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Admissions: Professional Master of Architecture (M.ARCH.)

Application Process

Graduate Programs Assistant in Architecture
Nina Bumgarner
Phone: 814.865.0345

Director of Graduate Studies in Architecture
Rebecca Henn
Phone: 814.863.5420

Important Dates

Fall admission: For consideration for admission, complete application materials should be received no later than January 15th of the preceding academic year. In special cases, applications may be considered after this date. To be considered for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, a Graham Fellowship, or a Graduate School Fellowship, complete application materials must be received no later than January 15th of the preceding academic year and even earlier applications are recommended.

Spring admission: The program is structured to build on the methods and theory core courses that are offered only in the fall. Therefore, only under extraordinary circumstances are students considered for admission at mid-year, i.e. for spring semester. Students interested in applying for acceptance in the spring semester are advised to discuss the matter with the Graduate Programs Assistant prior to submitting the application. 

Important Notes

  • The Department will not evaluate your application packet until all materials have been submitted.
  • Applications for entrance in the 2020-21 academic year will be reviewed beginning January 15, 2020.

Admission Requirements

  1. Your application must be submitted to the Pennsylvania State University Graduate School at the following website:
  2. Copies of transcripts, degree/study certificates and diplomas in the language of instruction from all institutions of higher education attended, both undergraduate and graduate, should be uploaded online as part of the Graduate School Application. If English is not the language of instruction, copies of all transcripts/documents in the English translation also must be uploaded.
  3. Once an applicant has accepted an offer of admission, he/she will be notified by the Graduate School that official/original transcripts/documents and their official English translation must be sent from the originating institutions for review by the Graduate School, in order to finalize an admission decision. Notarized copies are not sufficient.
  4. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Please request ETS to electronically submit to: Penn State University (institution code 2660).
  5. TOEFL/IELTS scores from non-native speakers of English. Submit to Penn State University (institution code 2660). The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT). The minimum acceptable composite score for the IELTS is 6.5. See the Graduate School website for more information; all test scores must be sent from ETS.
  6. Your portfolio (not to exceed 12MB) should include 5-10 creative design samples. The presented work should have been executed at the undergraduate level or under professional guidance or independently, provided the applicant can present evidence of ownership.  A minimum portfolio representation of one project for each year of academic undergraduate study, or its equivalent, is required. Applicants are encouraged to include other evidence of academic excellence, such as awards, design and scholarly achievements, and other recognition.
  7. Aside from a one-page CV, a statement of purpose is required that describes your professional goals and an explanation of how your previous education, academic background, and/or professional experience provide a foundation for pursuing graduate training. Within the statement, please elaborate on the following questions:
    •  Please identify a work of architecture that you find to be significant and explain the reasons.
    •  What skills would you like to acquire during your studies?
    •  What do you see yourself doing after completing your studies?

Reference Links


Financial Aid: Graduate Programs

The department offers a limited number of teaching assistantships, which enables it to provide tuition and a stipend to about 60 percent of the students in residence. From time to time, the department is able to provide limited financial aid to others in the form of part-time employment. These assistantships are extremely competitive. Recipients are chosen primarily on the strength of their applications, as well as on their ability to satisfy the teaching and/or research needs of the department. The University offers other sources of aid, which are described on the Graduate School website.

Financial Aid Resources