All documents except for the portfolio must be submitted digitally through the UIC Office of Graduate Admissions online application portal. Applicants applying for 2017–2018 should reference the application checklist below to begin their preparations. Applicants are encouraged to submit their initial online application as soon as possible, which will provide the maximum amount of time for applicants and recommenders to upload all other supporting credentials.
Note that all uploaded documents must be submitted as PDFs. The file size limit is 5MB. Please prepare an electronic copy of the required application materials so they are available when requested. Please visit the UIC Office of Graduate Admissions website for more details on the document upload process.
Please read all steps and tips thoroughly before beginning the application and remember to write down your username and password as you will need it to log back into your application portal periodically throughout the admission process.
Please apply with the correct program code through the UIC Office of Admissions website as noted below to ensure that the application is processed accurately:
Master of Architecture (MArch) (Three-year and advanced standing professional degree): MArch Architecture (Master of Architecture)
Master of Science in Architecture (MSArch) (One-year post-professional degree): MS Architecture (Master of Science in Architecture)
Master of Arts in Design Criticism (MAD-Crit) (Two-year academic degree): MA Design Criticism**
**If applying to the MArch/MAD-Crit or MSArch/MAD-Crit Joint program, please submit applications to both programs.
2. Nonrefundable application fee of $70.00
An additional $30 international credential evaluation fee may be assessed on any applicant presenting international course work requiring an evaluation regardless of residency.
3. Transcripts from all schools attended
Applicants will need to obtain and scan copies of transcripts to upload into their application portal. All applicants should refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions for specific requirements.
Additionally, all applicants with degrees from foreign institutions regardless of residency should review the UIC Admissions International Admission Requirements to check for any additional documentation.
4. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test results - General Test only
For information about the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) call 866.473.4373 or visit www.gre.org. To report scores to UIC, use institutional code 1851. A department code is not required.
Please see the FAQs for more information on recommended test scores.
5. Three Letters of Recommendation
For students from architecture backgrounds, the School prefers to see at least two of the three letters from architecture professors. For students from non-architecture backgrounds, letters from professors who can assess your academic abilities and potential for graduate school are the most useful. Letters from employers are also acceptable. Note letters of recommendation written by friends or family will not be accepted, regardless of their professional position, as they are not deemed as objective.
3–5 days after the application is submitted, applicants can enter their application portal and will be asked to provide the email address of references. This will prompt a request to be sent to the designated reference for a letter of recommendation.
If a recommender is having issues with the submission process, please refer them to the Reference Guide for Letters of Recommendation.
6. Statement of Intent (500 words)
The statement should discuss the applicant's academic interests and objectives, what the applicant would contribute to the program's environment, and most importantly, why the specific academic approach at UIC is the right match for an applicant's graduate study. Applicants should also explain how their architectural interests have been shaped by significant past experiences.
A PDF of the statement of intent can be uploaded to the application portal approximately 3–5 days after the online application is submitted.
7. PortfolioPortfolios must be mailed to:
UIC School of Architecture
Attn: Graduate Admissions
845 West Harrison Street
Room 3100 A+D Studios, MC030
Chicago, Illinois 60607 Please include your University Identification Number (UIN), either on the portfolio, or as a separate note attached.
As a designed book, the portfolio indicates an individual's aesthetic sensibility and intellectual curiosity. It may include any visual, design, or creative work, such as paintings, collages, freehand drawings, sketches, photographs, sculpture, furniture design, and so on. Applicants with architecture backgrounds should focus on studio work completed in an academic setting, even if in the case that the applicant has professional work. Both in the works themselves and in the inquiry or argument framed through their presentation, applicants should exhibit their potential to develop original design work.
Individual work is preferred, but when including group work the applicant's role and contribution should be carefully noted. The portfolio should not document CAD drafting skills or technical coursework that is independent from design work. Work from an architecture office, such as construction drawings or renderings, should not be included unless the applicant had a significant role in the design process.
Portfolios should not exceed 8.5" by 11" and one pound (sixteen ounces) in size, must be bound, and should not be on slides, CDs, or diskettes. Craft of the cover and binding should be kept to a minimum. Please see these basic portfolio guidelines (pdf). Upon completion of the admissions process, the portfolio may be claimed in person or returned by mail if the student is denied or declined admission. Applicants who would like their portfolios to be returned by US mail should enclose a USPS stamped, self-addressed, appropriately-sized mailing container that weighs less than thirteen ounces. Do not send return envelopes from other courier services (FedEx, UPS, etc.). The School will not accept money or checks to cover postage.
Applicants to the Master of Arts in Design Criticism program should submit a formatted portfolio of written work rather than a design portfolio. The overall design of the portfolio itself should demonstrate a level of thinking, care, and consistency that is commensurate with the applicant's written work. Aspects of the portfolio that should be carefully considered and consistent throughout are: page size and proportion, orientation, and layout, font style, title pages, use of color, and so on.