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Woodbury in LA?

zac97

Is Woodbury University in Los Angeles a good school for architecture undergrad? They have such a high acceptance rate and I have not really heard much about them. I suppose they may share professors with schools like UCLA, USC, and Sci-Arc? 

Would anyone recommend this school? 

 
Dec 3, 16 10:06 pm

Yes, I would recommend Woodbury. It is a great school like the others you mention and add that list Cal Poly Pomona. Architecture schools in Los Angeles rotate a lot of professors between them. It's a great city to study architecture.

Dec 3, 16 10:39 pm
Janosh

You can get a good education there, and it does indeed rotate faculty with other Los Angeles area schools. It's less selective, so some of your classmates will be horrendous.  Relative to UCLA and Sciarc, there's probably less exposure to professors with significant practices, but then again, the folks that are instructing you are likely more centered on education than their own agendas.  Just be sure that you are clear on the total cost of graduation (it's not cheap compared to state alternatives).

Dec 4, 16 1:44 pm
natematt

^none of those three schools is particularly selective, and you will have the same issue at all of them with the students. But I agree, you can get a great education at any of them. Very different feel between the three campuses though. I don't know the costs off hand, but that should probably be a big consideration.

Dec 4, 16 3:59 pm
zac97

Thank you guys for your replies! I just wanted to make sure that if I committed I wouldn't be receiving a bad education. One of the main questions I had was if tuition wasn't a problem, what would be some reasons one may choose Woodbury over one of the other schools? I wanted to know some unique qualities about the school.

Dec 4, 16 8:36 pm
natematt

Of the schools you mentioned, my experience with the graduates would suggest they are more pragmatic. (I would say this of Pomona as well)

Also, while they may not have as much of a reputation as a school like SCI-Arch, that is not always a bad thing...

Dec 5, 16 3:34 am
zac97

Im sorry! I don't want to compare the fame of the schools, I just want to know what Woodbury is known for, or whats unique about it. How each school lines up against each other does not necessarily interest me, I am sure I will receive a good education at any of these schools. I just want to find the best fit. As of right now, I don't believe I'll fit well with Sci-Arc's atmosphere or teaching methods. I am not a huge fan of Sci-Arc for the reason it seems to be the opposite of pragmatic. 

Dec 5, 16 12:29 pm
spiketwig

No, would not recommend. In the local market you are competing against Sci Arc, UCLA and USC, not to mention Cal Poly SLO and Pomona. Employers will pick grads from any of those programs well before Woodbury, and I'm aware of several offices that pretty much blacklist Woodbury - they don't think the grads are good enough. Sorry.. 

Dec 5, 16 3:17 pm
Janosh

^I'd be surprised if that were true at most design oriented firms in LA. That used to be true, but most here consider Woodbury at least competitive with Sciarc in terms of employability.

Dec 5, 16 4:00 pm
natematt

^A lot of people are not fond of SCI-Arch for employable either though. 

Working for a large firm in LA, we don't really care that much, as long as their work looks good. We have a varied quality of people from all of these schools. 

If we have a preference in recent years, it's probably Pomona, which to my grasp is fairly pragmatic. 

(SLO is not local Zac) 

Dec 5, 16 4:25 pm
zac97

So I gather that Woodbury is pretty average performing school? I feel they should have something to their name since they've been established for a long time. What I had to begin to gather from the Archinect forums is that your university does not ultimately define your future and that your portfolio truly shines. However, I feel I am getting some mixed reviews about Woodbury so I am a bit fearful of looking further into it. 

One of my goals by starting this thread was to find more schools that can offer me a good education and a smooth transition into the workplace. I ultimately want to add to the list rather than cut it. To add, is Berkley's BA program worth looking into? I feel a bit worrisome that I'd receive a BA rather than a B.Arch or BFA.

Dec 5, 16 7:25 pm
spiketwig

if you want to be an architect, get the b.arch - if you do the BA you'll just have to go back for an m.arch if you want to be licensed. 

wrt to Woodbury's rep in LA, my previous comment is based on direct knowledge of hiring discussions (e.g. not the grapevine), but is also 3-4 years old, so maybe it's gotten better? 

People in LA *love* SLO grads - school has a strong rep for producing competent production staff that won't take a ton of time to train (=hireable), but it's not local to LA (3 hrs by car). 

Dec 6, 16 1:06 pm
natematt

^the 4+2 route is becoming the  standard these days. 

But yes, SLO has a very good reputation. So if the OP is interested in branching out a bit on location it's a good option. 

Dec 6, 16 1:41 pm
sameolddoctor

SLO sheep you guys mean ... having worked with several SLO grads, I have not seen anyone of them that questions the status quo, or brings more to the table than whats asked of them. Sorry but this is my experience.

Woodbury is extremely reputed in the design-based firms of SoCal, to answer your question. However, for the price, you could just save some dough and go to CalPoly Pomona, which is equally rated....

Dec 6, 16 4:12 pm
Janosh

And as for the employer preference question, I would bet than every employer has a bias one way or the other, and it's mostly a wash: for everyone that prefers UCLA or Sciarc, there's another one that dislikes those schools and prefers Woodbury, or USC, or Cal Poly.  It might be best to just check the firms whose work you like against their institutional affiliations.

Dec 6, 16 10:30 pm
zac97

I feel like all of the schools mentioned in this thread are good schools to go to. Getting a job outside of school I suppose is really influenced by your work individually rather than the school you come from which I am happy to hear. I currently study at Parsons and transferring to a school after freshmen year is harder but I can only suspect it to be harder after sophomore year. Parsons has such unique courses that they don't transfer anywhere. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? 

Dec 7, 16 8:00 pm
sdarch

I go to the San Diego Woodbury campus. The programs are relatively similar but I think our campus is more focused on Housing and Social problems and Burbank is more of a Sci-Arc light with a heavy emphasis on individual expression and graphics. 

I think Woodbury is a much better value than Sci-Arc, and really any school that is charging you more than 30k a year to study in a field where you won;t make more than 40k at your first job is ripping you off (cough... USC, Sci-Arc.. cough). Also don't believe the BS that firms blacklist Woodbury grads, if your work is good enough you could probably get work at a "star" firm if that's what you really want (I know kids from the Burbank campus that have gone on to work for Morphosis, Neil Denari, etc.)

Honestly if I could go back I would try to get in the school that costs the least, which would be Cal Poly, even if in my experience the kids who come out of that school lack creativity

Jun 19, 17 4:35 pm

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