Examples of MArch I Portfolio

Paul A. Zamorano

I would  like to see examples of portfolios that got  accepted to Harvard's GSD MArch I program or any other MArch I programs?

Can anyone help?


I would like to see examples of those that don't have design background.



Aug 2, 12 10:40 pm

Background: graduated '11 with a bachelors in urban planning. 

Accepted in University of Cincinnati's mArch I program beginning this fall. 

Aug 3, 12 12:19 pm

Sorry, messed up the link. Proper link is here:

Aug 3, 12 1:08 pm
Paul A. Zamorano

Thanks for the link!

Aug 4, 12 11:51 pm

One of those is a 56 page portfolio.  Isn't that completely overkill?  All of my profs have said to not exceed 20 pages and even that may be too much.  I guess it did get them into some great schools...

Sep 10, 12 3:10 pm

Bump.  Seems like M. Arch 1 with no professional design background are extremely rare, which makes me wonder how many of them actually exist or are successful getting into good programs.  All these schools SAY they encourage people with different backgrounds to apply, but I wonder how many actually are able to get in given the limited experience and knowledge.


Also, a lot of the portfolio and application advice I find doesn't apply to those of us with absolutely zero background.  It's kind of discouraging.

Oct 14, 12 2:58 pm

Based on my current experience in graduate school now, there are a bunch of people with non-architecture backgrounds - maybe 1/3rd of the class. I know that's true at at least one other top school as well.

Oct 14, 12 7:52 pm

I need some of my doubts clarified. I'm from India, doing my final year in B.arch and I would like to pursue M.arch in the states. I need help designing the perfect portfolio. And I saw some of the links.  The first one has a lot of studying the approaches or the theories of different architects. Its somewhere near page 30, that the actual "designing" has started. Now, are so many works required? Especially, when its mostly analyzing. (Its 40 pages in total and the majority goes off in analyzing. And its 40 PAGES!)
The second one: OMG, its 48 pages! I like the second one. cool! Do you really need so many views? Arent conceptual sketches or details more important?

My basic doubt is this. Three of the portfolios have 40 to 50 pgs. Necessary?  As zenza has put it, isnt it an overkill? I was told that about 25 to 30 should do the job. Next, Indian architecture schools deal with designs differently. If there's any of you from Ind, please help me out.  

Aug 5, 15 1:36 pm

Hey Sarayu. I'm in the exact same situation as you. In my 5th year, from India. I'm pretty much having the same issue. Schools in India have a vastly different approach with regards to design. They don't focus much on the conceptual work. All the portfolios that I've seen from Ivy leagues and other unis have folios which are filled with conceptual/experimental content. Even if you look at folios from the top unis in India, you wouldn't find any projects like those. It's really a tough call when it comes to deciding on an approach to your folio when competing against those.

Aug 5, 15 3:18 pm

Why do you want to go to an Ivy League school if you aren't even prepared for the conceptual/theoretical rigor necessary to make an application portfolio? That's the easiest part.

Aug 5, 15 4:14 pm

I never stated that I'd be applying to Ivy leagues. I know very well that my current situation/knowledge limits me from doing so. I'm not blaming my education system here but I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to learn something that you weren't taught by looking at other applicants, as opposed to just staying complacent.

Aug 5, 15 4:27 pm

It has always struck me as odd that there are so few Indian students in M.Arch programs. There are many in other Masters-level programs such as the tech-heavy MDes at the GSD. Perhaps it is because of the undergrad system in India?

Aug 5, 15 5:19 pm
^there were a good number at my grad.
Aug 5, 15 9:49 pm
I remember seeing a portfolio on here from an Indian student applying to grad programs.

The most interesting part about it was his personal work. He did some drawings and some small furniture and sculpture on his own. It demonstrated he could think for himself and produce something original.

His school work was so boring and frankly pointless. Inane concepts and the technical drawings were essentially unbuildable.

So if you do make a portfolio please show something you did on your own outside of school. Even if you think it's not professional or weird or that it's not GSD level it will be so so much interesting and indicative of your capabilities.
Aug 6, 15 12:41 am

Hey, Rob_c. Do you think its possible to give a link to that Indian student's folio? For both archmpf and I to take a look?

Aug 11, 15 10:06 pm

Hey i have done my b.arch from india and i wish to continue my studies from the states. I wanted some suggestions regarding on how to make the portfolio. It would be of great help if someone could post their portfolios.

Thank you

May 25, 16 5:27 pm

Hey, Does anyone have the examples and standards for portfolio and grades requirements for ivy leagues architecture school in the US? I'm on my last year undergraduate program in Australia

Jun 4, 16 2:22 pm

I wanted to see sample portfolios for Postgraduate programs in Architectural Conservation. Could anybody please help? I'm mostly looking to apply in UK. 

Thank you.

Jul 3, 17 4:46 am

Does anyone have examples of portfolios used for Canadian university entrance?

Jul 5, 17 11:57 am

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