College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Graduate Admissions

Application Deadline

Clemson Architecture offers two Master's degrees, the Master of Architecture (M. Arch. I and II) and the Master of Science in Architecture (M.S. in Arch.), with opportunities for study in Clemson, Charleston, Barcelona, and Genoa.

The M. Arch. is a professional, NAAB-accredited degree with four degree tracks. The three-year M. Arch. I first-professional degree track for applicants without a strong portfolio of 6 to 8 semesters of architectural design studio work. The two-year M. Arch. II second-professional track is an advanced placement track for applicants with a competitive portfolio of 6 to 8 semesters of strong design studio work, and, as a minimum requirement, a pre-professional BA or BS in Architecture. There are also M. Arch. I and II tracks with a Concentration in Architecture + Health. Students in our M. Arch. I tracks come from a wide range of undergraduate majors, including students with prior studies in architecture and design, and promising students without any formal art or design background. Students in our M. Arch. II tracks come from undergraduate architecture programs across the country and around the world.   

The Master of Science in Architecture (M.S. in Arch.) is a research-oriented degree for those with a research agenda and already holding a pre-professional degree in architecture, an M. Arch., or other degree in design. 

Admission to our Master's degree programs is determined by an Admissions Committee of graduate architecture faculty. Admission is very competitive and based on an evaluation of the candidate's potential to respond successfully to the rigors and creative challenge of graduate study in architecture. As noted above, those admitted to the M. Arch. II program will have a strong portfolio documenting the 6 to 8 semesters of design studio coursework typical of a BA or BS in Architecture. Those without 6 to 8 semesters of strong architectural design studio work should consider applying to the M. Arch. I track.

The most important materials reviewed to estimate this potential are the applicant's design portfolio; prior academic work (GPR/GPA); Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, including the analytic writing component; and, in the case of international students, TOEFL score. As described below, the most important part of the application is the portfolio, which is required of all applicants, regardless of prior experience and degree track. There are no cut-off scores for the GRE or GPA (so we cannot tell you whether to apply or not on this basis); scores are relative to other applicants in the applicant pool. However, since graduate students at Clemson University must maintain a B average in their coursework, above average GRE scores and undergraduate GPA are considered important factors for admission. Satisfactory performance (90 or above preferred) on the TOEFL examination is also required of international applicants; international applicants with lower TOEFL scores may be offered conditional admission.   

Additional information about admission is available on Clemson's Graduate School web site at and

The Application Deadline is January 15

The deadline for the receipt of the application and all supporting materials, including the portfolio, is January 15 for the following academic year, which begins in mid-August. The School of Architecture does not offer mid-year (spring semester) admission. The online application form and supporting documents must also be completed and received by this date. The review of candidates will begin immediately after the deadline. Late or incomplete applications will be at a disadvantage; late or incomplete applications may not be reviewed or may be disqualified if required application materials are not available.

The Admissions and Matriculation Calendar 

Initial offers are made to candidates six to eight weeks after the deadline, around March 1, at which time a wait list is also determined. Offers of admission are extended only by Clemson University's Graduate School following the review of a recommendation of admission by the School of Architecture, and approval and processing by the Graduate School. Newly admitted applicants will first receive a letter from the Graduate School through the admissions portal, and then a congratulatory letter of acceptance from the School of Architecture which will indicate the degree track to which the applicant was admitted. Waitlisted applicants will not see an indication of this status in the Application Status Check, but will be notified by the School of Architecture. If a place becomes available, the School of Architecture will recommend admission to the Graduate School. All admissions correspondence is communicated in writing, by email, or through the admissions portal; no official admissions information is communicated by phone. Offers of admission will be conditional until official transcripts and, for international applicants, official transcript evaluations have been received.

Admission to the Master of Architecture program is first to our M. Arch. program at large, and subsequently to specialized programs including the Architecture + Health program and the Architecture + CommunityBuild certificate program; the directors of those programs will contact those offered admission at large about placement and their programs' waitlists in the week or weeks following the initial offer of admission. Any financial assistance that can be offered to top ranking applicants will be indicated in the letter of acceptance from the School of Architecture. In some cases, some funding may be available later, if offers are declined by other applicants. Funding is limited to a small number of M. Arch. I applicants in the form of fellowships and to a small number of M. Arch. II applicants in the form of assistantships. A number of assistantships are also made available to all enrolled students in advance of the new academic year, on an annual basis, through a competitive application process (see below).    

Those extended initial offers and waitlisted are encouraged to come to the Spring Open House for prospective admitted and waitlisted students, but are welcome to visit as their schedules permit.

Those extended offers are requested accept or decline our offer of admission in a timely manner through the admissions portal. Accepting our offer in the admissions portal secures the applicant's place in our program; declining the offer in the admissions portal releases the space for another applicant. 

The deadline for replies to early offers of admission is April 15, or the date indicated on the letter from the School of Architecture. Assistantship or fellowship offers may have earlier deadlines. The status of wait-listed applicants may not be known until after April 15.

Notification to all applicants of their admission status will be sent out as expediently as possible. Due to the volume of applications, we cannot reply to inquiries about the timing of the review process or the status of individual applications, unless there is a particular issue with an application that requires an inquiry and a reply. No official admissions information is communicated by phone. Nor can we pre-review or re-review applications or portfolios before or after the admissions review process. If one's application is not successful, this is because there was a large number of applications for a limited number of positions and offers were made to those with a higher cumulative combination of GPA, GRE scores, and portfolio scores. Applicants who reapply should not submit the same material again, but should strive to make significant improvements to their portfolio, as well as GRE scores. Some M. Arch. II applicants should consider reapplying for the M. Arch. I track.    

If you accept an offer of admission, follow the instructions in the letter from the Graduate School, from the School of Architecture, and follow the appropriate checklist of requirements outlined on the Graduate School's Newly Accepted Students webpage. This checklist outlines the steps required for matriculation (enrollment). To register for classes, see the M. Arch. Plan of Study or A+H Plan of Study and register for the appropriate courses indicated there; any appropriate adjustments to your course schedule can be made later, in advisement with your Major Advisor or program director over the summer or in advance of the start of classes. 

By May, new students should have set up their CU student account and registered for Fall classes according to their Plan of Study. In May, when the admissions cycle has concluded, new students will receive another welcome email from their program director(s). In May, new M. Arch. II students will also be asked to confirm their requests for placement in our off-campus study centers in Charleston, Barcelona, and Genoa for Semesters 4 and 5 (see the M. Arch. Plan of Study and Fluid Campus webpage). By May, or during the summer (as soon as possible), new students should investigate housing options and secure an apartment or other accommodations. Most graduate students live off-campus. New students should also be aware that there is a public bus system called the CAT Bus, but that Clemson is a suburban and relatively car-dependent environment. 

The Academic Year begins in August. Visit the Academic Calendar to see the date for the start of classes. New and International Students are required to attend orientation sessions in the weeks before the start of classes, so should plan to be settled in Clemson a few weeks before the start of classes.     

Applications are not reviewed after the Admissions Committee concludes its work for the application cycle. As noted above, the School of Architecture does not offer mid-year (spring semester) admission.

The Online Application and Degree Track Selection

The Online Application.  The online application can be accessed through Clemson University's Graduate School website. Navigate to the Prospective Students page and click on the "Apply Now" button. 

When you proceed with the online application, please note that MARCH-ARCH-2 is an application system code beyond our control that is not related to our M. Arch. II degree track. All Master of Architecture applicants will select this application code. You will later select the appropriate degree track, M. Arch. I or M. Arch. II. See the left image below for a screenshot of this page of the application.    

If you have technical problems with the online application, you may alert us to the issue, but please take a screen-shot and contact Clemson's Graduate Admissions Office, which manages the application portal.

Click to enlarge.


Degree Track Selection.  Within the online application, you will be asked to select your degree track for consideration. See the right image above for a screenshot of this page of the application. It is very important to make the correct selection as we review applicants according to applicant pools by degree track. International applicants should make sure to observe the difference between the Master of Architecture (professional degree) track and the Master of Science in Architecture (non-professional degree) track. Applicants with limited studies in architecture must also take care in choosing between the M. Arch. I (three-year) and M. Arch. II (two-year) degree tracks. There is an expectation that M. Arch. II applicants will have a pre-professional degree in architecture, with two structures courses, other courses typical of BA in Architecture programs, and a strong portfolio documenting up to 8 semesters of architectural design studio coursework. As noted above on the Master of Architecture degree tracks webpage, our M. Arch. I track includes students with prior architecture coursework, including architecture technology programs and other programs with less than four years of design studios. 

In the admissions process, we will sometimes offer applicants who applied to the M. Arch. II track admission to the M. Arch. I track instead. The offer of admissions letter from the School of Architecture will indicate the degree track to which the applicant was admitted. 

These guidelines apply equally to the M. Arch. I and II Architecture + Health degree tracks, where offers of admission are even more competitive due to the limited number of spaces available. For more information about our degree tracks, see our Graduate Programs webpage. For additional Architecture + Health Program admissions information, see below.   

Personal Statement.  A personal statement is not required. However, a personal statement may be submitted (attached to the online application or sent with or included in your portfolio). A statement is suggested for M. Arch. I applicants and other applicants to specialty programs.  

The Portfolio

The most important part of the Master of Architecture application is the design portfolio. All applicants are required to submit a physical, printed portfolio of creative work. Both presentation and content are important, and all portfolios must follow the format requirements described below. (Electronic portfolios, CDs, websites, etc., will not be reviewed.)

The portfolio provides evidence of design abilities and design sensibilities, and the opportunity for applicants to demonstrate preparation, prior experiences, accomplishments, and research interests relevant to their graduate degree program goal.

For applicants to the two-year M. Arch. II programs (those with a pre-professional undergraduate background in architecture), the portfolio will include examples of studio projects, including titles, brief descriptions, and information about the date and year level when the work was completed. Any group work, whether in an academic or office setting, must be clearly identified as such, and include a brief description of the applicant's contribution. (Failure to acknowledge group or collaborative work as such will result in the rejection of the application.) Although the portfolio may present other aspects of the pre-professional applicants experiences and interests, there is an expectation that the portfolio of a pre-professional student will present a substantial amount of their work and experiences as a pre-professional architecture student.

For applicants without a pre-professional background in architecture, who are applying to our three-year M. Arch. I programs, the portfolio is equally important. Any two-dimensional creative work, or representations of three-dimensional work, such as photography, graphic design, interior design, sketching, painting, sculpture, etc., may be included. Published writing samples, website designs, and other relevant design work may also be included. Any collaborative work must be clearly identified and include a brief description of the applicant's contribution. Since the M. Arch. emphasizes architectural design, candidates who do not have any creative work and do not submit a portfolio will not present the Admissions Committee with satisfactory evidence of their design abilities or sensibilities. Applicants without art or design backgrounds should consider taking courses in the arts or design before applying.

Format Requirements: The Admissions Committee considers not just at the content of the portfolio but also presentation and the way the portfolio itself is put together—including adherence to the following guidelines:

  • The portfolio must be no larger than 8.5" x 11" or A4 to be included with other portfolios being reviewed. (There is no minimum or maximum page requirement.) Portfolios exceeding 8.5" x 11" or A4 may not be reviewed, and electronic portfolios, DVDs, websites, etc., will not be reviewed. Although other presentations may be acceptable, the typical portfolio is a spiral-bound booklet, soft cover booklet, or hardcover book.
  • The cover of the portfolio must include the applicant's name and the degree track(s) applied for. (Portfolios that do not include the applicant's name and degree track sought on the front cover risk being misfiled and being reviewed with the wrong degree track.)
  • Current contact information should be included on the cover or within.
  • The applicant's resumé or cv will be contained within, whether as part of the portfolio in the front or back of the booklet (preferred), or as an insert.
  • All design projects presented must be clearly labeled with dates (year and semester), context of the work and supervisor (studio instructor or office supervisor).
  • All team, group, and office work must be identified as such, team members must be listed, and your role in the work must be clearly and specifically described.

For reference, here are some useful links about composing and organizing a portfolio:

According to university policies, application materials submitted become property of Clemson University and are not returned. However, as a courtesy, portfolios will be returned at the conclusion of the application cycle (between May and August) if accompanied by a pre-paid, self-addressed return envelope. The School of Architecture will not provide postage, track packages, or be responsible for loss or damage. 

Transcripts and GPA of Prior Degree Coursework 

Unofficial and Official Transcripts: An "unofficial" transcript is a transcript or degree progress report that is issued to the student by their university's registrar; it may also be a transcript or degree progress print-out accessed by the student through their university's online student information system. Applicants are required to attach/upload such a document to their online application as a PDF. An "official" transcript is one sent directly from the registrar of the applicant's prior institutions to Clemson University's Graduate School. If an applicant is offered admission and desires to matriculate, admission will be conditional until an official transcript is received. See additional information below.   

US Applicants: As indicated below and in the online application, the online application requires that you upload/attach an unofficial copy (issued to student) of your undergraduate or Bachelor's degree transcript, and any other degree-granting transcripts, to the online application. If you are offered admission, you will be required to have an official transcript sent directly from the Registrar of your prior degree-granting institution to Clemson University Graduate Admissions.   

International Applicants: In your application we must receive a self-reported GPA (Grade Point Average, aka GPR, Grade Point Ratio) in the US 4.0 grading system. We will not make the calculations or conversion for you. Applications that do not provide a self-reported GPA in their application will be at a disadvantage and may be disqualified. For more information about undergraduate GPA calculations, here is an unofficial GPA calculator for self-reported scores. See also this unofficial self-reported GPA calculator from WES. Applications with incorrectly reported GPA scores may be disqualified and applicants/students who knowingly provide incorrect GPA scores will be dismissed from our program. Therefore, we request that you provide an unofficial copy of a transcript evaluation by WES (World Education Services) or another NACES-accredited evaluation service with your application. If offered admission, you may be required to supply a transcript and GPA certified by WES or another approved agency if this is not provided on your official transcript(s). 

Students from China: for WES, see WES chinese

Graduate Admission Requirements and Process

Admission to graduate programs at Clemson University follows procedures established by the Clemson University Graduate School and the School of Architecture. Please follow the procedures below and submit the requested information as follows:

Step 1: Obtain an unofficial copy of your transcripts, take the GRE and have your scores sent to Clemson University Graduate Admissions using school code 5111; prepare your portfolio; and identify three people to complete online reference or recommendation letters (forms). An unofficial transcript is one that the applicant attaches to their online application; an official transcript is one sent directly from the applicant's college or university to Clemson University Graduate Admissions. International applicants, go to Step 2; others go to Step 3. 

Step 2, for International Applicants:

i) Take the TOEFL. The School of Architecture does not recommend the IELTS test, unless the score is above 7.0. (See Information for International Applicants below.) Request your test scores to be sent to Clemson University Graduate Admissions, using school code 5111.  

ii) Calculate your US 4.0 GPAPlease note that we will not convert your grades and we may reject applications that have not supplied an accurate US 4.0 GPA conversion. See Information for International Applicants below.     

Step 3: Complete an online application for admission as linked here: Attach a PDF copy of unofficial transcripts to the online application. International applicants must attach a PDF of their WES/NACES evaluation to the application. Supply contact information for your three references as part of the online application. 

Note that you do not need to supply official transcripts unless you are offered admission. Similarly, international applicants do not need to supply original or official WES/NACES evaluations unless offered admission. 

Step 4: Send your design portfolio, directly to the School of Architecture.

Step 5, if offered admission: If offered admission, you will be requested to supply official copies of your transcripts and credential evaluations. Official transcripts and credentials are not handled by the applicant or the School of Architecture. Official transcripts and credentials must be sent directly to Clemson University Graduate Admissions (not to the School of Architecture).      

Mailing Addresses:

Graduate Admissions Office
E-209 Martin Hall
Clemson SC 29634-5124

Graduate Admissions, Attn: Michelle McLane
Clemson University School of Architecture
Lee Hall
Clemson SC 29634-0503

Additional Admissions Information for Architecture + Health Program

Before applicants are considered for any specialized programs, all applicants are first considered for admission to our Master of Architecture program at large, following the same review procedure and standards. Applicants who requested admission to the Architecture + Health program are then selected for admission to the A+H program in accordance with their standing in the applicant pool. Others are automatically wait-listed for admission to the A+H program. Those admitted to the M. Arch. II track and wait-listed for A+H will be notified if any space becomes available before the first day of classes; however, since space is limited, spaces will typically be filled soon after offers of admission are made to M. Arch. II A+H applicants. Students who enroll in our M. Arch. I program who are wait-listed for the A+H program will remain on the A+H wait list throughout their first year of study (the first year of the M. Arch. I program is the same for all students) and will be notified if a space becomes available before the first day of classes in Year 2. 

Specialties: Concentrations, Certificate Programs, Electives, Dual Degrees 

Our program allows for such choices as a concentration in Architecture + Health, certificate programs, the choice of off-campus study in up to two semesters in three satellite locations, and/or 12 credit hours (most of one semester) of electives in any subject—all while completing degree requirements. Some of these opportunities require an application (A+H and the Architecture + CommunityBUILD program at the time of application), and some cannot be done simultaneously. However, we seek to make our program as flexible as possible within the structures of a NAAB-accredited M. Arch. program.  

Due to the amount of required coursework in our NAAB-accredited M. Arch. degree, in most cases it is not possible or practical to simultaneously complete a dual degree in architecture and another field. If courses in the other field align with M. Arch. elective opportunities in terms of their schedule, it may be possible that some of the graduate elective courses taken as as part of the M. Arch. program, which may be in any subject area, could be applied to another Master's degree.

A dual M. Arch. + M.S. in Arch., with some coursework applying to both degrees, may be possible if (1) a student successfully applies to both programs simultaneously or applies to the MS program soon after the start of their M. Arch. studies, (2) has an appropriate research interest, (3) finds a faculty member willing to serve as a primary advisor, and (4) secures the necessary approvals. The M.S. in Arch. degree would allow the student to earn a second Master's degree, most likely within one year, and to concentrate on a research topic and thesis. For more information see the M.S. in Arch. webpage.      

Previous Coursework and Transfer Applications 

Transfer Applications and Transfer Credit:  Transfer applicants must follow the application procedure outlined here. Transfer credit is considered only for graduate-level coursework in courses numbered 700 and above on the applicant’s transcript. Transfer credit is limited to 12 credit hours (e.g., 4 typical courses/seminars; 2 studios; etc.) Graduate transfer credit is not automatic; it is subject to review and approval by the School of Architecture and the Graduate School.

Advanced Standing and Course Substitutions: Applicants to the Two-Year M. Arch. track with an undergraduate degree in architecture are automatically considered for advanced standing in the overall Three-Year M. Arch. program. Prior coursework determines placement into the Two-Year or Three-Year tracks. 

Two-Year students must have completed the equivalent of Structures II as an undergraduate or will be required to take this course with Three-Year track students in place of an elective course. This requirement will supersede elective off-campus study in the semester that Structures II must be taken.  

Applicants to both the Two-Year and Three-Year tracks who have completed previous coursework equivalent to program requirements may be considered for course substitutions at the time of admission or after admission. For example, a Three-Year student with an undergraduate degree in Engineering may be permitted to substitute advanced or elective courses for the fundamental courses in structures. 

To be considered for course substitutions, admitted students will be required to provide syllabi and other supporting materials related to prior coursework in order to document equivalency. 

Except where graduate-level transfer credit is approved, all Two-Year track students must complete 60 credit hours and all Three-Year track students must complete 90 credit hours to earn the M. Arch. degree. In other words, course substitutions do not reduce coursework demands or the length of time to graduation. 

Tuition, Costs, and Financial Aid

Tuition. According to Design Intelligence, our Master of Architecture program has relatively low tuition costs when compared to other NAAB-accredited programs. According to the 2012-13 Design Intelligence Tuition Report, our program was in the lowest 20th percentile in tuition costs. Combined with a strong reputation, we think this makes our program a good value. For information about tuition and fees, please see the Graduate Program Tuition and Fees page

Other Costs. Other costs include room and board, a high-end laptop computer, digital design software (most software is available for free, and Clemson now has an Adobe license), the cost of purchasing and/or sharing the cost of a laser cutter lens, books, architectural drawing and modeling materials, printing costs, lab course fees, and other typical expenses of graduate architectural education. Be sure to factor such expenses into your financial planning.

Off-Campus Study Costs. For Off-Campus Study costs, see this page. Also note that the School of Architecture also offers a number of grants and fellowships for students who study in Italy or Spain. 

The Academic Common Market. The following 16 states are members of the "Academic Common Market" of the Southern Regional Education Board: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. To find your state, see Our Master of Architecture programs (CIP 04.0201) are approved programs. If your state participates, you may qualify for in-state tuition. The general stipulation is that the program is not offered in your home state. For more info, see We regret that this is not something we can assist you with; it is something that you must pursue on your own, with the state contacts provided. 

In-State Residency. Out-of-state students should also investigate the possibility of establishing In-State Residency in order to reduce the costs of their education. Residency requirements are indicated by the SC Commission on Higher Education and South Carolina state law. The linked pages provide more details; however, an independent, self-supporting person can establish state residency in twelve months.  

Financial Aid. The School of Architecture does not handle financial aid. For Financial aid information, see

Assistantships and Fellowships

The School of Architecture does not offer financial aid per se. However, the School of Architecture awards a limited number of graduate fellowships and assistantships to students each year based on merit, requisite abilities, and funding availability.

Assistantships and fellowships may be offered to promising program applicants based on their standing in the applicant pool. Recruiting fellowships may be offered to new M. Arch. I applicants based on their standing in the applicant pool; fellowships offer a small scholarship and reduced tuition for out-of-state and international students (in-state tuition) for one or more semesters. Assistantships are typically offered to M. Arch. II applicants.

Assistantships are also awarded to new and continuing students on an annual cycle based on academic performance and requisite abilities. With few exceptions, assistantships are one-year in length and are awarded only once per year, before the start of the coming academic year. Annual announcements of available assistantships are sent out during the summer and are used to identify the best fit for assistantship needs. Applicant ranking and academic performance (GPA) are also factors. 

For more information, see our Employment & Assistantships webpage.

Important Additional Information for International Applicants

Degree Track Selection: International undergraduate degrees in Architecture may differ from US Bachelor degrees in Architecture. However, regardless of the title of the degree, a M. Arch. II applicant's major course of study must be in architecture, with an emphasis on architectural design. International applicants should compare their course of study to Clemson's undergraduate degree program for a general comparison; the Admissions Committee also uses this as a general benchmark for a pre-professional undergraduate curriculum (for the purposes of a preliminary assessment of advance placement). All M. Arch. II applicants, whether international or not, must consider whether their portfolio will be competitive in the Two-Year applicant pool, where applicants will have up to four years of architecture design studios and other pre-professional studies in architecture.

Official and Unofficial Transcripts and Exam Scores: Official transcripts and exam scores are original documents sent directly from the applicant's college or university to Clemson University Graduate Admissions (School code 5111). Unofficial transcripts, GPA, and exam scores are supplied as copies by the applicant or self-reported by the applicant. 

International Transcript/Credential Certification: To provide the Admissions Committee with the most accurate information, international applicants should have their international transcripts evaluated by WES (World Education Services) or another NACES-accredited evaluation service; you will then be able to send unofficial copies of this report to all of the schools to which you apply. Credential evaluation will show a course-by-course listing and your overall academic record converted to the US 4.0 grading system. Offers of admission may be conditional pending the submission of an official transcript evaluation. 

Please note: We will not convert your grades to the US 4.0 GPA and we may reject applications without accurate GPA conversions. We may also require credential certification as a condition of admission. Students from China: for WES evaluation, see

GPA Conversion: International applicants must self-report their GPA on the online application in the US 4.0 grading system. We will not make the conversion calculations for you. If your transcript does not indicate your GPA in the 4.0 system, then you must use the unofficial self-reported GPA calculator from WES or a similar calculator. You must also attach unofficial transcripts; unofficial transcripts are copies sent by the applicant. If offered admission, you will be required to have official transcripts sent directly from your university to Clemson University Graduate Admissions. At that time you may also be required to submit a credential verification and transcript evaluation by WES (World Education Services) or another NACES-accredited evaluation service. WES has an International GPA calculator that can be used for unofficial, self-reported GPA scores. There is a cost of $5 US for this service. See     

Language Requirements: All coursework is in English and there is no time within the demands of the Master's degree curriculum to add coursework in English language study. Therefore, international applicants are required to submit their TOEFL scores, and the Admissions Committee looks at scores for strong language abilities. The examination must have been taken no more than 24 months prior to application. A TOEFL score of 90 or better is an indication that the applicant will be able to satisfactorily understand and complete coursework in English. The IELTS examination is accepted; however, 97% of applicants submit TOEFL scores and we convert IELTS to TOEFL scores for comparison. In order to ascertain language abilities, international applicants may be requested to participate in a Skype interview. (Free software for Skype is available at After admission, any enrolled student whose English language abilities are found to be insufficient will be required to take supplemental language instruction although this may delay degree progress. Applicants with lower TOEFL scores but otherwise strong applications may be offered conditional admission; conditional admission at Clemson requires attendance at Clemson's ELS center.  

TOEFL Exam and Scores: The School of Architecture does not recommend the IELTS test. The reason for this is that an IELTS score of 6.5 can be converted to a TOEFL score of 79 to 93. However, a score of 79 is not acceptable for admission, while a score of 93 is acceptable. Therefore, unless your IELTS score is above 7.0, your language abilities will not be considered acceptable. For conversion information, see  A TOEFL score of 90 or better is an indication that the applicant will be able to satisfactorily understand and complete coursework in English.

Conditional Admission: Strong international applicants with lower TOEFL scores may be offered "conditional admission." Conditional Admission requires an applicant to complete Clemson's ELS program. Clemson's ELS program is located in Greenville, SC (not on campus). There is bus service between Greenville and Clemson, but conditionally admitted ELS students may not take classes and are not admitted to the University by the Graduate School until the ELS program is successfully completed. ELS is a private language instruction provider approved by the University. Visit the ELS website for more information about costs and housing. Conditional Admission will typically delay the start of formal studies by one year. Language sessions begin every 4 weeks. However, because conditional admission requires four 4-week sessions (4 months) of study, it is usually not possible to complete successful studies before the start of classes in August. If the conditionally admitted student begins and completes ELS requirements between May and December, the student may be permitted to take some classes in the Spring semester beginning in January. However, the student will join the class matriculating/starting in August. Students offered "conditional admission" who do not complete the Clemson ELS program must reapply—after additional English language study and earning a higher TOEFL score—and are encouraged to do so.     

Visiting the School

Prospective graduate students are welcomed and encouraged to visit, and it is suggested that prospective students visit during the school year, when students and faculty are present. (Studios are in session Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons.) The Architecture Graduate Programs host Graduate Open Houses in the fall (typically in October) for prospective graduate students and in the spring (in late March or early April) for prospective admitted and wait-listed applicants. See our Visitors and Prospective Students webpage for more information. 

Fall Graduate Open House: Friday, October 31, 2014

The Fall Open House for prospective students is Friday, October 31, 2014, at 10:30 AM, meeting in the Lee III reception area. If you will attend the Open House, we request your RSVP in advance. Pease send your RSVP with complete contact information to Michelle McLane, Student Services Coordinator, at

Spring Graduate Open House: Friday, March 27, 2015

The Spring Graduate Open House is primarily for prospective admitted and wait-listed applicants. (See the application review schedule above.) The Open House will meet in the Lee III reception area at 10:00, followed by lunch with faculty and students at noon. The open house provides an informal opportunity to meet program directors, students, and faculty, ask questions and learn more about our programs, tour our Clemson facilities, see studios in session, and get a sense of life in Lee Hall and in Clemson. We encourage you to use the morning or afternoon to tour the campus and town, and view housing options. If you are an admitted or wait-listed applicant and will attend the open house, we request your RSVP (and attending companions) in advance; please send your RSVP to Michelle McLane, Student Services Coordinator, at See the visitor's information webpage for directions and parking information.  

About Architectural Education and Practice

Architectural education and practice are both challenging and demanding endeavors that require a high level of commitment, a dedication to self-education, and an ability and desire to deal with complex problems that sometimes do not have easy or clear answers. At the same time, architecture is also a highly collaborative field, and the ability and desire to work with others is necessary. Before applying, you are encouraged to learn as much as possible about the field, including what architectural education and practice are like. Talk with current and former students, and architects, and read. For more information about "Becoming an Architect, The Profession, Careers in Architecture, and What It's Like to Work As An Architect," start with "The Basics" on the NCARB site. See also the "Careers in Architecture" webpage from the American Institute of Architects, as well as the website. As you will learn there, an accredited Master of Architecture degree is the first step in a lifelong education; for those intending to become licensed architects, it is followed by a structured internship program (IDP) and a licensing exam (the ARE). There are also changes to these professional programs and procedures from time to time, as the discipline and practice of architecture also change, and students, like professionals, must do their best to keep up with a changing profession.       

Other good sources of information for those considering a career in architecture are Gunnin Architecture Library's "The Architecture Student's Basic Bookshelf," websites like Archinect, professional journals including Architect magazine and Architectural Record, and various books that have been written about architectural education and practice.   

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