How to Apply for Best Architecture Engineering Schools in USA

To be in the best graduate school, one needs to conform to the norms and steps. Thorough preparation and homework for applying procedure for various grad schools is essential. Graduate school admissions take considerable time and pursue a procedure like filing of the application, enlisting and Shortlisting, essay writing, college visits, creative work, and interviews. This preparation phase acts as a turning point for student’s future career path considerably. Entrance into best grad school is increasingly competitive. Following are the preparation/applying directions:

Enlisting and Shortlisting

In order to make an appropriate decision, shortlist some best grad schools based on your choice and criterion set by you. Visit those shortlisted grad schools preferably when school is in term. Take a tour of the grad school, talk to students present and faculty and creates notes for reference later when applying. Visit days are a recruitment opportunity for the grad schools and an opportunity for you to get a taste of what grad school will be like at different institutions. This is your chance to appraise the best place for graduate study.

You can apply by early November and get the result by mid-December, although specific deadlines vary by graduate schools. Few grad schools follow the policy of a single-choice early action program, wherein an applicant can only apply early action to one school.


Most grad schools have online applications but know that some schools have specific requirements for the way applications are submitted.

In general, your application should include:

i. Application form(s)

ii. Statement of Purpose: Prepare the statement of purpose that includes your interest in the course and grad school. You need to show that you have an aptitude for the course you have selected thereby stating it in a statement of purpose.

Few SOP writing tips:
  • Cover educational Experiences and your interest in the course and subjects undertaken.
  • State the reasons for choosing the particular area of study. Focus on the specific points only.
  • Just mention clearly why you want the course, why this university and what will you do after the course-the long term mission.
  • Try to indicate what particular courses, clubs, classes and other experiences you are looking forward to. Avoid general statements.
  • Be optimistic while writing. Never blame others on your bad grades or experiences. State what you have learned and gained throughout till now.
  • Be logical and in flow with a proper inception, middle and ending.
  • Keep it short, clear, simple with accurate detailing i.e. font size, font color etc. Proper indentation is must.
  • Revise before final drafting.
iii. Standardized Test scores (General and possibly Subject test): Take the Standardized Test like GRE (Graduate Record Examination), SAT (Scholastic Aptitude test) Subject Test, ACT (American College Testing), and applicants who are not Americans are also required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign language) or IELTS.  The scores of these standardized tests take an applicant’s application one step ahead.

iv. Transcripts: include a copy of courses taken, grades or marks received, all honors and awards pertaining to academics conferred to the applicant. The applicant should have introductory-level knowledge in mathematics -algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus and science -biology, chemistry, and physics, and courses in English, social studies, humanities, arts or designs and computer and information technology. Listing them adds weight to the application.

v. Letter of Recommendation: is the one that depicts the characteristics and capabilities of the applicant. Letters of recommendation from faculty members or employers who can evaluate the applicant's academic potential for a graduate program are required. These help build a coherent, personal attitude and picture of the person behind the numbers.

vi. Extra-curricular activities: An all-rounder is the first choice for any grad school. So, do list your interest, personal initiatives, hobbies and extracurricular.

vii. Creative Exercise: Some architecture college requires a formal portfolio. This is a way to assess the skills and engage your creativity. The portfolio should demonstrate creative potential.

Few specifications:
  • Can include sketches, photography, paintings, craft work or creative writing. But no computer drafting material to be presented.
  • Can be a PowerPoint presentation of not more than 10 slides with proper image resolution.
  • No animation.
  • Can submit audiovisual work. The work should be able to reach the listener or viewer with an understanding of the scope of the work.
It is preferable to bring in the original versions of your pieces, rather than reproductions. Creativity is the pivotal element.

viii. Essays: Essays are considered as a way to judge the applicants potential and skills. They have supplanted interviews as a major way to evaluate applicant’s personality. They are meant to learn how the applicant thinks and their intellectual levels. Admission Essays are also called as Personal Statements.

Few essay writing tips:
  • Not too long, such as over 500 words.
  • Follow 5 C’s i.e. Correctness (proper grammar, spelling and punctuation), clarity (the order of and relationship between words and phrases used), conciseness (elimination of unnecessary word “redundancy”), coherence (flow or continuity in writing) and concrete (specific, not vague).
  • No embellishments, emotional appeals, or expletives.
  • Be honest; put your best foot forward “best self”.
  • Emphasize on intellectual curiosity and personal character.
  • Avoid poetry, jokes, excuses, criticism or disrespect, bragging or too much usage of “I” pronoun.
  • Avoid Slang or Jargon. Use care to pick good words that convey your meaning.
  • Deliver poignant details.
  • Topic should be something the applicant cares about and which reflects the applicant’s character, skills, and leadership. Showcase a broad outlook.
  • Use active voice rather than passive.

Interview preparation and Practice

Be clear, persistent, calm and polite. Show intellectual passion with deep excitement about the course and grad school you are applying. Showing enthusiasm really makes an applicant stand out. Avoid sounding unpleasant, supercilious, or anxious. Do your homework about the course and the university applying that shows you’re actually interested. Interviews serve as an opportunity for the university to get to know the applicant, but even more importantly for the applicant to get to know the university.
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