The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Graduate Admissions

The Department of Architecture is looking for students who are independent thinkers, who observe the world and communicate their observations through creative work and/or research, and who are interested in expression and problem solving.

We encourage applicants from all disciplines and backgrounds, even students with no prior experience in architecture. The admissions committee works to develop a diversely represented cohort of admitted students each year, but is primarily focused on skill, ability and experience in placing students. Breadth of experience, including non-normative modes of practice, is considered relevant to this review.

All prospective students should apply via Slate, using the guidelines below. Graduates from a BA or BS in Architectural Studies or an equivalent degree may be given advanced standing in the Master of Architecture, and this decision will be outlined in your acceptance letter. Acceptance letters are typically emailed to applicants by March 1st of any given application cycle, although applications received after the priority deadline will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

Prospective students coming from a non-accredited degree program will be evaluated by the admissions committee, to develop a recommendation for their track. The committee considers all of the components of the application, with special attention to the degree to which the student has training or experience in design, demonstrated by: portfolio content, including types of projects, software and representational ability, and design layout; courses previously taken, including grades and content; letters of recommendation, including indication of ability to succeed in design classes or employment; professional or volunteer experience; and the personal statement in terms of design approach. Prospecitve students who are interessted in transfering will need to indicate this in their application statement, and are advised to work with the graduate program director to identify a feasible curricular path.

Submit an on-line application via the Graduate School Application Website.

The application process includes:

  • Transcripts (these are evaluated by the admissions committee and the graduate school, for GPA as well as courses taken)

  • 3 Letters of Recommendation

  • Personal Statement, no more than 3 pages. We encourage applicants to ask themselves “Why a Master of Architecture Degree?" "Why now?” “Why UMass?” and “What will I contribute?” 

  • Portfolio and/or documentation of previous creative work and/or research. A portfolio of creative work should include no more than twenty pages of art, architecture, and/or design work. (This is evaluated by the admissions committee for breadth of experience, technical skill, evidence of design thinking, and relative experience, to make decisions about the recommended track).

  • Language tests are required of foreign student applicants, and requirements are listed on the Graduate School website.

  • The GRE is not required for the 2023-2024 application cycle.

Prospective students to the Master of Architecture program are required to have completed one semester each of calculus and physics prior to graduating from the program.

Application Deadline: Friday, January 5th, 2024

  • We are currently accepting applications for all programs. 
  • Master of Design has open "Rolling Admissions" throughout the year. Applicants can apply at any time for admission to the program in either the Fall or Spring.