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Students complete their programs of study and research with a presentation and public exhibition of an individual architectural thesis, which is an opportunity to explore a set of relevant disciplinary issues and give a personal contribution to the field of architecture.

Heading titleA thoroughly-researched independent thesis, culminating in a public two-day event

Graduate Thesis Weekend is the school’s biggest annual event. It is more than a final review of student projects, but rather over the course of three days, over 100 jurors and critics from all over the world converge at SCI-Arc in a symposium-like occasion where students, architects, urbanists, theorists, artists, academics, deans and chairs gather to consider, debate, and dispute emerging questions in architecture.

All graduate work from SCI-Arc students is reviewed over a three-day period by SCI-Arc faculty and distinguished, international and local architects, during the reviews students are engaged to defend their ideas with professional peers and luminaries of the field. Compelling student work is recognized with the Gehry Prize for Best Graduate Thesis and Merit Graduate Thesis Awards.

graduate thesis pin-up discussion keck hall

Heading titleJuried by members of the international, national, and local design community

Critics have included Thom Mayne, John McMorrough, Greg Lynn, Sylvia Lavin, Axel Killian, Mariana Ibañez, Eva Franch I Gilabert, Gabriel Esquivel, Maristella Casciato, Jeffrey Kipnis, Enrique Norten, Benjamin H. Bratton, Aaron Betsky, Frances Anderton, Marion Weiss, special thesis advisor Brett Steele (2017), Mark Wigley (2018) and Graduate Thesis Coordinator Florencia Pita.

thesis student architecture presentation

Heading titleGehry Prize for Best Graduate Thesis

Endowed by SCI-Arc Trustee Frank Gehry and his wife, Bertha, The Gehry Prize is a monetary prize awarded annually to the best graduate thesis projects

frank gehry studio final critique
graduate thesis presentation in keck hall

Grad Thesis by M.Arch students Alessio Grancini and Runze Zhang, Gehry Prize recipient (Advisors: Peter Tesla + Devyn Weiser)

large crowd around model at thesis