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Bachelor of Science in Architecture

Admissions

Each year, the Buffalo School draws students from increasingly diverse backgrounds across the state, nation, and globe. As the largest public university in the state of New York, and as the only fully-accredited architecture program in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, our mission is to provide a path into architecture that encourages a diverse and ever-evolving range of student interests and skills. 

Therefore, the Bachelor of Science in Architecture program has no additional requirements beyond those set by the university: high school average, completed high school courses, rank in high school class, standardized exam scores (SAT/ACT), and other factors.

In short – we welcome all applications for admission to the Bachelor of Science in Architecture and invite you to apply.

In addition, we would like to see what you’ve been doing and encourage you to submit a digital portfolio and/or complete one of our short design projects. Complementing the university’s admissions standards, the portfolio/project submission provides you the opportunity to demonstrate creativity, and may benefit (but will never hurt) you in the admissions process. Additionally, by submitting a portfolio/project, you are automatically eligible for a prestigious Dean’s Scholarship, awarded annually to applicants that evidence the greatest potential. Lastly, the submission helps us understand the skills of the incoming class so that we can design courses that promote student success.

The deadline for portfolio and design project submissions is February 15. For Dean’s Scholarship consideration, the recommended deadline is December 1. Submit materials online via SlideRoom.

Digital Portfolio Guidelines

The digital portfolio consists of work samples that demonstrate skills in observation, critical thinking, creativity, and technique. Samples may include: freehand drawing, sculpture, painting, photography, furniture, ceramics, graphic design, set design, animation, video, original music, architectural design, and/or creative writing. While there is no required number of samples, applicants are advised to provide work that best represents his/her skills and interests.

All work must carry a title, date of work, medium/media used, original size, a short one- to two- sentence description, and indication of whether the work was an academic, professional, or personal project. If the work is part of a group effort, contributing members must be included as well as the specific role of the applicant.

As you complete the portfolio, please consider the following:

  • Selection and Decision Making: Did you select work that best demonstrates your interests and skills?
  • Creativity: Is the work you selected imaginative? Is there other work you have done that better expresses your creativit and skills?
  • Craft: Is your work well crafted? Did you use the chosen medium skillfully and with attention to detail?
  • Writing: Is your writing the best it can be? Is the writing clear, compelling, and free of spelling or grammatical errors
  • Process: Are there parts of your work that can be done better? Are there aspects of the work worth practicing and re-doing?

Design Project Guidelines

Like the digital portfolio, the Design Project gives applicants the opportunity to demonstrate skills in observation, critical thinking, creativity, and technique. Please select two options from the list below and upload them to SlideRoom.

Option 1: Drawing and Essay

Select a plain, commonplace object, such as a brick or glass bottle. Carefully place the object in a setting that best shows off the object’s form, material, and light properties. Reveal these properties using watercolor, a black ink pen, or collage of the object and some of its setting. In 300-400 words describe: (1) the form, material, and light properties of the object in detail, (2) why you chose the setting you did, and (3) why you chose to draw the object and setting in the way you did. [Start the project by making a list of 5-7 objects you might select; compare them; then select one. Please include your list and rationale in your writing.]

Option 2: Photo Essay

Identify a place or environment that most people would consider “ugly.” In a series of five photographs, show the hidden beauty of this place or environment. In 400-500 words, describe: (1) the essential characteristics of this place/environment, (2) why others might view it as “ugly,” (3) the hidden beauties you are seeking to show, and (4) how you chose to photograph this place/environment to best show these qualities. [Start the project by making a list of 5-7 places/environments you might select; compare them; then select one. Please include your list and rationale in your writing.]

Option 3: Videography and Essay

Identify a place or environment that you strongly associate with one of three senses: taste, smell, or touch. In a two-minute film—using audio and video—capture the essence of this sensorial experience of this place/environment. The 300-400 word script is to describe, in detail, the sensory experience of this place/environment, while using the audio and video to add depth and clarity. [Start the project by making a list of 5-7 places/environments you might select; compare them; then select one. Please include your list and rationale in your writing.]

Option 4: Model and Essay

Obtain five (5) 8.5x11” pieces of plain white paper. Using only one act or operation per sheet, transform each piece of paper into something new. Then place the set of five in order (left to right) from least transformed to most transformed, and photograph the set. In 400-500 words, describe: (1) the characteristics of the original, unchanged sheet, (2) the transformation (act/operation) that was performed to each of the five, and (3) why you ordered them the way you did. [Start the project by making a list of all of the properties of the plain paper and a parallel list of changes that could be made; then select the best five. Please include your list and rationale in your writing.]

As you complete these exercises, please consider the following:

  • Directions: Did you carefully read and follow the directions?
  • Selection and Decision Making: Did you select the two exercises that best demonstrate your interests and skills? Did you choose and make decisions thoughtfully? Are there other choices that would allow you to better express your creativity and skills?
  • Creativity: Is your approach to the exercise imaginative? Is there an alternative strategy that better allows you to express your creativity and skills?
  • Craft: Is your work well crafted? Did you use the chosen medium skillfully and with attention to detail?
  • Writing: Is your writing the best it can be? Is the writing clear, compelling, and free of technical errors?
  • Process: Are there parts of your work that can be done better? Is one or more of the steps worth practicing and re-doing?

Transfer Students

Students interested in transferring to UB for entry into the architecture program should visit UB Transfer Admissions to initiate the transfer admission application process. 

  • The deadline for submitting the SUNY application for transfer students is February 15. Departmental application forms and related requirements submitted after February 28 will be reviewed on a space-only available basis until May 31. 
  •  If you are seeking upper-level studio placement, the Department of Architecture will contact you to submit a portfolio once your transfer application is processed.
  • Applicants with an earned baccalaureate degree should contact School of Architecture and Planning Academic Services prior to applying to the pre-professional Bachelor of Science in architecture (BS Arch) for alternative academic advisement and information on the Master of Architecture (MArch) degree.

International Students

Please visit UB International Admissions for instructions and information for international freshman and transfer admissions.