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    Graduate Open House Blitz 2008: Princeton University

    Jessica Coleman
    Nov 4, '08 4:49 AM EST

    Yesterday I took about 3 trains in order to visit Princeton University's Graduate Open House to find out more about their PhD program. It was an overcast but nice day in New Jersey.

    The first thing that I noticed about Princeton was its beautiful architecture. After being in the city for so long I almost forgot what a traditional college campus looked like. It is also sits on almost 600 acres of land. There were many people on bikes and I could see how this would be the quickest way to get around.

    Stan Allen is the dean of the program and one of my favorite architects. I even had him sign my Points and Lines book which is a straight up geek move but it was great to meet someone's work that you admire.

    I had brief meetings with some of the PhD faculty, lunch with some of the students. Shortly after a brief overview of the architecture program led by Allen and the faculty.

    I am glad that I was able to go to the open house and see what the program was about. On average, a PhD can take anywhere from 5-10 years or more. Residence is for 2 years which is not an issue. I assumed that commuting from NYC to Princeton would be easy, but it can be a lot specially since you would have to do it several times a week during residency. Most students have places in NYC and in the Princeton area.

    Their program is focused in 19th & 20th century architectural history. Initially, this is what I thought I wanted to do. But now I realize that is not what I want to do. My interests lie in urbanism, policy, and planning.

    So I've decided to only go to Columbia's open house since I think that their urban planning PhD program is the best fit for me. Although I would not mind visiting Yale or Harvard, I want to stay in the NYC area to further advance my career.


    • PodZilla

      Princeton does have a pretty fantastic campus, It's on my list of potential places for my M.Arch. The only thing that bugs me about it is that the community tends to be a bit insular, and to get anywhere of interest (New York, Philly, etc.) is at least an hour drive.

      Nov 4, 08 11:14 am  · 

      With your interests in urbanism, policy and planning, you might think about checking out Penn too. We have PhD's in both architecture and planning. Technically I'm in the architecture PhD program, but I'm actually taking more non-architecture classes than architecture ones. In fact, next semester I might not be taking any classes within the architecture department. Right now I'm looking at classes in landscape architecture, city planning, urban studies and environmental studies.

      Nov 5, 08 2:26 pm  · 

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