Graduate Architecture Admissions

We are excited you are ready to take your next steps to apply for admission to the Graduate Programs in the Department of Architecture at the University of Kansas. This page will provide the information to assist you in gathering your application materials and completing your application. 

Application Deadline

The application deadline for the M.Arch. II/III, Academic M.A. and Ph.D. programs for the Fall Semester and Summer Session is February 1.



Master of Architecture (MArch Track II & III)

The University of Kansas offers two NAAB-accredited M.Arch professional degree tracks for students with a bachelor’s degree in any field, including architecture. NAAB is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture. State registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite of architectural licensure. As a NAAB accredited program, the completion of the KU M.Arch program will allow graduates to become a licensed architect in the United States. 

M. Architecture Track II (Pre-Professional+ 63 credits) degree is a 2+ year program designed for candidates who have a pre-professional degree in architecture and equivalent design disciplines.

M. Architecture Track III (Non-Pre-Professional +123 credits) degree is a 3+ year program designed for candidates who have an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than architecture.

STEM Designated Degree Program

The Master of Architecture degree at the University of Kansas is an approved STEM program in Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology (CIP code 04.0902), among the STEM fields’ list. International students who graduate from KU’s Master of Architecture degree may be eligible for the 24-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension. OPT is defined as practical work experience in your field of study after completion of a degree. With a STEM degree, a student’s “regular” OPT of 12 months may be extended for an additional 24 months OPT (for a total eligibility of up to 36 months). The 24-month STEM OPT extension is adjudicated (approved) by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Application documents
  • KU graduate application is required. 
  • Portfolio is required (10 MB max): Please include previous design work in university courses and studios and/or professional practice. If your portfolio includes teamwork, please clearly indicate your role and contribution to the project. You are also welcome to provide any additional creative work and hands-on building or construction projects as evidence.
  • Official transcript from your highest earned degree is required
  • Due to NAAB Accreditation Standards the Masters of Architecture program minimum GPA is a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, any applicant with a GPA lower than the required minimum will not be considered. 
  • Resume is required.
  • A supplemental architecture/interior architecture essay is required. It should be a statement of interest indicating the applicant’s career goals and the relationship of these goals to KU’s M.ARCH program (Those seeking advanced placement in the M.Arch. program should make this clear in this statement).
  • Three Recommendation letters.
  • For international students, a financial statement showing minimum financial support for the first year of study 
Additional Requirements for International Applicants

Applicant must also meet KU’s International Admissions’ requirements here

For international applicants whose native language is not English, you are required to submit English Proficiency Proof. Please see the detailed requirement for English Proficiency Proof here

  • Students who are admitted in the Full Proficiency band are not required to complete Applied English Center (AEC) testing.
  • All other non-native speakers of English who gain admission to campus-based programs are required to complete AEC testing prior to enrollment.
Admission with Advanced Standing

Applicants to the Master of Architecture with Advanced Standing must have a Bachelor's degree in architecture or its equivalent. Advanced standing is awarded at the discretion of the admissions committee during the time of application review. The admissions committee will determine advanced standing individually for each student during the admissions review. Each student’s undergraduate curriculum will be compared against the basic curriculum of the Master of Architecture program at KU. Students might be granted waiver of some required courses if they have completed equivalent courses in their undergraduate program. Any course deficiencies must be fulfilled in addition to the regular credit hours of the advanced standing curriculum.

Evaluation of Preparatory Education and Admission 

The M.Arch Admissions Committee utilizes a systematized process for evaluating academic history to ensure the preparatory education alignment with NAAB accreditation standards.

Review Committee

The Admissions Committee is composed of members of the Student Success Committee, the Chair of the Department of Architecture, and the Director of Recruitment and Enrollment Management. The student Success Committee is a standing committee of five members appointed by the Chair of the Department.

Review Process

The M.Arch Admissions Committee members each independently review all applications from the applicant pool, ranking them based on the portfolio (e.g., creativity, design skills, spatial sensibility, effectiveness of visual communication, and technical skills), academic record, statement and cover letters (dedication to design, passion, ability to communicate effectively, teamwork, potential to leadership), and recommendation letters. The Admission Committee members make a recommendation to either admit/ leaning admit/ leaning deny/deny. Each Admission Committee member will develop a ranked list of applicants with recommendations and written comments to share with the rest of the Admissions Committee. The applicants who have received “deny” recommendations from all members will not be forwarded to the next round of discussion.

In late February, a meeting will be held for all members of the Admissions Committee to discuss the recommendations for each applicant. A final ranked list will be developed to inform the final admission decisions. The Admissions Committee will also determine the Advanced Standing of the applicant, which curriculum track to admit students into the program, and recommend studio placement based on portfolio and transcript.

For admitted applicants, the Director of Enrollment and Admission Management will further review the transcript, course catalog descriptions and syllabi and crosscheck with our M.Arch. II curriculum and course requirements. The evaluation will use the KU Architecture Preparatory Education Evaluation form.

The final decision on curriculum tracks, studio placement, and recommended degree plan is communicated to the applicants in their offer letters at the time of admission. 

Master of Arts (MA)

Master of Arts (MA) in Architecture degree is a 36-credit academic/research track for students with an undergraduate degree in architecture or a related discipline.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Architecture degree is a 49-credit terminal degree involving rigorous coursework, independent research, culminating in a dissertation.

Graduate Certificates

Current KU graduate students, both internal & external to the School of Architecture & Design, who would like to pursue one of our graduate certificate programs must formally apply for the program through Graduate Admissions using the "Current Student Graduate Certificate Application". For more information on program requirements, please visit the Course Catalog.


If you have any questions about your application, please email