Applicants are evaluated on an individual basis for placement in the Master of Architecture Program. In order to be considered for admission to the M.Arch.2, Advanced Professional Studies option, each applicant’s previous undergraduate transcript, portfolio and standardized tests are reviewed for completion of a four-year pre-professional architecture or environmental design degree from a school with an NAAB-accredited B.Arch. or M.Arch. program or equivalent and for successful completion of studies equivalent to required professional courses within the M.Arch.3 curriculum at Virginia Tech. Students who, in the judgment of the faculty, have adequate preparation are given advanced status and are eligible for consideration for admission to the M.Arch.2 program. Where slight deficiencies in preparation exist, applicants may be admitted with the stipulation that they complete additional semesters of design work or additional supporting coursework. Applicants to the M.Arch.2 program who, in the judgment of the Graduate Architecture Program faculty, do not demonstrate sufficient preparation may instead be offered admission into the M.Arch.3 program.
Pre-Admission Transcript Review
Applicant’s academic transcript(s) from previous degree program(s) is reviewed for demonstration of the student’s successful performance in university level course work. A minimum of 114 total university-level semester credit hours, of which 45 semester credit hours must be outside architectural studies either as general studies or as electives with other than architectural content, must be completed prior to enrollment in the M.Arch.2 program. Specific coursework is evaluated as to its ability to be equivalent to required professional courses within the M.Arch.3 curriculum at Virginia Tech. Previous coursework should include the following:
- A minimum of two semesters of coursework equivalent to the required Building Materials and Construction – ARCH 5565-66 – courses, including building assembly, materials and methods of construction, accessibility, life-safety, code compliance, and cost control issues.
- Coursework equivalent to the required Building Environmental Systems (ARCH 5755G) course.
- A minimum of 2 semesters of coursework equivalent to the required Intermediate Building Structures (ARCH 5775-76G) courses, and corresponding prerequisites in Statics and Strengths of Materials, equivalent to Basic Principles of Structures (ESM 3704).
- One or more survey courses in Architectural History & Theory, covering relevant aspects of the content of the required Qualifying Design Seminar (ARCH 4705-06) and History of Architecture courses.
Pre-Admission Portfolio Review
Applicant portfolios are also reviewed for demonstration of the student’s aesthetic judgment, basic design ability, visual investigation skills, and abilities in architectural design, including site design, identification of building elements and materials and an understanding of their assembly, integration of building systems, a knowledge of building structure, and other evidence of understanding and abilities conforming to NAAB student performance criteria. Specific coursework is evaluated as to its ability to be equivalent to required professional courses within the M.Arch.3 curriculum at Virginia Tech. Previous coursework is evaluated for the following:
- Course work equivalent to ARCH 4715-16 Qualifying Design Laboratory
- Course work equivalent to ARCH 5515-16 Architecture & Systems Laboratory
- A comprehensive design project equivalent to ARCH 5755-56 Advanced Design Laboratory.
If admission is given to a student without an equivalent comprehensive design laboratory (studio), a note is sent via e-mail notifying the applicant of this deficiency with the cautionary note that the student will be required to enroll for the ARCH 5755-56 Advanced Design Laboratory if additional evidence is not forthcoming.
On or before the first week of the student’s on-site enrollment, a personal interview is conducted by the academic advisor to review and evaluate the student’s transcript(s) and portfolio in order to establish a plan of study. Detailed questions address the student’s prior coursework. The student will be asked to show additional course materials, descriptions, and content if not clearly legible in the transcript and/or portfolio or on-line. In the case of the comprehensive design project, the student is asked to bring in additional documents to demonstrate ability if it is not demonstrated in the transcript or portfolio.