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Admissions Information

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Apply for Graduate Admission

College of Fine and Applied Arts Inquiry Form 

Academic Year 2024-2025 Deadlines

  • The deadline for priority admission undergraduate applications is November 1, 2023.
  • The deadline for regular undergraduate applications is January 5, 2024.
  • The deadline for graduate applications is January 7, 2024.
  • The deadline for PhD Program applications is January 15, 2024.

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

BSAS Minimum Requirements

Students applying to the Architectural Studies program must have taken the following courses in high school:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3.5 years of Mathematics
  • 2 years of Social Studies
  • 2 years of Lab-based Science
  • 3 years of the same foreign language
  • 2 years of additional credit in the above areas, fine arts, or vocational education

Note: These are minimum requirements. The pool of prospective freshmen is very competitive and applicants who take additional coursework will strengthen their chances of admission. In 2003, 48% of incoming freshman had earned some advanced placement credit.

BSAS Foreign Language Requirement

Effective for all entering freshmen in Fall 2000 and later, the foreign language requirement must be completed for graduation. This requirement may be satisfied by:

  • Successfully completing a third semester college foreign language;
  • Having taken three years of the same foreign language in high school; or
  • Demonstrating proficiency at the third semester level in a language proficiency examination approved by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the appropriate department.

If you enter the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign without three years of the same foreign language in high school, you must take a foreign language placement test to determine the courses in which you should enroll. All curricula in the College of Fine and Applied Arts have a two-year foreign language/fine arts requirement for admission. Students admitted to the university with foreign language taken in high school may continue their study of this foreign language at the placement test level. In those cases where foreign language is taken for elective credit, or to fulfill an admission deficiency requirement, only the Credit/No Credit option may be used.

Essay

In your application essay, please describe your interest in architecture and any experience you may have in the profession.

Graduate Admissions Process for M.Arch and M.Arch 2+

The School of Architecture follows a holistic admissions process that considers the whole student and touches all aspects of their previous academic and professional endeavors. This process considers the academic success and potential of the student, their commitment, motivation, and leadership, and their life experiences and background. This process does not evaluate each individual application piece (i.e., portfolio, letters of recommendation, statement, etc.) on its own. Rather, the review process integrates all these elements to answer a series of criteria.

You can find out more about our ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND ADMISSION HOLISTIC EVALUATION PROCESS here

Any prospective student who has an undergraduate degree in Architecture (or equivalent to a pre-professional degree) or who has earned an undergraduate degree in other than Architecture can request the School to evaluate their degrees and transcripts before their application submission to get a better understanding of what they will be required to take once they are admitted to the M.Arch Professional Program.

If your degree is in another field (non-architecture pre-professional degrees), you can find the minimum requirements and EVALUATION OF PRE-PROFESSIONAL here.  

We encourage you to contact the School of Architecture Graduate Office to assess your degrees for you to know where you stand with the M.Arch 2+ Program.

M.Arch Admissions Requirements

Please follow these requirements if you have an undergraduate degree in Architecture. If your degree is in another field, please scroll down to the M.Arch 2+ requirements.

Click here for a video about the M.Arch admissions process.

Application Requirements

  • Portfolio of student and/or professional work (see requirements below)
  • Transcripts from all previous university degree programs (official or unofficial)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from persons who can evaluate the applicant’s academic qualifications, motivation, and potential for a career as an architect
  • One-page Statement of Intent, clearly indicating the applicant’s plans for graduate study and professional career objectives

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are NOT required for the M.Arch, but if taken are recorded in the applicant’s record.

Additional Materials for International Applicants

All applicants to the Illinois School of Architecture whose Native Language is not English must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), IELTS or another acceptable score listed at the Graduate College link provided here: https://grad.illinois.edu/admissions/instructions/04c.

In order to issue an I-20 the Graduate College will need the following: funding documentation, declaration and certification of finances form, and passport. Please see this link for more information pertaining to funding requirements: https://grad.illinois.edu/admissions/instructions/04d.

Selection Criteria for the M.Arch Program

Application materials are reviewed by a committee of faculty from the School of Architecture using the following criteria in order of importance:

  • Portfolio
  • Academic performance, grade point average (GPA) calculated for the applicant’s junior and senior year of undergraduate work; specifically, we calculate the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, or, if the applicant is a second semester senior, not less than the last 45 hours
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Intent
  • Architecture-related work experience
  • Extra-curricular leadership and activities

M.Arch Portfolio

A portfolio of student and professional work is required of all applicants to the M.Arch program. Examples of work should include undergraduate design studio work, sketches, free hand drawings, construction drawings, photos of architectural models, and digital models and drawings demonstrating the applicant’s abilities to use architectural graphic programs such as Sketchup, Sketchbook Pro, Rhino, and others.  Portfolio content should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Show at least six (6) undergraduate design studio projects completed as a student.
  • Show introductory analysis, conceptualization, project context, and project development as well as final products for each project entry; a short narrative must accompany each entry
  • Demonstrate two- and three-dimensional design development
  • Demonstrate increasing complexity across the projects
  • Demonstrate increasing attention to detail development of the design across the projects

To receive full consideration, professional work should include a statement from the employer indicating the extent of the work performed by the applicant. All examples of design studio work should state whether the project was completed individually or by a student team. For projects completed by a student team, the applicant must include a statement outlining the number of team members and the applicant’s responsibilities as part of the team.

Please submit the portfolio under the “Program Essay” section in the admissions application.

Watch an informative video on how to approach creating your portfolio here. This video also addresses frequently asked questions regarding portfolio creation and submission.

Portfolio Specifications

  • Required file format: PDF
  • Maximum number of sheets: 25 spreads (50 numbered pages)
  • Maximum file size: 20MB

M.Arch 2+ Admissions Requirements

Please use these guidelines if you undergraduate degree is in a field other than architecture.

Application Requirements

  • Portfolio of student and/or professional work (see requirements below)
  • Transcripts from all previous university degree programs (official or unofficial)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from persons who can evaluate the applicant’s academic qualifications, motivation, and potential for a career as an architect
  • One-page Statement of Intent, clearly indicating the applicant’s plans for graduate study and professional career objectives

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are NOT required for the M.Arch, but if taken are recorded in the applicant’s record.

Additional Materials for International Applicants

All applicants to the Illinois School of Architecture whose Native Language is not English must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), IELTS or another acceptable score listed at the Graduate College link provided here: https://grad.illinois.edu/admissions/instructions/04c.

In order to issue an I-20 the Graduate College will need the following: funding documentation, declaration and certification of finances form, and passport. Please see this link for more information pertaining to funding requirements: https://grad.illinois.edu/admissions/instructions/04d.

Selection Criteria for the M.Arch 2+ Program

Application materials are reviewed by a committee of faculty from the School of Architecture using the following criteria in order of importance:

  • Portfolio demonstrating creative abilities and skill level
  • Academic performance, grade point average [GPA] calculated for the applicant’s junior and senior year of undergraduate work; specifically, we calculate the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, or, if the applicant is a second semester senior, not less than the last 45 hours
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Intent
  • Architecture-related work experience
  • Extra-curricular leadership and activities

M.Arch 2+ Portfolio

A portfolio of student, extracurricular, and professional work is required of all applicants to the M.Arch 2+ program. This portfolio should demonstrate the applicant’s creative abilities, skill level and talent in graphic communications. Applicants should include items demonstrating a latent interest in architecture. Submissions may include undergraduate or extracurricular design or drawing studio work, sketches, photos of architectural models, and digital models and drawings demonstrating abilities in architectural representation, drawing and sketching as well as the applicant’s abilities to use such graphic and design programs as Photoshop, In-Design, Illustrator, Sketchup, Sketchbook Pro, and Rhino.  Portfolio content should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Show at least eight (8) different items completed as a student or in extracurricular or personal study
  • Demonstrate an applicant’s ability in graphic analysis, conceptualization, and development as well as and final products for each included item; a short narrative must accompany each entry
  • Illustrate abilities in two- and three-dimensional thinking
  • Demonstrate attention to detail as appropriate for the item included

To receive full consideration, any professional work should include a statement from the employer indicating the extent of the work performed by the applicant. All examples of work should state whether the project was completed individually or by a group. For projects completed by a group, the applicant must include a statement outlining the number of group members and the applicant’s responsibilities as part of the group.

Portfolio Specifications

  • Required file format: PDF
  • Maximum number of sheets: 25 spreads (50 numbered pages)
  • Maximum file size: 20MB

Master of Science Admissions Requirements

Application Requirements

  • Portfolio of student and/or professional work (see requirements below)
  • Transcripts from all previous university degree programs (official or unofficial)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from persons who can evaluate the applicant’s academic qualifications, motivation, and potential for a career in academia or the environmental design professions
  • One-page Statement of Intent, clearly indicating the applicant’s plans for graduate study and professional career objectives

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are NOT required for the MS, but are strongly recommended and if taken are recorded in the applicant’s record.

Additional Materials for International Applicants

All applicants to the Illinois School of Architecture whose Native Language is not English must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), IELTS or another acceptable score listed at the Graduate College link provided here: https://grad.illinois.edu/admissions/instructions/04c.

In order to issue an I-20 the Graduate College will need the following: funding documentation, declaration and certification of finances form, and passport. Please see this link for more information pertaining to funding requirements: https://grad.illinois.edu/admissions/instructions/04d.

Selection Criteria for the MS Program

Application materials are reviewed by faculty in the applicant’s identified Illinois School of Architecture program area using the following criteria in order of importance:

  • Statement of Intent
  • Academic performance, grade point average (GPA) calculated for the applicant’s junior and senior year of undergraduate work; specifically, we calculate the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, or, if the applicant is a second semester senior, not less than the last 45 hours
  • Portfolio demonstrating creative design abilities, academic writing abilities, and skill
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Work experience related to the applicant’s stated MS interest area
  • Extra-curricular leadership and activities

MS Portfolio

A portfolio is required as part of the application materials for the MS program. The portfolio should include both design work and written papers. Applicants should contact the chair of the program area of interest for specific materials to be included in an MS applicant’s portfolio. This portfolio should demonstrate the applicant’s creative abilities as well as talent and skill in academic writing.

Portfolio should be uploaded under the “Program Essay” section in the admissions application.

  • Show at least six (6) different items completed as a student, professionally, or in extracurricular or personal study
  • Be organized chronologically, with the earliest items placed at the beginning of the portfolio and the most recently completed at the end
  • Demonstrate an applicant’s abilities and skill level in analytical thinking and graphic and written communication; a short explanatory narrative must accompany each entry
  • Demonstrate attention to detail as appropriate for each item included

To receive full consideration, any professional work should include a statement from the employer indicating the extent of the work performed by the applicant. All examples of work should state whether the project was completed individually or by a group. For projects completed by a group, the applicant must include a statement outlining the number of group members and the applicant’s responsibilities as part of the group.

Portfolio Specifications

  • Required file format: PDF
  • Maximum number of sheets: 25 spreads (50 numbered pages)
  • Maximum file size: 20MB

Ph.D. Program Admissions Requirements

Admission requirements include the submission of an application with specific and detailed letter of intent of study in one of the following areas: History and Theory, Social and Cultural Factors in Design, and Technology and Environment. The statement in this letter is essential in the assessment of interest and intention with respect to our concentrations and our program faculty. Admission requirements also include the submission of academic transcripts, letters of recommendation from individuals with whom the applicant has studied, GRE exam results, and TOEFL results when required. GRE standards vary according to the student’s stated area of interest. Generally, scores of 600 or above are preferred. The minimum TOEFL score for admission is 95, but higher scores are preferred. This test is waived for students who have studied for two years or more at an American University or a university where English is the only language of instruction.

Applicants should apply on-line to Graduate College Admissions. Successful applicants may receive a fellowship, assistantship, and/or tuition and fee waiver to help defray their expenses. This information is usually provided with the letter offering admission or arrives soon thereafter. Inquiries should be addressed to:

Chair, Ph.D. Committee
101 Temple Buell Hall
611 Taft Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
or email phd-la-arch@illinois.edu

Campus Visits

Visiting campus and meeting with the School of Architecture is the best way to determine if Illinois is the right fit for you.  Use this link to learn more about visiting the campus; be sure to indicate your desire to visit the School.

Please follow this link if you are interested in setting up a virtual visit.

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