This section provides a general overview of the admissions process. More information can be found under each specific degree within the five discipline groups.
Students who wish to study architecture at MIT at the undergraduate level must first be accepted to MIT. At the end of the first year MIT students decide which course of study they wish to pursue and declare a major in a specific department. Undergraduate applicants do not apply directly to the Department. They will use the MIT central admissions application.
Additional information and instructions for undergraduate applicants and transfer students are available in the MIT Admissions website:
Graduate program applications are processed within the Department of Architecture. Specific procedures and requirements vary depending on the degree program and discipline. Applicants should follow instructions detailed under the degree program of their interest. Be sure to follow the Application Instructions and read through the FAQs.
See specific program admissions requirements:
Admissions Requirements (all applicants)
The Application Deadline is December 31 at midnight for all applications. Application material must be submitted by the deadline. Late applications will not be reviewed. It is the responsibility of the applicant to be sure that the application is completed.
Three letters of recommendation. Letters from instructors are preferred unless you have been working for several years, in which case supervisors may be included. The application can be submitted with fewer than three letters, but be sure to remind your instructors to complete their letters. Applications still missing two or more letters when review begins will not be reviewed. Review the instructions for letter submission in the "Letters Status" section of the application system. Applicants will send prepared emails to the recommenders containing a secure link to the recommendation form. We prefer that letters be submitted through the online application, and not a third-party letter distributor.
Transcripts for all relevant degrees, official or unofficial, must be uploaded to the application system. PDFs must be clearly readable and oriented correctly on the screen. Only those applicants who are accepted for admission will be required to send a hard copy of an official, sealed transcript (with English translation) from each school attended. Please do not have official copies sent to our office unless you are admitted. Certificate and community college transcripts do not need to be sent unless the courses are not also listed on your primary college transcripts. Non-English transcripts must be translated into English, and if necessary, signed by a licensed notary and accompanied by the original version.
In addition to transcripts, applicants should complete the Subjects Taken section with any relevant course work. If you have taken studios, indicate this on the Test Scores/Experience/Electronic Portfolio section.
IELTS or TOEFL Score.
Applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit either an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score (Academic test) or a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), regardless of citizenship or residency in the U.S. while attending other educational institutions. No exceptions are made. The admissions committee regards English proficiency as crucial for success in all degree programs. In order to meet the admissions deadline, it is recommended that candidates take the IELTS or TOEFL on the earliest possible date.
Applicants must request that an official copy of their test results be sent directly to MIT by IELTS International or Educational Testing Service. IELTS and TOEFL Scores must be no older than two years as of the date of application. To avoid delays, please use the following codes when having your TOEFL scores sent to MIT:
- Institutional Code: 3514
- Department Code: 12
The minimum score required for MArch candidates is 7 and the minimum TOEFL score is 600 (250 for computer-based test, 100 for Internet-based test). While either test score is accepted, the IELTS score is preferred.
All students whose first language is not English are required to take the English Evaluation Test (EET) prior to registration at MIT. Even students who satisfy the IELTS/TOEFL requirement for admission may be required to take specialized subjects in English as a Second Language (ESL), depending on their EET results. These subjects do not count toward the required degree credits.
Curriculum Vitae, uploaded to the system.
A portfolio of work, uploaded to the application. See program-specific instructions for portfolio requirements.
An Essay of one or two pages must be uploaded to the application system. Indicate why you are applying, and describe your qualifications for the degree.
A non-refundable Application Fee of $75 USD. You will need to submit a credit card number on the Architecture Graduate Application to process this fee. If you have a financial hardship, you may apply for an Application Fee Waiver: http://gradadmissions.mit.edu/feewaiver
Submission of completed application form by the application deadline.
You may apply to two different programs within the Department of Architecture. If you are considering two programs, it may be useful for you to discuss your plans with our admissions staff. The link to apply is: http://gradapply.mit.edu/architecture/apply.
An interview is not required for application but are recommended for all the PhD programs, the Master of Science in Art Culture and Technology (SMACT) and Master of Science in Building Technology programs (SMBT).
Applicants should use the online application system to submit a new application and enter all the required information. Official test scores that have been sent to us electronically in prior years are still in our records, but applicants should upload all documents to the system, and request new recommendation letters.
MIT is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment and abides by its nondiscrimination policy in administering the admissions process.
Tuition and Finances
The philosophy of the Department of Architecture is based upon a desire to maintain a diverse student body and encourage those who have the interest and ability to succeed in the profession, regardless of their financial resources. The Department wants to make it possible for all of our students to graduate with a debt no larger than they can reasonably expect to repay while working in their profession. Financial aid from the Department is in the form of direct tuition awards and Departmental employment.
Financial aid awards for incoming students are on a merit basis and are made upon admission. In general, PhD students are funded on financial aid packages that consist of a Teaching Assistantship (TA) or Research Assistantship (RA) salary component, plus a tuition component. TA or RA assignments are made by the faculty Discipline Group Director at the beginning of each term.
Financial aid awards to Master's degree students are in the form of a partial tuition award. Master's degree students are also eligible to compete for work opportunities in the form of Teaching or Research Assistantships, or hourly positions available in the department.
Students are eligible for financial support from the Department, both tuition and/or Departmental employment, for the period of the standard residency requirement of the degree program. For PhD students this is up to a maximum of ten semesters. For MArch students entering in Year 1 or with advanced entry in Year 2, the maximum number of semesters of eligibility is seven and five, respectively. SMArchS, SMBT and SMACT students are eligible for a total of four semesters of financial aid.
Students in all degree programs must be registered as a full-time resident graduate student for the period of the award, and be in good academic standing in order to be eligible for continued financial aid.
In all cases, students should refer to the details laid out in the offer of admission.
MIT tuition and fees are posted by the Registrar. TA, RA and hourly rates are set by the Institute and the Department.
Additional information is found on the handbook section.
The tuition rate for the 2016-2017 academic year is $48,140. Students are also assessed a Student Activity Fee of $312 per year which cannot be paid by MIT funds. The tuition component of a financial aid award is applied directly to the student's account in the Bursar's Office. Academic year awards are divided equally between the Fall and Spring terms.
Payment in full, or a satisfactory arrangement for payment, is due in advance of Registration Day of each term. Students may opt for a Bursary Payment Plan to pay tuition in monthly installments. This plan involves a finance charge.
The office of Student Accounts coordinates the billing and collects payment for the official Institute charges, including on-campus housing, medical insurance, tuition, and the Student Activity Fee. Questions or concerns about student accounts, billing, charges and/or payments should be directed to the Student Financial Services/Student Services Center, 11-120, http://web.mit.edu/sfs.
To research additional fellowship opportunities, please sign up and check out MIT’s online financial literacy platform iGrad, where you will find a searchable scholarship database. Some other good databases can be found at: https://www.petersons.com/; and http://college.usatoday.com/2016/01/06/best-scholarship-resources/ (some may require registration).
Diversity is important to MIT in general, and to the Department of Architecture in particular. We have made a substantial commitment to outreach and recruitment of diverse students and faculty. Some years ago, a school-wide Diversity Committee was created to monitor and review department efforts, particularly in regard to faculty hiring. After a comprehensive self-study, the department hosted a conference on African-Americans in architecture, began to develop pipeline initiatives in relation to traditionally black universities, and created an Under-Represented Minority Committee to review admission policies for our graduate programs. These are indicators of our intention to move aggressively to improve our existing figure of more than 30% minority and women faculty, in the belief that numerous perspectives and multiple role models are necessary for the future of the architectural profession.
The Department of Architecture offers regularly scheduled tours of the Department of Architecture facilities on Thursdays at 11 a.m. Admissions staff or students lead the tours as well as answer questions about our programs. No tours are offered in January and February during the admissions application period.
To arrange a tour, complete our Tour Request Form. Please, no drop-ins outside of scheduled tour hours. We are unable to conduct tours without notice.
The Institute offers regularly scheduled student-led campus tours, Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. A self-guided MIT Mobile Campus tour app is also available. For details, go to http://institute-events.mit.edu/visit/tours.
Representatives from the Department will be available at three college fairs this fall:
Boston Society of Architects Architecture/Design College Fair (for high school and college students) Saturday, September 24, 2016, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm BSA Space, 290 Congress St. Suite 200, Boston, MA
The National Organization of Minority Architects 2016 NOMA Conference Graduate School Fair Friday, October 14, 2016, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Exhibit Hall, Westin LAX Hotel 5400 W. Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
The AIAS FORUM 2016 Boston, College + Career Expo, Friday, December 30, 2016, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, The Westin Copley Place Hotel, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA
We send all notifications of admission and wait list status by email, and many students will also receive telephone calls, beginning in early to Mid-March and running until April 1. All admitted applicants will have until April 15 to let us know if they accept our offer. If we do not receive notification that you accept our offer by April 15, the offer is rescinded. Because we may not hear from some admitted applicants until April 15, those admitted from wait list status may not receive notification of admission before April 15.
We will send admitted and wait list applicants a link to a website to view the letter and to respond to the offer. For admitted applicants, the site contains information about the Spring Open House for Admitted Students. Those planning to enroll will be required to have official, unopened copies of their transcripts sent to our office. After April 20, those who accept the offer will receive a link to a Fall Preparation Website that will provide information necessary for email setup, orientation, registration and housing.
Additional information for newly admitted students is provided by the Institute: http://web.mit.edu/admissions/graduate/admitted_students.html
Council of Graduate Schools Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees and Assistants
Acceptance of an offer of financial support *(such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by a prospective or enrolled graduate student completes an agreement that both student and graduate school expect to honor. In that context, the conditions affecting such offers and their acceptance must be defined carefully and understood by all parties.
Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer. It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution or a link to the URL should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer.