Course Waivers for Graduate Students

For step by step instructions on how to submit a waiver request, students are encouraged to watch the video below:

Waiver Request Deadline

The deadline to submit a waiver request for fall semester courses is August 15th. The department will not review fall course waiver requests after that time and the student should instead register for the fall courses listed on their matrix. 

What is a course waiver?

Students accepted into the 2 year M.Arch (synthesis track) are encouraged to apply for course waivers before they begin their academic program. Receiving a course waiver indicates that you have already taken an equivalent course during your undergraduate studies. Receiving a course waiver does not decrease the total number of credits required in the M.Arch program  but allows you to substitute the required course on your matrix with an elective. Waiver requests should be made before the program begins. Late requests may not be accepted. 

What courses can I potentially waive?

Students are encouraged to apply for a waiver for one or more of the following courses before they begin their program. Note that a separate course waiver form must be completed for each course in your portal. 

Descriptions of the courses can be found on the waiver form and by clicking on the course above. Course Descriptions can also be found by looking up the course on the class schedule

What information do I need before submitting the request?

Course Syllabus:

In order to waive a course, students must submit their request through their portal. Part of the application will require students to upload syllabi (translated to english) for the course(s) they took during their undergraduate studies that they believe are equivalent to the course at UB.  Students may select up to 2 courses taken during their undergradaute studies that demonstrate equivalency. More information on a course syllabus can be found at the link below.  

  • The department is looking for a document that outlines what topics you learned in the course. What were the contents of the course? The purpose of the document is confirm that your course(s) covered some of the specific elements of our courses to approve the waiver. 
  • In addition to the required syllabus, students can also upload additional materials to justify their course waiver request. A total of 4 attachments may be uploaded per course waiver request. 
  • In some cases, faculty may do a portfolio review as well before making a decision. Students do not need to upload their portfolio as one of their attachments to their waiver request as it will be taken from their application materials. 

Minimum Grade Requirement:

Students must also prove through their undergraduate transcript that they received a grade of B or higher in the equivalent course(s). When looking at the transcript, students undergraduate country will be taken into account when determining the equivalency to grades in the United States. 

Information on the Equivalent Course(s): 

As part of the application, you will be asked for the name of the course(s) that you took during your undergradaute studies. Please be sure that the name is exactly as it appears on your transcript. You will also be asked to identify the specific year and semester that you took the equivalent course(s). For example, spring 2019.

Instructor Contact Information:

As part of the application, students will be asked to provide the name and contact information of the instructor who taught the undergraduate course(s) that they believe are equivalent. This information may be helpful to the faculty members doing the review if they need more information on the course. 

Next Steps After Submitting the Request

Students will be notified if their request was approved prior to the start of the semester. While waiting, it is recommended that students register for the courses on their matrix and then adjust their class schedule appropriately if they receive a course waiver. 

If the waiver is approved, students should look to take an elective, technical methods or intellectual domain seminar to substitute for the required course. In some cases, students may be able to move on to the next course in sequence if it is offered and works for their schedule. Information on courses and registration can be found on the Registration and Enrollment page

Having Trouble?

If you have questions about the status of your request, please contact Sidney Landis (