Skip to main content

Doctorate in Architecture Admission Requirements

Demonstration of the Ability to Study at the Graduate Level in English Language

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken no more than five years prior to application is required. All applicants whose native language is not English would be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL),  the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or to complete ELS 112. The minimum acceptable score is set by the graduate school. Please see AESS — Testing Services for more information on English proficiency requirements.

Statement of Objectives, Sample of Work, and Portfolio

All applicants are expected to submit a statement of objectives (not longer than five pages, single spaced). This concise essay should explain the students’ intended PhD research interest and the reasons the student would like to explore this aspect of architectural education at the graduate level, and particularly at the University of Cincinnati. In addition, a writing sample in the form of a research paper or publication is also required as part of the application. Applicants who have worked in the field of architecture before applying are encouraged to submit their portfolios. These submissions assist the admission committee in determining the students who can undertake the rigorous course work and also be able to serve as a graduate assistant or teaching assistant. We have mandatory methods courses that focus on teaching and research that can help students who wish to be in academia after completing their PhD.

Qualifications and Transcripts

All applicants should already have a master’s degree or would have completed it before commencing school in the fall for which they seek admission if they were admitted. Also, all undergraduate and graduate transcripts from previous and current universities attended by the applicant are required.

Application Fee

Application fee is set by the University of Cincinnati Graduate School.


A minimum of three letters of recommendations are required.

Application Process: Deadlines and Notifications

ALL international applicants must apply by January 15, 2014. Applicants who are interested in scholarship/financial aid need to apply before the end of February. The latest date we can consider applications is March 15, 2014.

The application process begins with an online application to the Graduate School. Supplemental materials (except transcripts) are to be submitted online through the application process. Mail transcripts to the address below. Air Express companies may require the street address (2624 Clifton Avenue) instead of the PO Box number, and also the office phone number (513-556-6426) for the label.

University of Cincinnati

College of DAAP

PO Box 210016

Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016

Attn: Kim Lawson

New students are admitted in the fall semester. We will notify successful candidates by April 15 or one month following the submission of application after April 15. An offer of admission may be withdrawn if a candidate does not accept within six weeks of our offer. In general we do not offer admission deferrals. Exceptions might be made in special circumstances. International students should see the International Student Services Office website for University admissions information and requirements.

Major and Minor Fields/Comprehensive Examination

The fields of examination are set by mutual agreement between the student and the advisor. The purpose is to demonstrate the breadth and depth of the student’s critical awareness of the discipline in which he or she works. The major exam is a written test covering a broad area of interest that includes components of history, historiography and theory. Preparation for the exam will focus on four or five themes agreed upon in advance. The minor exam may be in different disciplines that complement the major. Students are encouraged to consider minor areas of study in other programs such as women’s studies, Asian studies, Latin American studies, philosophy, sociology, classics, art history, community planning, real estate and finance, among others. Both the major and minor comprehensive exams would have to be approved by a committee of three members. This committee should be in place by the end of the fourth semester of residency. Comprehensive Exams in their major and minor field should be completed by the end of the third year.

Dissertation Proposal

The third year would be used for the preparation of the dissertation proposal and its defense. The dissertation committee is comprised of a minimum of three members; two must be SAID faculty members. The chair must be a member of the SAID PhD program faculty and the student’s advisor. The third member may come from SAID or may be appointed from outside the program. Students may add members in consultation with their advisor. Formal approval of the dissertation topic is gained through a written proposal, which the student submits and defends to his or her dissertation committee prior to the end of the sixth semester of residence.

Foreign Language Requirement

Students will also be expected to demonstrate competence in at least one foreign language relevant to their specific field of study before admission to candidacy. Foreign language requirements would be assessed on case-by-case bases as different students will enter the program with different language skills. Working with their principal academic advisors, students would determine the language other than English that would meet their foreign language requirements. All foreign language requirements must be met by the end of the third year.