The Master of Science (M.S.) in Architecture is an academic, nonprofessional degree program that offers the opportunity for advanced research in the ever-broadening and increasingly complex subfields within architecture. Some students enter with a degree in architecture, or occasionally while here will get an additional Master of Architecture degree (the professional degree accredited for the practice of architecture). But neither is required, and the undergraduate degrees of our entering M.S. students are diverse.
1. GRADUATE DIVISION APPLICATION
Submit the UC Berkeley Graduate Division online application, completing all of its sections.
2. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This is your academic statement. It should include a description of why you want to study your proposed subject field, why you want to study at UC Berkeley, and how our program can help you achieve your professional goals. For additional information, see our frequently asked questions page.
Note to Ph.D. applicants and applicants to the academic master's degree programs: The admissions committee will read your Statement of Purpose seeking an account of your prior research experience and looking for evidence that you are prepared to undertake a significant, sophisticated, independent and in-depth research project. Your competence and intellectual potential to undertake research is among the most important criteria considered by the admissions committee.
ARCHITECTURE PH.D. AND M.S. APPLICANTS ONLY
Architecture Ph.D. and Master of Science applicants should structure their Statement of Purpose as follows:
Part 1: Goals (500 words). A statement describing your general academic and career goals, the field(s) in which you would like to study, and why you wish to attend UC Berkeley in particular (you may want to refer to specific classes, faculty, or research projects that interest you). Your ideas should be clear, specific and persuasive.
Part 2: Research Proposal (500 words). An example of a specific research proposal that you may wish to undertake while at UC Berkeley. You may present a single proposal, or perhaps two alternates, about your dissertation Although you are not committed to do precisely what you propose (and, if fact, it is expected that your ideas will evolve during your studies), the committee will use this proposal to assess your ability to conceptualize a research plan. Your research proposal should succinctly frame a research question, articulate why it is important, demonstrate an understanding of the relevant literature and gaps in current knowledge, and identify what types of research methods one might apply to address the problem. If possible, identify faculty in architecture and/or other departments with whom you would like to work.
3. PERSONAL HISTORY STATEMENT
The Personal History Statement should convey how a combination of life experiences, idealism, role models, education and work experiences have influenced your decision to apply. You may also include any educational, familial, cultural, economic or social experiences, challenges or opportunities relevant to your academic journey. For tips on writing the Personal History Statement, see UC Berkeley's Personal Statement Guide.
ARCHITECTURE PH.D. AND M.S. APPLICANTS ONLY
Architecture Ph.D. and Master of Science applicants should structure their Personal History Statement as follows:
This essay (500 words, maximum) is a narrative description of your life background in terms of how it has prepared you for this next stage of your studies. It should describe relevant aspects of your life story and achievements, as well as educational and cultural opportunities or circumstances that supported or deprived you of such achievements; family background; economic circumstances; special interests and abilities; and community or social service involvement. Throughout, be selective in describing things that specifically relate to your academic goals and intellectual pursuits. In particular, please be sure to focus on details of your research experience, and how your background has prepared you for the next stage of your studies.
4. THREE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
A minimum of three letters of recommendation must be submitted via the UC Berkeley Graduate Division online application by the application deadline. Applicants may submit additional letters if desired. Only letters that are submitted online will be considered. If your recommender is having trouble with the submittal system, please contact your graduate program adviser.
Applicants to the College of Environmental Design's graduate programs may be required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and/or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)/International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. See the table below for the examination(s) required by your program. Please plan ahead and schedule your examinations at least one month prior to the application deadline so that we may have timely receipt of your scores.
ProgramDomestic ApplicantsInternational Applicants
Master of ArchitectureRequired* Not Required*Required*
Master of City PlanningRequired Required Required
Ph.D. City and Regional PlanningRequired Required Required
Master of Landscape ArchitectureRequired Not RequiredRequired
Ph.D. Landscape ArchitectureRequired Required Required
Master of Urban DesignRequired Not RequiredRequired
*M.Arch applicants must submit scores from one type of exam. Those who must meet the English Language Proficiency Requirementshould submit TOEFL scores(IELTS scores can be submitted in place of TOEFL scores), and all others should submit GRE scores.
Applicants taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must have their official scores reported to the UC Berkeley Graduate Division by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Only GRE scores taken after June 2013 are valid. There is no minimum score requirement.
GRE SCHOOL AND DEPARTMENT CODES
GRE School Code: 4833
GRE Architecture Department Code: 4401
GRE City and Regional Planning Department Code: 4402
GRE Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Department Code: 4405
GRE Urban Design Program Code: 4406
All international applicants from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate English-language proficiency by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination.
The TOEFL and IELTS must have been taken after June 2016 . Minimum required scores are 570 for the paper-based test, 90 for the internet-based test (iBT), and a 7 on the IELTS.
TOEFL SCHOOL AND DEPARTMENT CODES
TOEFL School Code: 4833
TOEFL Architecture Department Code: 12
TOEFL City and Regional Planning Department Code: 97
TOEFL Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Department Code: 99
TOEFL Urban Design Department Code: 99
Submit an electronic or scanned copy of your official transcript(s) in PDF format from every post-secondary school that you have attended, including community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. Please make sure that transcript images are properly rotated, and not sideways or upside-down, and remove your Social Security number and birth date before submittal.
7. RESUME OR CURRICULUM VITAE
Submit an electronic copy of your resume or curriculum vitae that includes any publications, awards, or community/volunteer experiences you may have.
8. PORTFOLIO/EXHIBIT OF CREATIVE WORK
A digital portfolio is required for applicants to the following degree programs:
Master of Architecture
Master of City Planning — Urban Design Concentration
Master of Landscape Architecture — First and Second Professional Degrees
Master of Urban Design
The portfolio may contain up to 12 pages (8-1/2"x11"-format) of design content. Please note that beyond 12 pages, your portfolio may not be reviewed. Title page and/or table of contents may be submitted, and will not count toward the 12 pages of content. The digital portfolio should showcase recent, high-quality work, and will be judged on both content and overall design. Applicants without professional training may submit work that shows other evidence of creativity (studio art, construction/renovation, furniture design, etc.) and clearly demonstrates interest in the proposed subject field. Any material that is not entirely the applicant's own work must be clearly identified.
Portfolio must be saved as a single file in PDF format, and submitted via the UC Berkeley Graduate Division online application. The filesize must be no larger than 10MB. If your portfolio PDF file exceeds 10MB, try compressing it in Adobe Acrobat.
Note to M.Arch applicants: The portfolio may be in a two-page spread format, and any dimensions may be used. Please keep in mind the review will take place on monitors of varying size.
9. RECENT PUBLICATION, REPORT OR WRITING SAMPLE
A recent publication, report or writing sample must be submitted by applicants to the following degree programs:
Master of Landscape Architecture — Environmental Planning Emphasis
Master of Science in Architecture
Ph.D. in Architecture
Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning
Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (recent publication required, whether published or pending publishing)
The publication, report or writing sample should support the applicant's Statement of Purpose and clearly demonstrate research and writing abilities and/or analytical skills.
Publication, report or writing sample must be saved as a single file in PDF format, 50 pages maximum (no minimum page requirement), and submitted via the UC Berkeley Graduate Division online application. Filesize must be no larger than 10MB.
The department offers an accredited professional Master of Architecture (MArch), a post-professional MArch degree (Studio One), Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.
Master of Architecture (MArch)
The Master of Architecture program is designed to provide students seeking their first accredited professional degree with a comprehensive and challenging education leading to the practice of architecture. Graduate students have the flexibility to choose a variety of paths within a two-to-three-year rigorous program, depending upon previous education and experience. The department makes no restriction as to the field of undergraduate preparation. However, the length of the required residence period, the number of required semester course units, and the specific list of required courses may vary depending upon undergraduate major, professional and other work experience, and previous graduate study, if any. The placement into the program will be decided by the Master of Architecture Committee upon reviewing the application.
Master of Architecture (MArch)
STUDIO ONE is a one-year post-professional design studio intended for those who have a professional (accredited Bachelor of Architecture) degree, and who wish to continue to explore current design issues in a stimulating, rigorous, and experimental studio setting. Students who complete the program will receive a non-professional Master of Architecture degree. The two-semester studio course is at the core of the program and is integrated with required seminars, lectures, and workshops in design theory, history, urbanism, digital applications, and building technology.
Master of Science (MS)
This nonprofessional degree program offers the opportunity for advanced research in specialized areas within the architecture curriculum. This research degree is appropriate for those who already hold a degree in architecture but wish to study a particular subfield. Applicants from related disciplines may be accepted into the program, provided they demonstrate experience related to the discipline of architecture.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This advanced degree prepares students with outstanding academic records for research and teaching in architecture and environmental design. It is a research-oriented program, in which the student chooses specific fields of specialization, prepares sufficiently in the literature and research of those fields to pass written and oral examinations, and completes original research culminating in the written dissertation. The PhD program provides detailed focus in specific study areas, including architectural design theory and criticism; architectural technologies, including building science and building performance; the history of architecture and urban design; environmental design in developing countries; and the social and cultural basis of design.