Within the HTC discipline, there are two areas of study for SMArchS students:

  • History Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art
  • Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture


SMArchS in History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art

SMArchS students in History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art will expand upon prior experience (which can be in design, theory, history, practice, or other post-undergraduate work) to explore compelling research that links historical or contemporary topics with methodological issues. Working alongside doctoral students in the program, SMArchS students will be exposed to a wide range of historical periods and theoretical approaches. It is expected that research topics will be developed in close discussion with HTC faculty, building on the required Methods seminar (taken twice) to clarify the appropriate scope and original sources required for the master's thesis. The HTC program is intensely interdisciplinary, and students are expected to enrich their core disciplines of history and theory with inquiry into other fields as appropriate for their research interests. Opportunities occasionally emerge for HTC students to become involved in editing, organizing research symposia, and preparing exhibitions; students will also be brought into discussion with colleagues from across the discipline groups in the SMArchS program.



SMArchS in Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture

The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) at MIT is a unique international graduate program designed to promote, sustain, and increase the teaching of architecture in the Islamic world. It prepares students for careers in research, design, and teaching. With strong links with the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Aga Khan Programs at Harvard, AKPIA concentrates on the critical study of the history and historiography of Islamic architecture; the interaction between architecture, society, and culture; strategies of urban and architectural preservation; design interventions in disaster areas and environmental and material-sensitive landscape research. The siting of AKPIA at MIT's Department of Architecture is intended to negate the polarizing dichotomy between the discipline of architecture (derived from Western architectural history and praxis) and Islamic Architecture, which is routinely relegated to area and cultural studies.



Admissions for SMArchS

Deadline and Submissions

SMArchS Admissions Requirements

Online Application

Application Fee



Statement of Objectives

English Proficiency Requirement

The minimum score required for SMArchS candidates 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.

Graduate Record Examination

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for SMArchS applicants.


A portfolio is required of all SMArchS applicants, including those who do not have a previous architecture degree or background.


Interviews are not required for SMArchS applicants. All prospective students are welcome to visit the Department. If you would like to visit the campus for a student tour of the Department, please contact in advance of your trip:

Annette Horne-Williams

Decisions and Notifications



Degree requirements for SMArchS