Saturday, August 7, 2010

How to obtain a MArch?

I have a bachelor's degree in art and furniture design, and I am interested in pursuing a master's degree in architecture. I have began researching what steps I need to take in order to achieve this, but I am becoming discouraged because I have a poor GPA from my undergraduate work. I had always planned on getting an MFA, which is based heavily on portfolios for admissions, so I wasn't terribly worried about the fact that I graduated with a 2.6 GPA. To my knowledge most Admissions don't rely solely on GPA but a combination of GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and so on. If I apply to a program for which I don't meet the minimum GPA requirements am i wasting my time, or could admissions be swayed by exceptional test scores and portfolio?

Is there any advice you could give for someone looking for NAAB certified program that would accept a student with such a low GPA?

First, I suggest you review the ARCHCareers blog ( and consider obtaining Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition available from

Given that your undergraduate GPA is less than the 3.00 GPA required by most graduate programs, I would suggest the following:

1) Obtain your transcript and fully analyze it; when did you get less than grades of B. What is your major GPA? What is your GPA over the last 60 credit hours or last two years? Why was your academic performance less than 3.00? Did you have reasons for your grades? Once you fully understand your academics, you can better provide your application.

2) Consider taking a graduate level course in architecture at a school as a non-degree student and perform well. By doing so, you can demonstrate your performance separate from you undergraduate.

3) Ensure that the other aspects of your application are stellar especially your portfolio. You are coming from a creative discipline, so ensure that your portfolio is strong.

4) Contact each school you are considering to inquire how to best submit your application with your academics.

You are not wasting your time, but do understand that most graduate programs typically have to support your application to the Graduate College when you do not meet the minimum requirement. By a strong portfolio or graduate level courses, you make it easier for them to write that support.

Dr. Architecture

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