To contend with the complex and evolving character of the constructed environment, the PhD in the Constructed Environment engages with these issues from technical, material, policy, and theoretical perspectives. We invite you to join us in questioning the constructed environment: what it is, how it functions, where it’s headed, and the ways we might join in to understand and shape it. The program seeks to explore the physio-socio-ecological systems, connections, and manifestations that form the constructed environment by supporting advanced research in topics that engage one or more of the Architecture’s School’s four disciplines: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban and Environmental Planning, and Architectural History. The program fosters scholarship that identifies and researches emerging multidisciplinary issues across the globe and at every scale. The application package must demonstrate applicant's abilities to engage with these issues through advancing independent research and collaboration with faculty, and through a clear sense of original contribution to knowledge in the constructed environment.
The admissions process at the University of Virginia School of Architecture is designed to build an extraordinary community of students who will thrive in a collegial and academically rigorous environment and go on to become responsible leaders, public servants, and successful members of their desired professions. To that end, we seek an entering class of forward thinking students who exemplify the qualities of resilience, integrity, empathy, diligence, maturity and the ability to engage across differences. At the most basic level, our goal is to understand each applicant as a person, and to evaluate the unique path that led them to apply to UVA. Our evaluation criteria are holistic and necessarily assess all components of the application.
We consider intellectual aptitude and academic achievement, as well as individual life experiences, obstacles overcome, contributions through service and leadership, a unique worldview, demonstrations of strength of character, the nature and quality of any work experience, military service, and an applicant’s potential to contribute to and succeed at the School of Architecture. Understanding each story will enable us to offer admission to students who will thrive and contribute to the experience of those around them. We are committed to welcoming, in the words of our University mission statement, “talented students from all walks of life,” and will continue to do our best to be a welcoming and inclusive community — one that values the unique gifts of our students and, above all, cares for them as individuals. We do not consider an applicant’s race, financial need or family history with UVA as part of the admissions decision.
HOW TO APPLY + APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
Join our CONTACT LIST if you have not already done so. This provides the School of Architecture with contact information in order to remain in touch with you throughout the application process.
Create an ONLINE APPLICATION. Note the 2024 application opens in early September 2023.
COMPLETE ALL THE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS DESCRIBED BELOW AND SUBMIT THESE AS PART OF THE ONLINE APPLICATION BY THE APPLICATION DEADLINE.
You can log in to your online application account as many times as needed to complete the requirements.
An $80 non-refundable application fee is required to apply; your application will not be reviewed until the payment is processed. Pay the application fee via credit card online, or contact the UVA Central Admission Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434.243.0209 if you need assistance paying your deposit through another method.
You may be exempt from paying the application fee if you meet UVA's eligibility criteria found at University of Virginia's Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs website.
The School of Architecture is unable to provide other application fee waivers.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all application materials are submitted by January 10 (11:59pm EST) for your application to move forward in the review process. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Return to your application checklist to confirm all required items are submitted.
The application closes, and applications cannot be submitted after the application deadline.
Unofficial transcripts will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and must be submitted as part of your application. Applicants must hold a master's degree.
NOTES for applicants from international schools:
Transcripts not in English must be translated to English and include all courses, grades, degrees, and dates of degrees received.
Applicants must also submit an explanation of the grading scale used and the equivalent to a U.S. 4.0 scale.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to upload a NACES member course-by-course credential evaluation to satisfy the above requirements.
Resumes or Curriculum Vitae should include your past education, work experiences, honors and awards, key research, scholarly and creative works (including publications, exhibitions, competitions, collaborative projects, residencies, research projects, volunteer or community-based work), educational or work-related travel opportunities, leadership positions and contact information.
We invite you to learn about our mission and priorities, including our JEDI initiative, which commits us to recognizing and serving all people. How do you see yourself contributing to our mission and priorities, and how have your experiences helped you develop skills in navigating different viewpoints, backgrounds, and perspectives? (250-word limit)
Optional Essay 1
What about your individual background, perspective, or experience will serve as a source of strength for you or those around you at UVA? Feel free to write about any past experience or part of your background that has shaped your perspective and will be a source of strength, including but not limited to, those related to your community, upbringing, educational environment, race, gender, or other aspects of your background that are important to you. (250-word limit)
Optional Essay 2
If you have a personal or historic connection with UVA, and if you’d like to share how your experience of this connection has prepared you to contribute to the University, please share your thoughts in this optional essay. Such relationships might include, but are not limited to, being a child of someone who graduated from or works for UVA, a descendant of ancestors who labored at UVA, or a participant in UVA programs. (250-word limit)
Submit a statement clearly and concisely identifying your research questions and a framework for pursuing your intended work. This item serves two purposes: first, to ensure that students enter the program with a sense of direction, and have knowledge and experience relating to their topic of interest; and second, to assist in matching applicants with advisors.
RESEARCH STATEMENT FORMAT:
800 words maximum
12-point Times New Roman font
1 inch margins
LIST OF PROSPECTIVE ADVISORS:
Submit a list with the names of at least one faculty member who would be a prospective advisor for your proposed research. Applicants are encouraged but not required to contact prospective advisors before applying.
ACADEMIC WRITING SAMPLE:
Submit a sample of your academic writing, preferably sole-authored. This sample should be a substantial paper, report, or thesis produced during your academic career, preferably at the graduate level.
Three (3) recommendations are required, at least 2 of which should be from former professors if you have received your undergraduate degree or graduate degree within the last five years. References from current or former employers or project collaborators are also encouraged.
You can submit your application before your recommenders submit their recommendations. From your online application, select "RECOMMENDATIONS" on the left menu and follow the instructions provided.
Recommendation providers will receive an individual link via email with instructions about how to submit their references.
Recommendations are only accepted through the online application system. Contact the UVA Central Graduate Admission Office (email@example.com) if your recommender has questions or needs assistance in submitting their recommendation online.
Recommenders are encouraged to submit their letters by the January 10th at 11:59PM EST application deadline, but the School of Architecture will continue to accept letters of recommendation through January 17th at 11:59PM EST. Recommendations submitted after January 17th will not be considered.
Applicants can self-report unofficial test scores on the application. Official test scores are required only of admitted applicants who accept an offer of admission from the School of Architecture. Offers of admission are not binding until official test scores are received and verified by the UVA Central Graduate Admission Office.
The School of Architecture has suspended the GRE requirement through the 2025 admission cycle. Applicants will not report GRE scores on the application, nor will admitted students be required to submit official GRE scores.
TOEFL or IELTS SCORES (INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS ONLY):
All international PhD applicants whose first or native language is not English are required to submit proof of language proficiency by submitting qualified TOEFL or IELTS scores, taken within two years of the application deadline. International applicants who have earned a 4-year bachelor's degree or advanced degree entirely from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. You will note this exemption on your online application.
TOEFL: 250 (computer-based exam) or 90 (internet-based exam)
IELTS: 7.0 overall band score
Applications will not be considered without qualifying TOEFL or IELTS scores received by the application deadline.
The School of Architecture does not accept MyBest TOEFL scores.
DUOLINGO ENGLISH TEST SCORES + VIDEO INTERVIEW (INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS ONLY, Optional):
International applicants may also submit the Duolingo English Test, which combines an English proficiency test with a brief video interview. Duolingo's technology and format allows applicants to complete the test at any time or place, as long as they have Web access. The interview portion of this test is not scored, but the multiple-choice answer portion of the test is scored. The School of Architecture will consider the scores and interview portion in conjunction with TOEFL/IELTS scores, but the Duolingo results will not replace or substitute for TOEFL/IELTS scores.
A portfolio is highly recommended for applicants who intend to pursue PhD research fully connected to studio-based practices.
Your portfolio demonstrates experience and exploration in the areas of design, design research, design technologies, craft, creative thinking, visual communications, visual culture and all forms of making.
The portfolio must be:
No larger than 15 MB
Designed and formatted for on-screen viewing. Portfolio will not be printed for review.
Around 20 pages or 10 spreads
Formatted to horizontal (or landscape format) for better viewing on a computer monitor or digital screen
Portfolios are submitted electronically as part of the online application.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to participate in a brief video interview with members of the PhD admission committee in February. You will be notified by mid-February if you are invited to interview.