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Penn State University

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Department of Architecture

FAQs

Graduate FAQs

Q.Who should I contact with questions about your graduate program?

A.Please e-mail the Chair of the Graduate Program at archgrad@psu.edu or phone the departmental office at (814) 865-9535.

Q.What is the length of time for the graduate program?

A.A graduate student may be able to complete the requirements for the post-professional Master of Architecture program in one calendar year, although most students take four semesters to complete the degree. Those students who are awarded an assistantship will require more than two semesters and a summer to complete the requirements. The professional Master of Architecture track is a three-year (seven-semester) program. Students enroll in a two-year core curriculum that helps prepare them with techniques, principles, histories, theories, and technologies related to the discipline of architecture. In the final year of the program the students join the post-professional curriculum, where independent thinking and advanced research is the model. For applicants who have completed architecture–related coursework, there will be a review of transcripts to assess completion of materials covered in preparatory classes. A faculty review committee will assess each accepted applicant’s transcripts for possible preparatory course equivalents. If preparatory courses have been fulfilled with equivalent undergraduate or graduate coursework, students will be eligible for advancement to the required graduate level coursework. Accordingly, time to complete degree requirements may be reduced.

Q.Is the M.Arch degree a professional degree?

A.The Master of Architecture program offers two distinct tracks: the post-professional Master of Architecture track and the professional Master of Architecture track. Post-professional degrees do not qualify the recipient for professional licensure in the United States. The program is intended for students already holding a professional degree in architecture. The professional Master of Architecture is designed for students with undergraduate baccalaureate degrees in fields other than architecture and for those holding a non-professional baccalaureate degree in architecture. The three-year (seven semester) program helps prepare students to become leaders in the profession of architecture. We will enroll the inaugural cohort of students in Fall 2013, and expect to have the program accredited.

Q.What is the minimum G.P.A. required for admission to the graduate program in Architecture?

A.You must have a 3.0 G.P.A. average on a 4.0 point scale or equivalent.

Q.Where can I obtain an application to the M.Arch. program?

A. For information on applying to the post-professional track, click here. For information on applying to the professional track, click here.

Q.In addition to the online graduate application, what other information do I need to submit to the architecture department?

A.We require a statement of intent for study, a portfolio, any other evidence of academic excellence including examples of research papers, an official transcript, GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation. International students must submit TOEFL scores in accordance with Graduate School guidelines.

Q.Is financial aid available?

A.You are automatically considered for financial aid when your application is considered for admission. Financial aid is in the form of teaching or research assistantships and is extremely competitive.

Undergraduate FAQs

Q.Where can I get information on financial aid?

A.Please see the website for the Penn State Office of Student Aid.

Q.What is the minimum SAT score required to apply for architecture?

A.There is no minimum SAT score requirement. The Office of Admissions determines an Eligibility Index [EI] for each applicant. You may find more information about the EI and other admissions statistics at http://admissions.psu.edu/apply/statistics/index.cfm.

Admission Statistics change every year with each applicant pool. Therefore, we encourage all applicants to apply to the Architecture program. For your reference, the Middle 50% of combined SAT scores for University Park accepted applicants in 2012 was 1750–1990.

The range above represents the middle 50% of students offered admission for fall 2012—they are not cutoffs or averages. Placing in the upper end of the range increases the likelihood of being offered admission to the Bachelor of Architecture degree program. Placing in the lower end may require you to be more flexible in making your major choices. You may consider other design programs at Penn State including Landscape Architecture or Graphic Design.

This statistic in no way represents a promise or guarantee of admission.

Q.What is the minimum GPA. required to apply to the architecture program as a first–year applicant?

A.There is no minimum high school GPA requirement. The Office of Admissions determines an Eligibility Index [EI] for each applicant. You may find more information about the EI and other admissions statistics at http://admissions.psu.edu/apply/statistics/index.cfm.

Admission Statistics change every year with each applicant pool. Therefore, we encourage all applicants to apply to the Architecture program. For your reference, the Middle 50% of high school GPAs for University Park accepted applicants in 2012 was 3.52–3.97.

The range above represents the middle 50% of students offered admission for fall 2012—they are not cutoffs or averages. Placing in the upper end of the range increases the likelihood of being offered admission to the Bachelor of Architecture degree program. Placing in the lower end may require you to be more flexible in making your major choices. You may consider other design programs at Penn State including Landscape Architecture or Graphic Design.

This statistic in no way represents a promise or guarantee of admission.

Q.Is the BARCH degree program a professionally accredited degree?

A. Yes.

Q.Is there a portfolio requirement for first-year applications?

A.No

Q.Who makes the final decisions for admission into the Bachelor of Architecture degree program?

A.The Admissions Office makes the final decisions for first-year applications.

For transfer/advanced standing applicants and change–of–major requests, it is more complicated. The Architecture Department’s Undergraduate Recruitment Committee reviews portfolio applications and makes recommendations to the Department Head, who advises the A&A Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, who provides a final list to the Admissions Office.

Q.I would like to schedule a visit with someone in the architecture department to discuss your program. How can I make an appointment?

A. Please click on the VISIT US tab to the left to view a list of events/appointments and schedule an appointment.

Q.What is the application deadline for a first-year student?

A.November 30

Q.When is the application deadline for a transfer/advanced standing (transfer from an external institution) student?

A.December 31

Q.When can transfer/advanced standing or change of major students submit their portfolios?

A. September 1 - February 15. No portfolios will be accepted before September 1 or after February 15.

Q.When will I be notified regarding my portfolio decision?

A.You should be notified by April 1.

Q.Are there any scholarships available for incoming freshman?

A.There are a few scholarships offered to incoming first–year students. You are automatically considered for these. For a complete list of scholarships and awards available specifically for Architecture students, please visit the College of Arts and Architecture.

Q.When are students accepted into the Architecture program?

A.Fall semesters only.

Q.What is the minimum length of time to complete the undergraduate program?

A.Five years for the Bachelor of Architecture degree program with a total of 162 credits. Due to ten sequential semesters of required design studios, there are no opportunities to accelerate through the program.

Q.Is there a semester abroad program?

A. There is a mandatory semester in Rome, Italy, during the fourth-year. Our study abroad program is conducted by the Pantheon Institute, whose web site is found at http://www.pantheon-institute.com/.


Q.How can I find out if my credits from another institution will transfer?

A. There is a transfer credit tool for general education credits on the Admissions Office web site. After you are accepted to the Bachelor of Architecture degree program, the Architecture Department will then determine which, if any, of your transferable credits are equivalent to required Architecture courses.

Q.I have taken some architecture courses at another institution. Will these credits count towards any of the arch requirements?

A.If you are a transfer/advanced standing applicant, see previous answer.

If you are a current student, please contact your Academic Advisor, Kirk Dimond at kwd120@psu.edu, prior to taking courses at other institutions to ensure that the credits are eligible for transfer. Your Advisor can also assist you in the transfer credit process. You will need to gather the course syllabus/handouts and provide documentation of your work.

Q.What can I do to prepare for the architecture program?

A.Students enter the architecture program with a variety of backgrounds and skills. We appreciate the individual skills that students bring to the program. With that said, here are a few things that would be useful, but not required, as you begin in an architecture program:

1. Skills Preparation [freehand drawing, hand drafting, AutoCAD, Sketch-up, Revit, model making, furniture, construction]

2. Math Preparation [algebra, geometry, trigonometry]

3. Shadow a Professional or Internship Experiences [find a listing of your local architecture firms at aia.org]

Q.How can I apply for the arch minor?

A.You will need to stop by the department office to pickup a minor application form. The form needs to be completed and submitted to Pier Bandini. He will review the form and approve or deny the request. If the form is approved the minor will be added to the students record.

Q.How is the Architecture program different from the Architectural Engineering [AE] program?

A.Both programs prepare students to work at a professional level in the construction industry in five years of coursework. Our departments were once one and the same, but now exist in two separate colleges which are indicative of the character of each: the College of Arts and Architecture and the College of Engineering. Architecture places much more emphasis on design and the creative process, while AE focuses on the technical aspects of buildings. Having said that Architecture students take five engineering courses taught by AE faculty and AE students take four design studios taught by Architecture faculty. Architecture requires ten semesters of design studio while AE has just the four.

Q.If I am accepted into the program, when will I know who my advisor is?

A. Students are divided into two advising groups. Schreyer Honors College students are assigned an Honors Advisor. All other students are assigned to the Stuckeman School Academic Advisor, Kirk Dimond.

All students are also assigned to the Stuckeman School Career Advisor, Kristin Barry.

The Integrated B.Arch - M.Arch FAQs

Q.Who may apply to the Integrated B.Arch. / M.Arch. program?

A.Only students who are currently enrolled in the fourth year of Penn State's B.Arch. program may apply to the Integrated Program.

Q.What is the application procedure?

A.You must submit an online application to the Graduate School and other materials to the Architecture Department as outlined above. GRE scores are not required for Integrated Program applicants.

Q.When is the application deadline for the Integrated Program?

A.The deadline for the Integrated Program is February 15th.