Master of Architecture

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Transcripts of all undergraduate and any graduate work must be submitted. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the program requirements as listed below. See the School of Architecture website for the most up-to-date application requirements.

  • Baccalaureate Field of Study No restrictions. Applicants without an undergraduate degree in architecture must fulfill prerequisites before enrolling:
    • A year-long university-level survey in art history or architecture history
    • A university-level course in calculus offered through a mathematics department
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of undergraduate study.
  • Tests Required GRE General
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score (one of the following is required unless English competency is exhibited by prior work or education in the U.S.):
    • TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Internet-based); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (New Paper-Based—after August 2018); 550 (Institutional Testing Paper-Based—prior to August 2018)
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required, preferably from individuals acquainted with the applicant’s recent academic, professional, or creative work. Letters from professors who can assess the applicant’s academic abilities and potential for graduate school are the most useful. Letters from employers are also acceptable.
  • Personal Statement A 500-word statement in which applicants should discuss academic interests and objectives, how they can be pursued through study at UIC, what the applicant would contribute to the program, and why they want to pursue a degree at UIC, specifically. Applicants should also explain how their architectural interests have been shaped by significant past experiences.
  • Other Requirements Portfolio review and evaluation of previous course work are required for all applicants. As a designed book, the portfolio indicates an individual’s aesthetic sensibility and intellectual curiosity. It may include any visual, design, or creative work, such as paintings, collages, freehand drawings, sketches, photographs, sculpture, furniture design, etc. Both in the works themselves and in the inquiry or argument framed through their presentation, applicants should exhibit their potential to develop original design work. Individual work is preferred, but if including group work, the applicant’s role and contribution should be carefully noted. The portfolio should not document CAD drafting skills or technical course work that is independent from design work. Work from an architecture office, such as construction drawings or renderings, should not be included unless the applicant had a significant role in the design process.
  • Advanced Standing Applicants with sufficient prior academic work may be considered for advanced standing to begin in the second year of the program. To do so, applicants must submit all required application materials and meet the following additional requirements: prior completion of one year of history of architecture; six to eight studios within an undergraduate curriculum that has a disciplinary focus similar to that of UIC; upper-level course work in theory and history equivalent to ARCH 531/ARCH 532; and at least one year of architectural and environmental technology OR one year of structures. It is additionally determined by how well an applicant's previous work aligns with the kind of work done at UIC. Advanced standing status is granted to a very small number of applicants—typically, fewer than 10% of all MArch applicants are granted advanced placement.
  • Deadlines The application deadline for this program is earlier than the Graduate College deadline; for information about current deadlines, please see the School of Architecture website. 

Degree Requirements

The requirements for the degree vary according to the student’s previous studies and level of preparation. At the time of admission, the School of Architecture will specify the level of the program to which each applicant has been admitted. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 64–100, depending on the student's level of preparation
  • Course Work At least 24 hours must be at the 500-level in architecture
Course Title
Required Courses
Architectural Theory and History I
Architectural Theory and History II
Professional Practices
Architectural Design I
Architectural Design II
Architectural Design III
Architectural Design IV
Design Development
Architectural Technology I
Architectural Technology II
Architectural Technology III
Architectural Technology IV
Topic Studio
Architectural Structures I
Architectural Structures II
Architectural Theory and History III
Architectural Theory and History IV
Electives
Select 8 hours from the following:
Topics in Architectural Theory and History
Topics in Architectural Technology
One approved College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts course
Select 4 hours of an approved elective
Complete the following research sequence:
Research Seminar
and Research Studio
Portfolio Submission
An annual portfolio review occurs during the spring semester of each academic year. The submission of a satisfactory portfolio in each year is a degree requirement.
MArch with Advanced Standing
From the above curriculum, full advanced standing students will be waived from the following course work: ARCH 531, ARCH 532, ARCH 551, ARCH 552, ARCH 561, ARCH 562, ARCH 573, and 4 hours of the required course work from ARCH 520 and ARCH 522 or an approved AH course. Exact advanced standing placement will be determined by the school at the time of admission.
  • Comprehensive Examination None
  • Thesis, Project, or Course-Work-Only Options Course work only. No other options are available.