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Hi. My name is Cameron and I'm a first year Architecture student seeking a Bachelors Degree in Architecture. I'm currently at the University of Arizona, where I was intending to major in business, but decided to change my major. U of A has a top ranked business school and their Architecture programs is pretty good as well. I'm originally from San Diego, and almost attended New School of Architecture and Design located in San Diego. But due to some family issues, NSAD sorta got pushed aside and I feel as if I ended up settling for U of A because family urged me to go there. U of A is a great school, but its very big which I don't really like, and I don't know my professors. (I came from a small High School). The world is big, so one could argue get use to it. But from my experience, when one knows their professors they get a better, more personal and individualized education. Plus school differs from the world in numerous ways. I like NSAD's program, size, some of the courses they offer, such as real-estate, (which many Architecture programs don't offer). and the small things. Such as each student receives a personal working space that they are able to access 24/7. Granted NSAD is not big and dosen't have the sports and school enthusiasm U of A has. And I might not be able to brag that I graduated from a University; but I'm not much of a bragger and employers don't really look at the school you went to, just as long as you have a good education and know what you are doing; or thats what I've been told. Furthermore NSAD is on a quarter system opposed to a semester, but thats not a deciding factor for me. I really like the program and its proximity to home and the Urban location is pretty neat/unique. I've heard various opinions about NSAD. But thats same for any school. NSAD's NCARB passing rates seem to be pretty good,and it is accredited. But I may be reading the passing rates chart wrong. If anyone has any ideas or comments on NSAD I'd appreciate it. Especially some professional input. I know it's a lot to read, so I appreciate your help.
Link to NCARB passing rates for NSAD:
surely you will get a studio desk at UofA? maybe not until 3rd year? are they a 2+2+2 school?
if UofA is too big, you can make it somewhat smaller by talking to your studio peers more and visiting your professors during office hours. pick a professor to target, make up some questions, perhaps about the profession or about your studio, and go ask them. go in often, and eventually you will have a more personal relationship with your professor.
No, I believe its a 2+3 program. Thanks for the advice curtkram.
Before transferring I was in basically the same situation as you. I am from sd, went to CU Boulder for environmental design & was overwhelmed by studio sizes (300+). I looked into NSAD & Woodbury. Upon working the summer before transfer, coworkers who had graduated from both schools recommended Woodbury. Of course both schools are small and lacking many benefits of larger schools. I graduated in May & had a great overall experience. If you have any questions feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks bcd145 I really appreciate the opinion. You clarified a lot. And thanks for the email, I'll keep that in mind.
I'll have to interject here and say that if class sizes are your main concern, then you should just wait it out. I had a friend in the Arch. program at UofA, so I know that they don't accept all the kids that complete the 1st year, just the ones they want to move on. If you are at the top of their list at the end of the first year, then you will be invited back to continue the program in a much smaller studio, with your own desk. First year studios are sometimes really large and in more "communal" spaces but they're trying to weed you out quickly. I graduated from CU Boulder last year and don't agree with bdc145's experience, no offense. The only large classes I had were things like Arch. History, which were maybe 100 students. I never had a STUDIO over 20 people. While your class might be over 100, they split the studios into much smaller sections so you will get plenty of personal time.
However, if you want to move back to San Diego for financial, personal, proximity reasons, etc. then that really depends on your situation and feelings. If it's all about a more intimate setting, then do your best and hope to return next year for a more personalized architecture experience.
NSAD has the location, so they sell location-location-location. I know of one student there, doing it on a part-time basis and taking longer. They are private, and not prestigious, so they are reasonably doable for admission purposes.
UofA is a solid school. I've known quite a few graduates, and they are all good practitioners. It's a 5 year program with a review for continuation at either the 3rd or 4th year. It's NAAB accredited and qualifies you for licensure in any jurisdiction.
Sure, going to school in San Diego is appealing. However, I'd pick the long standing UofA program. UCSD kicked off an architecture school, which then folded. I can't remember the date of its opening and closure. I'd go to Uof A and keep an ear close to the ground in San Diego.
Have you scanned the San Diego market to see where they get their interns from? If you have ties and know people, you may be able to obtain employment in SD. You will need to read the market before you make this decision but, scholastically, UofA is more appealing. Forget the pass rates. You are you, and you are the determinant of whether or not you will pass.
The grass is not always greener on the other side.
I would suggest staying at U of Arizona - isn't NSAD a for-profit school? The program will get smaller as you continue with it, and at a university you will also have the opportunity to take other classes outside of architecture, which I think would be especially important in your case since it sounds like you only recently decided that you want to become an architect. (If you can still take a business class or two, for instance, it might prove useful in the future.) You could also try going to some of your architecture professors' office hours or emailing them to set up an appointment, in order to get a more professional opinion on your concerns while also giving you an excuse to start interacting more with faculty. If after that you still decide that you want to transfer, I would look at other state schools as a minimum and stay away from for-profit institutions. I think that the school which you went to does matter when you are comparing between two different tiers of schools.
Arn't all schools for profit? USC cost 60,000 a year. If they weren't school would be free.
No, most schools are not-for-profit. A school for profit means that it is usually owned by one large company and shareholders who need to take a cut. Lots of schools that you can find in multiple locations, such as Devry or Univ. of Phoenix, are pretty much guaranteed to be for profit.
State schools and even most private schools are non-profit. It doesn't mean they're free, because obviously the professors need to get paid, and our current system is not setup with free education (fingers crossed for one day though).
USC is not for profit, and costs around $45,000 per year in tuition (the other $15k is living and books, and etc. which you will have to pay anywhere, although living costs will be cheaper elsewhere in the country). However, they often offset that cost with a scholarship or fellowship when you are accepted. For me, they offered enough to make it the same cost as UCLA.