Admission | Master of Architecture | School of Architecture | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Applied Sciences and Arts



Visit the Graduate School website and complete the Online Application


Entrance to the program requires a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies degree or its equivalent. Each applicant will be reviewed individually in order to ascertain that all of the requirements for completing the accredited degree are fulfilled.


1. All applicants must complete the Graduate School Application

2. The School of Architecture requires:

  • A portfolio of student and/or professional work in digital format only,

  • 2-3 letters of recommendation, and

  • A statement of purpose.

Applicants may submit all required materials electronically through the Graduate School or may send them to:

School of Architecture - Master of Architecture Program
413 Quigley Hall, MC 4337
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
875 South Normal Street
Carbondale IL 62901-4303

*Please note that the online application system has a file size limit of 2 MB. Portfolios are best sent as a separate file from the application.  Please use a file sharing service to share your portfolio with  Digital portfolios are the required means to apply to the program. Please use a PDF file conforming to the standards noted below.  


Portfolio of Student and/or Professional Work:

  • Examples of work should include design studio work, professional presentation drawings and any related expressions that demonstrate the applicant’s design and communication abilities. Professional work should include a statement from the employer stating the role of the applicant in the process and product of any submitted work. Group projects should include the names of the members of the group that completed the work and indicate the applicant's role within the group.

  • Preferred sizes: up to 8 ½” * 11”

  • Maximum number of pages: 25

  • Covers and binding: simple and easy to read. Please place your name on the cover of your portfolio.

  • The filename for your portfolio must contain your full name as it appears on your application. Use last name first,then first name, and middle initial or name, followed by a hyphen and the word portfolio. For example, dobbinsjohnk-portfolio.pdf is a good filename meeting the requirements.  

  • If we are not able to use the file you submit for your portfolio, you will be contacted at the email on your application. Please be sure to check the email you use on your application regularly throughout the application process. An application missing a portfolio is considered incomplete at the time our admissions committee reviews applications.  

Letters of Recommendation

A minimum of two letters of recommendation is required. A third letter is optional, but preferred, as part of the application. Letters should be from persons who can evaluate the applicant’s academic qualifications, motivation, and potential as an architect. We prefer, but do not require, that at least two of the letters be from instructors familiar with your work, work ethic, and other qualifications for graduate study in architecture. Please use the Graduate School’s electronic submission option, if possible. Please provide a printed copy of the recommendation letter included with the Graduate School application to those referees who will send a letter by mail.

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose must not exceed one page. It should express academic and professional career goals and plans. Please be succinct, but discuss your interest in studying architecture, your interest in Southern Illinois University’s School of Architecture, and, if known, the idea for your design thesis project. We recommend that applicants review the information on writing a statement of purpose for graduate study at the Princeton Review.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is NOT required for the Master of Architecture Program. However, some scholarship and fellowship opportunities do require the GRE. Applicants are encouraged to submit test scores if the GRE has been completed.

International Applicants

International applicants must also supply:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores. The minimum required score is 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-based test), or 80 (Internet-based test). The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is acceptable in place of the TOEFL. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5. Students whose scores are below the university’s minimum will be required to enroll in at least one course in the Center for English as a Second Language at SIUC. This is determined by the Graduate School and not the School of Architecture.

  • Declaration and Certification of Finances for Admission to the Graduate School. This is required by the Graduate School. The School of Architecture will forward this information to the Graduate School once it has been decided that an applicant qualifies for admission.

Graduate Assistantships

The School of Architecture offers graduate assistantships (GAs) each year. We typically offer assistantships in several areas. Teaching assistants staff our computer lab, digital fabrication lab, and library. Course assistants are also used in teaching support in the School of Architecture. We do not assign TAs to be primary instructors in courses. All TAs work with a professor who is responsible for all primary teaching duties. We normally have TAs in architectural history, structures, computer applications, building technology - wood, and environmental systems courses.  We also hire GAs to work on the school web site and its social media sites. Research assistants are assigned to work with a faculty member. 

To indicate interest in service as a GA, include an updated resume indicating your experiences in the area to which you are applying and skills relevant to that position. We always need students with online learning management experience and you must be capable of working unsupervised in standard software like Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, Revit Architecture, and PhotoShop. Please also request consideration as a TA in your statement of intent.  

Minimum requirements to hold a GA in the School of Architecture are:

  • Normally, a 3.0 minimum GPA on the last sixty hours of undergraduate work, and 3.0 minimum GPA on graduate work completed* PLUS
  • Enrollment in graduate level coursework during each term in which you serve as a GA as required by the Graduate School at SIUC.

*We may offer an assistantship to a student who does not meet the GPA requirement in special circumstances.  Note that the 3.0 graduate GPA applies to work completed prior to the program and while enrolled in the program.  In other words, a GA must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to retain the GA in future semesters.  Students not able to maintain a 3.0 GPA should concentrate on their studies without the additional time commitment required to be a GA.  The student's educational goals remain the first priority.  


For full consideration for admission to the program, all materials need to arrive by the first day of business in February. Applications received after the first of February will be considered subject to available space in the program. Note: Letters of recommendation may arrive after the deadline. This deadline is only for the candidate’s materials.


Application materials are reviewed by the faculty of the School of Architecture. Each submission is evaluated individually and the decisions are based upon the quality of the portfolio, the strength of the academic record, the letters of recommendation, professional experience, and the commitment and clarity expressed in the letter of intent.


We begin sending admission information by email no later than the first week of March. Applicants will be offered admission to the program, placed on a waitlist for admission, or denied admission. Not all applicants receive notice of admission by the first week of March. Due to the nature of the admissions process, some students will hear from the program in the weeks following the first week of March. A waitlist is used as a means of holding the application of a qualified applicant to the program who was not ranked as highly by the admissions committee. We no longer send letters of admission by mail. Offers are sent via email and through the online application system. Please regularly check the email that you provide with your application throughout the admissions process!

Applicants offered admission are requested to notify the program as quickly as possible of their decision. Please let us know if you plan to attend the program or if you have decided to accept another admission offer. We need to know either way. As students decide their plans, we are able to open admissions to other qualified applicants on the waitlist. Students must respond to an offer of admission no later than April 15 each year. On that date, applicants who have been offered admission but have not responded are replaced with applicants on the waitlist.

From time to time, a student’s plans change very late in the admissions process. If this is the case with your application, please contact us immediately to make us aware of your change in plans. We would like to offer your position in the program to another student, if possible.


We are not able to offer return of application materials.