Sustainable Design


What are the deadlines for application for admission?

Admission to the MSSD on-campus Program is rolling and remains open into the summer preceding but applications are expected by May 1 for a Fall Start and October First for a Spring Start. For the on-line program, applications are due seven days prior to the start of each semester. Late August or early January. When students apply that late, a space cannot be guaranteed.

What are the deadlines for application for a Graduate Assistantship?

Graduate assistantship applications (for on-campus students only) must be submitted By January 1 for the Following Fall and September 1 for the Following Spring Semester.  Assistantships are not typically awarded to students who are already in the program. Occasionally, a research project will come in and students will be recruited as a graduate research assistant. Sometimes scholarship opportunities become available. They are advertised to all on-campus students. In addition, the term "financial aid" is meant to include available loans which students may or may not qualify for. In addition, campus jobs do become available, but they are also competitive and so students should not assume a job will be automatically available. Here is the link for the page that describes the process for applying for an assistantship.

I am an international student. What should I know before coming to the campus?

Philadelphia is a great City to live in. Like any large American City there is always some risk. The campus is very safe. Students coming from a foreign country should do research on different living options and what the rental rates. In addition, public transportation routes should be studied to makes sure there is direct transit to campus. It’s best to have already lined up several places to live prior coming to study. The MSSD Student was recently designated as a STEM Program which means that international students who graduate from our program are eligible to apply for a 24 month extension beyond the normal 12 month OPT. Nearly 95% of all international student graduates have found employment or have gone to enter a PHD program.

There is a lot of uncertainty around immigration laws in the US. As of November, 2017, many of our international students have received OPT, STEM extensions and full sponsorships. Despite the uncertainty, the U.S. remains an excellent option for international students.

Is the MS in Sustainable Design program an Accredited Architecture Program?

Thomas Jefferson University is a Middle States Accredited Institution. 
The MSSD program is a post-baccalaureate program focused on leadership, specialized knowledge, innovative thinking and specific skills. Those wishing to become a registered architect should look into accredited architecture master’s programs. Jefferson now offers a 2-3 year accredited program. Click here to learn more

Do I need to have taken the GRE's to apply?

No. We did not see a correlation between high GRE scores and success in our program.

What computer should I buy?

Click here

Macintosh computers are not recommended for this program if you intend to pursue building design as partg of your degree.

I don't have any design experience. Should I apply?

The definition of design has been broadly expanded in this program. The program is a mix of builders, designers, architects, developers, engineers and other professionals. What should I put in my portfolio, especially if I am a non-designer? We look for anything that you may have created or accomplished whether it be technically driven or aesthetically driven. If you have nothing visual to offer, please submit a detailed resume. Please consider placing images on web services such as Flickr or Behance for the portfolio. This saves paper and shipping.

As of November, 2017 Non-designers are required to take only one of the Design Studios and can take an extra elective to replaces the second studio which is focused on detailed building design.

I am an engineer. Will I fit into the program?

There are more than a few engineers in the program and they do quite well, especially those looking to mix in more creativity in their work. In addition, the program is now in a partnership with Villanova University (for on-campus students) to provide advanced engineering courses in renewable energy and water management.

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