Master of Architecture Portfolio Guidelines

Submission of a portfolio of work is required by the Graduate Architecture Program. Creating a portfolio can be stressful and very personal, so the following information is offered to break down those barriers and simplify the submission process.

After reviewing the General Portfolio Requirements and Recommendations, please review the appropriate category requirements and recommendations listed below for the Master of Architecture degrees.

 

Advice for Your Portfolio

Quality vs. Quantity: Regardless of which graduate path you are applying to, all portfolios are reviewed for quality of content, never for quantity. The selection committee is looking for images that demonstrate that the applicant is thinking visually as well as critically, as well as for arresting visuals. Being able to self-edit is a difficult skill to learn, and a shorter but more striking portfolio helps to demonstrate this quality. A good portfolio may have very few images, provided those images are of high quality and strong critical value.

Text: It is strongly recommended that applicants keep text in the portfolio to a minimum. Limit text included in the portfolio to basic identification of location/object, date, medium, etc.  All other text or lengthy descriptions should be in the Statement of Interest.

Format and Submission: All portfolio submissions shall be uploaded electronically as PDF files. No hardcopy submissions will be accepted. The file size is limited to 10MBs. All submissions will be viewed on standard monitors, and should be created with that in mind.

Tips: Printing to PDF rather than saving to PDF typically generates a much smaller file. If you choose to save to a PDF, then make sure to save as a “reduced” PDF.

 

Master of Architecture

M.Arch 3G – 3.5 Years

Students applying for the M.Arch 3G 3.5-year curriculum come from diverse backgrounds. As such, the contents of the portfolio of work can vary greatly from applicant to applicant. Images submitted may include photography (digital or analog), montage or collage (digital or analog), images of 3-D artifacts such as sculpture or craft, or images of drawings, paintings, or other forms of 2-D artwork.

Again, the number of images is inconsequential compared to the quality of the work in the images. A few quality images (as few as three) will go further than a litany of poorly composed or carelessly selected images. The Selection Committee is looking for thoughtful composition and a critical eye.

Note that it is not required that students entering the 3.5-year program know how to draw. Drawing skills (both technical and freehand) are taught in the Summer Immersion program.

Applicants from non-traditional architecture programs, such as B.S. in Environmental Studies or B.A. in Architectural Studies, or Interior Architecture programs should contact the Graduate School of Architecture as soon as possible for assistance in determining the appropriate program to apply under. Many applicants from these programs that are accepted do so under the 3.5-year program guidelines, typically with the waiver of several courses. In some cases, applicants from these programs may have the Summer Immersion requirements waived, reducing the overall duration to three years.

 

M.Arch 2G – 2 Years

Those applying from a B.S. or B.A. Arch program for M.Arch 2G 2 year curriculum (for the two-year, four-semester professional curriculum) need not include every project, nor every semester’s design studio work. Include only the best work, and only the best images of that work. Please note the following for ALL work:

  1. The curricular year
  2. Duration of each project
  3. Any information regarding collaboration.
  4. For collaborative projects, note your area of responsibility and any drawings or models produced jointly.

Note that applicants from non-traditional architecture programs, such as B.S. in Environmental Studies or B.A. in Architectural Studies, or Interior Architecture programs should contact the Graduate School of Architecture as soon as possible for assistance in determining the appropriate program to apply under. Many applicants from these programs that are accepted do so under the 3.5-year program guidelines, typically with the waiver of several courses. In some cases, applicants from these programs may have the Summer Immersion requirements waived, reducing the overall duration to three years.

Before submitting an application, we strongly suggest that you contact Jason Young, Director of the School of Architecture, at jason.young@utk.edu or 865-974-3243, to discuss your options.