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The B. Arch Program with the highest acceptance rate?

Feb 17 '13 15 Last Comment
Gmatc
Feb 17, 13 8:52 pm

What is?

 

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Feb 18, 13 5:54 pm

Aiming high?

observant
Feb 18, 13 6:22 pm

I'm not sure, but I think a big state university in the heartland or Southeast might have higher admit rates.  Oftentimes, in a B.Arch., you might get admitted and then have to pass reviews of your work and portfolio before they let you enroll in years 3 and 5.  Still, if you are reasonably competitive, do try for schools like Univ. of Ariz., Univ. of Oregon, and NC State, all of which are considered solid schools.

Gmatc
Feb 18, 13 6:38 pm

Thanks observant.

Median
Feb 19, 13 5:56 am

Boston Architectural College, 100% acceptance.

They will accept anyone who pays tuition, and are sort of proud of that fact, they say they give opportunities to those who otherwise wouldn't get into an architecture program.

The resulting fact of course is that they have barely a 10% graduation rate, a 7-9 year program which throws students into debt and you are hard pressed to find decent work coming out of the institution. BAC = the architecture equivalent to the University of Phoenix.

accesskb
Feb 19, 13 6:55 am

might as well throw this out too... Which is the M.Arch program with the highest acceptance rate?  haha

Russell HigginsRussell Higgins
Feb 19, 13 10:05 am

The BAC isn't for everyone.

It's a difficult program to get through given that (historically) you were working full-time during the day and taking classes at night. The concurrent work requirement; however,  seems to have shifted a bit due to the recession as there are now alternative ways to meet your Practice credits.

Median had a bad experience at the BAC. I know many people that didn't make it through, but I also know many that did.

BulgarBlogger
Feb 19, 13 10:13 am

Sounds like a factory for CAD Monkeys... 

Median
Feb 19, 13 12:20 pm

The BAC is not a difficult program, the work requirements for studios are probably the most laxed out of any accredited institution, they just don't require much work. It is the practice component students struggle in. It is a program for you if your desire is to similar to the desire of people who go to ITT tech for CAD drafting. You are not going to be taught much design at the BAC, it is a factory to get in as many students as possible. Yes there are many who graduate because they have probably over 1600 students now (10% of that is 160, that includes the ones who drop out of architecture and get a "design studies" degree), but even among the graduates you would have to search for ones that would recommend the program. I think if you are visiting archinect, you have a distinct passion for architecture and design, and if you have a passion, the BAC is certainly not the place for you.

Russell HigginsRussell Higgins
Feb 19, 13 12:40 pm

Median I don't know what happened to make you so bitter…it's unfortunate. I had a much different experience at the BAC.

observant
Feb 19, 13 11:37 pm

I would not want to be at BAC.  It's not about the discipline.  Having a 100% accept rate, or thereabouts, and a 10% finish rate, if that's true, would be depressing.  I remember that attrition of students you had gotten to know was always a downer.  The other thing is that having BAC as a holding tank for 1,600 students, alongside Harvard, MIT, and now UMass (though in Amherst), is too much architectural education critical mass for a town like Boston.

Median
Feb 20, 13 6:37 am

Russell, call it bitterness or whatever you want to define it as, I am just simply stating my view and facts. I think the BAC is one of the worst architectural program in the country, I think it is very dated in the knowledge that is being taught, especially in programs such as construction methods. The extent of construction methods is a post and beam wood frame box. There is an ignorance to anything new happening in the industry, there is no theory, so even when you have a student who is interested in producing something progressive they are not adequately developed so there is virtually no thought behind what is produced and the discussions that take place are intellectually inferior to the discourse that is happening at most other schools. Just sitting in on a jury review, it seems to be status quo to be 100% positive and encouraging and never a clash of ideas or deep conversation of what if. It is lone step above "oh you did the 5 hours a studio work we require for the week, nice job, have a cookie"

There is a lack of emphasis on studio, studio is once a week for 3 hours, with no dedicated studio space and no collaboration. That alone should have every potential student running away. Studio should be defined as the most important aspect of architectural education as you develop design, theory, thought and implement methods and structure into your buildings. If you just compare what is being done at the BAC to other schools you would feel quite uncomfortable.

The institution has an issue getting teaching staff and will get anyone who is willing to teach for the small stipend, including BAC students who have not even graduated yet teaching first year studio as the primary professor. The chance of having inadequate, irrelevant instructors is very likely as a student at the BAC.

Then of course you have the issue that they spend a lot of their tuition on advertising on facebook, on websites and in magazines (aka the university of pheonix method) while they lack adequate technology and relevant instructors.

The school is being left behind in the digital age, students are not being taught relevant technology and certainly not anything related to design and theory, so what is left is a CAD drafting program.

My issue is against the program, not the students. I think there are a number of students in the program who possess a high level of talent that is never tapped into at the BAC and that their future in the industry will be confined to irrelevance. You could say there are people who like the BAC but that is all in context, and those who defend it probably have never had an in depth look at other programs.

People come because they look at it as affordable, but when it is 7-9 years until graduation, it is not anymore affordable then a quality state school, or a private school where they give adequate financial assistance (The BAC has limited number of scholarships as their extra funds are spent on advertising). What the BAC has going for it is Boston, Boston is quite a great city.

Stephanie BraconnierStephanie Braconnier
Feb 20, 13 9:17 am

Median, that doesn't sound like bitternes.  When a school performs so badly at such basic things and students complain, it is called being rightfully disappointed over a situation where they were led to expect something much better. Good on you for being honest about a shitty situation.

The only way for an institution to improve is to listen carefully to such feedback. No one improves by hearing constant praise, that's at least one lesson we all learn in architecture school.

lemodulorman
Feb 20, 13 2:44 pm

I never write on here and only am today because what Median is talking about is simply bullshit.  I would love to know when you were a student there, Median, because it could not have been recently.

I am a current student in the Distance M.Arch program and will have no problem graduating in December after completing 5 grueling semesters of balancing the professional and academic work.  Where are your 7-9 year graduation numbers coming from?  

Regarding your lack of technology banter... While I am only there onsite once per semester, the technology does not appear to be "sub-par" unless you are comparing it to GSD or Sci-arch, for example.  For instance, my undergrad was done at UIC and minus a 3d printer the technology is identical.

Blasting the lack of a studio environment is also an unfair thing to do because not everyone thrives in that type of situation.  I chose BAC over quite a few more schools because of the challenge and the ability to have concurrent professional and academic learning.  Not only that, my undergraduate studio was full underachievers and people who saw studio as a social gathering rather than a place to get shit done.  What the BAC offers is me to work at home and actually get shit done and not be distracted by those idiots who would rather play ping pong than design.  The online studio environments push collaboration however I will admit they are not perfect.  I subsidize the lack of physical studio time by becoming involved locally with design reviews and also heavily discuss my thesis with friends, co-workers and former professors.

The quality of teachers is also something I have never experienced any issue with.  Almost all of the D.MArch professors have graduated from either MIT or Harvard and are not these "irrelevant" instructors that you speak of.  (Unless you mean that they are all well educated, highly motivated and successful professionals?)

Quality of work is something that I can actually agree with you on.  Not everyone puts in the same effort and as a result you get some completely garbage work but I would love for you to find a school anywhere that does not suffer from the same issue.  Every studio at every school I have experienced has those people who know how to do the bare minimum and still skate through so saying that this is only an issue at BAC is not true at all.

You are also correct in saying that the main thing students get hung up on is not meeting the professional work experience requirements to graduate.  I feel that this is completely just.  The problem with many schools out there is that professional experience is not a requirement and students are graduating with little experience and yet everyone is quick to complain that the pay levels for architects out of school suck so bad.

As I said, I have no experience with the onsite degree programs as I am enrolled in the D.MArch track but with what I have experienced there is no way that anyone can just start blasting the BAC for what they are doing.  Perhaps you did not meet their requirements and are bitter for it?  If true, you only have yourself to blame.  Finally, if they were such a bad school as you have put so much effort into stating, how did they pass their recent accreditation review this past fall across all degree programs with flying colors?

Median
Feb 20, 13 4:49 pm

My comments are focusing on the Bachelor of architecture program which is advertised as 7 years, while I know the onsite M.Arch from beginning to end is advertised at around 5 years. Many a bit longer, a few a bit shorter.

You have to realize that the Distance M.Arch is a completely separate entity that is run entirely separate from the onsite programs. We could get into a discussion regarding that. But regarding the quality of teaching, what I posted are facts, you have students wrapping up their degree teaching 1st year undergrad studios. It is very sporadic for the onsite degrees which instructors you will receive  yes you can get a fresh graduate from MIT, you can get a guy who has only built CVS locations and you can get a student who began just a couple years before you, it is completely sporadic there is no level of requirement of commitment building a strong base of professors, it is LITERALLY who ever they can get.

NAAB Requirements are the bare minimum, it is says your institution meets the bare minimum requirements for accreditation, and that is all. There are no passing with flying colors or a comparative against other programs. You also have the President of the BAC, Ted Landsmark as the President of NAAB, so that may also have bit of conflict of interest. (I have had the pleasure of sitting on a number of accreditation teams)

I think the school has a very poor program, I stated my specific reasons why, they lack in a lot of areas, and I feel what is most troubling is that there are many students in the program who would have far brighter futures at a school more aligned for them.

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