Graduate Admissions: Architecture

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Apply now for the Master of Architecture (Professional) Program

Apply now for Cornell AAP's Graduate Programs

Master of Architecture (Professional) 

The Department of Architecture has the following admissions requirements for the professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program:

  • Individuals must hold a bachelor's degree in any field. Some students may have previous backgrounds in a design discipline or may hold preprofessional undergraduate degrees in a design discipline.
  • Admission may also be offered to individuals with no previous experience in design, but who exhibit talent and promise in a design-related activity or interest. Individuals who have completed a four-year bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree in a field other than architecture are eligible for admission. Preference for admission is given to individuals who have completed a balanced undergraduate education, including studies in the arts, sciences, and the humanities.
  • Once admitted into the program, applicants receive a class equivalency information packet. Applicants will have the opportunity to submit class syllabi and transcripts from previous class work for review by a faculty member charged with reviewing that area of study (history, building technology, professional practice, etc.). Faculty members then determine if equivalency credit is appropriate. Please note that for ARCH 5511 Freehand Drawing, and ARCH 5512 Digital Drawing, applicants must submit a portfolio of relevant work done in those classes along with the class syllabi and transcripts. Applicants should prepare these materials in advance so they can be submitted promptly if an offer of admission is made. Only course equivalency materials received before May 7 can be considered. We will not accept course equivalency materials before an offer of admission is made.
  • Learn more about the M.Arch. program.
  • The M.Arch. degree is NAAB accredited. Learn more about AAP's NAAB-accredited programs.

Application and Portfolio Requirements

The deadline for receiving application materials for the M.Arch. program is January 3. This includes the portfolio, which must be submitted at the same time as the rest of the application. There is no spring semester admission. Students interested in the M.Arch. program must submit an online application with supporting documentation including:

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts from each college or university previously attended
  • TOEFL exam for non-native English speakers (minimum score of 250 computer-based, or 600 paper-based)
  • One- or two-page printed statement outlining interests and intents for graduate study in the M.Arch. program. Please relate these intents to previous design and academic experience, and to future goals. The applicant's full name and "Master of Architecture (Professional)" must be included at the top of each page.
  • A portfolio of creative work must be submitted online via the CollegeNET application. Portfolios must be no larger than 20 MB or they will not successfully upload. All applicants are required to submit a portfolio that consists of a maximum of 20 pages representing the applicant's best work, including drawings, images of two- or three-dimensional work, and models. The entire portfolio must be uploaded as one PDF file, using a landscape (horizontal) format for each page, to ensure that the width of the screen is maximally used to view each portfolio page (approximately a 4:3 ratio). If any project, drawing, or model has been produced by several designers, or if the design was produced in a professional setting, each drawing must be labeled, clearly stating the number of designers, which drawings were produced by the applicant, and a list of the names of all members of the group project. If the project was produced in an office, an office setting, or as an assistant to an author, the office name, supervisor, and all members of the team must be identified. Please note: The portfolio must be uploaded at the same time as the application (deadline January 3). Please plan your application process accordingly.
  • The GRE general test is no longer a required component of the application.

Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design (Post-Professional) (M.S. AAD):

In addition to the M.S. AAD application requirements of the Graduate School at Cornell University, the Department of Architecture has specific requirements for the admissions process for the M.S. AAD program:

  • Students holding a professional bachelor of architecture degree (B.Arch.) or a professional master of architecture degree (M.Arch.) may be admitted as candidates for the post-professional M.S. AAD program. International students must submit an official certification that the degree held is a professional degree entitling them to practice architecture in their country.
  • A portfolio of creative work must be submitted online via the CollegeNET application. Portfolios must be no larger than 20 MB or they will not successfully upload. All applicants are required to submit a portfolio that should represent the applicant's best work and consist mainly of reproductions of 20 to 30 pieces of creative drawings, two-or-three dimensional work, and models. The entire portfolio must be uploaded as one PDF file, using a landscape (horizontal) format for each page, to ensure that the width of the screen is maximally used to view each portfolio page (approximately a 4:3 ratio). If any portfolio project, drawing, or model has been produced by several designers or if the design was produced in a professional setting, each drawing must be labeled, clearly stating the number of designers, which drawings or details of drawings were produced by the applicant and a list of the names of all members of the group project. If the project was produced in an office, an office setting, or as an assistant to an author, the office name, supervisor, and all members of the team must be identified. Please note: The portfolio must be uploaded at the same time as the application is submitted (deadline January 3). Please plan your application process accordingly.
  • The application process for the M.S. AAD should be used by students applying to the three-semester (one-year) post-professional program. Students interested in applying to the four-semester option should contact arch-grad-info@cornell.edu for more information and instructions.
  • Learn more about the M.S. AAD program
  • Apply now to the M.S. AAD program

Master of Science in Computer Graphics (M.S.)

In addition to the M.S. application requirements of the Graduate School at Cornell University, the Department of Architecture has specific requirements for the admissions process for the M.S. program:

Master of Science in Matter Design Computation (M.S. MDC)

In addition to the M.S. MDC application requirements of the Graduate School at Cornell University, the Department of Architecture has specific requirements for the admissions process for the M.S. MDC program:

  • A portfolio of creative work or equivalent must be submitted online via the CollegeNET application. Portfolios must be no larger than 20 MB or they will not successfully upload. All applicants are required to submit a portfolio that should represent the applicant's best work, including prior academic or professional work in the areas of computational design and digital fabrication. Published scientific and technical papers may be submitted in addition to or in lieu of a portfolio. The entire portfolio must be uploaded as one PDF file, using a landscape (horizontal) format for each page, to ensure that the width of the screen is maximally used to view each portfolio page (approximately a 4:3 ratio). If any portfolio project, drawing, or model has been produced by several designers or if the design was produced in a professional setting, each drawing must be labeled, clearly stating the number of designers, which drawings or details of drawings were produced by the applicant and a list of the names of all members of the group project. If the project was produced in an office, an office setting, or as an assistant to an author, the office name, supervisor, and all members of the team must be identified. Please note: The portfolio must be uploaded at the same time as the application is submitted (deadline January 3). Please plan your application process accordingly.
  • Learn more about the M.S. MDC program
  • Apply now to the M.S. MDC program

Doctor of Philosophy in the History of Architecture and Urban Development (Ph.D. HAUD)

In addition to the Ph.D. HAUD admissions requirements of the Graduate School at Cornell University, the Department of Architecture has specific requirements for the admissions process for the Ph.D. HAUD program:

  • Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in architecture, archaeology, history, history of art, anthropology, or an undergraduate degree in any area and appropriate experience in the field. Degree candidates must have proficiency in two languages other than English before beginning the second year of study.
  • Learn more about the Ph.D. HAUD program
  • Apply now to the Ph.D. HAUD program
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