The application period for fall 2019 admission to the MLA program is now closed.

Information for our most recent admission cycle is outlined below. To download the pdf version of the application instruction sheet for our current admission cycle, click here. Visit our FAQs page for specific questions about the application process.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list or have questions about the graduate program curricula, please fill out our contact form or call Kathleen O'Donnell, Graduate Admissions Coordinator, at 314.935.6227 or 800.295.6227 (within the continental United States).

Courses Prior to Enrollment

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 2 program, thus entering the program in the second year of study. Applicants who have received a non-accredited degree in architecture or landscape architecture may also receive advanced placement, upon review of the Admissions Committee. Note that the Admissions Committee reserves the right to place students in the program that it deems appropriate, on the basis of portfolio evaluation, transcript evaluation, and overall preparation.

Required Application Materials

All candidates must submit an online application. The following application materials may be submitted over time; however, all materials must be submitted by January 15, 2019. 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. Personal and academic information.

2. A statement of objective of educational and career goals.

3. A resume/curriculum vita (to include education and employment history, honors, awards, and extracurricular activities).

4. 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 will be submitted through the online application. Please note that, along with other contact information, the applicant will need to provide each recommender's accurate e-mail address.

5. A nonrefundable $85 application fee. Note: The $85 application fee will be waived for applicants who complete their online application by December 14. Beginning December 15, the application fee is $85, and must be paid online by credit card.

6. Official transcripts. Upload a digital copy (PDF format) of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. When submitting digital academic records from multiple schools, please organize those records for submission in a single PDF upload.
*NOTE: At a later stage in our process, usually the summer before enrollment, applicants who are admitted and plan to enroll must arrange for us to receive official, hard-copy transcripts. At that time, only official transcripts sent to us directly from the schools attended will be allowed. Also during the summer before enrollment, students who have attended a Chinese university must have their degree verified—in English—by the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center. The degree confirmation should include verification of the English versions of final transcripts and degree certificates. All verification reports must be sent to us directly by the CDGDC to be considered official. Official transcripts as well as degree verifications are due to our office no later than August 1.

7. GRE scores are highly recommended, as they provide an important measure of your abilities and academic strengths. To ensure official test score reports arrive from the testing service as needed, please use our institution code (6929) and department code (4401) to share your official test information with us.(Questions? Contact

8. English language scores (if the applicant’s native language is not English). A Test of 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. In accordance with Washington University’s language standards, the minimum acceptable TOEFL scores are 90 on the Internet-based test, 577 on the paper-based test, or 233 on the computer-based test. The IELTS score minimum is 6.5. Note that an exception to the English test score requirement is made for candidates who have studied a minimum of 3 years toward a baccalaureate degree in the United States. To ensure official TOEFL test score reports arrive as needed, please use our institution code (6929) and department code (12) when making arrangements with the testing agency. IELTS scores must be sent in hard-copy form to our office (see address on the final page of these instructions.)

9. Portfolio. A digital portfolio showing examples of design work or work in the visual arts must be uploaded to our online application system. Please carefully review the instructions below.

The work represented in the portfolio—whether it includes drawings, photographs of architectural models, or artwork (including various types of media such as paintings, sculpture, ceramics, or photography)—should be the best examples of the applicant’s efforts.

Applicants who have not studied architecture previously should submit at least 15 examples of work in the visual arts and—if available—in the constructive arts (for example, photographs and drawings from small, three-dimensional built projects such as furniture, kiosks, or decks). The overall intention is to show work that demonstrates potential for accomplishment in further creative study.

Applicants who have pursued formal studies in architecture or landscape architecture must include examples of their design work related to those areas, but are also welcome to include examples of other artistic endeavors.

Important: Applicants submitting work done collaboratively, either in school or in the profession, should note that the work was not entirely completed through their own efforts and should be as specific as possible about the extent of their personal involvement in such projects.

Portfolio Formatting/Technical Requirements
- Please submit the portfolio as a single PDF document, with a maximum file size of 20 MB and a maximum resolution of 150 dpi. All work should be produced in high-resolution digital images.

- Prepare the file for computer monitor viewing (i.e., horizontal orientation), with text that is at least 8 points large so that it is legible when viewed full-screen.

- Applicants may submit a maximum of 25 pages (note: 2-page spreads count as one page). Front and back cover pages are allowed and would increase the maximum page limit to 27.

- The layout of the portfolio pages should be clear, with brief descriptions for each piece or project.


Applicants who are submitting IELTS scores must arrange to have the testing service send a hard-copy report of the scores to our office.

Our mailing address is:

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

Joint Degree Applications

To gain admission to a joint 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 joint degree programs, click here.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Support

Scholarship support from Washington University is the most common form of financial support, with 95% of our graduate students—both domestic and international—receiving awards. It is our intention to provide an outstanding education at a manageable cost to prepare candidates for a productive professional career. To receive consideration for scholarship awards, it is necessary to 1) indicate in the online application that you want to apply for scholarship funding (see Question #2 in the Academic Information section of the online form) and 2) complete an appropriate financial aid form as described on our website. The deadline for submitting the financial aid/scholarship application is February 15th. Note that in addition to scholarship consideration, domestic candidates (U.S. citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents) are typically offered Federal loan opportunities to supplement scholarship funding.

An application for financial assistance (i.e., scholarships) will not influence decisions for admission to the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design. In other words, there is no penalty for seeking aid. However, failure to apply for scholarship aid by the February 15th scholarship application deadline could jeopardize or significantly reduce the chances of receiving such awards. Scholarship funding is limited; priority will be given to scholarship applications received on or before February 15.

In the 2018-2019 academic year, full-time tuition for students in the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design at Washington University is $25,575 per semester. The cost of tuition plus living expenses brings fall and spring semester expenses (i.e., a 9-month period) to an estimated total of $75,693. As noted above, most students receive scholarship support to offset the cost of attendance. Scholarship awards are based on separate considerations of academic excellence and financial need. Rather than concentrating larger awards to fewer students, our policy is to provide aid to as many applicants as possible by distributing awards to more students. For more information about the financial aid application process, click here.

Non-Discrimination Policy

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.