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Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture, Landscape, and Design (Ph.D.) Admission Requirements


All applications, domestic and international, must be completed using the Online Admissions Application. Unless otherwise stated, information is submitted electronically.

Your online application will consist of:

  • Creating your Profile: includes contact information
  • Supplying your Academic Background: includes all post-secondary degree/non-degree and diploma programs (do not add certificate programs)
  • Supplying your self-reported English proficiency
  • Selecting the Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture, Landscape, and Design
  • Supplying referee contact information
  • Making the non-refundable and non-transferrable $125 application fee payment
  • Uploading your transcripts
  • Uploading your supporting documents: includes CV, portfolio, writing samples, supervisor preference, and two-page research proposal

Deadline to Apply

  1. January 4, 2021: You must make your application payment and submit all transcripts electronically by this date. Note: Transcripts are uploaded only after the payment is made.
  2. January 12, 2021 You must submit all other supporting documents (Letters of Reference, CV, Research Proposal, Portfolio, and Writing Sample(s)) by this date.

Submissions are due by 11:59pm (EST; Eastern Standard Time).

Academic Requirements

Applicants should have appropriate academic credentials (a master’s degree or equivalent in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Fine Arts, Engineering, Environmental Design or, exceptionally, in a related field) with an average grade of at least A-. A Master of Architecture or Master of Landscape Architecture first professional degree or Master of Fine Arts is preferred, but not required.


Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended must be submitted electronically on the Online Admissions Application. Applicants who receive an offer of admission will be required to submit official hard copy transcripts to the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design prior to registration.

Carefully read the Transcripts page for submission instructions.

English Requirements

Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. The required minimum scores and further details on how to submit test results are listed on the School of Graduate Studies website. This requirement should be met at the time of application.

Applicants must:

  1. Self-report the test results on the online admission application as instructed and;
  2. Arrange for the official results to be sent electronically to the University of Toronto by the testing agency. The Daniels Faculty will not approach testing agencies on behalf of an applicant.

Please note: Applicants submitting English proficiency testing may be asked for further demonstration of their English proficiency.

Supporting Documents

Note: All documents being sent or handed in to the Daniels Faculty should clearly indicate applicant number and full legal name of applicant on packaging unless being sent directly from an institution. Once supporting documents are submitted they become the property of the University of Toronto and cannot be returned.

All supporting documents listed below are mandatory and must be submitted on the Online Admissions Application . Carefully read the information below for guidelines on each supporting document.

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Letters of Reference
  3. Research Proposal
  4. Writing Sample(s)
  5. Supervisor Preference 
  6. Portfolio (Optional)

Curriculum Vitae

Applicant’s curriculum vitae (resume) must be submitted electronically on the Online Admissions Application. There are no page limits or specific requirements; however, we encourage applicants to edit this carefully. It is not recommended that an applicant include their photograph on their CV or any other application materials.

Letters of Reference

Three letters of reference are required for each application. These letters of reference are submitted electronically on the Online Admissions Application and are only shared among the programs listed on the application. The system will automatically email an electronic submission request to each referee once payment is made. Although applicants provide referee information before payment, the system will not notify referees until after payment is processed.

It is highly recommended that applicants confirm referee availability prior to submitting contact details. All letters of reference must be received no later than the document deadline.

After payment is made, we recommend checking with each referee to ensure they have received the automatic email request. University of Toronto emails will sometimes be blocked by email security filters. If a referee has not received the email, please ask them to check their Junk Mail folder. If they still have not received the request, applicants have the ability to re-send the request through the Online Admissions Application. Do not use this function as a reminder for your referee.

Letters of reference will be part of the official student academic record; they are confidential and applicants/students will not have access to them. For more information, please see FIPPA and its Application to the University of Toronto.

If your referee does not have a valid institutional/company email address, please direct your referee to download the reference letter template and have them submit a hard copy of the template together with a full reference letter on letterhead, signed and sealed in an envelope and sent directly to the Daniels Faculty.

Research Proposal

A two-page research proposal must be submitted. As the PhD program aims to support emerging forms of design and scholarly practice that address the complex issues confronting the built environment, it is expected that applicants’ research proposals will be in this spirit. In their research proposal, applicants should describe a topic of research that relates to one of the four areas of study (history and theory, computation and fabrication, health and society, and technology and environment) as well as initial ideas for how the proposal might go beyond disciplinary lines to take advantage of synergies between these fields. Likewise, applicants are encouraged to describe how skills from prior studies would be developed and applied in this context.

Although letters of commitment from faculty members are not required, the proposed topic must be congruent with the interests and expertise of at least one member of the Ph.D. Program Faculty.

Writing Sample

Applicants must submit a writing sample, in the form of a substantial research paper or publication. The writing sample must be submitted electronically and should demonstrate academic communication skills.

Supervisor Preference 


Portfolio (Optional)

Applicants who feel a visual representation of work is required to support their research proposal have the option to portfolio of work.

  • Save file name as Lastname_Firstname_PhDPortfolio and send as a single PDF file
  • Clearly indicate your full name (as it appears on your online application) in your email and on your portfolio
  • Clearly indicate your full application number