What are the course pre-requisites?
The Notre Dame School of Architecture's graduate program does not have any particular pre-requisites in math, science, history, etc. Students applying for the 2-year professional degree (Path B) will receive additional transcript review and may be required to take additional lecture or technical courses in order to ensure that they complete an NAAB-accredited course of study based on the coursework completed—or not completed—in their previous education.
Are there GRE & GPA Minimums?
The School of Architecture seeks students who show a history of academic achievement and aptitude and with that the promise of future academic achievement. The School of Architecture expects a minimum GRE score of 308 and would find it difficult to consider someone submitting a score below 300 for the combined Quantitative & Verbal Reasoning portions of the exam. The score for the Writing portion of the exam is expected to be 3.5 or above.
Are there recommended preparatory tasks or courses?
Students considering entry into the program may wish to practice their on-site sketching in order to start training their eye and their hand. A favorite building or a beautiful neighborhood in one's local area can be a great source of inspiration and subject matter. And some students may take the opportunity to practice their drafting skills, especially if it's been some time since they last exercised those particular drawing muscles. It is generally not recommended for incoming students to take a general watercolor course in advance of entry into the Notre Dame program. While the course itself may be enjoyable, the nature of artistic sketch watercolor compared to the more mechanical multi-layered process of architectural wash rendering is very different and so such preparation is often less than helpful for direct application to the work done in studio.
Course offerings and events—both day or weekend and longer term options—from national organizations like the Institute for Classical Art & Architecture and the Congress for the New Urbanism have been popular with many applicants.
All students can expect to get a thorough introduction to—or opportunity to revisit and revive—drawing and rendering skills during the summer introductory course. The graduate program faculty recognize that all students will come in with different skills and varying levels of experience.
Can I receive course credit for work I did in a previous program?
The School of Architecture Graduate Programs may accept non-studio course work completed at another accredited university toward meeting its degree requirements. Path B and C M.Arch students may receive advanced standing for course work completed at another accredited college or university only if (1) the student is in graduate architecture degree status at Notre Dame; (2) the courses taken were at a level appropriate to the Notre Dame graduate architecture program; (3) grades of "B" (3.0 on 4.0 scale) or better were achieved; and (4) the courses are approved by the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies of the School of Architecture in consultation with selected architecture faculty. Advanced standing is typically granted at matriculation on the basis of academic transcripts required at the time of application to the program and requested syllabi, as needed.
Students given advanced standing must maintain full-time enrollment status. No grades of courses used to determine advanced standing are included in the student's GPA or given University of Notre Dame course credit.
Can I transfer into the program or receive transfer credit?
The School of Architecture graduate programs do not accept transfer students from other programs. However, accepted students who have completed a portion of a graduate architecture program at another accredited institution may apply for advanced standing in one or more lecture, seminar, or technical courses.
What does Academic Advising entail?
Graduate students are advised by the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies for the duration of their studies in the Notre Dame School of Architecture. This entails academic advising at least once each semester to ensure that students are on track towards their graduation, to discuss with the student their progress or concerns about accomplishing their academic goals, and to offer consultation on any other issues be they of a personal nature or related to academics or professional interests. Faculty are encouraged to bring any concerns about student well-being, academics, medical or personal issues to the Assistant Dean, who is in turn in contact with Student Affairs, the Registrar and Provost, the Office of Disability Services, the University Health Center, etc.
What if I have a particular area of interest?
While there is a common curricular structure within each course of study, the School supports students in their efforts to explore particular areas in greater depth. Students may select electives on a variety of topics such as urban design, sacred architecture, sustainability & human health, furniture, and historic preservation as might fit into their schedule. Further, students have an opportunity to select from multiple upper level studio and upper level theory courses to fulfill each of those requirements based on topics of their interest. Many students also engage in independent study coursework, advised by a School of Architecture faculty member. Students may also explore courses in other departments on campus pending approval by the course’s instructor and department. In order for a course to count toward a student’s minimum number of credits for graduation, it must have a course number of 40000 or above.
Students are encouraged to alert their advisor to a particular area of interest as early as possible in their studies so that courses and places for them in the schedule might be identified and planned for.
What if I want to engage both concentrations?
Under the current curriculum, all students must select either the Classical Architecture or Urban Design concentration. In their penultimate semester, students may apply to the Discretionary Dual Degree (Path D) if they so choose. Even in the absence of a Dual Degree, many students have interests that fall in both concentrations and so we encourage students to take electives, explore independent studies, etc. which will offer a supplementary focus in the concentration not selected.
What if I apply for the wrong degree or Path?
Applicants for each degree and Path are reviewed by the same committee, but only in comparison with applicants with like background (i.e. for the same degree or Path). Transcripts are reviewed to confirm that an applicant has self-identified for the correct degree. If an error is found, the committee will simply move the application to the appropriate group for continued consideration.
Can I defer admission to a different semester?
No. Students who wish to be deferred to a different semester will be asked to reapply during the corresponding application period. Offers may not be held until the following academic year and students may not initially enter the program in the spring semester.
I noted that post-professional M.ADU (Path A) students are required to serve as teaching assistants. Are there any opportunities for professional degree students to do so?
Students in the professional degree program may apply to serve as teaching assistants in their final year depending on faculty and course needs. Partial tuition credit (tax-free) is offered as compensation.
What are the opportunities for graduate students to obtain positions as research assistants?
The School or Architecture has somewhat limited research assistant positions at this time and cannot guarantee any student's placement in such a position upon entry into the program. The School looks forward to greater opportunities of this sort in future years, especially for those students interested in an academic career. All of the School of Architecture's faculty are involved in intellectual endeavors--some focus more on practice, some more on writing, and others more on applied research. Those faculty in need of research assistants and with grants to fund that work will post for applications.
What are my career prospects following study in the Notre Dame School of Architecture graduate program?
The School of Architecture has been very happy to see a nearly 100% placement rate for students at graduation in recent years for both graduate and undergraduate students. Click here to view an interactive map of where some of our recent graduates have taken positions.
The unique combination of skills our graduates develop here—precedent study, clarity of design thinking, drawing and rendering in multiple media, etc.—make them valuable additions to a wide variety of design firms and other organizations.
The School of Architecture hosts a Career Fair on campus each spring which draws firms from all over the country—and sometimes from all over the world—offering students a unique opportunity to network in-person with potential employers. The 2015 Career Fair included representatives from more than 50 offices.
There is no internship requirement for graduation from the Notre Dame graduate architecture program.