The application deadline for fall 2015 admission has passed. The application for fall 2016 candidates will be available later this fall.
Application materials are outlined below. To download the pdf version of the application instruction sheet from the most recent admission cycle, click here. Visit our FAQs page for specific questions about the application process.
Please note: Applications for spring enrollment are only available for advanced-standing MArch candidates, and are due by October 1; visit the MArch 2 program page for requirements.
All application materials that need to be mailed in hard-copy form (transcripts, GRE scores, portfolio, etc.) should be sent to the following address:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design
Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1079
Givens Hall, Room 105
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
If you would like to be added to our mailing list or you have questions about the graduate program curricula, please contact Kathleen O'Donnell, Graduate Programs Administrative Coordinator.
Phone: 314.935.6227 or 800.295.6227 (within continental United States)
Further information to assist applicants in their preparations is provided below.
Courses Prior to Enrollment
MArch 3 applicants are asked to demonstrate satisfactory completion of one course each of elementary calculus and college physics prior to enrollment. These courses assure adequate preparation for the architectural structures sequence that is required of all MArch students. Through the portfolio, MArch 3 applicants are asked to demonstrate ability and experience in freehand drawing and/or two- or three-dimensional basic design exercises.
MLA applicants must demonstrate satisfactory completion of at least one college-level course in the natural sciences and at least one college-level course in the visual arts, such as drawing, sculpture, graphics, and/or basic design. Applicants with an accredited degree in landscape architecture or architecture may be admitted to the MLA program with advanced placement. Applicants who have received a non-accredited degree in architecture, landscape architecture, or environmental design may also receive advanced placement of one or two semesters, upon review of the admissions committee.
The following application materials may be submitted in stages; we may receive any of the hard-copy items before or after you have started the online application process. All materials must be submitted by the application deadline. No applicant will be considered for admission until all required items have been received by the Office of Graduate Admissions for the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design.
1. Completed online application materials:
- Personal information.
- A statement of intention of educational and career goals.
- A resume/curriculum vita (to include education and employment history, honors, awards, and extracurricular activities).
- Three letters of recommendation, to be completed by individuals who know the personal and academic qualities of the applicant (preferably—although not necessarily—academic instructors). These three letters must be submitted through the online application process. Please note that, along with other contact information, you will need to provide each recommender's accurate e-mail address. A fourth recommendation can be included; contact our office with the name and contact information (including e-mail address) for the additional recommender.
2. A non-refundable $75 application fee, either paid online by credit card (preferred), or by check or money order made payable to Washington University.
3. Official transcripts from each college and/or university attended. Photocopies or digital copies can only be accepted when endorsed with an official stamp or seal and an appropriate official signature. Please arrange to have the official transcript(s) submitted in hard-copy form in a sealed envelope, and sent directly to our office; the mailing address is listed above.
4. GRE scores (provided by the testing services). To ensure official test score reports arrive as needed, please use our institution code (6929) and department code (4401) when making arrangements with the testing agency.
5. A printed portfolio showing examples of design work or work in the visual arts, organized and presented in a protected format. In addition to the required printed portfolio, you may also submit a digital version of your portfolio. Please see the Portfolio section below for guidelines.
6. A Test for English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score is required if the applicant's native language is not English. For non-native English speakers, a minimum TOEFL score of 577 on the paper-based test, 233 on the computer-based test, or 90 on the Internet-based test is required for admission. An exception is made for candidates who have studied four years toward a baccalaureate degree in the United States. To ensure official test score reports arrive as needed, please use our institution code (6929) and department code (12) when making arrangements with the testing agency.
*Note: Our faculty realize that sometimes the TOEFL is not available, in which case we are willing to consider IELTS scores of 7.0 or higher on the 9.0-point IELTS scale.
Instructions for Printed Portfolio
All applicants must submit a printed portfolio mailed directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions. The portfolio is the most important part of the application to the graduate program. The work presented in the portfolio—whether drawings, paintings, models, sculpture, photography, furniture, or small construction projects—should be the best examples of the applicant's efforts.
1. Applicants who have never studied architecture must submit at least 20 examples of work in the visual and constructive arts that demonstrate a potential for accomplishment in further creative study.
2. All applicants who have pursued formal studies in architecture or landscape architecture must include examples of their design work related to those areas of pursuit but are also encouraged to include examples of other artistic endeavors.
3. Portfolios must be presented in a protected format (e.g., pages that are bound, preferably in a lightweight booklet form, using plastic ring, plastic strip, metal coil, tape, or book binding). Booklet dimensions are to be no larger than 9" x 12". Bulky items such as fabricated metal or wooden boxes or binders are discouraged.
4. The layout of the portfolio should be clear, with brief descriptions for each piece or project.
5. Applicants submitting work done collaboratively, either in school or in the profession, should clearly indicate the level of their personal contribution.
6. All work should be produced in high-resolution digital images. Original pieces of art (ie., actual drawings or paintings) should not be submitted.
Important: A self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with adequate postage must be included when sending the portfolio to ensure its return. Portfolios will not be returned without a SASE.
Instructions for Optional Digital Portfolio
Submission of a digital portfolio as part of your application is optional. Please note, though,
that a digital portfolio submission is not a substitute for a printed portfolio. All applicants must submit a printed portfolio to our office.
As with the printed portfolio, the work presented in the digital portfolio should be the best examples of the applicant's efforts. The digital portfolio must be formatted as follows:
1. A single PDF document, with a maximum file size of 20 MB and a maximum resolution of
2. Prepare the file for computer monitor viewing (ie., horizontal orientation), with text that is at least 8 points large so that it is legible when viewed full-screen.
3. The maximum number of pages you may submit is 25 (note: 2-page spreads count as one
4. Digital portfolios must be submitted via SlideRoom at: samfoxschool.slideroom.com.
Dual Degree Applications
To gain admission to a dual degree program involving another division of the University (e.g., Social Work, Business, or Construction Management), students must submit separate applications to—and gain admission from—both programs. Each program makes admission decisions independently. For further information about dual degree programs, click here.
All students who expect to be reliant on any amount of financial assistance from Washington University to fund their graduate studies must apply for financial aid. An application for financial aid will not influence decisions for admission to the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, so there is no penalty for seeking aid. Applicants for financial aid who plan to enroll in the fall semester must submit their financial aid application form by February 15. Applicants for financial aid who plan to enroll in the spring semester must submit their financial aid application form by October 1. For information about the financial aid application process, click here.
Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and employment. The University does not discriminate in access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status,disability, or genetic information. Applicants with a prior criminal history will not be automatically disqualified from consideration for admission. Inquiries about compliance should be addressed to the University's Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Washington University, Campus Box 1184, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130.