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Graduate Admissions

How to apply to the Master of Architecture, Master of Science in Architecture, and Ph.D. in Architecture and Design Research degree programs


All graduate applications to the School of Architecture must be completed through the Virginia Tech Graduate School. 

Students are admitted to the Graduate Architecture Program on a competitive basis. Applicants are reviewed by an admissions group comprised of faculty members from the Architecture program and are evaluated on the basis of their previous background, including academic performance and relevant work experience. It is essential that applicants demonstrate qualities necessary for successful study at the graduate level through their previous academic work, and that they have shown responsibility, judgment, motivation, imagination and receptivity to new ideas.

Although submission of a paper application is possible, applicants are strongly encouraged to use the on-line application to the Virginia Tech Graduate School. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the completed application and required supporting materials are received by the University Graduate School and the Graduate Architecture Program, including the portfolio (required for M.Arch.2 candidates), no later than February 15th for admission for the following fall semester to the M.Arch., MS.Arch., or Ph.D. ADR programs. (NOTE: The application deadline for the MLA program is also February 15th.) If all materials are not received by the deadline, the application may not be considered for admission.

Every effort will be made to notify applicants by email of the admission decision by the first week of April. However, some applications will be held for further review pending available space.

Applicants who are accepted and cannot attend the Fall Semester, may request that their admission date be deferred; however, this deferral is not automatic and requires the approval of the Graduate Architecture Program Chair and the Dean of the Graduate School.

For information on admission to the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program, please visit the following link:


Applicants to the M.Arch.2, MS.Arch.-Urban Design Concentration, and Ph.D. programs who plan to begin their studies at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (National Capital Region – NCR) should so indicate in their application. However, ALL APPLICANTS for graduate study in architecture should send required application materials to the Graduate Architecture Program office in the School of Architecture on the Virginia Tech Main Campus in Blacksburg, VA.

Admission to the graduate programs at Virginia Tech is normally contingent upon holding an appropriate undergraduate baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and presentation of evidence of potential to successfully pursue graduate level work in architecture. Completion of the Bachelor’s degree with a high academic standing is expected.

Beyond the University academic requirements described in the application package, applicants to the graduate program in architecture must have the following preparation:

  • M.Arch.2 – Admission prerequisites: pre-professional degree (4-year), Bachelor of Arts/Design/Science, etc., in Architecture from a school offering an NAAB-accredited professional degree (B.Arch. or M.Arch.) or the equivalent, including courses in Architectural History, Structures, Environmental Systems, and Building Technology.

  • M.Arch.3 – Admission prerequisites: Bachelor’s Degree, no limitations on a particular discipline and there is no prerequisite coursework required. The following non-mandatory coursework is recommended in preparation for graduate study in the M.Arch.3 program: mathematics through college algebra, trigonometry and analytic geometry, one term of general physics, and a survey course in architectural history. Students with degrees in design disciplines other than architecture would need to apply to this program.

  • MS.Arch. and Ph.D. – While a degree in architecture or a related field is not absolutely required, applicants must demonstrate relevant background and experience, as well as capabilities for undertaking advanced academic study.

Note: Applicants should make certain to note on the application the specific program option (M.Arch.2 or M.Arch.3) or specific research concentration (for M.S.Arch. or PhD) in which you intend to study. Changes from one program or program option to another are generally not possible without approval of a written request prior to admission. M.S.Arch. and PhD applicants are encouraged to contact members of the faculty whose interests align with their own.

Graduate study in the M.Arch.3 program typically begins in August, during the Fall semester each year. It is normally not possible to begin M.Arch. studies during the Spring semester. Students in the M.Arch.2 program may start in the Spring semester with approval from the Graduate Program chair.

For all graduate programs in architecture, a complete application should be received by Virginia Tech by February 15th (also Feb. 15th for MLA program) for admission for the following fall semester.

In order for an application to be considered, the following items must be submitted:

  • A completed graduate application (on-line strongly recommended), including payment of a nonrefundable application fee.

  • Up-to-date official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate records. Copies of your official transcripts should be uploaded into the on-line application. Please do not mail your official transcripts to us until you have received an offer of admission from Virginia Tech. Please note that non-legible scans will not be accepted. Make sure your scanned documents are legible before uploading, as non-legible documents will result in processing delays. Make sure your scanned copy is of your official transcript. A grade point average of at least 3.0 (4.0 scale) for the last 60 semester credit hours, or equivalent, is required. An applicant whose previous academic performance is deemed slightly deficient (grade point average of 2.75 to 2.99) or whose transcripts are not current may be admitted as a “Provisional” student, as described in the University Graduate Catalog.

  • Three letters of recommendation from teachers, professionals or other people knowledgeable about the applicant’s work. Letters of recommendation that are not submitted on-line should be sent directly to the Graduate Architecture Program office.

  • A Résumé and a Statement of Intent briefly describing the applicant’s background, personal interests, motivation for the study of architecture, and, if applicable, proposed area of research focus. In lieu of the brief Statement of Intent, PhD applicants must submit a 2,500-word statement of research focus.

  • The Graduate School requires official test scores from the TOEFL for all International applicants. The minimum TOEFL score for the Graduate Architecture Program is 233 computer based, 577 paper based and 93 for Internet based. We will also accept the IELTS score of 7.0.

All international applicants should refer to the Virginia Tech Graduate School website concerning additional admission requirements.

Candidates for admission to the M.Arch. 2 program must demonstrate their competence in design beyond the academic transcript. A portfolio of studio work in architectural design and related visual studies is required of these applicants. For candidates for admission to the M.Arch.3 and MS.Arch. programs, submittal of a portfolio is not mandatory due to the variety of academic backgrounds of applicants. However, if an applicant has educational or professional experience in architecture, design, construction, or visual arts (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, etc.), submittal of a portfolio is recommended.

Portfolios should be submitted digitally, in the online application under Section four, “other documents.”

Applicants should present a limited set of work, representative of their best efforts and most expressive of their interests and abilities. Portfolios should be NO MORE than 20 pages (including cover). Your full name should be clearly visible on the cover page. The page size format should be 8½” × 11” (North American standard) or A4 (International standard).

Faculty and students at Virginia Tech are available to talk with prospective applicants, provide tours of the architecture facilities, and answer questions about the graduate architecture program, so that applicants may determine whether study at Virginia Tech is appropriate to their educational goals. It is desirable for prospective applicants to visit the campus and talk with an advisor if at all possible; however, since travel is an obvious financial burden to many applicants, an interview is not required for admission to the graduate program, and lack of an interview will not reduce one’s chances of admission. If you wish to schedule an interview or a visit to the campus, please contact the Graduate Architecture Program via e-mail at or via telephone at (540) 231-5683 for an appointment. Applicants are asked to consult the Virginia Tech academic calendar to avoid requesting an interview during the first and last weeks of each semester.


All incoming students in the Master of Architecture program are required to have a personal computer. Recommended specifications are identical to those for undergraduate architecture students. Please see the School of Architecture and School of Design computer requirement web page. Graduate students are required to purchase the subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud through Virginia Tech.

 A more complete software package, the Graduate Architecture and Design Bundle, is available for graduate students, but is not required.

No student will be denied admission to Virginia Tech based on an inability to purchase a computer.

Several forms of financial assistance are available to graduate students, including grants by federal agencies, fellowships, and scholarships awarded by corporations, foundations, and professional organizations, as well as low and moderate-interest, federally-insured loans, including subsidized loan programs. Interested students can obtain detailed and updated information directly from the University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and The Graduate School. The Graduate Architecture Program awards a limited number of graduate assistantships each year. Assistantships are service positions and normally involve providing support to faculty for research or teaching; typical duties include providing tutorial assistance in the various workshops, providing teaching assistance in design studios or for required courses, research project assistance, and photographic assistance in project documentation and presentation. Stipends depend on the student’s academic achievement and experience. Students seeking a Master’s degree are usually not awarded an assistantship position for more than two academic years; assistantships are not normally available to first year students in the M.Arch.3 program.

More information on Scholarships and Financial Aid…

View Virginia Tech’s Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement…

Frequently asked questions regarding admission to the graduate program in Architecture:

Q: When is the application deadline?

A: February 15th is the application deadline for the School of Architecture’s M.Arch.2, M.Arch.3, MS.Arch., & Ph.D. (ADR) programs. Do not confuse this date with the date(s) that the Graduate School posts. The application deadline for the MLA program is also Feb. 15th for the following fall semester.

Q: What is the mailing address to which to send applications materials, including reference letters and/or transcripts, to the Graduate Architecture Program?

A: Graduate Architecture Program, School of Architecture, 201 Cowgill Hall (0205), 1325 Perry Street, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Q: Do reference letters have to be on the reference form?

A: No, they can be in letter format; they can be emailed, or they can be faxed.

Q: Do you accept applications for the Spring semester?

A: Due to our sequence of course offerings, we usually do not admit students to the M.Arch., MS.Arch., or Ph.D. ADR programs for the Spring semester. Any exceptions would have to be made by the Chair of the Graduate Architecture Program.

Q: How do I apply for an assistantship?

A: You are considered for an assistantship when your application for admission is reviewed. M.Arch.3 applicants are not normally considered for an assistantship until their second year in the program. Continuing students are notified of the assistantship application process each year.

Q: What is the minimum GRE score?

A: Verbal: 154 or better; Quantitative: 152 or better.

Q: What is the minimum TOEFL score?

A: TOEFL score minimums for the School of Architecture + Design are 233 computer-based, 577 for paper-based, and 93 for internet-based. The minimum IELTS score is 7.0.

Q: What is the institutional code for Virginia Tech?

A: 5859