Graduate admissions

Extended application deadline

We are extending the application deadline for our graduate programs to February 20 for international applicants who may be affected by the United States executive order impacting international visas and travel to the US. If you are interested in studying and working with leading experts in architecture, landscape architecture, or urban design, you can still apply. Please submit a digital portfolio regardless of which program you are applying to. UBC and Canada welcome you.

For most graduate programs, we accept applications between October 1 and January 15 each year. For the Master of Urban Design, we accept applications until February 15. We send out admissions decisions in mid to late March. We receive many outstanding applications, and admission to our programs is competitive. Unfortunately, we cannot offer admission to all qualified applicants.

In addition to our admissions requirements, please familiarize yourself with the minimum requirements, rules, and regulations of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Graduate degrees

Admission requirements

Previous degree

You must hold a degree that is academically equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree at UBC. For the Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture, this degree may be in any discipline. Other degrees have have specific requirements:

Master of Urban Design

You must hold a professional degree in architecture, landscape architecture, or planning. An accredited professional undergraduate degree meets the minimum standard. We consider applicants with an academic background in a related field on a case-by-case basis.

MASA and MASLA

You must hold a professional degree in architecture, landscape architecture, or a degree in a related field in combination with experience relevant to graduate studies in your chosen discipline.

Academic achievement

If you have completed your degree at a Canadian or American university, you must have a B+ (76% at UBC) average in your third- and fourth-year-level coursework. If you completed your degree at an international university, you must have a B+ (76% at UBC) average in all coursework.

English language proficiency

If your entire degree was not completed in English, you must submit an English language proficiency test. The minimum scores for most degrees are:

TOEFL

100 iBT or 600 paper based

IELTS

Overall band score of 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component of the academic (not general) test.

Master of Urban Design

TOEFL

80 iBT or 550 paper based

IELTS

Overall band score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic (not general) test.

Graduate Record Examination (optional)

While not required, you may submit GRE results as additional evidence of scholastic promise and aptitude.

 

Application

Online application form

You must submit an online application form and non-refundable application fee by the application deadline of January 15.

Resume

A 1–2 page summary of your experiences in education, work, travel, volunteering, and other relevant areas.

Statement of intent

A 1–2 page statement outlining your interest in the program of choice and your motivation to pursue this degree at UBC. You will upload the statement as part of your online application. Some degrees have more specific requirements:

Master or Urban Design

Summarize your understanding of urban design, why an urban design degree furthers your professional ambitions, and why studying urban design at UBC is the best fit.

MASA and MASLA

Outline your research interests and aspirations. Describe the proposed area of research and explain why you believe it is important. Include methodology, citations, and a bibliography, and explain how your work experience, readings, and related activities have influenced your chosen research pursuit. Nominate no more than three professors to act as your primary research supervisor and discuss how your research interests align with theirs.

The research statement and research interests can – and do – evolve during the course of the degree. The statement helps the admissions committee judge your preparedness for undertaking the proposed research and its alignment with the faculty’s research expertise.

Portfolio

Content

You should organize your portfolio into a clear, well-crafted package. The portfolio should have concise, descriptive text on each page to adequately explain the work. If working in collaboration with others, please clearly indicate your contribution to the submitted work. Portfolio requirements differ depending on which degree you apply for:

Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture

Your portfolio should demonstrate your ability to conceptualize projects in two and three dimensions through a variety of media. The portfolio may contain drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, installation, printmaking, ceramics, fashion design, and woodworking, as well as other media. Showing your creative process and ability to think conceptually will also provide context for your work.

The intent of the portfolio is to highlight design potential. You should use the portfolio to showcase your interests and accomplishments, and to show how you could contribute to a demanding professional program.

Master of Urban Design

Your portfolio should contain six examples of creative works that demonstrate aptitude, experience, and accomplishment. Instead of providing a collection of one type of work, include a variety of works. Creative works may include a wide range of examples, including design work and planning projects. One example should be a written piece.

MASA and MASLA

Submit at least one and no more than three examples of previous scholarly or creative works. At least one example of writing should clearly indicate research ability and be identified as such.

Format

Most degrees require a physical portfolio. The maximum dimensions are 9" x 12" x 1/2" (or 23 x 30 x 1.5 cm). It must be no more than 20 pages in total (or 10 double-sided) and should be securely bound in some fashion. The portfolio should also have concise, descriptive text on each page to adequately explain the work.

Dual degree option and Master of Urban Design

For the dual degree option and Master of Urban Design, you will submit a digital portfolio with your online application. The PDF of up to 20 letter-sized (8.5" x 11") pages must be under 10MB in size.

Tip: Use 150 pixels-per-inch or even 72 ppi images, or try saving the file as a Reduced Size PDF (“Save as Other”) in Adobe Acrobat, to bring down the file size.

Submission

We do not return portfolios. Please submit only high-quality reproductions and no original work to the appropriate program office:

Architecture

School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
The University of British Columbia
402 – 6333 Memorial Road
Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z2

Landscape architecture

School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
The University of British Columbia
379 – 2357 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z4

Dual degree option and Master of Urban Design

For the dual degree option and Master of Urban Design, you will submit your digital portfolio with your online application.

Transcripts

You must submit transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have previously attended, including transcripts from universities attended on exchange. If you are currently completing a degree, submit your transcripts to date. In that case, UBC will not grant final confirmation of acceptance until you have submitted the final transcripts after the degree is conferred.

If the academic records are in a language other than English or French, you must submit the transcripts in their original language and accompany them with official translations.

You can upload scans of official transcripts in your online application. When offered admissions, you must arrange for official transcripts in hardcopy.

References

You must arrange for three letters of reference, two of which should be academic and speak to your past performance and ability to succeed in a graduate program. Referees submit their letters through the online application system.

Application fee

Please note that you will pay an application fee through the online application system.

If applying to our Master of Landscape Architecture program, you must also pay the administrative fee for MLA applications on our eCommerce site.

 

Advanced placement

If applying to the Master of Architecture or Master of Landscape Architecture and you hold a pre-professional degree, the admissions committee may grant you advanced standing. We will communicate details of advanced placement in your offer of admission.

Examples of eligible degrees

  • Bachelor of Architecture
  • Bachelor of Arts (Architecture or Landscape Architecture)
  • Bachelor of Environmental Design
  • Bachelor of Building Technology
  • Bachelor of Science (Architecture or Landscape Architecture)