph.D. Seminar: Ecosystems in Architecture II 1 credit. (Required in, and limited to, Ph.D. first year, spring term.)

568a, Ph.D. Seminar: Ecosystems in Architecture III 1 credit. (Required in, and limited to, Ph.D. second year, fall term.)

569b, Ph.D. Seminar: Ecosystems in Architecture IV 1 credit. (Required in, and limited to, Ph.D. second year, spring term.)