The Doctoral Program in the Constructed Environment at UVA School of Architecture recognizes that the decisions, histories, and processes — social, biological, and physiographic — that produce the constructed environment are neither static nor pre-given, but are dynamic and interconnected, and constitute situated adaptive systems.

To contend with the complex and evolving character of the constructed environment, the PhD in the Constructed Environment engages with these issues from technical, material, policy, and theoretical perspectives. We invite you to join us in questioning the constructed environment: what it is, how it functions, where it’s headed, and the ways we might join in to understand and shape it. The program seeks to explore the physio-socio-ecological systems, connections, and manifestations that form the constructed environment by supporting advanced research in topics that engage one or more of the Architecture’s School’s four disciplines: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban and Environmental Planning, and Architectural History. The program fosters scholarship that identifies and researches emerging multidisciplinary issues across the globe and at every scale.


STEP 1: Fill out a Request for Information if you have not already done so. This provides the School of Architecture with contact information in order to remain in touch with you throughout the application process.

STEP 2: Create an Online Application.

STEP 3: Complete all the application requirements described below and submit these as part of the online application by the required deadline. You can log in to your online application account as many times as needed to complete the requirements. 

Your online application has a $75 non-refundable application fee; your application is not considered complete and reviewable until the payment is processed. You may submit your application fee via credit card online. If you can not pay by credit card, please contact the Central Admission Office at or 434.243.0209.

NOTE: You may be exempt from paying the $75 non-refundable application fee if: 

+ You are a current graduate student at UVA School of Architecture applying for a second degree

+ You meet the criteria based on one of four categories (Organization Affiliation, Active Duty/Veteran, Need-based, or Minority Serving Institution).  Fee waiver information, eligibility criteria, and instructions for filling out the waiver request form can be found at University of Virginia's Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs website.



Unofficial transcripts will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and should be submitted with your application. Official transcripts are not required until an applicant accepts an offer of admission from the School of Architecture, however offers are not binding until an official transcript has been received and verified by the Central Graduate Admission Office.

Resumes or Curriculum Vitae should include your past education, work experiences, honors and awards, key research, scholarly and creative works (including publications, exhibitions, competitions, collaborative projects, residencies, research projects, volunteer or community-based work), educational or work-related travel opportunities, leadership positions, and contact information.

STATEMENT OF INTENT: Submit a one-page statement identifying the topic of your intended research. This item serves two purposes: first, to ensure that students enter the program with a sense of direction, and have knowledge and experience relating to their topic of interest; and second, to assist in matching applicants with advisors. 

LIST OF PROSPECTIVE ADVISORS: Submit a list with the name of at least one faculty member who would be a prospective advisor for your proposed research. Applicants are encouraged but not required to contact prospective advisors before applying. 

ACADEMIC WRITING SAMPLE: Submit a sample of your academic writing. This sample should be a substantial paper, report, or thesis produced during your academic career, preferably at the graduate level. 

Submit three Letters of Recommendation, at least 2 of which should be from former professors if you have received your undergraduate degree or graduate degree within the last five years. Letters from former employers or project collaborators are also encouraged. Recommendations are only accepted through the online application system.

NOTE: You can submit your application before your recommenders submit their recommendations. From your online application, select "RECOMMENDATIONS" on the left menu and follow the instructions provided. 

Recommendation providers will receive an individual link via email with instructions about how to submit their letters.

GRE SCORES: You are required to take the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Test scores should be forwarded directly from Educational Testing Services to the University of Virginia. 

UVA's institution code number on the GRE form is 5820.

Scores are accepted for GRE exams taken within five years of the application date. 

Your application will be considered complete for committee review with the unofficial scores that you enter on your online application. However, all scores must be submitted by the application deadline directly from Educational Testing Services to be able to matriculate.


There is no minimum GRE score required to apply to the School of Architecture. 

TOEFL or IELTS SCORES (INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS ONLY): All PhD students whose first or native language is not English are required to submit proof of language proficiency by submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores. Students who have earned a 4-year bachelor's degree or advanced degree entirely from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. You will note this exemption on your online application. 

TOEFL test scores should be forwarded directly from Educational Testing Services to the University of Virginia. 

UVA's institution code number on the TOEFL submission is B875.

IELTS test scores should be forwarded directly from IELTS to the University of Virginia.

Scores are accepted for TOEFL or IELTS exams within two years of the application date.


TOEFL (paper-based exam): 600 or higher

TOEFL (computer-based exam): 250 or higher

TOEFL (internet-based exam): 90 or higher

IELTS: 7.0 or higher in each section 

A portfolio is optional for applicants to the PhD in the Constructed Environment. 

Your portfolio demonstrates experience and exploration in the areas of design, design research, design technologies, craft, creative thinking, visual communications, visual culture and all forms of making.  A portfolio is highly recommended for applicants who intend to continue to pursue PhD research fully connected to studio-based practices.

Portfolio are submitted electronically as part of the online application.