Master of Architecture: Admissions Requirements
Application to the Master of Architecture (MArch) program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is open to students who have earned an undergraduate degree. Students should have taken one course in college-level algebra and one course in college-level physics to begin the Master of Architecture program.
The SAIC Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO) department requires an online application. You will need a valid credit card and current email address in order to complete the form. Please review the following requirements carefully before submitting your application:
- Applications for the fall semester must be submitted no later than January 15. No applications are accepted for spring semester.
- There is an $80 nonrefundable application fee ($100 for international applications). The application fee is discounted by 50% from September 1 through November 30.
- You must upload one 500- to 750-word statement of purpose that describes the history of your interests and experiences in design, your personal and professional motivations and goals, and your reasons for pursuing graduate study at SAIC. Upload your statement of purpose to the online application.
- In addition to your application, you must submit an ePortfolio by 11:59 p.m. (CST) on January 16. Your portfolio should include a minimum of five different projects documented in up to 20 images, or up to 10 minutes of time-based work, or a combination of the two as appropriate. Applicants with no previous experience in design can submit a critical writing sample or a visual "essay" in lieu of a traditional design portfolio.
- A current résumé is required. Upload your résumé to the online application.
- An interview is required. Please contact the AIADO department prior to the application deadline at 312.629.6650 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your interview.
You also must submit an official college transcript and two letters of reference for admission into the program. You can ask your references to upload their letter to your online application or mail them directly to the school. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and work experience in architecture, interior design, or a related field is recommended, but not required.
Students with undergraduate preprofessional bachelor's degrees in architecture or architectural technology may request admission to SAIC's MArch Option II degree program. Applicants must request consideration for Option II status in a letter with their application to the MArch program.
Students who request Option II consideration may be placed into the regular MArch track if their undergraduate transcripts and syllabi do not include courses covering all of the topics included in the first year of SAIC's degree program.
This consideration is made after admission to the Master of Architecture program and is dependent on available space as well as a college transcript showing completion of the following classes:
- 6 semester credit hours in building science
- 3 semester credit hours in structural engineering
- 6 semester credit hours in architectural history
- 6 semester credit hours in design studios
Per NAAB requirements, students requesting Option II status should mail a binder of the syllabi and work produced in the courses listed above to the program director by April 1.