University of Virginia: School of Architecture

Frequently Asked Questions About Graduate Admissions

Admissions Questions

What are the application deadlines to begin a degree program in Fall 2016?

The application for Fall 2016 enrollment is available [Create an account/start an application OR return to a saved application].

Application deadlines are as follows (all deadlines are 5:00 PM EST):

What is the entering class profile (including GREs, geographic distribution, academic background, etc.)?

Entering Class Profile

Is an interview required for admission?

No, an interview is not required. However, you can meet with a professor to review the program of interest and to discuss the admissions process. It is preferable to visit during the Graduate Open House. However, if this does not fit your schedule, The School of Architecture Office of Admissions will also offer "Come and See" sessions throughout the fall. Please visit our website late August 2015 for a list of visiting opportunities.

Do you require a portfolio?
A portfolio is required for applications to the Architecture and Landscape Architecture programs. More information is listed on the Graduate Admissions page under 'Application Requirements' section.

Should I send a physical copy of my portfolio?

All portfolios are reviewed digitally.  Please do NOT sent a physical copy of your portfolio. 

When are admissions decisions made, and how will I be notified?
Admissions decisions will be posted by early–March. You will be notified of our admissions decision through the online application tool and via email.

Do you have any part–time programs?
No, all of our programs are considered full–time.

I am interested in a Ph.D. in Architectural History. How do I apply for this program?

Please see the Graduate Program in the History of Art & Architecture.

May I enroll in the spring semester?

We offer admission to the graduate programs for the fall semester only (although some students must start their coursework in the summer). Students who would like to take classes in the spring may be able to take a course through the Community Scholar program, administered by the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. The number of credits students can earn through the Community Scholar program are limited and enrollment is subject to instructors’ permission and space availability.

What is the School of Architecture's enrollment deferral policy?

Under certain circumstances, accepted students may request a one-year enrollment deferral from the Chair of the Department. This request must be made in writing no later than April 10. If approved by the Department Chair, the deferral is valid for one-year and tuition deposits must be made by January 15 of the enrollment year in order to confirm a place in the fall class.

What is involved in applying for two degrees?

If you are interested in pursuing dual degrees at the School of Architecture you should apply for each program separately. You must create one account per program application and submit one online application per program. You will also need to submit one copy of all other required materials per program (Scores need only to be sent once to the University). Your applications will be reviewed independently of each other.

If accepted by both programs, you will be assigned an advisor for each program who will help you schedule your course of study. Typically, you will need to add one more year of study to complete two degrees. If you wish to earn a degree within the School of Architecture and a degree within another school of the University, the same rules apply.

Rather than applying to two programs at the same time, some students choose to enroll at U. Va. in one degree program and then apply to a second degree program by following the process and deadlines of the second degree program.

I previously applied to the School of Architecture. Do I need to resubmit an application for Fall 2016?
If you applied to the School of Architecture’s graduate programs for Fall 2014 or Fall 2015 admission, you need to create a new account and resubmit the following materials:

  1. Online application (with statement of intent, essay, resume, and application fee)
  2. If you applied to the Masters of Architecture or Landscape Architecture programs, we suggest that you submit a new portfolio.
  3. Updated official transcripts (if applicable)
  4. Updated GRE and TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable)
  5. If you would like to use the previous letters of recommendation, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid at 434-924-6442 or sarc-grad-admissions@virginia.edu.

If I am in Charlottesville, can I take courses without being admitted as a degree candidate?

Yes, this is possible through the Community Scholar program operated through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. The number of credits students can earn through the Community Scholar program are limited and enrollment is subject to instructors’ permission and space availability.

Current School of Architecture Graduate Students: If you are applying to a second degree within the School of Architecture, you will need to submit the following materials:

  1. Online application (with statement of intent, essay, and resume)
  2. Letters of recommendation. The letters of recommendation you submitted with your original application have been removed from your academic record.
  3. Official and up-to-date University of Virginia transcript
  4. Portfolio (if applying to the Architecture or Landscape Architecture programs)

If I am currently enrolled in another graduate program, may I transfer to your program, and will my credits transfer?
You should apply to the program following the normal application process. Since each department handles transfer credit differently, each applicant is handled on a case-by-case basis. Possibilities for handling your previous credits may include: having a UVa School of Architecture graduate course requirement waived, receiving credit for a graduate course but not the grade, etc.

Master of Architecture Paths and courses

Do I need to take calculus and physics before I apply to the Architecture program?
While calculus and physics courses are recommended, they are not a requirement for pursuing a Master of Architecture Professional degree. 

Which program path should I apply to in the Architecture Department?

Master of Architecture, Path 3: This program is intended for anyone that already holds an undergraduate degree in any discipline, and also for students that have an undergraduate degree in architecture or environmental design, but not enough coursework to apply for Path 2.5 or Path 2 programs.   Path 3 program students come from a variety of backgrounds including art history, biology, economics, engineering, political science, etc. The Path 3 program typically takes three academic years to complete, plus a five week summer program prior to the first year, known as the Summer Design Institute (SDI).  SDI provides instruction in basic design, architectural theory, determinants of form, and visualization.

Master of Architecture, Path 2.5: This program is for students with a pre-professional undergraduate architecture degree, and sufficient coursework to fulfill the Path 2.5 prerequisites (see more information here:  http://www.arch.virginia.edu/academics/disciplines/architecture/march).  

Master of Architecture, Path 2: This program is for students with a pre-professional undergraduate architecture degree, (typically a Bachelor of Science in Architecture) and sufficient coursework to fulfill the Path 2 prerequisites (see more information here:  http://www.arch.virginia.edu/academics/disciplines/architecture/march).  

Master of Architecture, Design Studies, Path 1:  This is an open curriculum non-professional degree, for applicants with an undergraduate degree in architecture or a field related to the built environment.  It is not intended to a NAAB accredited degree.  For more information, go to:   http://www.arch.virginia.edu/academics/disciplines/architecture/march). 

International Students:  Please refer to the prerequisite requirements for each path.  Educational backgrounds that are the same but use different terminology will be considered for these paths.

If you are still unsure to which degree program to apply or are not certain if you selected the correct path, please be assured that you will be notified if the Admissions Committee feels you need to be in a different path and you will be placed in the appropriate category during the admissions process.

Master of Landscape Architecture Paths

Master of Landscape Architecture, Path 3.0: for students with undergraduate degrees in arts or other non-related fields

Master of Landscape Architecture, Path 2.5: for students with an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture or Architecture from a non-U.S. accredited program  

Master of Landscape Architecture, Path 2.0 Advanced: for students with undergraduate degrees in Landscape Architecture from a U.S. accredited program

Master of Landscape Architecture, Path 2.0: for students with undergraduate or graduate degrees in Architecture from a U.S. accredited program

Please review the complete path descriptions for the M.L.A. program HERE.

International Students:  Please refer to the prerequisite requirements for each path.  Educational backgrounds that are the same but use different terminology will be considered for these paths.

If you are still unsure to which degree program to apply or are not certain if you selected the correct path, please be assured that you will be notified if the Admissions Committee feels you need to be in a different path and you will be placed in the appropriate category during the admissions process.

What coursework should I take in advance of applying to the MLA Path 3 program?
While no particular course work is required, we recommend that applicants take free hand drawing and ecology, or field ecology courses.

Safety Information

Charlottesville is a beautiful small city (population 40,000) nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia. It is frequently at the top of popular rankings for the “best places to live.” The presence of the University of Virginia’s vibrant community of students, faculty, and staff is one of the primary reasons that this area thrives. The safety and well-being of our students is among our highest priorities at the University of Virginia. We are committed to assisting all members of our community in providing for their own safety and security.  Our safety program includes: 

  • The University Police Department (UPD), a professional police department that provides the same level of service offered by a municipal police department along with other services unique to an academic institution. UPD participates in a mutual aid agreement with other local departments and a cooperative patrol agreement with the City of Charlottesville. 
  • Ambassadors Program, a service that provides extra eyes and ears on the streets and assistance including walking escorts in neighborhoods frequented by students
  • University Transit Service (UTS) bus system that has an annual ridership greater than 3 million
  • SafeRide shuttle program during hours when UTS buses are not operating
  • Yellow Cab Charge-a-Ride program available with student ID
  • Educational seminars, bystander training, and self-defense classes
  • More than 500 blue light emergency phones
  • Lighted pathways and ongoing inspection of buildings and the Grounds
  • Security cameras strategically placed around the Grounds
  • Card key system for access to residence halls at all times and other buildings during designated hours
  • UVaAlerts emergency notification system, sirens and public address system
  • Fire alarm and suppression systems
  • Security and General Safety Committee, an advisory group made up of students, faculty, staff, and parents 

Federal law requires the University to publish an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The report includes information on crime prevention, fire safety, University Police law enforcement authority, crime reporting policies, and statistics about crimes that occurred during the previous three years on Grounds or in designated areas near the Grounds as well as in other locations specified by law. The document is available on the University Police Department web site. You may request a hard copy of the report from the University Police Department headquarters at 2304 Ivy Road by calling (434) 924-7166 or writing to police@virginia.edu.

Financial Aid Questions

What is the cost of attendance?

Tuition & Fee Schedule

How do I apply for financial aid?
Visit our financial aid webpage for more information.

How do I become a Virginia resident?
If your primary reason for moving to Virginia is for education, you will likely not be granted in-state residency. The basic guidelines are that you must live in the state for 1 year prior to enrolling as a student. Please see the Virginia Domicile web page for guidelines used to determine domicile status.

Standardized Tests

Do you have minimum requirements for the GRE or GPA?
We do not have minimum requirements for the GRE or GPA, however, the strength of your overall application package will take both of these measures into account. GRE scores are valid for 5 years. The GRE MUST be taken at least two weeks prior to the program admission deadline in order for the University to receive scores and match to your application for review by Admissions Committees.

I need to send official test scores to your school. What is your institution code?
Our institution code is 5820 (there is no separate department code). Scores must be submitted by the appropriate admissions deadline.

May I substitute another test in lieu of the GRE (i.e. GMAT)?
The departments of Architecture, Architectural History and Landscape Architecture only accept the GRE. The department of Urban and Environmental Planning will accept the LSAT or GMAT in lieu of the GRE. Please ask Parsons VUE to resend your scores. Scores must be submitted by the appropriate admissions deadline.

Do you require TOEFL or IELTS from international students?

If you are an international applicant whose first or native language is not English you are also required to take either the TOEFL or IELTS examination. You may be exempt from the TOEFL or IELTS if you have an undergraduate degree from a residential, English-speaking institution. You must retake your exam if the scores are more than 2 years old. 

The minimum TOEFL required score is 600 for the paper–based exam and 250 for the computer–based exam, and 90 for the internet–based exam [prefer a minimum of 100].  

The minimum IELTS exam band score is 7.0.

Test scores should be forwarded directly from Educational Testing Services(ETS) or from IELTS to the University of Virginia (institution code 5820 - there is NO separate department code). Do NOT send paper copies to UVa or the School of Architecture, they will not be accepted.

The TOEFL or IELTS MUST be taken at least two weeks prior to the program admission deadline in order for the University to receive scores and match to your application for review by Admissions Committees.

Mailing Addresses

What address should I use to send packages through FedEx, UPS, and DHL?

Physical Address (for overnight mail, FEDEx, UPS, and DHL):
School of Architecture
Campbell Hall
110 Bayly Drive
Charlottesville VA 22903

What address should I use to send mail through the US Postal Service?
Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid Office
School of Architecture
Campbell Hall
P.O. Box 400122
Charlottesville VA 22904–4122