Yale School of Architecture

Yale School of Architecture

Coat of arms of the School
Former names Department of Architecture
School of Art and Architecture
Established 1916
Type Private
Academic affiliation Yale University
Location New Haven, Connecticut, USA
41°18′31″N 72°55′54″W / 41.30861°N 72.93167°W / 41.30861; -72.93167Coordinates: 41°18′31″N 72°55′54″W / 41.30861°N 72.93167°W / 41.30861; -72.93167
Dean Deborah Berke
Academic staff 65
Postgraduates 206
Doctoral students 11 (GSAS)
Website architecture.yale.edu

The Yale School of Architecture is one of the constituent professional schools of Yale University. It is generally considered to be one of the most prestigious architecture schools in the world.[2][3][4]


Paul Rudolph Hall
Student desks at the Yale School of Architecture, 2008

Yale's architecture programs are an outgrowth of a longstanding commitment to the teaching of the fine arts in the university. "Art was first taught at an American college or university in 1869 when the Yale School of the Fine Arts was established. Yale alumnus and educator Andrew Dickson White was offered the post as the first dean of the school, but turned it down to be the first president of Cornell University. Even earlier, in 1832, Yale opened the Trumbull Art Gallery, the first college-affiliated gallery in the country. The Department of Architecture was established in the School of the Fine Arts in 1916. In 1959 the School of Art and Architecture, as it was then known, was made into a fully graduate professional school. In 1972 Yale designated the School of Architecture as its own separate professional school."[5]

The School is housed in the masterwork of its former Dean, Paul Rudolph. Rudolph Hall, formerly the Yale Art and Architecture Building, was rededicated and reoccupied in November 2008 following an extensive renovation and addition carried out by a team which included renowned New York architect and Yale alumnus Charles Gwathmey.


The school awards the degrees of Master of Architecture, a professional degree, Master of Architecture II, a post-professional degree, Master of Environmental Design, a nonprofessional research-based degree, and Doctor of Philosophy in architectural history and criticism. The school also offers joint-degree programs with the School of Management and School of Forestry. Additionally, a course of study for undergraduates in Yale College leads to a Bachelor of Arts.

Yale's core program has always stressed design as a fundamental discipline. While initially associated with Beaux Arts pedagogy, the school adopted a close affiliation with other modes of fine art, including sculpture, graphic design, painting and furniture design. One of its most illustrious early graduates, Eero Saarinen, produced a wide variety of student projects ranging from medals and currency to campus and monumental buildings. When the Art and Architecture Building became its home, Paul Rudolph's design reflected this close integration between various fine art departments. The famed department of Graphic Design contributed consistently to architecture posters, publications and exhibits, particularly to Perspecta, Yale's ground breaking student journal.

Another distinguishing element in the Yale core program has been the Yale Building Project, a first-year studio and summer program. Particularly under Dean Charles W. Moore first year students were pushed to design small buildings that ameliorated the life of poor or disadvantaged Americans, working as VISTA volunteers in the deep South. In later years the program focused more on New Haven and Southern Connecticut. A recent book on the subject documents the extraordinary breadth and significance of the work produced by students, many of whom went on to become renowned architects and educators.[6]

Yale's M.E.D., one of the first of its kind, made it possible for architects and planners to pursue a wide range of research connected to the betterment of the entire environment. Only recently have the design professions embraced this wider field of study, spurred by the movement towards sustainability and inter-disciplinarity. Notable recipients of the degree included William J. Mitchell, later dean at MIT, and Steven Izenour, a partner with Venturi, Scott Brown Associates.

The Yale Urban Design Workshop is a community design center affiliated with the Yale School of Architecture.[7] It was established in 1992 by School of Architecture professor Alan Plattus, who continues to direct the workshop.[8]


As of 2016, the program's ten-year average ranking, places it 4th, overall, on DesignIntelligence's ranking of programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

Conversely, DesignIntelligence's ten-year median ranking places the program 3rd.

Year DesignIntelligence ranking
2017 5th
2016 3rd
2015 3rd
2014 2nd (T)
2013 3rd
2012 2nd
2011 3rd
2010 2nd
2009 4th (T)
2008 13th
2007 3rd
2006 8th (T)

*(T) denotes tie


Perspecta is the school's architectural journal

The school maintains an active publications program.[15] It supports two student-edited journals, Perspecta and Retrospecta; a biannual news magazine, Constructs; and publishes books. Perspecta is the oldest student-edited peer reviewed architectural journal in the United States.[16]

Noted faculty and alumni


Present faculty members

Former faculty members

*Indicates former deans of the separate School of Architecture (1972–present) or chairmen of the former Department of Architecture (part of the School of Fine Arts from 1916 and the School of Art and Architecture from 1959)
Indicates Priztker Prize laureate


  1. "Detailed Data". Yale University Office of Institutional Research. 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  2. "2010 United States Best Architecture Schools". ArchDaily. 2012-08-10. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  3. "Azure :: Features". Azuremagazine.com. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  4. "America's Best Architecture Schools 2012 | Features | Architectural Record". Archrecord.construction.com. 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  5. Yale School of Architecture: "Building history." Retrieved April 10, 2007.
  6. Richard Hayes and Robert A.M. Stern, Eds., The Yale Building Project: The First 50 Years, Yale Univ. Press, 2007.
  7. http://architecture.yale.edu/resources/yale-urban-design-workshop
  8. http://architecture.yale.edu/udw
  9. http://www.iit.edu/news/iittoday/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Pages-from-DI-249_Nov-Dec_2013-1.pdf
  10. http://archrecord.construction.com/features/Americas_Best_Architecture_Schools/2013/Americas_Best_Architecture_Schools-2014-1.asp
  11. http://www.architectmagazine.com/educational-projects/the-best-architecture-colleges-in-usa.aspx
  12. http://www.di.net/articles/new-leaders-in-annual-design-school-rankings/
  13. http://archrecord.construction.com/features/Americas_Best_Architecture_Schools/2015/Americas_Best_Architecture_Schools-2016-1.asp
  14. Architecture Graduate School Rankings, America's Top Architecture Schools 2016, referencing "Design Intelligence" as reported by "Architectural Record." Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  15. "Publications | YSOA | Yale School of Architecture". Architecture.yale.edu. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  16. "Perspecta | YSOA | Yale School of Architecture". Architecture.yale.edu. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
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