UCLA M.Arch 1 worth the tuition?


I have two options for graduate school right now:

UCLA M.ARCH 1 with no aid, $35k first yr +$18k 2nd and 3rd year

the school I'm graduating from, $10k a year for 2 years (mediocre program)

I'm graduating in May with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and don't want to take a year off. Is UCLA's M.arch 1 program worth the money or should I consider staying where I am?

Mar 9, 17 3:23 pm

Have you considered these factors other than tuition cost:

- Institute pedagogy

- Job placement/opportunities

- Network

- Open house

Mar 9, 17 3:36 pm

agreeance of pedagogy, let's say UCLA fits me 85% where my current schools is about 40%

my current school is near Dallas, UTArlington so decent job placement prospects but Los Angeles would be best.

Networking opportunities, I have networked at my school and feel comfortable getting a job through it but again Los Angeles would be best

As for open house, I will be attending UCLA's in April so I'm not sure yet. 


You should also consider the fact that you will be missing an enitre year's worth of salary. Going to UCLA will cost $71k + $45k (roughly) of salary you missed out on vs the $20k of the other program.

Mar 9, 17 3:41 pm

I agree, an extra year could cost me $50k in salary and be tacked onto my debt from UCLA.


Good luck with your decision, it's a tough one. If money wasn't an issue, you should/would go to UCLA 10 out of 10 times. But, it's going to be real tricky to determine if its worth the debt.


No it is not worth going to UCLA for that price. 

You must consider how long it will take to pay off these loans. do you want to be able to afford rent or buy a house or car? do you want to have a savings account? 

grad school loans will have the apr start as soon as you take the loan so you need to factor this in the total cost. aside from living expenses.please go look up a student loan calculator. 


The reasons of (Institute pedagogy Job placement/opportunities Network Open house) are bullshit. you don't need to pay this insane amount of tuition to net work or go to open houses. with the extra money you save you can buy a plane ticket every month and find an architecture event to attend and network that way. You can network east and west coast with the money you will save. No one really cares where you graduate from as long as its decent. (go look on linkedin at a firm you would like to work for and im sure you will see someone with a degree from some random uni).

starting salary is going to be the same. A firm is not going to pay you more just because you went to a better school. This is why harvard is failing in architecture. Its getting the rep of you must be rich to attend GSD (this is my opinion). After saving all this money from not going to UCLA you can move to LA and get a pretty decent job with a decent apartment and start saving. This doesnt seem like anything right now because you are in school but it gets stressful paying off bills and trying to live.  


congrats on getting into UCLA but realize that most if not all architecture schools are just trying to get your money. If it was about practice because the field is booming then the top schools wouldn't be focusing so much on "design parametric theory" and be focusing on practical design and technical advancements.

Mar 10, 17 11:19 am

"A firm is not going to pay you more just because you went to a better school." - mostly true... but not for certain schools.


^ I'm all for saving costs but after reading this guy's 2nd last para...hard to take him seriously.

Mar 10, 17 12:26 pm

UCLA has really good TA programs which cover all of your base tuition plus a monthly stipend (mine was around $2,200). You can get one in the architecture department for 1-2 quarters max but if you have any other experience you can easily get a TA position in another department. I got all of my tuition for the 2nd and 3rd year covered plus enough money for rent/living costs. You can also get scholarships at the end of the year if your work is good enough. 

I'd say UCLA is the best value in the country right now and have the best lineup of professors (obviously I'm bias though).

Mar 20, 17 4:36 pm

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