PhD Browser

Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture: History, Theory, and Criticism (HTC)

Illinois Institute of Technology
IIT College of Architecture
Chicago, Illinois
United States
History, Theory & Critic

IIT’s College of Architecture offers the only PhD program in Architecture in Chicago, a cosmopolitan metropolis characterized by a dynamic architectural culture, supportive research institutions and leading firms that drive the profession.


Founded in the late 1990s as a laboratory for applied research and scholarship, the PhD program attracts graduate students from around the world who converge on our landmarked Mies-designed campus to address a broad range of topics within an interdisciplinary environment.


The students enrolled in the PhD program explore the historic and contemporary intersections among Architecture, Culture & Technology through two areas of specialized research: History, Theory, and Criticism (HTC), and Technologies of the Built Environment (TBE). Research topics are based on the expertise of our faculty as well as the student interests. Possibilities include: building and urban energy use, environmental impacts of built environments, high-performance building skins, tall building design and performance, advanced structural systems, urban water systems, and histories and theories of architectural technology. Graduates of IIT’s PhD Program in Architecture typically pursue academic careers in universities, obtain positions in research institutions or return to professional practice.


Our PhD program is officially approved as a STEM designated field of study in Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s STEM designated fields list.


International students who have earned degrees in (STEM) fields in the US, may apply for a 24 month extension of their post completion OPT employment for a total of 36 months, a significant benefit for international students who wish to stay and work in the US post-graduation.


Direct admission into the PhD Program is preferred but admission via the MS program is also an option. Funding opportunities are available in the form of teaching assistantships and the students can benefit from our relationships with large architecture and engineering firms based in Chicago. A limited number of international exchange program opportunities are available for advanced PhD students.




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Admission Requirements

An applicant to the doctoral program generally must hold a professional Master of Architecture degree (M.Arch.), Master of Science in Architecture (M.S.Arch.), or Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.) from an NAAB or LAAB -accredited U.S. university or the equivalent. Students with graduate degrees in allied fields, such as engineering and art history, are also eligible. Students holding a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) can apply through the Master of Science program at the College of Architecture.


The applicant should meet all entrance requirements of lIT’s Graduate College, plus a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, a minimum revised GRE score of 144 in quantitative reasoning, 153 in verbal reasoning, and analytical writing of 4.0, and a TOEFL score of 577/90 (paper based/internet based test), or a minimum IELTS score of 6.




An applicant to the Ph.D. program must hold a graduate degree in architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, or an allied field from an accredited U.S. university; or an equivalent degree from an international university. The applicant should meet all entrance requirements of lIT’s Graduate College, plus a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.




Below is a list of the materials you will need to submit for the PhD in Architecture program. The Admissions Committee will not review applications until all of the required materials have been received.




– Online application

– $75 non-refundable application fee

– Original official transcripts

– Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores

– 2 letters of recommendation

– Portfolio – electronic copy only

– Sample of Academic Writing

– Statement of Purpose (Professional Statement)

– Curriculum Vitae

– English Proficiency Requirement (International students only)

– PhD Guidelines


Applications for Fall 2019 admission to the PhD in Architecture program are due by December 31, 2018. Please view the 2019 Graduate Application Guide here for more details. You are strongly encouraged to contact the Director of the PhD program, Professor Rahman Azari at, regarding your interest in candidacy.


For more information, please visit our Graduate Admissions page.






Available at:




Transcripts must indicate degree(s) awarded, course titles, credit hours, and grades or scores earned from all graduate and undergraduate schools attended. All transcripts must bear an original signature and seal, either from the issuing institution or a notary public, and must have been issued within a year of the application date. Student copies of documents are not accepted. If an applicant’s current degree program is in progress, he/she may be conditionally admitted subject to receipt of a final transcript verifying the degree awarded. A final official transcript with degree posted must be submitted within 30 days of the first day of classes.




GRE scores are valid for five years, and must have been taken no more than five years prior to IIT’s application deadline. Meeting the minimum standards does not guarantee admission. Please direct your test scores to the appropriate location: IIT’s institution code number for the GRE is 1318; no department code is required. Please allow two to four weeks from the date of your test or score request for delivery and processing of your scores.


Required minimum GRE scores for the Ph.D. program are: 144 (quantitative reasoning); 153 (verbal reasoning); and 4.0 (analytical writing).




Three letters of recommendation are required and should be from individuals who are able to assess your academic and/or career achievements and potential. Recommenders may include individuals such as professors or employers but may not include family members. Letters of recommendation must be submitted through the Applicant Portal. During the application process you will be prompted to submit your recommender’s contact information; your recommender will receive an electronic invitation to submit a letter in PDF format. You will not have access to submitted letters of recommendation.




Your portfolio should demonstrate your skills pertaining to design, analysis, research, and writing. For applicants in Technologies of Built Environments, the portfolio may also contain examples of modeling and simulation skills. In addition to a portfolio, PhD applicants are required to submit 3 samples of writing work including graduate school essays and/or publications.


Submit your portfolio as a PDF file that is maximum 15 pages long and no larger than 10MB.




Your Statement of Purpose should describe your previous academic experiences and your motivations for doctoral study at IIT, including future professional goals. In your statement, you should elaborate on research or professional projects you have previously worked on and discuss your research interests and potential topics that you may be pursuing toward your doctorate at IIT. Include the names of the faculty at IIT with relevant expertise who could potentially serve on your doctoral committee, if you’re admitted. The statement should be approximately 500 words.




A fee of $75 must be submitted by all first-time applicants. IIT must receive this fee before considering your application. This fee will not be applied toward tuition charges.




International applicants must meet all of the general requirements listed above as well as the following additional requirements.




Translations of transcripts are required for applicants whose institutions do not issue transcripts in English. The translation must be certified by a consular official or person authorized to translate documents. The translator’s original signature and seal are required and original foreign transcripts must be attached to the translation. Individual mark sheets must be included if individual course titles and grades are not listed.




Proficiency exams are required for applicants from non-English speaking countries or applicants holding degrees from institutions at which the primary language of instruction was not English. International applicants with degrees from institutions where the primary language of instruction was English are not required to submit TOEFL scores; however, documentation verifying that the primary language of instruction was English may be requested.


The exam must have been taken within the two years prior to the application deadline for the particular program. Based on the results of the exam, you may be required to complete additional English courses at IIT at the current tuition rate. English courses taken at IIT do not count towards a student’s program of study credit requirements.


Minimum score for admission to the Ph.D. program is 577/90 (TOEFL) or 6 (IELTS).


For more information on the TOEFL visit:


For more information on the IELTS visit:




The FAS is required for international applicants needing a student visa to study in the U.S. Applicants will need to submit a FAS covering the full costs of the program for one academic year. The FAS form must be properly completed, certified, signed by all relevant individuals, and uploaded into your Applicant Portal before an I-20 can be issued. A certified bank statement may be submitted in place of Section 3 of the FAS form and must include an official signature and seal. If you plan to bring dependents to the U.S., you must provide evidence of additional financial support for each dependent.


We encourage applicants to submit their FAS & copy of passport at the time of application but an admission decision can be made without a FAS and copy of passport on file.




Passport information must be submitted through the Applicant Portal. This documentation aids in efficient processing of your I-20, if you are admitted. Copies of passports for any dependent must also be attached.


5. SCHOOL TRANSFER FORM (International Transfer Applicants Only)


The transfer form must be submitted by any international student currently studying on an F-1 visa who intends to transfer their visa to IIT from another institution in the U.S. It indicates the release of your I-20 by your current institution, permitting IIT to create a new I-20 for you. Please submit only after you have been officially admitted.


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General information
Michelangelo Sabatino / Rahman Azari
Not Confirmed
Email / /
+1 312 567 3939
3360 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60616-3793, USA
Campus Location
The information of this PhD was extracted from the Official Website of the program.
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