Admission into the architecture graduate program is competitive.The school is able to admit approximately 60 graduate students per year. The majority of graduate students admitted have completed the B.A. - Environmental Design at MSU. However, spaces are available for highly qualified students with undergraduate degrees from other universities. Placement may vary depending upon the student's background; students with an undergraduate degree in a field other than architecture will be considered, and must, if accepted, complete a full course of study in design studio. Portfolio review is of primary importance to the School of Architecture's application review committee. All applicants are required to submit a portfolio of their best work to be reviewed by the school’s faculty.


  • January 15: Deadline for application submission to School of Architecture of portfolio, application forms, GRE scores for Fall Semester admittance. Applicants may only start the M.ARCH program in a fall term.

Application Process

The following documents must be submitted to the School of Architecture by the published deadlines.

  • Graduate Application for Admission form as required by the Graduate School which can be found at
  • A $60.00 non-refundable application fee. Payable to Montana State University, this fee will be paid online as part of the online application process
  • Three letters of recommendation Letters of reference forms will be submitted online. The applicant will need to provide the name and e-mail address of the reference.  At least 2 of the 3 references must be from faculty members. The third reference can be from an architecture professional.
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate coursework
  • Graduate Record Examination official results
  • Portfolio of Work (electronic submission)

The following criteria and standards are used during the admissions process for the Master of Architecture program:

  • Grade Point Average: A 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA
  • Design Studio Grade Point Average: For students applying to the Master Architecture program with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design from Montana State University, a minimum studio average grade of “B” (3.0) is required for acceptance into the Graduate Program. Any student who does not have a “B” or better studio average would not be permitted to apply until they retake a studio to raise the overall studio average to a “B” (3.0). Studios included in the average are ARCH 151, ARCH152, ARCH 253,ARCH 354,ARCH 355 and ARCH 456.
  • Portfolio Review: A minimum rating score of a 6.5(on a 12 point scale) or better on the portfolio. Portfolios are reviewed by a committee of five members. Their ratings will be averaged to provide a final portfolio score.
  • Letters of Reference
  • Graduate Record Examination Scores
  • Admission Score: Admissions Review is performed by a committee with a minimum of three and a maximum of five faculty. An admission score is developed based upon the following percentages are used to weight the above criteria: cumulative GPA (40%), portfolio review (40%), Letters of Reference (10%) and Writing Component (10%)
  • Cumulative GPA (40%): GPA based on a 4.0 system (4.0 = a letter grade of A)
  • Portfolio (40%)
    • 12 points Outstanding
    • 9 points Excellent
    • 6 points Good * Required Minimum
    • 3 points Poor
    • 0 points Unacceptable
    • A total combined score of 6.5 is required for admissions into the Graduate Program.
  • Writing Component (10%)
    • This score is based upon the written component score received on the GRE.
    • A minimum score of 148 on the verbal component of the GRE is required to be a Graduate Teaching Assistant once admitted into the program.
  • Letters of Reference (10%)
    • Letter of Reference score is based upon a compilation of the overall recommendation from each of the three letters.
  • Students are placed in one of three categories:
    • Admitted
    • Provisionally Admitted - student may need to fulfill additional requirements for admittance.
    • Denied