Architecture Track: PhD

Application Deadlines

December 15

Apply by this date if you would like an early decision. Decisions are usually emailed to applicants by early March.

April 1

Final application deadline.

Fall Admission Only

There is no spring admission. Both deadlines are for admission to the design graduate program beginning the following fall semester. You will be notified via email about funding decisions on average four weeks after you have been accepted into the program.

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Minimum Requirements

Professional degree
A professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree is required for admission to study architecture at the doctoral level. In this program, students prepare for positions in teaching, research, and practice. Experience in architecture practice is also desired. 

If you do not have a professional M.Arch degree and are interested in education that would prepare you for architecture practice, please view information about our accredited Master of Architecture program.

Application Materials

All materials must be received by the program's deadline. The program’s review process takes between four and six weeks once the application is complete. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. After faculty review your application, a faculty member may contact you for a follow-up on-line video, or telephone interview.

Materials required for all applicants

  • Complete University of Minnesota Graduate School Application
  • CV
  • Strong academic record with a preferred 3.0 GPA
  • Personal statement of your academic and professional goals for the degree desired (1–2 pages)
  • Diversity statement (1–2 pages; make relevant for the Diversity of View and Experience Fellowship if applying)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE scores) are not required for the Arch PhD track of the Design Graduate Program, but many scholarships require GRE scores (school code is 6874)
  • Three letters of recommendation written by individuals who can judge your academic performance and promise as a student
  • All transcripts
  • Application fee of $75, international students pay $95
  • A portfolio of 15–20 examples of current work (PDF file format), or a link to a website
  • A writing sample (PDF file format) authored solely by the applicant that demonstrates the applicant’s writing skills and ability to analyze information and develop an argument and/or conclusion based on the analysis (5,000 words maximum)
    • Samples with multiple authors will not be accepted.
  • A description of research or research proposal (PDF file format)

Note: New students are not admitted to the Design Graduate Program: Architecture Track to pursue a doctoral degree without a professional Master of Architecture degree.

For applicants who are non-native English speakers

  • TOEFL or IELTS scores submitted in PDF file format to the University of Minnesota (school code: 6874)
  • Minimum accepted TOEFL scores are:
    • Total Score: 79
    • Writing Subscore: 21
    • Reading Subscore: 19
  • Minimum accepted IELTS scores are:
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Writing Subscore: 6.5
    • Reading Subscore: 6.5

NOTE: If you will earn or have earned an undergraduate degree in the United States you do not need to submit English language test scores.


As a new program, we are not funded, so prospective students need to know that we are not able to provide support in the form of teaching or research assistantships, except through individual faculty members who may have research positions through grants. Unlike many PhD programs, we are not in a position to offer tuition support or other support as a part of any acceptance package.