The PhD program is broadly conceived around computational ideas as they pertain to the description, generation, and construction of architectural form. Issues range from the mathematical foundations of the discipline to the application and extension of advanced computer technology. The mission of the program is to enhance and enrich design from a computational perspective, with clear implications for practice and teaching.
Faculty, research staff, and students work in diverse but overlapping and mutually supportive areas. Work on shape representation, generative and parametric design is directed at a new computational basis for design. Work on digital modeling and rendering seeks to extend the possibilities of visualizing design ideas and un-built work, as well as to improve architectural design practice where designers and technical collaborators are geographically separated. Work on rapid prototyping and CAD/CAM technologies aims to expand design possibilities through the physical modeling of design ideas, and to revolutionize the construction and building phase of architectural practice.
Research employs computational media for the representation and use of design knowledge. Faculty, research staff, and students associated with the group combine education in architecture and urban design with education in computer graphics, art, mathematics, and other fields.
The minimum residency requirement for the PhD degree is two years and it is expected that most students will take no more than five years to complete the degree.
Each student will be assigned a faculty advisor in Computation upon admission. The advisor will consult on the student’s initial plan of study and on the choice of subjects in subsequent terms. He or she will assist the student in selecting an advisory committee and subsequently a dissertation committee. Often, but not always, the faculty advisor becomes the dissertation committee chair if the student so desires.
New Doctoral Research Opportunity in Computation and Advanced Urbanism – Fall 2019
The Norman B. Leventhal Center of Advanced Urbanism and Departments of Architecture and Urban Studies and Planning have established a collaborative doctoral-level program in Advanced Urbanism. Urbanism is a rapidly growing field that has many branches. At MIT, we speak of Advanced Urbanism as the field which integrates research on urban design, urbanization and urban culture.
The concentration in Advanced Urbanism seeks doctoral applicants (one to two per year) who have: 1) at least one professional design degree (in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, etc.); 2) research interests in urbanism that would draw upon both ARCH and DUSP faculty advising; and 3) a commitment to engage with the research community at the LCAU and within their home department throughout their time at MIT. Applicants should apply for admission to an existing ARCH or DUSP PhD program and must meet all specific admissions requirements of the respective PhD program.
Admissions committees nominate applicants who fit the urbanism program to a joint advanced urbanism admissions committee. The selected applicants are admitted by their home department discipline group (DUSP; AKPIA, BT, Computation, HTC) with financial support and research assistantships from LCAU. The first students will be recruited in Fall 2018 for admission in Fall 2019.
Prospective students with questions pertaining to the doctoral studies in Advanced Urbanism should reach out to their prospective home doctoral program and to LCAU doctoral committee members: co-directors Alan Berger and James Wescoat, and Rafi Segal and Brent Ryan. Or to the mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org. See links at top for program-specific information.
For more information please visit: http://lcau.mit.edu/center/education
ADMISSIONS FOR PHD IN COMPUTARION
Admission to the Department of Architecture for the PhD program in Computation is by competition among applicants for an average of two or three places available with a five-year funding package each year. It is based on a careful examination of the applicant’s previous academic record including relevant samples of completed academic and research work, a statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. The applicant should demonstrate superior intellectual achievement, and the ability to initiate and carry through to completion independent academic work in the Computation area. Successful applicants will have previous degrees in architecture or a closely related discipline. The applicant is encouraged to discuss his or her academic goals with a faculty member in Computation prior to submitting an application.
GRADUATE PROGRAMS ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS (FOR ALL GRADUATE APPLICANTS)
The Application Deadline is December 31 at midnight for all applications. Application material must be submitted by the deadline. Late applications will not be reviewed. It is the responsibility of the applicant to be sure that the application is completed. Applications will be reviewed using the information provided by applicants. Please do not call or email to check if official test scores have arrived. We will contact you if we do not receive them. Be sure to watch the application for notifications of application errors between December 31 and January 10. We will also email applicants if we notice something wrong with the application.
Three letters of recommendation. Letters from instructors are preferred unless you have been working for several years, in which case supervisors may be included. The application can be submitted on the deadline with fewer than three letters, but be sure to remind your instructors to complete their letters before January 10. Applications still missing two or more letters when review begins will not be reviewed. Review the instructions for letter submission in the «Letters Status» section of the application system. Applicants will send prepared emails to the recommenders containing a secure link to the recommendation form. We prefer that letters be submitted through the online application, and not a third-party letter distributor.
Transcripts for all relevant degrees, official or unofficial, must be uploaded to the application system. PDFs must be clearly readable and oriented correctly on the screen. Only those applicants who are accepted for admission will be required to send a hard copy of an official, sealed transcript (with English translation) from each school attended. Please do not have official copies of transcripts sent to our office unless you are admitted. Certificates, study abroad, and community college transcripts do not need to be sent unless the courses are not also listed on your primary college transcripts. Non-English transcripts must be translated into English, and if necessary, signed by a licensed notary and accompanied by the original version.
In addition to transcripts, applicants should complete the Subjects Taken section with any relevant course work. If you have taken studios, indicate this on the Test Scores/Experience/Electronic Portfolio section.
IELTS or TOEFL Score.
Applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit either an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score (Academic test) or a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), regardless of citizenship or residency in the U.S. while attending other educational institutions. No exceptions are made. The admissions committee regards English proficiency as crucial for success in all degree programs. In order to meet the admissions deadline, it is recommended that candidates take the IELTS or TOEFL on the earliest possible date.
Applicants must request that an official copy of their test results be sent directly to MIT by IELTS International or Educational Testing Service. IELTS and TOEFL Scores must be no older than two years as of the date of application. To avoid delays, please use the following codes when having your TOEFL scores sent to MIT:
– Institutional Code: 3514
– Department Code: 12
– The minimum score required for the IELTS is 7 and the minimum TOEFL score is 600 (250 for computer-based test, 100 for Internet-based test). While either test score is accepted, the IELTS score is preferred. (HTC PhD requires a TOEFL score of 115.)
All students whose first language is not English are required to take the English Evaluation Test (EET) prior to registration at MIT. Even students who satisfy the IELTS/TOEFL requirement for admission may be required to take specialized subjects in English as a Second Language (ESL), depending on their EET results. These subjects do not count toward the required degree credits.
Curriculum Vitae, uploaded to the system.
A portfolio of work, uploaded to the application. See program-specific instructions for portfolio requirements.
An Essay of one or two pages must be uploaded to the application system. Indicate why you are applying, and describe your qualifications for the degree.
A non-refundable Application Fee of $75 USD. You will need to submit a credit card number on the Architecture Graduate Application to process this fee. If you have a financial hardship, you may apply for an Application Fee Waiver: http://gradadmissions.mit.edu/feewaiver
Submission of completed application form by the application deadline.
You may apply to two different programs within the Department of Architecture. If you are considering two programs, discuss your plans with our admissions staff to save yourself unnecessary fees. Multiple applications are allowed, but are not necessary in many cases. The link to apply is: http://gradapply.mit.edu/architecture/apply.
Be sure to review the Application Instructions.
PHD IN COMPUTARION SPECIFIC-REQUIREMENTS
Graduate Record Examination
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for the PhD in Computation application.
A portfolio is strongly suggested for PhD applicants. Research papers or a portfolio of the applicant’s work (maximum of 30 pages) may be uploaded to the Architecture Graduate Application to aid the admissions committee but are not required.
The portfolio should include evidence of recent creative work, whether personal, academic or professional. Choose what you care about, what you think is representative of your best work, and what is expressive of you. Work done collaboratively should be identified as such and the applicant’s role in the project defined. Your name, and program to which you are applying should also be included. We expect the portfolio to be the applicant’s own work. Applicants whose programs require portfolios will upload a 30-page maximum), 15MB (maximum) PDF file to the online application system. The dimensions should be exported for screen viewing. Two page «spreads» are counted as one page.
Because of the small size of the program, interviews with faculty are highly recommended, but not required. It is advantageous for applicants to meet with the Computation faculty member doing research most closely aligned with the research interests of the applicant. Faculty members have varying schedules, and travel when school is not in session. Thus it is best to contact the faculty member directly at least two weeks prior to an intended visit.
Decisions and Notifications
Applicants will be notified by mail of the Department’s decision by April 1. Decisions cannot be given by telephone.