How to Apply
The application deadlines for Fall 2013 admission have passed, and we thank all of you who have applied! For those of you interested in applying for Fall 2014 admission we encourage you to begin preparing your application materials as soon as possible. Applications for Fall 2014 will be available here starting in August, so be sure to check back when you are ready to submit. Among the features of our online application is the ability to access your application to update or change your information any number of times until you submit the application to us. Please read through all the information below carefully before beginning your application. Please keep in mind that the information and dates below are in reference to the 2013-2014 year and are subject to change in August.
To create your on-line application account, access your current application, or to view your Notification Letter on March 14th 12pm EST, click here.
All applicants to degree programs must submit the following:
- - On-line application form
- - Application fee ($80)
- - One official transcript (sealed and stamped) from each college or university attended for credit
- - Unofficial, scanned transcript from each college or university attended for credit submitted on-line
- - Three letters of recommendation submitted on-line
- - Personal statement submitted on-line
- - Résumé submitted on-line
- - Graduate Record Examination scores (GRE) submitted by ETS, required of all but MFA applicants
- - International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), required of all applicants for whom English is a second language
- - Digital portfolio (applicants to Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Fine Arts and Urban Design programs)
- - Writing Sample (applicants to M.S. in Architecture, M.Arch. II, MEBD and Ph.D. programs)
Applications and on-line supporting material, including letters of recommendation, must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on the deadline date listed below. Material that you will be mailing to us, such as paper portfolios and official transcripts, must be received by us, NOT postmarked by the application deadline.
December 14 is the deadline for online submission of the application and receipt of all supporting material for
- - M.S. in Architecture
- - Ph.D. in Architecture
- - Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning
January 4 is the deadline for receipt of the application and all supporting materials (including digital portfolios) for
- - Master of Architecture I (professional)
- - Master of Architecture II/PPD (post-professional)
January 17 is the deadline for online submission of the application and receipt of all supporting material for all other programs, including
- - Master of Environmental Building Design (MEBD)
- - Master of City and Regional Planning
- - Master of Fine Arts
- - Master of Science in Historic Preservation
- - Master of Landscape Architecture
- - Master of Urban Spatial Analytics
The online application allows you to submit your non-refundable application fee of $80 by check or credit card. Once you have submitted your application, you will be asked for your payment method. If you choose to pay by credit card, the system will prompt you to enter your credit card information. All checks should be paid to the order of University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees and sent to PennDesign Admissions, 110 Meyerson Hall, 210 S. 34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6311.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
You must submit three (3) on-line letters of recommendation. It is recommended that at least two (2) letters of recommendation be from academic instructors. Applicants who have been out of school for several years may submit letters of recommendation from employers or others in a position to evaluate their professional abilities and academic potential. You will need your evaluators' e-mail addresses when you fill out the recommendation section of the application. As soon as you enter and save your recommenders' contact information, even before you've submitted the application, they will receive an e-mail soliciting their evaluations.
You must send us an official transcript from the Registrar of each college or university you have attended for credit. The transcript must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the Registrar's stamp across the back flap of the envelope. If we receive a transcript that is not in its sealed envelope, the transcript will considered invalid. Institutions that will not release official individual transcripts to students may send the transcripts directly to PennDesign Office of Admissions, 110 Meyerson Hall, 210 S. 34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6311. In addition to submitting the paper transcript by mail, we require that transcripts be submitted electronically through the online application. Applicants should scan a copy of each transcript into one document (jpeg or pdf) and then upload the file into the online application. Students are required to hold an undergraduate degree prior to entering the School of Design, and must submit official transcripts showing that they have received this degree before matriculation.
PERSONAL STATEMENT AND RÉSUMÉ
Both your personal statement and your résumé should be uploaded via the on-line application. Your résumé should include employment, activities, community service, education, and academic or professional honors. Your personal statement should be no more than 500 words long and should describe your background, your interest in the field to which you are applying, and your academic and career objectives. You should be as specific as you can about the area in which you plan to study.
MFA Applicants: Your résumé should exhibitions or performances, reviews, publications, and personal website if applicable. Your personal statement should be no more than 500 words long and should describe your background, ideas, as well as the stylistic and conceptual priorities for your work.
GRE (Graduate Record Examination) SCORES
With the exception of MFA applicants, all applicants must take the general GRE test regardless of whether they are from the U.S. or abroad. To register for the GRE, go to Educational Testing Service at www.gre.org/. We will accept both the old and new GRE. Official test scores must be sent by ETS to the School of Design. The correct institution code to use when requesting scores is 2926. You do not need a departmental code.
IELTS or TOEFL SCORES
All applicants whose native language is not English and whose undergraduate training has not been conducted in the English language must submit satisfactory certification of adequate English proficiency sufficient to pursue graduate study, both comprehension and expression in the spoken and written word. Applicants must submit scores of either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic). Applicants may register for the IELTS at www.ielts.org. Applicants may register for the TOEFL at www.ets.org/toefl. The correct institution code to use when requesting official TOEFL scores is 2926. You do not need a departmental code. Candidates admitted to the School of Design may be required to successfully complete an English Language Program prior to matriculation. They will be notified of this condition in their letter of admission. To be admitted without conditions, the Department of Architecture requires applicants to obtain a TOEFL score of 100 (iBT) or 600 (PBT) or higher, or an IELTS score of 7.5 or higher.
M.S. in Architecture and Ph.D. applicants must submit a sample (e.g. essay, research report) of their written work in English on the subject of their field of specialization in addition to their personal statement. Applicants to the Master of Environmental Building Design and Master of Architecture Post-Professional degrees must submit two samples of writing and a description of their computing skills and software proficiency. Writing samples should be uploaded into the online application.
Please click here for portfolio guidelines specific to each program. Please note that if you apply to a dual degree program, you may need to submit two portfolios if your programs require different formats or media. Please pay attention to the file size and page restrictions. All portfolios must be digital. MFA video portfolios should be mailed to PennDesign Admissions, 110 Meyerson Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6311. We will only return portfolios sent with a prepaid return envelope.