Master of Science in Architecture
Changing the way we design and build our cities and communities is the first step toward developing a pattern for a sustainable world. Since World War II, the American landscape in particular has suffered from uncontrolled and unsustainable suburban sprawl. These patterns of development have contributed to air and water pollution, necessitated long commute times in personal vehicles, resulted in the formation of communities that have little or no civic identity, and drawn vital development away from urban centers.
Urban design looks beyond the design of individual buildings in order to provide sustainable design solutions for cities, towns, landscapes and campuses. The post-professional degree program allows students to focus their studies in urban design, one of the Architecture Program’s nationally-recognized strengths. Study in the post-professional program can be complemented by coursework in urban planning, historic preservation and real estate development.
Profile of Applicants
Applicants who already possess a professional degree in architecture, such as a Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture or Doctor of Architecture, may apply to the Master of Science in Architecture post-professional degree program. Many applicants to the program already have professional experience and/or professional registration.
The Master of Science in Architecture degree is a post-professional degree, it is not an accredited professional degree. Only applicants who already possess an accredited professional degree will be considered for admission. Applicants who have prior professional experience may receive preferential consideration for admission.
Visiting the School
The best way to learn more about the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation is to visit. Throughout the year, both the School and the University of Maryland invite prospective undergraduate students to "Visit Maryland Days" and prospective graduate students to attend our annual Graduate Open House. Whether you choose to visit on one of these special days and get the grand tour or you prefer to arrange an individual tour, a visit will certainly help you decide if the University of Maryland is the place to start your future. In addition, architecture studio reviews are always open to the public.
- Domestic Applications: January 1
- International Applications: December 15
Applicants who already possess a professional degree in architecture, such as a Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture or Doctor of Architecture, may apply to the Master of Science in Architecture post-professional degree program.
Online Graduate Application
Go to the Graduate Application website.
Read the latest instructions. When prompted, put in the four letter code that identifies the program for which you are applying.
The online code for the MS Arch degree is ARCH.
A non-refundable $75 fee is required for each program to which you apply. Payment of your application fee must be made on-line in order for your application to be submitted. Your application will not be processed until you pay your application fee and it is authorized.
Unofficial copies of transcripts from each institution including the University of Maryland must be attached to your application. Applicants who are admitted will be required to request official transcripts be forwarded to the Graduate Admissions Office from each institution where undergraduate or prior graduate work was undertaken. Sealed envelopes of transcripts that meet the requirements below must be submitted.
Transcripts must bear the signature of the registrar and seal of the granting institution and should include the years of attendance, courses taken, grades received, class standing and any degree, certificate or diploma received.
Letters of Recommendation
Three recommendations are required from professors or other unrelated individuals who can assess the applicant’s potential to succeed in this program. The online application provides an electronic recommendation form, which facilitates submission and receipt in most cases.
Statement of Purpose
Applicants must submit a statement of their goals and objectives in pursuing graduate study using the online application. The statement should give the reviewer a clear picture of why the applicant is choosing to pursue this degree and any specific area of interest.
Applicants must attach an up-to-date business-style resume via the online application.
Applicants with undergraduate degree awarded less than 5 years from the date of application, must submit a GRE, GMAT, or LSAT score. The Code for the GRE is 5814. You may submit your application prior to taking an exam. Scores are added to the application once received.
For more information about the GRE visit:
All applicants for the Master of Architecture degree (as well as any dual degree including the M ARCH) are required to submit a digital portfolio of design work. Applicants should think critically about the work they present and about how that work is presented in the portfolio. The portfolio serves as an illustration of the applicant’s interest in design. As such, the document should be graphically well composed and provide sufficient text* to clarify subject matter.
In general, portfolios should contain examples of creative work including drawings, paintings, photographs, sculpture, sketches, and/or architectural designs. Applicants to the Master of Architecture Path A (Advanced Standing) program should consider illustrating both design process as well as the products of their design studio work. Applicants the Path A program may also identify how their designs respond to any NAAB SPC required for advanced standing status (see: Advanced Standing). Applicants to the Master of Architecture Path B (3.5-year) program should give primary attention to drawing, painting, and sculpture.
Digital portfolios permit hyperlinks to animations and other dynamic media. These links should not substitute for static images presented in the portfolio; rather they should serve to complement the understanding of such content. Hyperlinks (if used) should be integrated into the design of the portfolio. No more than three links to external material are to be provided and no video shall be longer than 1.5 minutes in length.
Portfolios will be reviewed on-screen and will not be printed. We recommend that the portfolio be formatted so that it can be viewed in a mode compatible with the landscape (horizontal) orientation of a computer screen.
Format: PDF (Portable Document Format)
Maximum Size: 15 MB (portfolios that exceed this size will not be uploaded)
Preferred Page Orientation: Landscape (horizontal)
Hyperlinks: 2-3 each no longer than 1.5 minutes in length
Upload to: Multimedia Uploads page of the online application
Descriptive text should not exceed 150 words in length. Provide information about the title of the work, the context in which it was produced (University, Course Number, project duration, faculty member, and media), and a brief narrative describing the solution (where applicable). Path A applicants are to list any NAAB SPC satisfied in the project.
Sketchbook Study of Villa Savoye
University of YYY France Program 2012
ARCH 455P / 1 day exercise
Graphite on paper
Baltimore, Maryland 2011
ARCH 942 / 6 weeks
Digital and hand-crafted media
* Sample Text Describing a Project in the Portfolio: This six-week project explored the Mt. Vernon context of Baltimore, MD, examined contemporary housing prototypes, and focused technical issues of sustainable dwellings in an urban context. This proposal provides 125 market-rate apartment units based in part on Le Corbusier’s Unite de Habitation, in Marseilles. The design responds to the largely commercial nature of Charles Street, by providing retail at the base of the building. Common spaces on the ground floor and mezzanine of the building are designed to offset compact unit sizes. Individual units are equipped with sustainable features such as sun-shading, through ventilation, and balconies that incorporate vertical plantings serving each unit as herb gardens. The building is a concrete frame structure sheathed in a double-skin system. The green rooftops feature an array of solar collectors, green roofs, and cisterns that collect rainwater to be used in the building’s grey water system. NAAB SPC: A.1, A.3, A.6, A.7, B.3, B.5, B.8, B.9
Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must submit additional documents.
Updated information is available on the Graduate School website at:
Post-professional Master of Science in Architecture degree candidates must complete at least 30 credits to be awarded a degree. Typically, students complete the degree requirements within three semesters of the initiation of the program. Additionally, internships with local firms and public agencies provide practical exposure for students enrolled in this program. Applicants are also considered for teaching assistantships and graduate assistantships.
Architectural Elective (ARC654 or ARCH655 recommended)
Elective (ARC654 or ARCH655 recommended)