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Virginia Tech-3 year M.Arch program

Mar 6 '13 11 Last Comment
kelena
Mar 6, 13 11:11 am

I am looking for any alums from Virginia Tech's 3 year M.Arch program. I was accepted, and would like to visit before I decided, but am unsure if that is a possibility. 

I like what I've read so far, but would love to hear what individuals have to say who have been through the program. I am particularly interested in what you feel the focus is of the program is; if it's well balanced between design, technology and theory, and really any information you are willing to share!

Thank you!

 

full ofitfull ofit
Mar 6, 13 1:46 pm

I did the BArch there, so I wasn't quite in the same program, but pretty close. I would say you can push your way into technology there, but you'll also be pushed to do hand drawings. The school is heavily focused on theory; if you like Pallasmaa you'll like it. 

It's also a beautiful campus and a cool little town.

kelena
Mar 6, 13 1:54 pm

Thank you for the feedback full ofit!

Did you feel prepared once you graduated to do both technical and creative work? My background is mostly theory, and so I want to make sure that my masters allows for me to fully develop all skills for a well rounded career in architecture. 

I have heard great things about the campus and the surrounding town.

observant
Mar 6, 13 8:54 pm

It's a very good school.  Both UVA and VT are up in the Shenandoahs, so both are scenic, though UVa, and Monticello, are essentially national architectural treasures.

The focus and style of UVa and VT are very different and they are geared to a different student.  UVa is sort of the Berkeley of the East Coast, not in "feel," but in difficulty of admission. 

Most practitioners in the DC-Baltimore metro areas, however, prefer a VT or Maryland grad than they do a UVa grad for cranking out work.  UVa cares too much about history and theory, or they used to.  That's what I've gotten from working architects in those areas.

VT's reputation extends further than that, and is well known throughout the Southeast, if not in even more regions.

full ofitfull ofit
Mar 7, 13 4:53 pm

I pretty much agree with obs, I've heard VT as a name packs a little weight. 

The problem with a school this removed from a city is that few of the teachers are practicing, or have much experience. But it's not difficult to seek technical reviews and follow those teachers, I don't know how much crossover there is, but look at what Keith and Marie are doing, and Heiner knows his technical work. 

Ummm, I was definitely a little under prepared for working in an office, but to help that I also worked construction for a few summers and for a bit after graduating. The school focuses on design, and will push you to work on pretty much anything you're interested in.

observant
Mar 7, 13 5:57 pm

Back then, I didn't apply to VT.  I figured if I got in, and I think I would have, I would have been stewing that I didn't get into UVa.

I've known VT grads who have done well, even all the way out West.

kelena
Mar 7, 13 9:46 pm

Good to know, thank you for the input, both full ofit, and observant.

Appreciate it!

med.
Mar 13, 13 2:10 pm

It's an awesome program.  You would be surprised how theory-design based it is and how it's obviously a huge advocate of the Bahaus school of thought.

And best of all, it is a very well-funded and well-connected school.  I eve before graduation II got at least 10 offers.

It was also some of the best times I've ever had.  Blacksburg is a great little town and cheap.

Good luck

kelena
Mar 13, 13 4:34 pm

@ med.

Thanks for your opinion- I think you said exactly what I wanted to hear, that  "And best of all, it is a very well-funded and well-connected school.  I eve before graduation II got at least 10 offers."

In the end, that's really the most important thing, that I'm employable after I invest $ and time into 3 years to become an architect. 

The cost of living factor is huge! To be honest, most places are cheaper than NJ (try-state area) where I am now- so most places I will end up in a better position then here.

Good luck to you too with your career and goals!

full ofitfull ofit
Mar 14, 13 12:39 pm

Not to be a parade rainer, but I think med. probably graduated at a different time than me (2011?). I think only 5 people out of my graduating class had job offers before we walked, but everything else med said was true. 

med.
Mar 14, 13 3:09 pm

I finished the program (m-arch 3) in the mid 2000s.  Everyone in my class of about 30 people  recieved multiple offers.  this was prior to the "great recession" in which NO ONE graduating from any school were getting offers.  That was normal.

Some of my classmates were getting offers from the likes of McDonough, SOM, HoK, Diller Scofidio Renfro, KPF, Make, Ekus Manfredi, Gehry, Gensler, OMA, SmithGroup, P+W, Steven Holl, Billie Tsen Todd Williams, etc.

I think it might be the same now.  I participated in the career fair this year as a representative my firm and it seemed like everyone was getting hired.

And again it was such good times.  I miss the place sooooo much!  Honestly being in a big city doesn't really mean a damn thing other than you having to pay a lot more money for rent and eat.  In Blacksburg, food is cheap, drinking is cheap, a lot of football, good weather, awesome outdoors stuff, and very little debt.

med.
Mar 14, 13 3:13 pm

When you go to a program like VT, take an advantage of their high-end oquipment and world-class facilities and faculty.  They are all amazing.  I really can't think of one professor that I disliked in the slightest way in the time I was there.

Here is the thing - you will always be encouraged to do things by hand at first (drafting modeling, sletching) etc, and I would follow through with that your first year of the program but if I were you, I'd spend a lot of time later learning all the digital stuff to make yourseld even more-well-rounded and employable.  Just remember, you get what you put into the program.

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