Ph.D. in Architecture

Application Deadline:
December 15

Intent to Enroll Deadline:
April 15

/ Eligibility

  • A professional degree in architecture, or a Master’s degree in any field, accompanied by a Bachelor’s degree in architecture or a related field, or other evidence of the applicant’s commitment to the discipline of architecture such as a reasonable amount of work experience in architecture
  • Undergraduate grade point average of 3.3 (B+) or better
  • Graduate grade point average of 3.5 or better

/ Apply

The application fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents is $75, and the fee for international students is $90 (U.S. funds). The application fee is paid online, via credit card, before the application is submitted. The application is submitted electronically to the program of study and the Rackham Graduate School.  For more information please see Application Fee and Application Fee Waivers.

/ Statement of Purpose

Two page statement of purpose should describe the research that you anticipate pursuing if admitted to the program including which area of specialization you plan to engage. The ideas should be clear, well stated, and specific. Describe your qualifications to undertake this research and reference your own or others related work if appropriate.

/ Resume

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 resume 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.

/ Personal Statement

The personal statement should be a concise, well-written statement about how your personal background and life experiences, including social, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, have motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. This is not an academic statement of purpose, but a brief (500 word limit) discussion of the personal journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.

/ Portfolio

Submissions of examples of work should support your statement of purpose and clearly demonstrate research and writing abilities. These may consist of published articles, papers, portfolio or other writing samples. Examples should be uploaded as PDF files with the online application.

/ Transcripts

Submitting your transcripts:

Step 1: TO APPLY, submit a scanned copy of your official transcript. Applicants must scan and upload an official transcript/academic record into the ApplyWeb online application. This transcript must display the institutional seal and signature of the Registrar or Recorder of Records.

Step 2: AFTER an offer of admission, submit your official transcript. Admitted students must submit to the Rackham Graduate School an official transcript/academic record, front and back, issued by the Registrar or Records Office for each bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctoral degree earned. For more information please see Transcripts.

/ Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required and should testify mainly to your academic and professional capacity and promise. Letters should be substantive statements from academics and professionals familiar with your abilities and accomplishments. For more information please see Letters of Recommendation Submission Options.

/ English Proficiency Requirements

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency unless they meet one of the criteria for an exemption listed below. Please contact one of the testing agencies shown in the following chart and have an official score report sent to the University of Michigan at least 6-8 weeks prior to the application deadline. The scores must be received from the testing agency no later than the application deadline. Language test scores are valid two years from the test date.  Photocopies and/or faxes of English proficiency scores will not be accepted. Please take note the minimum requirement is: 95 iBT.

Description of Test Assessment Provider Speaking Test Minimum Overall Score Submission of Test Scores
(ITP Plus and TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition)
Educational Testing Service Yes 95 TOEFL scores are sent by ETS electronically to institution code: 1839
Paper/Pencil TOEFL & TWE Educational Testing Service No 600 TOEFL scores are sent by ETS electronically to institution code: 1839
IELTS Cambridge, United Kingdom Academic version 7.0 Official IELTS scores are sent electronically to the Rackham Graduate School.

Taubman College does not admit students who have not met minimum score requirements. If you are close to the minimum scores outlined above we encourage you to retake the exam to meet the minimum requirement. Students who have submitted all required materials (including English proficiency exams) by the application deadline are given first consideration for admission. It may make you a less competitive applicant to not have your scores sent in by the deadline.

Rackham English Proficiency Exemptions

You qualify for an exemption from taking an English proficiency examination if one of the following criteria are met:

  • You are a native speaker of English.
  • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only.
  • You completed all of your graduate education and earned a graduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only.
    • If you completed a Master’s degree that was strictly research and no academic classes, that degree does not meet the exemption. This type of Master’s degree is generally awarded at a non-U.S. institution.
  • You are a current U-M student.

Please refer to the related Rackham webpage for additional information.

/ Undocumented and DACAmented Students

Detailed information about Undocumented and DACAmented Students for this degree program can be found on the related Rackham webpage.

/ Application Status and Evaluation

Checking Application Status

Notifications to Expect

You will receive three e-mails from Rackham after you submit the application.

  • On the day you submit the application you will receive an e-mail that acknowledges the successful submission of your application
  • 3-5 days later the second e-mail will arrive acknowledging that Rackham has received your application.
  • 3-5 days after the second e-mail, the third e-mail will arrive. This e-mail provides your U-M ID#, information on how to use the Wolverine Access system to verify your application information, check the status of your application, update your e-mail address, home address, and telephone number.
After You Receive the Third E-Mail

You will be able to review your application status in Wolverine Access under New & Prospective Student Business.

Logging into Wolverine Access

You will need to use a login ID and password, and confirm some personal data before viewing your application data.

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.

  1. Go to the Friend Account Request Form and enter your email address.
  2. You will receive a confirmation email with a link to create your friend account.
  3. For more information, see the Information and Technology Services website.


Eligible applicants are considered for admission on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Quality and content of all previous academic education
  2. Evidence of professional commitment and direction, as reflected in your statement of purpose, resume, and letters of recommendation, and portfolio
  3. IELTS or TOEFL test scores (if applicable)
  4. The number of openings available
  5. The suitability of the program to the applicant’s area of interest

Applications are only evaluated once all credentials have been received, those with any missing credentials a review by the admission committee is not guaranteed.

Wait List

Being placed on the wait list means that the admissions committee is interested in your application but has offered admission to other candidates. If space becomes available, students from the wait list may be offered admission. The wait list is unranked and, if space becomes available, all waitlisted students will be reviewed again for admission. The chances of being admitted from the wait list vary from year to year.

Notification of Acceptance

Applicants will be notified of their admission status by late February (depending on which specialization you have applied to). If you are admitted, you will be able to see that you have been recommended for admission by Taubman College via the online web application status. Notification letters will be e-mailed and sent in the U.S. mail. Any merit aid award decisions will be noted in the letter of admission. The next step is for Rackham Graduate School to review the recommendation of admission, certify and process the admission recommendation.

We abide by the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees and Assistants. Acceptance of an offer of financial support (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by a prospective or enrolled graduate student completes an agreement that both student and graduate school expect to honor.

Enrollment Deposit Requirement

Students choosing to accept admission to the Master of Science in Architecture Design and Research must pay a non-refundable $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

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 and that 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.

/ Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Rackham Graduate School?

The Rackham Graduate School is the overall administrative unit for graduate programs and works in conjunction with 17 schools and colleges to recruit applicants, administer the admissions process, and serves students through the final stages of degree attainment.

Can I request a paper application packet?

Taubman College no longer prints paper application materials. We require all of our applicants to use the online application system.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is December 15th for Fall admission. Students are only admitted at this time each year. The application and supporting materials must be received by December 15th in order to ensure that an applicant receives a full review by the admissions committee.

How do I check the status of my application materials?

Applicants can check the status of their application and verify information using the web application status function. Once an applicant submits an application online, s/he will receive email instructions on how to access/view their application status by logging into Wolverine Access.

Do you offer a part-time or an online Ph.D.?

No, you must be registered as a full-time student studying on campus to receive our funding package. Students are expected to devote full time to their studies and are supported financially to enable them to do so.

What can I do to improve my chances of admittance?

Begin planning in advance to present a complete, high-quality application. In submitting your application, one of the most important items is a clear concise personal statement outlining your professional, intellectual, and research interests. Prepare for the TOEFL tests and leave yourself enough time for a re-test if you feel you have not done your very best. In this same vein, start well in advance contacting current and previous universities and colleges about submitting grade transcripts and requesting letters of recommendation from faculty. We cannot consider your application without them.

When can I expect to receive an admission decision?

The Admissions Committee typically completes final admission decisions by Mid-March. All applicants will receive an official decision letter as soon as the committee has reached a conclusion. A general timeline is as follows:

  • December 15 – Application Deadline
  • January 15 – Applications go to the Admissions Committee for review
  • Mid-March – Admission decisions reached and applicants are notified
I have been assigned to a waitlist. What does that mean and how does the waitlist process work?

The waitlist means that we are interested in your application, but have already offered admission to other candidates. If space becomes available, we will admit students from the waitlist in a non-ranked order.

How many letters of recommendation letters do I submit?

Three (3) are required and should testify mainly to academic and professional capacity and promise. Letters should be substantive statements from academics and professionals familiar with your abilities and accomplishments. The letter of recommendation form is available from the Rackham website.

Can I defer my admission offer?

Applicants may choose to defer their admission for up to 2 years. Scholarship recipients cannot defer a scholarship award.

Can I be a Graduate Student Instructor?

Students will be selected for GSI/GSRA positions as part of their funding package depending on the teaching needs of the College.

Will I get my application fee back?

No, the application fee is non-refundable.

Will you return my portfolio to me?

When you submit a portfolio as part of your application, it becomes property of the University of Michigan.

I am an international student. Am I eligible for funding?

Yes, you are eligible for the funding package described in the funding section of our website.

How do I apply for merit-based scholarships?

All applicants are automatically considered for any merit-based scholarships that are available. If you receive a scholarship, you will be notified of the scholarship award in your letter of admission. Because financial resources are limited, we would encourage all applicants to seek outside sources of funding as well. Please apply for any scholarships, fellowships, or grants for which you are eligible.

/ Questions

Contact Admissions at