How to Apply
The Tulane School of Architecture uses an online application platform for all of our graduate programs: Master of Architecture, Master of Science in Architectural Research and Design, Master of Preservation Studies, and Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development. Applicants may electronically submit all items except for official transcripts. Please read through the instructions in the application carefully. For questions, contact Michael Cusanza, Assistant Director of Admissions at Tulane School of Architecture.
The priority deadline for all programs is January 15th. Applications to the Master of Preservation Studies (MPS) and Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development (MSRED) programs will be accepted after the deadline and considered on a rolling, space-available basis.
A complete application package will include: a portfolio (Architecture only), resumé, transcripts (either official or unofficial), a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and an application form.
International students must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). You must ask the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send your official TOEFL test scores directly to Tulane University. The majority of successful international applicants achieve a TOEFL score above a 78 (including at least a score of 20 on the Speaking sub-section), or an IELTS score above a 6.5 (including a 6.5 on the Speaking sub-section). However, we consider applicants with lower scores, and encourage all international applicants regardless of language proficiency to schedule a Skype or other internet-based interview with the Program Directors. An interview is required for the MSRED program application.
Read the Frequently Asked Questions below for more detailed information.
All materials should be submitted through the online application platform. It is optional to send official transcripts and a hardcopy portfolio; those can be addressed to:
School of Architecture
Richardson Memorial Hall room 304
6823 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118
Each Fall and Spring semester the Graduate Programs in Architecture, Preservation Studies and Sustainable Real Estate Development host an Open House for prospective students. The Graduate Open House is an introduction to the culture of academics and student life at the Tulane School of Architecture and in the city of New Orleans.
You will have the opportunity to hear about all of the programs at the School, including the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, and how they collectively contribute to this unique academic environment. In addition, Information Sessions will allow you to learn more about the specifics of your Graduate Program of interest and you will have the opportunity to meet and interact with faculty and students, and tour the facilities of Richardson Memorial Hall, including the design studios and the fabrication labs.
The Open House also includes a tour of New Orleans visiting Tulane community development and design/build projects and other sites of interest concludes with a reception with current graduate students and faculty. As you will soon come to learn, at Tulane we work hard with passion and academic rigor, while embracing the rich cultural legacy of our city.
If you would like more information please contact Michael Cusanza, Assistant Director of Admissions at Tulane School of Architecture.
Tulane University seeks to offer educational opportunities to qualified students regardless of their current ability to meet their expenses. Tulane provides opportunities to help cover the cost of educating a student through extensive merit and need–based scholarships, grants, loans and campus employment. The difference is often covered by endowments and gifts. This combination of financial components makes for an affordable investment in your educational future. For more information regarding Tuition and Financial Aid, please see below.
How long are the graduate programs?
M.Arch I, First Prof. Degree Program: 3.5 years (begins in the summer)
M.Arch I, First Prof. Degree Program (Advanced Standing): 2-3 years
M.S.ARC, Post-Professional Degree Program: 1 year
MSRED, Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development: 1 year (summer lead-in semester and two full semesters)
MPS, Master of Preservation Studies: 1.5 years (the third of three semesters involves part-time status while pursuing Thesis or Practicum).
The MPS program offers a flexible curriculum allowing students to take a longer path and maintain part-time employment.
What kind of background should I have? Are prerequisites required?
For the M.Arch I, MPS and MSRED programs, no specific background in architecture or preservation is necessary, however a bachelor’s degree in any field is required. The M.S.ARC, however, requires a 5-year professional degree from a NAAB-accredited school of architecture (from Canada or the United States) or from an equivalent degree-granting institution in a foreign country. For a complete list of NAAB accredited programs visit the National Architectural Accrediting Board's website. The MSRED and MPS programs encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds.
Can I get advanced standing?
Yes. Advanced standing is offered in the M.Arch I, First Prof. degree program to students who have taken significant architectural courses but still lack a professional degree, typically with a 4-year pre-professional architecture degree. This may result in a 2-3 year curriculum. Once you have been admitted to the School, the Graduate Program Director will evaluate your college transcripts and assign you credit for various classes. Advanced standing is also offered to applicants to the MPS program who hold Certificates in Preservation and/or specific preservation courses from other programs.
Is there fall and spring admission?
3.5 year M.Arch I students begin their studies in the summer, while M.Arch I students with advanced standing and students in the M.S.ARC and MPS programs begin in the fall semester. MSRED students will complete the program in 1 year, beginning in the summer.
Can I transfer into a graduate program?
All students admitted into the graduate programs must follow the same admission process, and therefore transfers into the graduate program do not take place as they normally do at the undergraduate level. Rather, students who are admitted may ask for Advanced Standing, and the Graduate Program Director will determine whether courses successfully completed (as indicated in an official transcript) can lead to Advanced Standing. The MSRED program does not accept transfer students.
What will my experience be like as an International Student?
Tulane University and the School of Architecture have served International Students in all of its programs. To find out more about the services and networks offered to International Students at Tulane, visit the website of The Center for Global Education at Tulane. The new center incorporates the Office of Study Abroad and the Office of International Students and Scholars. The Center for Global Education holds information sessions for international students and scholars, students returning from study abroad and students interested in studying abroad. For more information, call 504-865-5339.
How much is the tuition?
For a detailed explanation of the cost of attendance at Tulane University, including estimates for living expenses and additional fees, please visit the following sites: Tulane Tuition and Fees.
What kind of Financial Aid does Tulane University offer?
Graduate students typically rely on any combination of the following four types of funding. Prospective students should explore all options:
Grants and scholarships (competitive, typically funded within the School of Architecture)
Federal and/or private loans (need-based or competitive)
Off-campus employment and work-study (need-based)
Teaching/Research Assistantships (competitive)
Merit-based scholarships are available to domestic and foreign graduate students on a competitive basis. Distribution of these awards occurs upon admittance to the program as determined by the Dean and the Graduate Program Director. All graduate students are eligible for Teaching Assistantships. These are determined by the experience of the student and the needs of the course instructors.
Only U.S. citizens may apply for federal loans. Students can begin the process by filling out the FAFSA form. As an extension of this need-based application, domestic students may also be eligible for work-study. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information about other federal and private loans. To make an appointment or to schedule a telephone query, please contact the main office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 504-865-5723 or 1-800-335-3210.
Are the architecture and preservation programs accredited?
The School of Architecture has been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) for many decades. NAAB accreditation is the primary means by which professional degree programs in architecture assure quality to students and the public. Both our B.Arch and M.Arch degrees are paths to obtaining a NAAB-accredited, professional architecture degree. More information about the accreditation process can be found on the NAAB website.
The Preservation Studies program follows the guidelines set forth by the National Council of Preservation Education. The MPS degree program fully complies with these guidelines. In addition to this, the MPS program is one of a few graduate-level programs nationwide to be housed in an accredited School of Architecture. The MPS program has historically benefited from its association with the Vieux Carré Commission, the nation’s second oldest Historic District, the New Orleans Preservation Resource Center, and numerous preservation and conservation initiatives throughout the Mid-South U.S. and Latin America.
There is no independent accrediting entity or process for real estate development programs currently in the U.S.
Does Tulane provide special housing for graduate and/or married students?
Yes. Graduate students and family applicants have many housing options. They may apply for Deming Pavilion downtown. Students may also choose to live in Uptown campus housing on the fourth floors of Irby and Phelps Houses. Visit the Tulane Graduate Housing website, for more information.
What is the deadline for application submission?
The deadline is January 15 for the M.Arch I and M.S.ARC, MPS and MSRED applications for Summer or Fall admissions. The MPS and MSRED programs offer rolling admissions after this deadline.
What are the requirements?
1. Portfolio (optional for MPS, not required for MSRED)
2. Statement of Interest (see below for more information about this)
3. Transcripts (Official transcripts must be sent to Tulane upon admission)
4. Letters of Recommendation (3)
6. Online Application Form
TOEFL scores are required for non-native English speakers. If a student holds a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university, the TOEFL is not required. Refer to the minimum test scores section below for details.
We will not process an application until it is complete. If submitting a hard copy application, all application materials should be mailed in one envelope (9 x 12 in.) to: Tulane University, School of Architecture, Graduate Program Director, 6823 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA, 70118.
Any questions about the status of your application material should be directed to your program's Director or Michael Cusanza, Assistant Director of Admissions at Tulane School of Architecture. You will receive an email confirming the receipt of your application. When you submit an email, please include your full name in the subject line.
How do I prepare a portfolio?
A portfolio is a collection of creative work intended to demonstrate your aptitude for critical and creative thinking. This can come in many forms. Photographic reproductions of your artwork (sketches, drawings, paintings, pottery, sculpture, photographic essays etc.), as well as writing samples (prose, poetry, published writings, illustrated reports, etc.), are accepted as evidence of your interest and experience in aesthetic matters. We encourage you to think freely about the manner in which they may meet this application requirement. Clearly present evidence of your own creative work. Indicate where collaborative work has been included.
Submit an electronic portfolio (PDF file format less than 20mb in size) through our online application portal. Alternatively, you may send a printed hardcopy. The general format of your portfolio to be 8.5" x 11" (portrait or landscape orientation) with approximately 20 pages in reverse chronological order. However, the portfolio can be any size you wish and include as many or few pages as you think appropriate, as well as the best way to organize the sequence of projects. Your name should be included on either the front or back cover of the portfolio.
While we would like to encourage you to ask us as many questions as you’d like with regards to your application, we cannot review your portfolio before it is submitted to us. Portfolios for the MPS degree program are optional and their contents need not necessarily display drafting and design skills. Please read the online application instructions for more information about portfolio requirements. NOTE: Portfolios are not required for the MSRED program.
What types of letters of recommendation do I need?
Three letters are required from individuals acquainted with your recent academic, professional, or creative work. At least two letters should be from past professors who can speak directly about your performance in a class or research project. For the MSRED program, two letters should be from professional contacts and one from an academic contact (two academic recommendations are acceptable if you are a recent grad). Letters and the review form will be submitted by reviewers online.
What should I write in my Statement of Interest?
The Statement of Interest gives you an opportunity to convey information that is not easily gleaned from the other submitted documents. We recommend including the following topics in your written statement for Architecture:
Are there minimum GRE, GPA and TOEFL scores?
We do not require the GRE or GMAT exam for applicants. An applicant’s cumulative GPA should be 3.0 or greater.
We ask that non-native English speaking students demonstrate sufficient English language proficiency in one of three ways:
(1) Submit test scores from the iBT TOEFL (internet-based) examination;
(2) Submit test scores from the IELTS examination;
(3) Earn a bachelor’s degree from a university in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or Anglophone Canada.
Scores from either the TOEFL or IELTS must be sent directly to Tulane University. The Tulane University code is 6823. The School of Architecture Department Code is: 6798. Scores must be no more than two years old.
The majority of successful applicants achieve a TOEFL score above a 78 (including at least a score of 20 on the Speaking sub-section), or an IELTS score above a 6.5 (including a 6.5 on the Speaking sub-section). However, we will consider applicants with lower scores, and we encourage all international applicants regardless of language proficiency to schedule a Skype or other internet-based interview with the Program Directors.
While exceptions may be made with regard to your acceptance into the School, minimum scores in these categories (GPA and TOEFL) do factor heavily in the granting of merit-based scholarships upon admission into the program.
What is the most important part of my application?
The selection process for the M.Arch I and M.S.ARC programs weighs heavily on the portfolio. The Statement of Interest also provides reviewers with a critical understanding of the applicant’s background and creative interests and his/her path towards a career in architecture. For the MPS degree, the committee looks for the motivation behind the applicant’s interest in preservation and how the applicant regards this field in relation to important urban, civic or landscape issues, cultural expressions and/or material concerns. This may be expressed with a Statement of Interest or with a portfolio, the latter being optional for the MPS applications. The MSRED Program looks carefully at your experiences and your statement of purpose and how you are able to relate your desire to come to the MSRED program with your past interests and your future goals.
How large is the incoming class?
Applicants compete for the approximately 15 places available each year in the M.Arch I program, 15 places in the M.Arch I Advanced Standing category and approximately 5 places in the M.S.ARC degree program.
The MPS program has consistently brought a diverse group of graduate students to the School of Architecture and has played an important role in the development of the preservation community in New Orleans and the surrounding region. There will be approximately 12-20 MPS students.
The MSRED program attracts applicants from multiple disciplines who will compete for approximately 18-20 placements.
Altogether, the graduate student pool consists of approximately 150 students representing diverse backgrounds, professional experiences, ages and goals.
Are formal interviews required or recommended?
No, they are not required. However, we suggest applicants visit the city of New Orleans and our Uptown Campus, which is the location of Richardson Memorial Hall, the home of the School of Architecture.
Informational Interviews for the MSRED program are welcome but not required. Formal applicant interviews are by invitation only. Learn more about our Graduate Open House below.
Can I defer enrollment?
Applicants who have been admitted can request a deferral for one year only. Such requests must be made in writing to the Graduate Program Director. Because merit scholarships are influenced by the composition of an incoming class, we cannot guarantee the exact support originally offered if an applicant chooses to defer admission.
When are letters of acceptance mailed, and how are we notified?
Applicants will be notified via e-mail by mid-February. Decisions cannot be given by telephone. Letters of acceptance from the applicant must be received by April 15.
Is there a waitlist?
There is commonly a wait list for the M.Arch I degree program. If you are notified that you are on the waitlist, you will be notified no later than May 1 of your acceptance into the program.
Is the program STEM OPT Eligible?
STEM OPT Eligibility
Beginning in fall 2019, the Tulane School of Architecture’s professional Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch.), Master of Architecture (M. Arch I.) degrees and the new post-professional Master of Science in Architectural Research and Design (M.S.Arc.) degree* will be classified under Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology (CIP code 04.0902).
Consequently, international students graduating with B. Arch., M. Arch I. or M.S. Arc. degree from Tulane on or after 2019-2020 academic year will be eligible for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ STEM OPT extension program. This allows international students to remain in the U.S. for up to 36 months after graduation to receive practical training through work experience in the field of architecture.
Visit the Tulane OISS webpage on STEM OPT Extension for more information.
How do I plan a campus visit and get a tour?
We are working hard to ensure the safety and well-being of all our students—both prospective and current. Recently, university policies have been updated in response to COVID-19 and as such, visitors are no longer allowed in university buildings, including the School of Architecture in Richardson Memorial Hall. While you will be able to tour Tulane's beautiful campus, we are currently only able to offer virtual sessions to see the School of Architecture.
The School of Architecture has a self-guided virtual tour of our studios, lecture halls, and fabrication labs that will give students the full experience of being at TuSA. Additionally, students can meet with Michael Cusanza, Assistant Director of Admissions at Tulane School of Architecture. We are working diligently to ensure multiple visiting options are available to our prospective students.
Does the School of Architecture host an Open House?
We host Graduate Open Houses and information sessions throughout the year. Information on Open House dates can be found on our website under “Events.” If you are interested in attending a Graduate Open House, please contact Michael Cusanza, Assistant Director of Admissions at Tulane School of Architecture, for more information about the day’s schedule. The Graduate Open House includes a number of sessions where you can meet with students and professors, the Director of the Graduate Program in Architecture, the Director of the MPS program, and the Director of the MSRED program.
If you are traveling to New Orleans and visiting the campus at any other time, please make arrangements with Michael Cusanza to meet with the administration.