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Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Programs

We offer four distinct graduate degrees, two professional and two academic:

The Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) is a three-year, NAAB-accredited program that prepares students for professional practice and other career paths. M.Arch. students may also pursue a concurrent degree in Urban Planning (M.Arch.I / M.U.R.P.).

The one-year Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design (M.S.AUD, formerly M.Arch.II) is a post-professional degree that combines theory and practical applications in collaboration with industry partners at the IDEAS campus. M.S.AUD students hold a profession five-year undergraduate degree in architecture or the foreign equivalent.

The two-year Master of Arts (M.A.), prepares students for research and teaching in fields related to architecture and urban design.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) is an advanced research degree organized around current scholarly debates. The length of time for completion averages six years.

The best question to ask here is whether the degree you currently hold makes you eligible to become a licensed architect in your home country. If it doesn’t, then you’d most likely need to apply to our three-year M.Arch. first professional program, as it is the only NAAB-accredited program at UCLA. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to choose our one-year M.S.AUD post-professional program. While it is not NAAB-accredited, it does provide further education for students with a five-year Bachelor of Architecture, or the foreign equivalent.

Students joining the post-professional program in Summer 2020 will be granted a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design (M.S.AUD, formerly M.Arch.II). This change responds to a new requirement by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) to clearly distinguish non-accredited post-professional degree programs from NAAB accredited professional degrees. The future M.S.AUD degree is consistent with the degrees granted by programs of similar duration, curriculum and course credits. The curriculum, requirements and credits associated with this program have not changed. The degree also remains STEM designated with eligibility for OPT extension.

The STEM OPT extension offers students on an F-1 visa the opportunity to apply for an additional 24-month extension following the standard 12-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) – for a total of up to three years of work authorization in the United States. Both the M.Arch. and M.S.AUD programs are eligible for STEM OPT extension. Please visit the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students for more information.

You would be eligible to apply for the three-year M.Arch. program. This program is open to students who hold a Bachelor's degree, and no formal training in architecture is required. It is an NAAB-accredited degree designed for students who want to become licensed architects.

Unfortunately, we do not offer advanced standing for our M.Arch. program. All students that enter the M.Arch. program must complete three years of study. Students are sometimes able to waive out of non-studio courses, but this does not provide unit credit or reduce the three-year time to complete the degree. It does allow for students to have the freedom to take more elective courses both inside and outside the department, which at a major research university like UCLA can be an exciting opportunity for a lot of people.

Graduate Admissions

The official deadline for M.Arch., M.A. and Ph.D. applicants is 11:59 PM (PST) on December 15. The deadline for M.S.AUD applicants is January 6. Please note that the Slate Application system defaults to Eastern Time, but we will be looking at the submission time based on Pacific Standard Time to determine if an application was submitted before the deadline.

You can submit materials (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, Letters of Recommendation, etc.) after the deadline, and we will accept them, we just cannot guarantee review for applications that submit materials after the deadline. The closer they are to the deadline the stronger the likelihood of the application being reviewed and we do our best to review all completed applications.

For the M.Arch. application, you should indicate where and when you have completed the required prerequisites on the Course Prerequisite Form. If you have not yet completed all of the prerequisites, please indicate when and where you plan to complete the remaining courses, prior to your arrival at UCLA.

If your recommender is having trouble receiving the email to submit their letter, or is having trouble submitting the letter itself, you can visit the UCLA Graduate Division FAQs page. Click on the “Application” tab and scroll down to the FAQ’s regarding Letters of Recommendation. If this still does not answer your question you can email onlineAppHelp@grad.ucla.edu.

The recommendations on our website for an 8.5” x 11” sized portfolio submission are guidelines to make it easier for our faculty to view the PDF file. If you choose to format your portfolio in a different way we will still review it, but in our experience these recommendations make the portfolio easier to view.

Content is not restricted to any particular subject area, but the material should be in the form of a cohesive presentation and should be representative of your previous experience and creative abilities. It may include both graphic and written material.

The Application Status for GRE, TOEFL and IELTS scores is not updated for all applicants at this time. As long as you have uploaded a PDF copy of these materials, as instructed by the online application, this is sufficient for our review purposes.

Undergraduate Program

We offer one undergraduate program; a Bachelor of Architecture in Architectural Studies (B.A.). It is a two-year liberal arts degree that begins in the junior year of residence. We accept transfer students that are UC eligible (see Undergraduate Admissions). The program is not open to freshman applicants. Freshman are welcome to apply to UCLA with a different or undeclared major and then apply to change their major to Architectural Studies during the winter quarter of their Sophomore year, preferably after having completed some of the pre-major courses.

The Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies (B.A.) is not an accredited degree for professional licensure, but it does provide a strong foundation for students who pursue graduate studies in architecture and other related fields. Students who complete this program will need to continue on to a Master’s program that is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), like our M.Arch. program.