MS Architecture FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out our frequently asked questions for answers to the most common questions about the Master of Science in Architecture, or contact us with any other questions.


Yes, it is possible to attend on a part-time basis. You will work closely with the graduate coordinator and your faculty advisor to develop a specific part-time schedule.

Students are strongly encouraged to start the program in the fall, but some students do join the program in January. Decisions for January admittance are made on a case-by-case basis.

No. The CAPLA MS Arch allows you to move across and between concentration areas to form your own specialization in architectural practice and research. By doing so, you’ll develop specialized skills in a concentration area while broadening knowledge, critical thinking and understanding about research practices in architecture and the built environment.

The first semester includes a common foundation in research methods and a research studio, after which each student establishes an individual research project through a research seminar culminating in an original master’s project or thesis. We offer engaging courses and advising in research areas that align with our faculty members’ expertise, including but not limited to:

  • Critical spatial practice
  • Design and energy conservation
  • Emerging building technologies
  • Health and the built environment
  • Heritage conservation
  • Sustainable market transformation
  • Urban design

Students will be provided a list of approved electives. If a student wishes to take an elective outside of CAPLA, it must be approved by the faculty advisor. Learn more about the MS Arch curriculum.

Yes, architecture students may join planning and landscape architecture students for summer study abroad opportunities and guided international studies and research projects. Previous international trips have included destinations such as South Africa; Orvieto, Italy; Copenhagen, Denmark; Prague, Czech Republic; Oman, Jordan; and Panama

There is no internship requirement for the MS Arch program. However, many graduate students identify internship opportunities to support their summer months between the first and second year in the program.

Many employers post open positions to Handshake, the University of Arizona’s job board and career development platform. The School of Architecture also receives regular notifications from employers looking to hire graduates with specific expertise and these notices are distributed to the MS Arch students.


Students applying to the program must meet University of Arizona Graduate College admissions standards.

  • Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited United States college or university, or equivalent in a non-US institution of higher learning. The undergraduate degree can be in any field of study. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in the last 90 graded quarter credit hours or last 60 graded semester credit hours is required.
  • Applicants who do not meet the required 3.0 GPA can apply as Graduate Non-Degree Seeking. After completion of 12 consecutive semester units of 500 level courses, and a 3.0 GPA or higher, applicants can apply as graduate degree seeking using their graduate GPA.
  • If the GPA requirement is an issue, please contact Emilio Romero, graduate student services coordinator.
  • Those applicants who possess a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture or a closely related professional field may apply for advanced standing.
  • International students must demonstrate English language proficiency and submit scores from the TOEFL exam. 

No, applicants to the MS Arch program are not required to take the GRE.

Prospective students are required to submit application materials directly to the University of Arizona Graduate College. Please pay careful attention to the procedures described in the online application portal. You can access the online application system as many times as necessary to prepare your application up until the time you formally submit your materials. Applications will not be reviewed until all materials have been received. 

All applicants must upload the following documents using PDF format:

Personal Statement: The Applicant Statement of Purpose clearly and concisely delineating your focus or interest, special aptitude or personal characteristics and any other relevant factors related to your career aspirations in the profession of landscape architecture. As well, discuss your reasons for applying to the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the University of Arizona.

Portfolio (optional): Portfolio materials can be represented by various forms of creative works. Examples include: graphic works, writing expressions, woodwork, designs of outdoor/indoor spaces, photography, sculpture, other forms of artwork, to name just a few.

Transcripts: One complete set of official college transcripts for all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework (diplomas, titulos). If these original documents are not in English, an official English translation must also be included. Submit these documents directly from the issuing institution to the Graduate College Online Application system. An official document must be submitted before formal admission to the Graduate College will be granted. Unofficial documents are able to admit a student, but official transcripts are required for continuation in a graduate program.

Letters of Recommendation: You will be asked to provide the names and contact information (email address) of three persons who are in a position to provide a recommendation that addresses your potential for success in a graduate program. A combination of academic and professional recommendations is preferred. As soon as you have entered this information, an automatic email message will be sent to your recommender, explaining what is required and giving him/her instructions on how to log in on our website. On the recommendations site they will be asked to complete a form, and will also be able to upload a letter or type in some text, if they wish to do so.

Yes, international students must also provide:

Financial Guarantee: Applicants must submit a Financial Guarantee form certifying they have sufficient U.S. funds for their first year of education. If family members are to accompany the student, additional funds are required. If the student receives a fellowship or an assistantship, the amount of the award will constitute part of the financial guarantee.

Proof of English Language Proficiency: TOEFL scores are required of applicants who speak English as a second language unless they have completed at least two years of full time academic study in the United States, English-speaking Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand or other official English speaking countries at an accredited institution, culminating in the receipt of a bachelors or graduate degree that is awarded within two years of the term of enrollment. Students must have 48 graded semester hours of upper division, undergraduate work or 30 graded semester hours of graduate work. If the student has been residing outside the English speaking country for more than 2 years since completing studies and earning a degree, he or she will be required to submit current TOEFL or IELTS scores as part of the admissions process. TOEFL results are valid for two years only. Only scores of 79 or greater on the TOEFL and 7 or greater on the ILETS are acceptable. The Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) at The University of Arizona offers full-time English-language training for students who have not attained an acceptable score on their TOEFL. 

FALL 2021
April 4: Round 5
May 30: Final Deadline (Domestic/International with Visa, WRGP-Eligible)

Costs to Attend and Financial Aid

Tuition and fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change. Students receive guaranteed tuition once the program is started. If tuition increases, student tuition rates will not increase.

The cost of the MS Arch is:

In-state and WRGP tuition and fees per semester (7+ units):
$5,969 tuition + $1,500 program fees + $667 university fees
Out-of-state tuition and fees per semester (7+ units):
$16,033 + $1,500 program fees + $667 university fees
Subject to change. Learn more about WRGP pricing for out-of-state students from the West.

Financial aid is available to qualified students based on the program, merit and financial need. Many of our students receive some form of financial aid excluding loans.

  • Graduate assistant (GA) positions may be available for students continuing in the MS Arch program. Students may apply for positions after their first year, or to other programs outside of CAPLA beginning their first year. Students may be awarded a CAPLA GA/GRA position in their first year and will be reviewed upon applying.
  • The program may also provide financial support to offset tuition for its students in the form of Graduate Tuition Waivers; Fellowship Funds; Program Fee Set Aside Funds; program-level scholarships; Graduate Access Fellowships; UA Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowships eligible for returning Peace Corps Volunteers; Qualified Tuition Reduction (QTR) Waivers for UA employees and affiliates; Western Regional Graduate Program pricing for students from select Western states; and student travel support offered by the program.
  • The University of Arizona and the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture have an array of scholarships available to qualified students. Awards are based on need, merit, program, class year, and/or other specifications. Students can apply for additional scholarships through Scholarship Universe. Admitted students will be notified of the opportunity to apply through Scholarship Universe.
  • Applicants are eligible to apply for federal financial aid through Free Application Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please visit the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for more information.


There are computers available in the studio and computer lab, however, they are often used for courses. It is strongly recommended that you bring your own laptop computer to campus. Personal computers must meet specific computer requirements in order to run the necessary software.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAPLA building and the University of Arizona campus are currently closed to students. However, we offer virtual tours and you may connect with our graduate student services coordinator to discuss the program, including sitting in an online class. You may also connect with our Student Ambassadors, who are happy to tell you about the studio spaces and other building features.

Tucson is a welcoming and diverse community surrounded by five majestic mountain ranges. The Tucson basin boasts a rich cultural heritage, a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy designation, and offers nationally renowned events such as the Tucson Gem and Mineral ShowAll Souls Procession/Day of the Dead, and the Tour de Tucson bike race. The SunLink Streetcar connects the University of Arizona campus to Fourth Avenue, Tucson’s downtown and the Westside Mercado District. Southern Arizona, with 350 days of sunshine each year, is known for its abundant outdoor opportunities including hiking, cycling, astronomy, birding and rock climbing. 

Ready to transform architecture and the built environment?

Learn more about the Master of Science in Architecture by contacting Emilio Romero, graduate services coordinator, or review the admissions process and begin your application now:

Start Your Application