Master of Architecture


The University of Maryland’s graduate programs in architecture are recognized nationally for excellence in sustainable building craft and urbanism. The Comprehensive Design Studio/Advanced Technology Seminar, the first of its kind in the nation, is a model for the integration of design studio pedagogy and technical knowledge. All students in the Master of Architecture Program (independent of their specific track) participate in this award-winning educational experience.


Building upon our location in the metropolitan Baltimore-Washington region, our Urban Design Studio advances the conviction that responsible patterns of settlement when combined with green building practices lead to a more sustainable world. The Urban Design Studio has won numerous awards and citations including honors in the Edmund Bacon Competition, the ULI Hines Competition, and the Congress of the New Urbanism.


The architecture Program offers two tracks toward the NAAB accredited Master of Architecture degree:



Advanced Standing Professional Degree Program:

The “Path A” program is an advanced standing track designed for individuals who possess an undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree. This program links seamlessly with the University of Maryland’s BS in Architecture degree and similar degrees offered at other institutions. This is a four-semester degree program leading to the NAAB accredited M ARCH degree.



Professional Degree Program for Individuals with Baccalaureates in Disciplines Other than Architecture:

This program is designed specifically for individuals who have earned a baccalaureate degree in an area other than architecture. This seven-semester program provides introduction to the fundamentals of architectural design and representation, technologies, history and theory, as well as professional practice. The program provides an efficient track toward the NAAB accredited M ARCH degree.  Limited Advanced Standing in the Path B Program:  Applicants who possess a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design, or similar degree, are evaluated for placement and may receive limited advanced standing in the Path B program based upon their portfolios and prior coursework.   

Admission is competitive, and application requirements differ by degree program. We encourage applications from students with solid academic backgrounds who have earned or will earn at least a bachelor's degree at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or the equivalent of this degree in another country. As a minimum admission standard, the University of Maryland expects candidates to have a "B" average, or 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, in a program of study resulting in a bachelor's degree.


You may apply for admission to the University of Maryland during or after your final year of undergraduate study, but you must furnish proof of graduation before the end of your first term of enrollment at the university.


  • December 15 for Part I (initial online application) and Part II (ASF) for all applicants
  • January 1 for transcripts and recommendations
  • January 15 for portfolios


Applications from these will be considered:

  • Candidates with a four-year baccalaureate (B.S.) degree (architecture or equivalent major). 
  • Candidates with a four-year baccalaureate (B.A. or B.S.) degree (major other than architecture) from an accredited college or university who successfully complete specified prerequisites (see below).
  • Candidates with a professional accredited degree, either a bachelor or master's degree in architecture.



Additional requirements for candidates with a four-year degree in a major other than architecture are:

  • One semester of college-level calculus, or successful high-school advanced-placement (AP) calculus exam.
  • One semester of college-level laboratory physics or successful high-school advanced-placement (AP) physics exam.
  • One college-level course in freehand drawing.


Prerequisites must be completed by the time of matriculation to the University of Maryland. Applicants who have not yet completed the prerequisites should describe their plans to complete them in their Statement of Goals in the application.


Advanced Standing

In order to be considered for advanced placement, applicants must have a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Maryland or a similar degree from another academic institution. Applicants with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture are also encouraged to apply. Read the section below on how to qualify for advanced standing.


Application Requirements

Online Graduate Application (Part I)

Go to the Graduate School 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 Master of Architecture degree is ARCH.



Before you submit your online application, you will be assessed a non-refundable $75 application processing fee. Applicants are responsible for paying this fee whether or not they submit any supporting materials, are offered admission, or choose to enroll.


Online Graduate Application Supplemental Form - ASF (Part II)

After electronically submitting the Online Graduate Application (Part I), applicants will receive an e-mail from graduate admissions with instructions on how to file ASF (Part II) of their application. This email usually arrives within 2 business days of submitting Part I online, but in peak times may take as long as 3-5 business days.



Applicants must request 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; copies will not suffice. Transcripts of course work and degrees from University of Maryland need not 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. If you anticipate a serious delay in official transcripts arriving, you may submit unofficial copies to the School (see submission addresses below) for review purposes only. Official admission (and registration for classes) cannot occur until all official transcripts have been received by the Graduate Admissions Office.


Letters of Recommendation

Three recommendations are required from professors or others who can assess the quality of the applicant’s potential to succeed in the graduate program they have selected.

The online ASF (Part II), provides an electronic recommendation form, which facilitates submission and receipt in most cases. Applicants can also download the Recommendation Letter Forms and add the applicant’s full name, so that the Graduate School can attach the recommendation letter upon receipt. All recommendations must be submitted directly to the Graduate School by the person providing the recommendation (online or in a sealed envelope).


Statement of Goals, Experiences and Research Interests 

(1000-2000 words)

All programs require applicants to prepare a statement of their goals and objectives in pursuing graduate study. This should be submitted using the ASF online.



All programs require applicants to provide an up-to-date resume via the online ASF (Part II).


Graduate Record Examination


A GRE score is required to be sent directly to the University by the testing Authority. The Code for the GRE is 5814.


For more information visit:



Portfolios must be submitted directly to the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. They should be bound and not exceed 9” x 12”. The portfolio should contain reproductions of creative work including drawings, paintings, photographs, sculpture, sketches, and/or architectural designs. Creative writing and original papers and research may also be submitted within the portfolio, but overall emphasis should be on visual creativity. Any other form of portfolio will be automatically rejected.

If return is requested, a self-addressed envelope of sufficient size and adequate postage must be included.


Qualification for Advanced Standing

A condition of admission with advanced standing in the Architecture Program is documentation to verify completion of National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) Student Performance Criteria (SPC) that applicants have satisfied in prior coursework at their undergraduate institution. This requirement is now a condition of accreditation for all NAAB accredited architecture programs. The relevant text from the NAAB 2009 Conditions for Accreditation below:



Because of the expectation that all graduates meet the SPC (see Section 1 above), the program must demonstrate that it is thorough in the evaluation of the preparatory or pre-professional education of individuals admitted to the NAAB-accredited degree program.
In the event a program relies on the preparatory/pre-professional educational experience to ensure that students have met certain SPC, the program must demonstrate it has established standards for ensuring these SPC are met and for determining whether any gaps exist. Likewise, the program must demonstrate it has determined how any gaps will be addressed during each student’s progress through the accredited degree program. This assessment should be documented in a student’sadmission and advising files.
[NOTE: A review of course titles and descriptions in and of itself is not considered sufficient for this activity.]

Currently 15 of the 32 NAAB SPC are either met or partially met in the University of Maryland’s Bachelor of Science Program and serve as pre-requisites for admission to the M ARCH program with advanced standing. They are:

  • A.1 Communication Skills**
  • A.3 Visual Communication Skills**
  • A.5 Investigative Skills*
  • A.6 Fundamental Design Skills**
  • A.7 Use of Precedents*
  • A.8 Ordering Systems*
  • A.9 Historical Traditions & Global Culture**
  • A.10 Cultural Diversity**
  • B.3 Sustainability*
  • B.4 Site Design*
  • B.5 Life Safety*
  • B.8 Environmental Systems*
  • B.9 Structural Systems**
  • B.11 Building Service Systems*
  • B.12 Building Materials and Assemblies*

*Indicates criterion is partially met in the pre-professional degree
**Indicates that criterion is met in the pre-professional degree


The admissions committee makes a determination on advanced standing after an applicant has been admitted to the School. Once admitted, candidates for advanced standing may be asked to submit additional evidence to demonstrate that they satisfied the above SPC to a comparable extent during the course of their undergraduate degree program. The following materials are used in the determination process:

  • Portfolio of academic work from architectural design studios (submitted in round 1).
  • Course syllabi for each course you took in your undergraduate education in the following areas:
  • Structures courses
  • Building methods and materials coursesMechanical, electrical and plumbing courses
  • Design studios
  • History / theory courses
  • Professional practice courses (if any)
  • Any other course for which you satisfied an NAAB SPC
  • Any assignments, projects, examinations, tests, and quizzes illustrating successful completion of the SPC from the above courses.


If deficiencies in SPC are found to exist, the student’s curriculum will be modified to include additional coursework that satisfy the NAAB requirement.


International Applicants

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must submit additional documents.

Updated information is available on the Graduate School website at:


Application Submission

Submit application Part I and Part II and supplemental materials ONLINE. The Online Application (Part I) must be submitted before any other materials, alongside payment of the application fee.


Transcripts and other off-line materials (recommendations if necessary) must be submitted to:

University of Maryland

Enrollment Services Operation

Attn: Graduate Admissions

Mitchell Building - Room 0130

College Park, MD 20742

Submit Portfolio materials to:

University of Maryland

School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Building 145

College Park, MD 20742


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.




Applicants in the seven-semester track should be prepared to show evidence of prior creative activity in the visual arts (eg., drawing, painting, and/or sculpture) in a portfolio submitted by the admissions deadline. Admitted applicants must show evidence of successful completion (B / 3.0 or higher ) of a college-level Calculus class (equivalent to the University of Maryland course MATH220), a laboratory physics course (equivalent to the University of Maryland courses PHYS 121 or PHYS 161) prior to matriculation in the M Arch program , and a college-level course in freehand drawing.


Grade Point Average in Major Policy

The 3.0 GPA in major policy requires all graduate students matriculating in Fall 2012 to earn a 3.0 grade point average in their major, minor, and/or certificate requirements. With the new plus/minus policy, the minimum grade for most major courses is a B - , now calculated as a 2.7. It is important that graduate students clearly understand what courses make up major, minor and certificate requirements, and that the cumulative GPA for those courses must be at least 3.0.


Recommended Internships

At various points in a student’s education practical experience gained through internship complements and provides insight into formal education. The Program provides an annual Career Fair that enables students gain contacts with major firms in the Washington - Baltimore area as well as firms with numerous locations nationally and internationally. Many students arrange internships over the summer and/or winter recess. While the Program does not provide academic credit for work in a professional context, the experiences gained therein are invaluable to a student’s development.


Recommended Education Abroad

The Architecture Program offers several intensive study abroad programs during the winter term and over the summer session. The programs are generally three or six weeks in duration and are lead by faculty members who have proven expertise in locales in which the programs are located. Past programs have taken students to France, India, Italy, North Africa, Peru, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, and the Yucatan. Students study the historical and contemporary architecture, urbanism, and cultures of the nations visited.