College Series – Labiba on CCNY Architecture

Beginning in 2021, the ACE GNY Ambassador Program tasks ACE GNY Alumni  at popular architecture and engineering colleges with being a resource on campus for new students. Leading up to our College Fair on 10/19, Ambassadors have written up blog posts about their colleges for prospective students to read through before meeting colleges at the fair. 

City College of NY – Spitzer School of Architecture 

Ever since I was in middle school I knew I wanted to study architecture in my higher education. As I started to look into colleges in New York City that offered a Bachelor of Architecture degree, CCNY stood out to me because of its mission to reflect and enrich the complex communities of local and global environments. When I visited CCNY’s architecture building, the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, it further grew my interest in the institution. I walked around the studios and watched students (who came in to work on a Saturday!) work on so many diverse projects from 10 foot drawings, to cutting materials in woodshop, to laser cutting floor plans and needless to say, I was in awe. The atmosphere of the studios was far from distaste or irritation for working, but rather a genuine drive to produce the best work possible which both satisfied the project requirements as well as their own individual styles. Everyone seemed to know one another, despite being in different years and studios, and would walk around talking to each other about what they were working on, venting frustrations about their project or giving advice to each other. This collaborative and hardworking environment was exactly what I wanted in my college experience. I still remember the 2 third year students who snuck us up to the Spitzer roof and addressed any questions or fears we had about studying architecture and I believe at that moment, I was set on attending this school.

The Spitzer admission process entails submitting the usual materials; transcripts, essays, extracurriculars, letters of recommendation and the Creative Challenge; an addition exclusive to Spitzer. Most architecture schools will require you to have a portfolio prior to applying however Spitzer does not require that and instead asks those applying to submit a drawing test with about 5 different prompts. I would also recommend applying to the Macaulay Honors Scholarship program as it can provide a lot of support financially and comes with many school benefits!

I am now in my 4th year at Spitzer and my experience has been nothing short of amazing. I am grateful for the diversity and accessibility the school holds, both in terms of student body as well as the many disciplines the professors come from. With every new professor I take, I learn about all the diversity in opportunities I have with an architecture degree. I am also grateful for Spitzer being able to acknowledge and criticize the discipline as to keep up with the times and change as needed.

In terms of extracurriculars, I have had the pleasure of being involved with the American Institute of Architecture Students chapter for CCNY. From organizing professional events for the students to promoting firm tours and accreditation lectures, I feel as though AIAS has given me the chance to interact directly with both the school community and the actual profession. Aside from AIAS, there are so many other organizations that encourage students to engage in the school community such as the National Organization of Minority Architects, Future Architects of the Middle East and the Spitzer School of Architecture Asian Club. Being within an environment that strives to empower one another is what I am most grateful for within my time in the Spitzer School of Architecture.


Labiba is a fourth-year Architecture student at CCNY’s Spitzer School of Architecture. This summer, Labiba interned at the Rockefeller Group. Labiba is an ACE GNY Alumni.

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