M.Arch Programs


I'm currently in my last year of my undergrad for Interior Design with plans of going onto receive a M.Arch. I'm very interested in going to a reasonably acclaimed university. Initially, I was looking at KU, Iowa State, Nebraska, and Texas, but recently I've been exploring the possibility of excellent programs like GSD, GSAPP, and Cornell. It would be a dream of mine to have the opportunity to go to a school as prestigious as Harvard and Columbia but I'm curious how difficult it is to get accepted considering these are some of the hardest undergraduate schools to get into. How important is GPA, GRE score, involvement, and work experience in comparison to the portfolio submission? Does one have a better chance of getting in if they have a few years or work experience rather than one is who fresh out of undergrad? My Interiors program is very architecturally-based so I do have a decently competitive portfolio that showcases architectural talent/knowledge.

My GPA is 3.5 and I have studied abroad once and plan to study abroad my last semester of undergrad. My resumé is strong with various organization involvement and volunteer work and I'm interning with a large, international architectural firm. I give you this information to inquire how competitive I am against the other prospective students.

How valuable is a degree of that caliber to employers? Is the $45,000/yr tuition (approx.) worth that much more than a degree from other good programs like KU or Texas? Have any of you had good experiences at any of these universities? Should I consider any other schools? I'm more interested in a school that focuses on conceptual ideas and theories rather than one that is art based or engineering/technical. 

Thank you in advance for your information!

Jul 12, 14 4:15 pm

None of that stuff says much about you if something else says the opposite. It’s about the overall package, if you are exceptional on a few fronts and good on others, don’t worry about it, school admissions are not really that competitive.

I think people do have a better chance of getting in after a few years of work though, but only because that typically makes them much better at things.

Apply to two schools you think you’ll get into, two you think are a maybe, and two you think will be hard, and see what happens.  And if you get accepted at the hardest school to get into, don’t feel pressured to go there if the scholarships aren’t good.  In the end you'll probably end up making the same amount of money when you start working no matter what school you went to, and unless you go somewhere no one has ever heard of it shouldn't be that much harder/easier to find a job.

Jul 12, 14 6:09 pm


Thanks for your response. It is helpful to get some insight from someone else. I can agree with the statement "I think people do have a better chance of getting in after a few years of work though, but only because that typically makes them much better at things." because of the knowledge, program efficiency, etc. you gain from working. I think taking time off is probably the most practical route for me in regards to finances.

Thanks for the help.

Jul 13, 14 1:30 pm

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