Master of Architecture
Enrollment Deposit and Intent to Enroll Deadline:
/ Application Evaluation and Selection Process
Admission to the Master of Architecture program is limited to fall term only. Each fall, approximately 145 new students enter the M.Arch degree. Admission to the Master of Architecture is very selective. We look at each student as a whole package, a combination of talents, interests, passions, and skills. In this way, we look beyond grades and test scores to recruit the most dynamic group of students possible. A wide variety of backgrounds, intellectual passions, and interests make up the typical applicant. What they share is a drive to pursue academic excellence in a challenging and rewarding environment.
We know that there is great variation among our applicants’ personal circumstances, home communities, and undergraduate schools, including those schools’ course offerings and grading practices. As a result, our admissions process considers all aspects of your record and experience — we do not admit applicants solely on the basis of any single criterion. We value the whole record — strong portfolio, excellent grades in rigorous courses, top test scores, participation in extracurricular activities, professional experiences, and evidence of leadership, awards, and service.
How we evaluate your Application
Statement of Purpose / CV:
The statement is where you can distinguish yourself from other applicants. We want you to tell us more about yourself and why you want to come to U-M and be part of the Taubman College community. Your response should be 500-1000 words and clearly provide us with an opportunity to get to know you on a more personal level, beyond your GPA, test scores and courses.
Your ideas should be clear, well stated, and specific. Here are some tips for writing a great essay:
There is no “right” answer. Don’t think you know what we want to hear. Whatever you have to say about the topic is of interest to us. (You may want to steer clear of your early passion for Legos, however.)
Why Architecture? Self Explanatory.
Why Architecture at Taubman College? No two architecture schools are alike. Why does our program stand out to you? What do you hope you will find here and what do you hope to be able to do with it?
Help us understand your portfolio. Given that the portfolio is more than an accounting of each of your studios (see below) we want to know what you learned from these projects? What was your approach? What was your take-away?
Tell us what is unique about you. Why would you stand out among the rest of our applicants? Is there something different about your personal experiences?
A good curriculum vitae or resume will give us another view of who you are and elaborate your strengths and skills outside of the classroom, showcasing your accomplishments. In addition to your educational experience, student resumes should contain professional experiences, other jobs you have held, a list of groups or organizations that you are involved in, programming languages or other computer skills you have, community involvement or volunteer work that you do. Think of your resume as another opportunity to tell us about yourself.
A strong portfolio is a design problem of its own.
Samples of work should be chosen to cover the breadth as well as the depth of your design skills or artistic abilities, experiences in building, or other talents that illustrate your propensity for architecture. The admissions committee is interested in work that demonstrates knowledge, interest, and ability in technical areas, human and social concerns, and symbolic and aesthetic issues. The committee considers the following types of work to be suitable for inclusion in the portfolio: architectural design, urban design, graphic design, photography, painting, sculpture, freehand drawings, and other types of work that represent your knowledge, aptitudes, and experience. Please limit the amount of technical work in your portfolio, and for any professional or group work clearly identify your role in its production.
Edit your portfolio carefully. There is no need to show every project you have ever done. We want to see your strongest work. Stick to the page and file size limits explained in our application procedures.
Grade Point Review:
Competitive applicants for admission will have a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) or above. We will review any letter grades on your transcript, convert to a U.S. 4.0 scale if necessary:
- Cumulative Grade Point Average (CUM GPA) – this includes all the courses listed on your transcript.
English skills are important. We will be looking for applicants who are strong in all areas of communication: reading, writing, listening and speaking. English proficiency test scores provide us with information about how well you will be able to communicate inside and outside the classroom.
Master of Architecture
Applicants to the three-year M.Arch. degree must have received an undergraduate degree in any subject.
There are two required prerequisite courses that a student should have completed prior to beginning coursework in the summer half term (late June). These courses must be taken for credit at an accredited institution and the student must earn a C or better in the course. The two prerequisites are:
- Calculus 1 (3 credit hours minimum – may be taken online)
- 1 physics course (lecture and lab) (4 credits – may be taken online)
In order to use AP credit to fulfill either of these prerequisites, a student must have scored a 5 on the Calculus BC exam and/or a 5 on the Physics 1 exam, and submit an original AP score report(s) to the University of Michigan directly. Credit for AP tests on another institution transcript will not suffice. Scores of 4 or below and the Calculus AB exam do NOT fulfill the prerequisites.
We also highly recommend (but do not require) students interested in the 3-year M.Arch program take two studio art or design courses. The purpose of the studio courses is to explore the design process and the art of making, thereby solidifying an interest in architectural study, and to create work to include in the admissions portfolio. Examples of studio courses include but are not limited to:
- Design (2D or 3D)
- Fashion Design
- Interior Design
- Jewelry Making
Master of Architecture with Advanced Standing
Applicants to the MArch degree with advanced standing must have a bachelor of science degree in architecture or its equivalent. Admitted M.Arch with advanced standing students begin in the fall term.
A student must have completed the following prerequisite courses as part of their undergraduate degree in architecture. These courses must be taken for credit at an accredited institution and the student must earn a C or better in every course.
- 4 sequential architecture design studio courses (5-6 credits each course)
- 1 construction course (3 credits)
- 2 structure courses (6 credits)
- 1 environmental systems course (3 credits)
- 2 history of architecture courses (6 credits)
- 2 design fundamentals courses (6 credits)
Any course deficiencies must be fulfilled in addition to the regular 60 credit hours of the advanced standing curriculum.
Please see course descriptions to compare prerequisite course content from other schools to determine eligibility.
The application fee for U.S. Citizens or permanent residents is $75 (U.S.D.). The fee for international students is $90 (U.S.D.). The application fee is paid online, via credit card, before the application is submitted.
/ Taubman College Fee Waivers
Taubman College is able to provide support to a limited number of Master of Architecture applicants. We offer waivers of the required application fee, upon request, to U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents that fit one of the following criteria:
- Teach for America (current volunteer or alumni)
- Peace Corps alumni
- AmeriCorps alumni
- Active U.S. Military
- U.S. Military Veteran
- Significant financial need
- American Indian and Alaskan Native
- Undocumented or DACAmented Students
- National Organizations Affiliation
To request an application fee waiver, complete the Architecture Fee Waiver Request Form. After you submit your request, you will receive an email from email@example.com asking for a Letter of Verification or other documentation from your organization that includes dates of service. Upon receipt of the Letter of Verification, Taubman staff will confirm eligibility and determine if a waiver is available. If approved, you will receive a fee waiver code via email with additional instructions.
In certain circumstances, you may be eligible for an application fee waiver administered by Taubman College.
- Review our list of fee waiver types administered by Taubman College, along with their criteria. If you do not qualify for a fee waiver, you will be required to pay the application fee at the time you submit your application.
- If eligible, only one fee waiver per applicant.
- Taubman College has a limited number of fee waivers, therefore requests are on a first come first serve basis.
National Organizations Affiliation Fee Waiver
Requirements for Eligibility
-You must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
-You must be a member of one of the following organizations:
- Current Volunteer with Vista/Peace Corps or AmeriCorps
- Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair)
- National Organization Minority Architects (NOMA)
- Request an official verification document or letter from the organization before you are ready to submit your application.
- Email the official verification document (proof of membership) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not mail or fax.
Need Based Waivers
Enrolled Undergraduate Senior or Graduate Student Currently Receiving Federal Financial Aid from a U.S. College or University.
Requirements for Eligibility
- You must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- An enrolled/current undergraduate college senior or graduate student currently receiving financial aid from an institution in the United States, Puerto Rico, or U.S. territory.
- Estimated family contribution (EFC) listed on the Student Aid Report (SAR) is less than $1,500. The Student Aid Report is provided after the FAFSA is submitted.
- Email a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR) page one only to email@example.com. Do not mail or fax the proof of eligibility to Taubman College Admissions.
- The Student Aid Report can be obtained by using the FSA ID number and choosing Student Aid Report (SAR).
American Indian and Alaskan Native
Requirements for Eligibility
- Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
- Your race must be American Indian or Alaskan Native
For more information, email Taubman College Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Undocumented or DACAmented Students
Requirements for Eligibility
- Applicant has Undocumented or DACAmented immigrant status.
For more information, email Taubman College Admissions at email@example.com.
/ Statement of Purpose
Please write a concise statement outlining your reasons for applying to Taubman College’s Master of Architecture degree. Your ideas should be clear, well stated, and specific. The following questions serve only as a guide. The essay should be 500-1000 words and clearly communicate to the admissions committee:
- Why you want to study architecture.
- Your career objectives and long-term goals.
- What you want to learn/gain from the degree.
- How the degree supports your career objectives.
- What led you to apply to Taubman College.
- Specific area of emphasis/specialization that you are interested in.
- Previous professional experiences that have had a profound effect.
- Your current strengths and weaknesses in reaching your goals.
A good curriculum vitae or resume will give us another view of who you are and elaborate your strengths and skills outside of the classroom, showcasing your accomplishments. In addition to your educational experience, student resumes should contain professional experiences, other jobs you have held, a list of groups or organizations that you are involved in, programming languages or other computer skills you have and any community involvement or volunteer work that you do. Think of your resume as another opportunity to tell us about yourself.
Master of Architecture applicants are required to submit examples of their academic work and, if possible, their professional work.
The portfolio is required and is submitted through Slideroom. There is a $6 fee to submit your portfolio.
- The first page of the portfolio (cover page-required) must include the following information
- Your last name, first name
- email address
- The portfolio must be formatted together in one Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)
- There are no specified page dimensions or formats, but please note that portfolios will be reviewed electronically on a variety of screens and devices. Please ensure that all text and images will be legible in a variety of contexts. Portfolios may be no longer than 30 pages total and no larger than 20 MB. Portfolios that exceed these sizes may not be reviewed. Your portfolio will not be reviewed if you upload individual pages. Application processing time may increase if your file is incorrectly titled or if a cover page is not included.
Please remember, the admissions committee will only review electronic submissions and will not accept:
- hard copy original work or portfolios
- actual physical models or other three-dimensional objects (photographs of 3-D work are acceptable
- folded materials/blueprints
- Powerpoint or Word files
- electronic media (CDs, DVDs, disks) other than those submitted as a PDF
- Upload Master of Architecture w/ Advanced Standing Portfolio
(File Name Format: LastName_FirstName_Portfolio)
- Upload Master of Architecture Portfolio
(File Name Format: LastName_FirstName_Portfolio)
/ Other Required Information
Applicants will scan and upload an unofficial transcript or certified credentials from all universities, colleges, community colleges, study abroad, and summer programs attended.
Taubman College only requires official transcripts from those students accepting our offer of admission.
Letters of Recommendation
Three (3) letters of recommendation are required and should testify to your academic and professional capacity and promise. If possible, two of these should come from former professors.
Letter of Recommendation submission options (PDF)
Graduate Record Examination Scores
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are no longer required nor considered for admission to all graduate programs at Taubman College.
English Proficiency / TOEFL / IELTS
All non-native English speakers must take either the TOEFL, or the IELTS. Scores must be no older than two years old to be valid. Non-native English speakers who have earned their degree from a university, where English is the primary language of instruction, are not required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS. U.S. citizenship does not exempt applicants from taking the test if his/her native language is not English. Students only need to take one of the above listed tests. Taubman College does not admit students that have not met minimum score requirements.
TOEFL Examination (International Students Only)
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Internet Based TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition are the approved English proficiency tests required of all non-native English speakers. Information about the TOEFL/iBT Special Home Edition including test dates and locations can be found at ets.org/toefl. Please contact ETS (ets.org) and have an official score report sent to the University of Michigan (Institution code 1839, department code 12) at least 4-6 weeks prior to the application deadline. TOEFL/iBT scores must be no older than two years old to be valid. Please take note that the minimum requirement is: 95 iBT. If you have taken the TOEFL exam and not achieved the minimum score we encourage you to retake the exam to meet the minimum requirement. Taubman College does not admit students that have not met minimum score requirements.
IELTS Examination (International Students Only)
The International English Language Testing System exam is another English proficiency tool required of all non-native English speakers. Information about the IELTS including test dates and locations can be found at ielts.org. Please have IELTS send an official score report electronically to the University of Michigan. IELTS scores must be no older than 2 years to be valid. The minimum requirement for the IELTS test is 7.0. If you have taken the IELTS exam and have not achieved the minimum score, you must continue to take the test until you reach 7.0 to be considered for admission. Taubman College does not admit students that have not met minimum score requirements.
Students who are non–native English speakers and do not have a four-year degree from an English-medium institution are required to take and successfully complete ELI 530, a two-credit hour architecture-specific English course offered by the English Language Institute (ELI) at U-M in their first fall term. ELI 530 is taken in addition to their regular architecture coursework and does not count toward degree requirements.
/ International Student Information
Financial Certification / I-20 / VISA
If you need an F-1 or J-1 visa, the University of Michigan is required by the U.S. government to obtain documentation proving that international applicants (non-U.S. Citizens) have adequate financial resources to provide for their expenses while in the United States. Taubman College Admissions is the U-M office that will prepare your I-20 or DS-2019 after you have provided the required documents.
Taubman College will request your Financial Certification form and financial documentation AFTER you have accepted your admission offer. We recommend that you begin the process of gathering all the required financial documentation and create one file to upload. Within 6 weeks of Taubman College receiving your financial certification, you will receive an invitation to set-up your M-Passport account to retrieve your I-20. Please note, students enrolled in dual degree or the Rackham Graduate School will follow different instructions.
The estimated financial certification for the 2023-2024 academic year are below:
- Master of Architecture = $98,800 USD
- Master of Architecture with Advanced Standing = $81,194 USD
The final tuition rates will be set in July and an exact figure will be available then. The Taubman College Admission Committee does not consider the financial certification form when making decisions regarding scholarships and admission to the College.
When to Make Your Travel Arrangements
Regarding Your Reporting Date
- Make your travel arrangements after you have been informed of the reporting date on your immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019). The reporting date will appear in Wolverine Access after your immigration document is issued. The reporting date will not be changed to accommodate personal reasons or plane reservations.
- The reporting date on your immigration document is determined by federal immigration regulations and allows you to participate in university activities and the mandatory International Center SEVIS check-in before classes begin.
- You are allowed to enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days prior to the reporting date on the immigration document.
- You may be prohibited entry into the U.S. at an immigration checkpoint if you arrive after the reporting date indicated on your immigration document.
Regarding Your Visa
- Make a visa appointment after you receive your immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019).
- Complete the U-M International Center’s Visa Assistance Web Form if you experience a delay in receiving your visa.
Health Check and Immunizations for International Students
The University of Michigan does not require immunizations. However, it is recommended that students come to school fully immunized to protect their health. Immunizations are one of the most effective public health measures in preventing communicable diseases. Immunization recommendations can be found at University Health Service (UHS).
/ Undocumented and DACAmented Students
Tuition Costs and Funding
Can undocumented or DACAmented students qualify for in-state tuition at the University of Michigan?
In state residency is determined by the Registrar’s Office and may be granted if the student attended Michigan schools and graduated high school in the state of Michigan within the last 28 months, regardless of the student’s citizenship status. If you believe that you should be granted in-state tuition, you should file an application for Resident Classification or an appeal with the Appeal Committee.
Please Read: Information on legal developments regarding DACA as of February 26, 2018
In October 2015, the U.S. Department of Education released a Resource Guide Supporting Undocumented Youth: A Guide for Success in Secondary and Postsecondary Settings. Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning is committed to supporting undocumented and DACAmented graduate students. Below are resources available throughout the University of Michigan and answers to questions you may have.
/ Application Status and Evaluation
Checking Application Status
Applicants can verify application data and status online approximately 10 – 15 days after their application is submitted. The admissions office will send an email to each applicant that includes the University of Michigan Identification Number (UMID). You will need to use a login ID and password to confirm some personal data before viewing your application status. Student Service staff will try to keep all materials received current. However, please allow sufficient time for processing before contacting the office.
For Applicants Who are Current Students or Employees: Log into Wolverine Access using your existing University of Michigan Uniqname and password, click New and Prospective Student Business.
For Applicants New to the University:
About five business days after you submit your application you will receive an email confirming that Taubman has downloaded your application from ApplyWeb. This email will direct you to set up your friend account.
- Go to the Friend Account Request Form and enter your email address.
- You will receive a confirmation email with a link to create your friend account.
- For more information, see the Information and Technology Services website.
Please allow 10-15 business days for your application status to update.
Applications will not be evaluated until all credentials have been received and the application fee has been paid. Applications missing credentials cannot be guaranteed a review by the admissions committee. Eligible applicants are considered for admission on the basis of the following criteria:
- Quality and content of all previous academic education
- Evidence of professional commitment and direction, including statement of purpose, resume, letters of recommendation, portfolio, etc.
- IELTS or TOEFL test scores (if applicable)
- The number of openings available
- The suitability of the program to the applicant’s area of interest
Using Wolverine Access
Through your Wolverine Access account you will be able to:
- Verify the application information you submitted, including, portfolio, test dates and scores, and letter of recommendation that are received.
- View the transcripts representing a Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional, and/or Doctoral degree that are received.
- Receive your admission decision.
- Update your address, phone number, and e-mail address.
Allow 5 business days, after creating your account, to verify that your application and materials have been received in Wolverine Access.
/ Notification of Acceptance
Applicants will be notified of their admission status by late February or early March. If you are admitted, you will be able to see that you have been recommended for admission by the Architecture Program via the online web application status. Notification letters will be sent via email. Any merit scholarship award decisions made by the Architecture Program will be noted in the letter of admission.
Admitted students are invited to Preview Weekend, which is held in late March. Preview Weekend is an opportunity for admitted students to visit Taubman College, meet faculty and students, tour the facilities, campus, and Ann Arbor, and attend Taubman College events. Further details will be provided in the letter of admission.
Enrollment Deposit Requirement
Students choosing to accept admission to the Master of Architecture must pay a $500 enrollment deposit. Payment may be completed online by echeck through Wolverine Access, credit card, or in the form of a check or money order (in US dollars) made payable to University of Michigan. This deposit reserves your space in the program. The $500 payment will be credited to your student account and applied toward your tuition. Deadline for receiving your acceptance and enrollment deposit is April 15th.
Residency Classification Guidelines have been developed to ensure that decisions about whether a student pays in-state or out-of-state tuition are fair and equitable. Applicants for admission or enrolled students who believe they are Michigan residents understand they may be required to complete an Application for Resident Classification and provide additional information to document their residency status. Please see the University of Michigan Residency Classification Guidelines.