Do I need a background in architecture to apply to the M.Arch. program?

No, the Option 1 (3.5 years) program does not require a background in architecture. 

Is the program accredited?

The M.Arch. Option 1 and 2 programs are NAAB accredited. 

How much does the program cost? 

Refer to Rice University’s main website for a schedule of tuition and fees. 

Can I get advanced standing in your program? 

No, advanced standing is not granted to incoming students.

Do you offer spring admission? 

Entry to the program is limited to the beginning of the academic year, fall semester. 


Online Application


What must be submitted to complete the application?

Online application form, including:
- GRE & TOEFL Scores
- Digital portfolio
- Personal statement
- Unofficial transcript(s) - optional
- Letters of recommendation

Hard copies mailed to RSA:
- Official transcript (Required)

Please refer to the Graduate Admissions section of our website for additional details on portfolio sizing, institution and department codes for score submission, etc.

There is a technical problem with the application. How do I resolve the issue? 

We apologize if there are any technical problems with our online application system, and we thank you for your patience. If you are experiencing a technical problem with our online application, please contact us at

Test Scores / GPA

How do I report my GRE and TOEFL scores?

The GRE and TOEFL tests are administered by the Educational Testing Service. To officially report your scores, visit the ETS website to order score reports. The ETS institutional reporting code for Rice University is 6609; department code 4401. Using the department code may expedite the reporting of your scores, but it is not required. Please allow 2-4 weeks for your ETS scores to be officially reported to Rice.

What happened to your required minimum GRE scores?

The previously published minimum (70th percentile in 2 of 3 categories) is no longer a required minimum but still a good rule of thumb.

Do you require a cumulative GPA?  What is the minimum requirement?

Yes, the reported GPA should be cumulative, and it must be properly converted to a 4.0 scale. (See next question.) The minimum required GPA is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

How should I convert my GPA to a 4.0 scale?

Please contact either of the following agencies: Educational Credential Evaluators or World Education Services.


Letters of Recommendation


Will you explain the online letters of recommendation process?

Please use our online letters of recommendation which can be submitted within the application itself. We suggest asking your recommenders to prepare the letter in advance so it can be quickly attached and submitted when the online system generates a request for the letter of recommendation. You must enter a valid email address for your recommender. Once your application is submitted, the request for a recommendation will be sent to your recommender's email after payment for your application has been received. If your application is sent without or one of your recommenders declines to provide a recommendation, you can log back into the application and add a new recommender. If a recommender chooses not to submit online, the letter of recommendation must be submitted using the .pdf form and mailed directly to the department by your recommender. For more information and links to the .pdf forms, click here.

My recommender didn't get the request for the online letter of recommendation. What should I do?

Please note that it is possible that the email generated by our application system was filtered as spam in your recommenders e-mail system. You can log back on to the application and resend your letter of recommendation request. If you misentered the email address, simply add your recommender again as though they were a new recommender.


Transcripts & Portfolios


Where do I send my official transcript?

Rice University
School of Architecture MS-50
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892
Attn: Graduate Admissions

If sent by Express Mail:
Rice University
School of Architecture MS-50
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005-1892
Attn: Graduate Admissions

Do I submit a digital portfolio?

A digital portfolio of an applicant's creative work is required and must be uploaded to the online application. The portfolio must be received by December 31 and must be uploaded in .pdf format as a single document no larger than 15 MB. The file name must list the program, option, last name, first name, portfolio; each field separated by an underscore (“_”). File naming example: March_Option1_Smith_Jane_Portfolio.pdf. We no longer accept physical portfolio submissions.

Do Option 1 applicants need to submit a portfolio?

The portfolio for M.Arch. Option 1 students should contain examples of visual creativity (freehand drawings, photographs, etc.). A portfolio of previous design work is mandatory for applicants for the M.Arch. Option 2 and M.A.A. Option 3.

I can't obtain my official undergraduate transcripts. What should I do?

Your application will not be considered for admission until your official undergraduate transcripts are received by the admissions office. You may submit your transcripts before or after your application, but your file will not be reviewed until all required information is submitted

What should I do if transcripts from my undergraduate institution are not in English?

If your original official transcripts are not in English, you must submit an official English translation of your transcript in addition to the originals. Transcript translation can either be completed by the degree granting university or by a credential evaluating service.

Your evaluation should include your degree equivalency as well as a course-by-course conversion of marks/grades. You can request that the evaluator return the translated version to you, or have it delivered directly to Rice. The evaluation should be in a sealed envelope with an official stamp across the flap when it is received by the Admissions Office. Please contact either of the following agencies: Educational Credential Evaluators or World Education Services.




Is December 31 a delivery or postmark deadline?


Is it ok to send the official transcripts with a delivery date during the holidays?

Yes. If your transcript is scheduled to arrive on a postal service or University holiday, it will be delivered the following business day.

Is there a separate deadline for letters of recommendation?

No, all application materials are due on December 31 for students applying for admission the following fall.

Will you accept admissions materials after the deadline?

Application materials that are delivered shortly after the deadline will be added to your file as they arrive. However, there is no guarantee that they will be added before the admissions committee begins reviewing applications if they are delivered after the deadline.




How do I apply to your Ph.D. program?

We are not accepting applications to the Ph.D. program at this time, as it is currently dormant. Please check our website next fall for updates on the status of Ph.D. admissions.

Do you offer financial aid?

Many of our students receive financial assistance from the School. Scholarships provided by the RSA are decided during the admissions process, based on merit as well as need. No additional application materials are necessary. These scholarships are renewable each year, based on academic performance as well as need.

Do you accept transfer students at the graduate level?

No, but you are welcome to apply to the program as a new student. Certain courses may be waived if you are familiar with the course content, and you will have the opportunity to take another course.

Is an evaluation interview part of the application process?

Once an application is completed, the admissions committee may request an evaluative interview to further determine English proficiency. Interviews are by invitation only after all materials have been received and initially reviewed. See the Graduate Admissions section of our website for details.

May I schedule a visit?

Yes, please contact the Graduate Coordinator to schedule time to discuss the graduate program and tour the facilities.

Do you have an Open House?

Open House for admitted students is held in the Spring. Details are included in the offer letter as well as listed on our event calendar.


After You've Applied


Have you received my GRE / TOEFL scores?

It is not necessary to call/email to check the status of your test scores. Your online application status will be updated once we have received your official scores through the online system.

Have you received my portfolio and official transcripts?

Because there is such an influx of transcripts as the application deadline approaches, we recommend that these documents be sent via express or certified mail so they may be easily tracked by the applicant. If there is still a question as to whether we have received your document, please send an email to the Graduate Coordinator.

When will I receive my notification?

Admissions decisions will be available online by mid-March. If applicable, financial aid information will be sent to admitted students in the offer letter. Students must let us know if they accept our offer of admission by April 15.

Is it possible to defer?

The School of Architecture does not permit deferrals, and you would be required to reapply if you are admitted but unable to attend.

I've been put on the Wait List. What does this mean?

We are often not able to admit all of our qualified applicants into each degree program. We admit a certain number of applicants straight into the degree program, then put some on a wait list. After April 16, when we have heard from the first group, we will start to admit people from the wait list if necessary to attain full enrollment.

What do I need to submit to reapply?

You will need to repeat the application process with the exception of your test scores. TOEFL scores are valid for two years after the test date; GRE scores are valid for five years.