Graduate Admissions

  • Photo: Thomas MacDonald, MLA'15

Admissions Policies

Non-Discrimination Policy

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or (215) 898-6993 (Voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD).

Campus Security Report

The federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, as amended, requires colleges and universities to provide information related to security policies and procedures and specific statistics for criminal incidents, arrests, and disciplinary referrals to students and employees, and to make the information and statistics available to prospective students and employees upon request. Federal law also requires institutions with on-campus housing to share an annual fire report with the campus community. In addition, the Uniform Crime Reporting Act requires Pennsylvania colleges and universities to provide information related to security policies and procedures to students, employees and applicants; to provide certain crime statistics to students and employees; and to make those statistics available to applicants and prospective employees upon request. The University’s most recent annual report containing this information is online. You may request a paper copy of the report by calling the Office of the Vice President for Public Safety at 215-898-7515 or by emailing vp@publicsafety.upenn.edu.

Privacy of Applicant Data

Click here for the University of Pennsylvania Policy on the Privacy of Applicant Data.

Reapplication

If a former applicant reapplies to the School of Design within two years of the original application, he or she must submit a new application form, application fee, portfolio (if applicable) and transcripts of any additional academic work completed since the last application was filed. If an applicant wishes to reapply to the School of Design after two years, he or she must submit all new forms and supporting material.

An applicant may apply to a PennDesign program a maximum of three times. If the applicant is been denied admission for the third time, further applications to the same program will not be given consideration.

CGS Resolution

Acceptance of an offer of financial support for the next academic year by a prospective or enrolled graduate student completes an agreement that both student and graduate school expect to honor. 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 the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution regarding graduate scholars, fellows, trainees and assistants. The text of the CGS Resolution may be downloaded here. PennDesign is among the graduate schools that support this resolution.

Policy on Plagiarism

All material submitted in support of your application, including written work and images, must be your own. You will be asked to verify this before you submit your finished application. Failure to adhere to this policy or misrepresentation of materials included in your application as your own that have been created by others could result in rescission of your offer of admission.

All portfolio work, including images and concepts, must be original material created by you, and should be identified as academic, professional, or personal. If professional or team projects are included in the portfolio, you must clearly identify your specific role and responsibility in the production of the project. You should not under any circumstances represent the work by a group as your own; rather, you should highlight your specific role in the project and the work that is solely your own. 

All written submissions, including personal statements, writing samples, and research papers must be written by you in English. If English is not your first language, the writing sample may not be translated by an outside party.

Foreign Nationals and Architecture Accreditation

Although students who are foreign nationals and who hold a professional degree such as a Bachelor of Architecture from their home country will not be considered for our accredited Master of Architecture professional program, it is still possible for them to seek licensure in the U.S. with their degree through the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB). The three main requirements one must fulfill to be licensed in a U.S. jurisdiction include education, experience, and examination. You will need to have your education evaluated by NAAB through their Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA) program. Once your credentials have been evaluated, you will need to fulfill the training and examination requirements before you can be licensed. For more details about the accreditation process, go to https://www.ncarb.org/advance-your-career/ncarb-certificate/get-certified/foreign-architects.