Application and Portfolio Deadline: Midnight (11:59 PM) January 6
Enrollment Deposit and Intent to Enroll Deadline: April 15
Application Evaluation and Selection Process
M.Arch Admission Selection Process:
Admission to the Master of Architecture program is limited to fall term only. Each fall, approximately 160 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.
2-Year Master of Architecture
Applicants to the 2-year M.Arch. degree should have a bachelor of science degree in architecture or its equivalent. Admitted 2-year M.Arch. students begin in the fall term.
A student should have completed the following pre-requisite courses as part of their undergraduate degree in architecture.
- 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)
If any course deficiencies are found, the student must complete extra courses in addition to the regular 60 credit hours of the master of architecture curriculum.
Please see course descriptions to compare pre-requisite course content from other schools to determine eligibility.
3-Year Master of Architecture
Applicants to the 3-year M.Arch. degree have received an undergraduate degree in a subject other than architecture. Admission is limited to the summer half-term. This three and a half year program draws upon the diverse backgrounds of each student to encourage a multi-faceted discussion of architecture. The first year builds a foundation that drives the following years.
There are two required pre-requisite 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 pre-requisites are:
- Calculus 1 (4 credits - may be taken online)
- 1 physics course (lecture and lab) (4 credits - may not be taken online)
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
3-year M.Arch. students join their peers in the 2-year M.Arch. track for the second and third year. Both options culminate in a Master of Architecture degree.
The fee for United States of America Citizens or with permanent resident visa status is $75 (U.S.D.). The fee for non-U.S. citizens is $90 (U.S.D.). The application fee is paid online, via credit card, before the application is submitted.
Statement of Purpose / Resume
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 first page of the portfolio (cover page-required) must include the following information
- Your last name, first name
- whether you are a 2-Year OR 3-Year applicant
- 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 2 Year Portfolio
(File Name Format: LastName_FirstName_2 Year Portfolio)
- Upload 3 Year Portfolio
(File Name Format: LastName_FirstName_3 Year Portfolio)
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.
Graduate Record Examination Scores
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants. Information about the GRE including test dates and locations can be found at gre.org. Please have an official score report sent to the University of Michigan (Institution code 1839, department code 4401) at least 4-5 weeks prior to the application deadline. GRE scores must be no older than five-years old to be valid. There is no minimum requirement for the GRE test.
If you have taken the GMAT or LSAT, we can use those scores in place of the GRE. LSAT scores should be listed on the additional information page of the online application.
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) is one of the approved English proficiency tests required of all non-native English speakers. Information about the TOEFL/IBT 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 6-8 weeks prior to the application deadline. TOEFL/IBT scores must be no older than two years old to be valid. The minimum requirements are: 100 IBT, 250 computer based, or 600 paper based. If you have taken the TOEFL exam and not achieved the minimum score you must continue to take the test until you achieve the minimum score to be considered for admission. Taubman College does not admit students that have not met minimum score requirements.
If you are close to the minimum scores outlined above we encourage to retake the exam to meet the minimum requirement. Students who have submitted all required materials by the deadline above (including English proficiency exams) are given first consideration for admission, it may make you a less competitive applicant to not have your scores sent in by the deadline.
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 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. Please contact ielts.org and have an official score report sent to:
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan
2000 Bonisteel Boulevard, Office #2332
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069
Summer Institute for International Students (SIIS)
Admitted students that were required to take either the TOEFL or IELTS examination and achieved a minimum score, will also be required to participate in a one month intensive cultural and language immersion program called the Summer Institute for International Students (SIIS) that begins in early August. This will be a requirement regardless of their TOEFL or IELTS score. Native English speakers from outside the US are also welcome to attend the program, but not required. Tuition will not be charged to the student to attend this program. However, there will be a $500 fee. The primary focus of the program is to provide extensive opportunities for students to become accustomed to a U.S. university environment with the goal of easing their transition into a full time academic curriculum in English. Students can expect to gain an understanding of instructor expectations and student responsibilities. The SIIS program allows students to become acquainted with each other, Ann Arbor, and the University of Michigan before regular classes begin. The English Language Institute (ELI) offers a two credit hour architecture specific English course in the fall that students should plan to take, in addition to their regular architecture coursework, to continue the work started in the SIIS program. Students should plan to arrive on campus in August and check in before the program begins. Details of the program will be emailed to students once they have accepted their admission offer.
Financial Certification / I-20 / VISA (International Students Only)
The financial certification deadline is January 6.
All international students are required to submit financial certification as part of their application to show they have funding available to study in the USA. Scanned copies of financial certification documents should be uploaded in the online application. The estimated financial certification for 2019-2020 academic year are below:
- 3-Year M.Arch. applicants is $86,753 USD
- 2-Year M.Arch. applicants is $74,538 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.
Financial certification is solely used for administrative purposes, since it is a required component for I-20 forms. Only funds in a liquid account, such as a checking or savings account will be accepted: Property, life insurance, stock, bonds, jewelry, mutual funds, land, medical savings and retirement accounts, benefit certificates, trusts, securities, and long-term savings for housing do not qualify. If a student is supporting him/herself, the applicant must submit a bank statement in the student's name showing sufficient funds (scanned copies of original documents are acceptable). If a person other than the applicant will be sponsoring the student, the applicant must submit two important documents for the financial certification. An applicant must submit either (#1 and #3) OR (#2 and #3) below. An applicant may have several different sponsors. We will need the following documentation from each source of funding:
- Letter of support (who will support the student and what their relationship to the student is) signed by the sponsor offering financial support to the student. It must include a signature. OR
- Completed financial certification form (found in the online application) with original signatures from the sponsor offering support and the proper boxes checked. AND
- A bank statement (on bank letterhead) showing the type of account, the exact balance of the account, and signed by a bank representative. The statement must also show the account holder's name; that name must match the name of the person offering support exactly.
- Financial certification must be completed before an offer of admission can be extended.
Each international applicant should submit a copy of their passport (and copies of any dependent family member's passport that would be accompanying the student to the USA) with their application materials. Passport copies are required in order to process the I-20 form. Please be prepared to submit passport copies with your online application.
I-20 / Visa
Applicants that are currently in the U.S. should also send a copy of their current I-20 or I-94 form. A Transfer-In form is also required if an applicant is currently attending another U.S. school or college and is admitted to the program. If applicable, please be prepared to submit copies of current visas with the online application.
Using eShip Global for Immigration Documents
All immigration documents (I-20 or DS-2019) that are mailed outside the U.S. are sent express mail using an eShip Global account. You are required to set up an eShip Global for faster, more reliable delivery.
When setting up your eShip Global account:
- Select “Taubman College” for “department.”
- If you have questions or need to change your shipping details, please visit eShip Global's Help section or contact eShip Global at email@example.com.
If you are local, you may contact Taubman College Student Affairs about picking up your immigration documents in-person.
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 International Center’s Visa Assistance 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
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.
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.
Evaluation and Status of Application
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.
- GRE test scores / 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.
Checking the Status of Your Application Online
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 include’s 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:
- Create a University of Michigan Friend Account:
Friend Account Request Form. Instructions for creating a U-M Friend Account are available on the Information and Technology Services website.
- Log into Wolverine Access:
After you create your University of Michigan Friend Account visit Wolverine Access and click New and Prospective Student Business. You will be asked to enter the e-mail address and password for your University of Michigan Friend Account. Next you will enter your University of Michigan ID number and birth date.
Please allow 10-15 business days for your application status to update.
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 are given in the admission letter.
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 e-check 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.
I-20 / Visa (International Applicants Only)
It can take up to 6 weeks to receive admissions and immigration documents via U.S. Mail, you are required to set up an eShip Global account for receiving documents from Taubman College. Please review the pdf instructions.
Contact Student Affairs at TaubmanCollegeAdmissions@umich.edu or 734-615-0431