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M.Arch Advanced Placement Evaluation

MassArt's M.Arch Program Director, in collaboration with the Office of Admissions, Departmental Faculty and the Graduate Dean, evaluates all M.Arch applicants for placement into Track I (pre-professional and professional coursework) and Track II (professional coursework), and for advanced placement in Track I or for transfer credit in either program. This evaluation includes review of portfolios, college-level transcripts and documentation of prior architecture coursework or experience.

Portfolio Review

Application portfolios are reviewed for placement in the design studio sequence. Architecture studio work must be of high quality, demonstrate developed concepts and design ability, and must be comparable to work expected in corresponding M.Arch studio courses, in order for advanced placement to be granted.

Track I portfolios demonstrate design ability and may include art, fabrication, building and/or architectural work. Track I (102 credits) is designed for applicants holding a bachelor's degree in a non-architectural discipline, and applicants with a degree in architecture who upon review do not meet the requirements for entry into Track II.

Portfolios for acceptance into Track II must demonstrate an applicant's ability to manipulate structural and environmental systems and to integrate these systems into the design work presented. Track II applicants hold a bachelor's degree in architecture or a related field.

Transcript Review

Application transcripts are reviewed for architectural courses from prior pre-professional or professional education. To be approved for M.Arch course substitution or transfer credit, courses must meet the minimum transfer grade of B- or better, and demonstrate parity in content and NAAB Student Performance Criteria (NAAB Conditions for Accreditation document) with corresponding M.Arch requirements.

In addition, transfer credit is approved only for graduate level courses as evidenced on a graduate transcript, and courses must not have been applied towards a prior degree. Undergraduate courses may be approved for course exemptions or waivers. Course content is reviewed based upon documentation submitted for evaluation as described below. Transcripts are also reviewed to determine the number of non-architecture-major courses students have taken in their undergraduate degrees.

Submission of Documentation

Applicants submit documentation in their admissions application, for review towards program placement, when they have prior architectural courses or experience. This includes M.Arch applicants who would like to be evaluated for advanced placement in Track I, for admission into Track II, or for transfer credit in either program.

All evaluations must be complete prior to matriculation and are final. Submission and review of course and work experience documentation does not guarantee acceptance towards M.Arch requirements.

Courses Requiring Documentation

See M.Arch Program Requirements and Course Descriptions for comparison with prior educational experience.

Track I: Applicants may provide documentation for any successfully completed college-level coursework or work experience corresponding to the following M.Arch requirements. With the exception of Structures Overview, these are the Track I first year pre-professional requirements.

  • Structures and building systems courses: M.Arch EDAD 517 and EDAD-527 Structures I and II, EDAD-567 Building Operating Systems, and EDAD-577 Structures Overview. Structures faculty may also interview or test applicants.
  • History of architecture courses: M.Arch EDAD-516 and EDAD-526 History of Architecture and Urban Planning I and II
  • Construction/fabrication experience: EDAD-502 M.Arch Methods and Materials
  • Sustainable design courses evidenced in project work and theory: M.Arch EDAD-523 Sustainable Architecture
  • Professional practice courses: EDAD-535 M.Arch Professional Practice I
  • 2 electives in architecture or related fields

Track II: Applicants must provide documentation demonstrating completion of all M.Arch Track I first year pre-professional requirements - excluding EDAD-502 Methods and Materials and EDAD-532 Sustainable Architecture - in their prior educational or work experience. Any missing requirements must be taken in addition to Track II requirements.

Documentation Must Include

  • Official college transcript(s) with final grades (in program application). When courses are to be completed after program application, a final official transcript with grades must be submitted to the Admissions Office for final evaluation.
  • Course descriptions and course syllabi. Course syllabi include weekly topics, course assignments, list of books or reading materials required.
  • Where applicable the following materials shall also be submitted in support of course syllabi or experience: additional portfolio work, coursework, exams or papers, a letter from an employer documenting work experience.
  • International documents must be officially translated into English. For international college transcript admissions requirements, see International Students.


  1. Course waivers, requiring replacement with M.Arch courses, may be granted for undergraduate or graduate level coursework, and are offered in both Track I and II.
  2. Course exemptions, with reduction of credit load, may be granted for undergraduate and graduate level coursework, and are generally only offered in the Track I program.
  3. Transfer credit, with reduction of credit load, may be granted only for graduate level coursework included on a graduate transcript. Courses should not have been used towards a prior degree. Transfer credit may be offered in both Track I and II.

After review, a program evaluation specifying the accepted coursework and the balance of degree requirements to be taken at MassArt is issued to accepted applicants following the review. All program requirements missing the required documentation remain in the balance of courses to be taken in the M.Arch program. Required credits for M.Arch program completion are followed: Track I requires 81-102 credits depending on accepted prior coursework; Track II requires 60 graduate credits with a maximum of 6 graduate transfer credits. See Graduate Academic Policies. Registration information will be sent to applicants by the Program Director and Graduate Programs Office.

The M.Arch program begins in early June. International students are encouraged to submit program deposits as early as possible in order to obtain the I-20 and student visas.


Program Requirements

Course Descriptions  

Graduate Academic Policies

National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB)