2011 M.Arch Applicants - Final Results, Decisions, Stats, GPA, GRE, TOEFL, Letters Portfolios, etc.



hm. that's not what i meant.

the GRE verbal/quantitative sections are scored in multiples of 10, and the writing is in multiples of 0.5.

i'm not insulting your score (there are countless good reasons why one might not get a great score; the GRE is a remarkably bad test), i'm literally wondering how that score is possible.

Mar 17, 11 1:36 pm  · 

@ mr. minimal

Indeed, I stand corrected.

I'll check it when I get home, but its probably 995 + 4.5.

Mar 17, 11 2:31 pm  · 

How on earth did so many people get into top architecture schools here with low GRE scores?

Also, could people please post their portfolios if they don't mind?

Mar 17, 11 2:52 pm  · 


have you taken the gre? it's a very poor indicator of...anything, really.

the verbal section is dominated by obscure and obtuse vocabulary words, so the only way to really prepare for it is just to start memorizing and hope for the best.

the quantitative section is so easy that a perfect score is only in the 94th percentile (because 6 percent of test-takers make an 800q). in fact, not getting a perfect score will get you dinged in many math/science-based graduate programs.

the writing section is maybe a little better, because you have to demonstrate some competence in constructing a written thought/argument, but writing isn't as critical a component for architecture students as for many other graduate disciplines.

admissions committees know all this stuff, too. i did reasonably well on the GRE, and i suspect it had very nearly zero impact on any of my admissions decisions.

Mar 17, 11 3:16 pm  · 
are you Swick?

@ mr. minimal,

you wrote pretty much exactly how I feel about the GRE, especially the vocab. Though I didn't know that 6 percent of the takers get a perfect quantitative score, that's really interesting.

"in fact, not getting a perfect score will get you dinged in many math/science-based graduate programs."

This is actually very true. I have friends applying for PhD aero programs, and if you don't get an 800, you don't even get an interview.

Hated the GRE, probably the most painful part of the whole process for me... don't like preparing for tests almost as much as I like procrastinating, but not nearly as much as I hate myself for it.

Mar 17, 11 10:24 pm  · 

yeah, and it's wildly unbalanced, too. i made a 640v/790q, and though there's a 150 point differential there, i was in the 92nd percentile on both sections.

almost everyone i've seen who takes the test has a substantially lower verbal score (unless you were an english major, memorized the everloving shit out of those god-awful word lists, or just aren't great at math). it seems like a very broken exam to me, and it yields very little useful information about a student no matter how well s/he does.

Mar 18, 11 4:30 pm  · 

Regarding GRE scores and other pointless to nearly pointless components of the application, it depends where you're applying, but nearly all schools place most emphasis on the portfolio.

A retired GSD professor mentioned to me that when he observed the admissions process a few years ago, three professors sat with a stack of portfolios and designated each "in, out, or reconsider." That's right, for those whose portfolios were in the piles of 'in' or 'out' that year, not one other part of their respective applications were considered. So you can get Jesus Christ to write a letter for you, and no one may read it. Or care.

Also, asking to see a link to an applicant's portfolio (like someone who got into Harvard, Yale or another school you may lust after) isn't so helpful. The best thing you could do as an applicant is tear through graphic design books for ideas (because many portfolios of those posted, graphically, border on heinous) and tackle personal drawings and projects that are your very own. Build something, tear something up, show you give a shit about what this all means. And remember that your composition of the portfolio, the materials, hierarchy, typefaces and organization, is your most important project.

Project after project from your studios does nothing to set you apart. Sure, you may get in with that stuff, but you're more likely to be one of the 950 applicants that don't.

Mar 18, 11 5:03 pm  · 

but I wonder, if you get put in the 'in' portoflio pile and Jesus does write that letter for you, it would equate to some scholarship money.

especially if Jesus wrote a great letter about how great of a student you are.

Mar 18, 11 8:53 pm  · 

- 25 | F | Asian-American
- BS Landscape Architecture | University California-Davis | 2007
- GPA 3.56
- V 470 | Q 650 | W 4.0

- 3 from professors
- 1 from internship employer

- 5 years professional experience in landscape architecture. 2 years working half-time as an intern in-school and 3 years working full-time post-college. Passed all licensing exams.
- Department thesis research award.

- No prepatory classes.
- Portfolio included: old studio projects, work samples where I was lead designer/project manager, small built projects for my apartment, design competition entries, travel sketches.

- Accepted: CCA, UBC, UW (Seattle)
- Waitlisted: SCI-Arc, CCNY
- Rejected: UC Berkeley
- Still waiting: UCLA

- Really liked the facilities, studio structure, ability to take great non-arch classes (industrial design, photography, graphic design), and hands-on nature of CCA.
- Just booked my flight to Seattle to attend their open house April 1st. Very excited.

- Still waiting on financial aid packages. If CCA didn't cost so much it would be my top choice. Would seriously consider it if they provided enough funding.
- If not enough money from CCA, it will be a tough decision between Seattle and Vancouver. I like them both.

Mar 19, 11 3:00 am  · 

- 25 | F | International (Asian)
- BFA Communication design
- GPA 3.88
- V 6xx | Q 7xx
- TOEFL 110

-3 from professors
-1 from former employer

- No 3d works at all as I decided this whole thing in Oct.
- Print graphics, websites, and photographs

- Accepted: CCA MArch, Sci-Arc MArch, Pratt MArch, RISD Interior
- Rejected: MIT, Yale
- Still waiting: Cornell

- If you have no background in arch at all, where would you go? I am thinking of either CCA or Sci-Arc.
- Also thinking of doing a summer intro course & applying again next year.
- Has anyone seen someone move to another graduate school after the first year(and transfer some courses)?

Mar 19, 11 11:37 am  · 

- 23 / f / Asian
- Double BA Political Science & Int'l Political Economy / UC Berkeley / 2010
- 3.7 GPA with high honors
- V 540, Q 740, W 4.5
- 3 letters from professors: 2 political science and 1 architecture
- Interest in politics and social issues in relation to architecture, extensive travel/living abroad experience (Asia, Europe, Africa), heavy research background in political economy

- Accepted to Columbia, Yale, MIT, UPenn
- Rejected from Harvard, Princeton

- Unfinished prerequisites: calculus, architecture history - I'm currently residing in NYC and would like some advice on fulfilling these requirements. Do most people go to community colleges for these prerequisites?

- I'm undecided between Columbia & Yale, and would really like some advice on these two schools. Most of my M.Arch friends think Yale is more prestigious and has a more structured program. I'll be attending both open houses on April 6 & 7. I'm leaning towards Columbia because of the location and network of professionals working here in NYC. Also, can't imagine spending 3.5 years in New Haven...

- I'm highly determined to find work abroad in Europe after 3 years in NYC, and would really like some advice on that as well.

Any advice appreciated. Thank you!

Mar 19, 11 5:10 pm  · 

- 27 / m/ white
- B.A. Architecture / Columbia / 2006
- 3.53 GPA
- V 600 / Q 660 / W 4.5
- 3 Letters from professors
- Study abroad - Denmark
- post graduation prep courses - GSAPP Intro to Arch

- 2 years work experience in sustainability consulting
- 1 year work experience in small high end residential
- 1 year ski instructor/bum experience in north + south america

- also interested in spontaneous pros, intersections of architecture with personal / human behavior, research based theoretical implications of built environment, sustainability as a meta narrative as opposed to micro action ...

- portfolio - that was an earlier draft. will post final when i get a chance

- IN: Michigan, Wash U, U of Oregon (portland II), Pratt, Ohio state
- Wait listed: SCI-arc
- OUT: Columbia, Penn, MIT, Berkeley, Parsons
- No news: UCLA, U of Utah

Mar 20, 11 3:02 pm  · 

- 28/F/White
- BArch/ Cornell / 2006
- 3.78 Cumulative
- GRE: 500V / 600Q
- 4 letters of recommendation / 2 from previous professors, 2 from previous
employers [whom are also professors]
- ACCEPTED: Princeton [MArch II], MIT [SMarchS Architecture & Urbanism],
Harvard [MLA 1 AP]
- REJECTED: Yale [MArch II], Yale [Art]
- Open house impressions [Currently N/A]
- Final decision [Currently N/A]

Mar 21, 11 3:59 pm  · 

M6J 2E4 post your portfolliooo! do you have a connection at princeton?

Mar 21, 11 6:18 pm  · 
are you Swick?

@ M6J,

yea, post your portfolio... and also, how is that even a choice? go to princeton, did they offer you $$$?

Mar 21, 11 6:31 pm  · 

No connections at Princeton - I'm just old and have had a few years to get some experience under my belt.

Mar 21, 11 6:44 pm  · 

- 21/F/Other
- B.S. art&design in architecture / MIT / 2011
- 4.5/5
- 690 verbal, 760 math

- 3 letters, from 3 professors one of which also had been an employer

- accepted marchI: MIT (half tuition+stipend), yale (i didn't fill out the financial aid form yet...?), princeton (3/4 tuition+stipend), columbia (waiting for $$ package)

- waitlisted: gsd

- most likely going to choose princeton, although wondering whether to keep waiting on GSD.

Mar 22, 11 12:51 am  · 

- coming from MIT undergrad, i feel its good to go to another school although a large part of me feels that i would have chosen to go to MIT for grad school, if i hadn't been here already for 4 years. the faculty i work with is very pro-GSD, having come from that camp, and i think would advise me waiting to hear until the end.

- on a somewhat irrelevant note: mit's website for application was by far the worst, with yale's having the best user interface of the 5 schools i applied to.

Mar 22, 11 1:07 am  · 

Columbia's website sucks.

Mar 22, 11 8:56 am  · 

@mr. minimal

My mom is on the admissions committee for a dental school, and at least in their field, test scores don't matter, err - you have to reach a benchmark. anything above the benchmark does not give you any more of an edge, however anything below the benchmark signals red flags.

Mar 22, 11 1:51 pm  · 


did you see the previous iteration of the gsaap website? fucking hell, it was an absolute cacophony of overdone flash animation. navigating it was completely nightmarish.

the new one's pretty uninspired, but man, is it a huge improvement over the last design.

Mar 22, 11 1:54 pm  · 

@mr. minimal

I do remember the old one being pretty shitty too. But man, why was so damn hard to find the online application on the new one?

Or am I the only one who had that issue?


I've decided on GSD

Any one else above make final decisions?

Mar 22, 11 1:59 pm  · 


I'm headed to the GSD open house and am 90% sure. In the interest of being forthright, I'm also scared shitless.

Mar 22, 11 2:19 pm  · 

24 / M / British
BSc Urban Planning + Design @ the Bartlett - 1:1 UK degree system
MA Urban Design @ Cardiff Uni – w/ Dist.

620Q / 630V / 4.5w
3 years in practice at several urban design firms
Letters from 2 x professors and 1 x ex-employer

Coming to the U.S. on the old Fulbright scholarship

In:Yale, U Mich, GTect

Out: MIT, Princeton

Final decision: 98% it’s Yale

Mar 22, 11 4:08 pm  · 

Linkone, I'm almost positive I'll be at Yale next year too. Are they recommending you do the summer session given your background?

Mar 22, 11 5:29 pm  · 

- 26/F
- B.Arch / Pratt / 2009
- 3.8
- 550 V 780 Q 4.5 W
- 5 letter of recommendations :
(2) from Thesis Professors
(1) Chair of Pratt / 4th year Professor
(1) Chair of Northeastern (college before transferring to pratt)
(1) Former Employer

Applied to

GSD MArch II (in w/ 16k grant)
MIT SMArchS Arch & Urbanism (in w/ half tuition + 10k stipend)
MIT SMArchS Computation (havent heard yet)

- Final decision - will be at the GSD in the fall!

Mar 22, 11 6:45 pm  · 

@ therebyfar - I've sent you an email!

Mar 22, 11 7:48 pm  · 

- 27/M/white
- B.Arch / Ball State / 2008
- 3.3
- 500 V 640 Q
- 3 letter of recommendations: 2 professors, 1 former employer

In: Ball State

Waitlist: OSU (3 yrs), U Mich

Awaiting response: UC

Still waiting on UC but afraid it might be back to BSU. Bummed I didn't get into OSU, still can i guess but +1 more year.

Mar 23, 11 5:31 pm  · 

has anyone heard anything from UCLA?
I called them the other day they said another week-week and a half.

Mar 23, 11 6:07 pm  · 


Called them today and got some bullshit response that they were processing them in the order they were received. they are also on spring break right now and will resume this process in the next week or two and hope to be done first week in april.

I personally don't believe a word of it and assume no response means rejection or waitlist, considering people were admitted two weeks ago.

Mar 23, 11 6:59 pm  · 
christopher s

- 29 / M / White
- BA Computer Animation / Columbia College 2003
- GPA 3.25
- GRE : V 600 / Q 600 / W 4.5
- 3 Recs : 2 Architects (Gensler & FAIA owner of small firm) / 1 Developer
- Professional Experience : Been working at Arch Illustration Studio
- Portfolio : Consisted of 3D renderings, Physical models, Photography

- Accepted : SAIC w/ $
- Rejected : UIC
- Still waiting : IIT

- Decision : we'll see what IIT says...

Mar 24, 11 4:35 pm  · 

Anybody heard anything from Cincinnati?

Mar 24, 11 5:04 pm  · 
Alfredo Pimentel

25 / M / Mexican - American

- 5yr B.Arch / University of Houston / 2009
- GPA: 3.70
- GRE: 500 V / 600 Q / W 3.5

- 4 Letters (used 3 for most schools): 2 Professors & 2 Employers

- Extra Credit: Attended a study abroad program.
Participated in various design competitions.

- Professional Experience:
Have worked in architecture firms since 2007 (2 design build firms, 1 institutional, and 1 residential)

Wash U.
U Penn.

Cooper Union

-Wait Listed

- Finished all prerequisites
- Attending the GSD open House

-Decision: 95% GSD M.Arch II

Mar 24, 11 5:41 pm  · 

@glass: yes, I got their acceptance email two days ago I think

Mar 24, 11 6:25 pm  · 

B.Arch Tunghai University , Taiwan
GPA 3.27
GRE = LOW……. (V 290 Q 740 w3.0)
Recommendations: three from school professors

Portfolio :

Accepted to:
Michigan 2G
Columbia MSAAD
Cooper Union March2
Penn Design March2
UCL March2

Denied from:
GSD / Yale / MIT

Waiting on:
Cornell March2 / Delft

Decision: not yet ……. Too many comments confuse me……..
50% Cooper Union

Mar 25, 11 8:33 am  · 

you have an amazing portfolio, i wonder how come gsd, yale and mit reject you?!

Mar 25, 11 10:18 am  · 

Thank you for your encouragement!!
My English is not good enough to meet their basic requirement ……
Actually, I feel really happy for the result!
At the beginning, I guess I cannot get any offers…….

Mar 25, 11 10:25 am  · 

yes, @bigwhitelili, your portfolio is amazing. i really love how you photographed your models in the first few pages and all of the collage work throughout. great work and congrats on the acceptances!

Mar 25, 11 10:48 am  · 
Token AE

24/ M/ Non-WASPy caucasian
Integrated Bachelor and Master of Architectural Engineering
Architectural Studies minor
Penn State
GPA 3.74 Masters, 3.94 Architectural studies, 3.61 overall
GRE 580V / 740Q / 4.5W (bad day, didn't retake)
Recommendations: 2 arch faculty (1 former GSD instructor), 3 AE faculty

Portfolio is posted on commiserate thread

AE senior thesis faculty vote winner, won an AIA TAP award.

Large design firm experience, international volunteer experience, EIT license.

UC Berkeley

Wait Listed:
Univ. of Minnesota

No response:


Full time position at a top structural engineering firm in a sector that has been recession proof in every recession of the last 100 years. Clearing my debt from undergrad and buying an A5 with the money that I had set aside for grad school.

Glad I tried the application process, but I am not going to sweat the rejections. Maybe after a few years I will try again and my firm will pay for it. Best of luck to all of you who got in

Mar 25, 11 2:42 pm  · 

can you guys post your Portfolio too?

Mar 25, 11 4:51 pm  · 


Everyone have an archinect screen name-tag on at open houses!

How about it?

Mar 25, 11 5:00 pm  · 

@Del Oficina
your profolio please

Mar 25, 11 5:19 pm  · 

25/M/Country boy from North Carolina

B. Arch North Carolina State University
2 years professional experience

GPA: 4.0
GRE: 580v 680q

Accepted for post-professional M. Arch II:

Harvard - 16k
Yale - 7k
MIT S.March - 28k
UC Berkeley "Studio One"- 15k

Probably between MIT + GSD right now....although Boston is quite cold.

Mar 25, 11 5:54 pm  · 

oh and here's the portfolio...thanks to everyone for the feedback and I look forward to meeting everyone at the open house!

Mar 25, 11 6:00 pm  · 


I have been looking at other portfolios which most of them are denied from yale, mit and harvard. when i saw your post, I was pretty excited about seeing a portfolio which was accepted from these schools.

I have read all your portfolio very carefully and I have to admit that you have a very mature portfolio, however, I dont think any of your projects are "exciting" in any way and I would expect them to be so regarding the results of your applications. They all seem to be good but standart projects. I guess decision givers are seized by the spell of gpa most of the time:)

My intent is not to offense in anyway, these are just my observations. I am sure you will be indulgent to my critics.

Mar 26, 11 5:13 am  · 
Paul Adair

23/M/White- from NE Ohio

B.S. Arch. Kent State University will graduate in spring

1 summer internship at local firm

GPA- 3.4 Gre-830/3.5 (pretty terrible)

Accepted: Michigan 2G

Waiting to hear from Kent

Visited OSU and Michigan, should probably visit Kentucky, but have been super busy with senior comprehensive design project

Really liked OSU and the tuition price.

Michigan was great as I expected it to be. It has everything that I want to do. The fabrication lab and faculty seem to be top notch.

This has really be one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make. Michigan to me is so expensive, but at the same time seems so great. I'm slightly intimidated by the work at Michigan. OSU seems more reasonable and I enjoyed the campus and the building.

I still do not know what I'm doing. Either Michigan or OSU, unless I receive a lot of money from Kent.

Mar 26, 11 4:51 pm  · 

- 23/F/mixed eth
- BA Environmental Studies/Brown University/2010
- GPA 3.73
- GRE 1200 4.5w
- 3 of letters of recommendation, senior thesis advisor, fine art professor, former high school teacher/internship supervisor

- Unfortunately, I can't put my portfolio up, because I'm out of the country and don't have it on my current laptop, but it was very art 'n craft. Mostly, independent projects and one thing from a drafting class.

I think my portfolio showed my potential and must have been good enough to get into some competitive schools, but I don't think my portfolio alone got me in anywhere. I really think I was successful where I was, because I was able to show through my personal statement and academic history how my interests aligned perfectly with the pedagogy of the school, so future applicants may want to keep this in mind. Research the school, know what it has to offer and what you can offer them.

Yale + 24k
MIT + half-tuition
UPenn + full tuition and fees


- Final decision: It's hurts a little to turn down a full ride, but I'm almost certain I'll be at Yale.

Mar 26, 11 6:31 pm  · 

-23 / M / White

-B.A. in Architecture from Ball State (2010)

-GPA: 3.7something

-560 V / 730 Q / 4.0 W

-Internship abroad and extensive travel experience

-2 letters from professors (one of whom traveled with me), 1 from the director of the firm (from the internship)

YSOA (+18.5k)
Pratt (+15k)


My original first choice was GSAPP, but a lot of pondering and $ has shifted my choice. Yale it is.

Mar 29, 11 6:41 pm  · 

-23/ M / Mexican

-BA Art History and Visual Arts

-GPA: 3.2

-550 V / 710 Q / 4.0 W

-2 summer internship at arch. firm

-2 semesters at LAIAD (grad prep program)

-3 letters of rec. (2 professors, 1 CEO of firm where I did my internship)

-GSAPP: IN ($10K)

-SCI-Arc: IN ($15K)



-Berkeley: OUT

Final decision: Going to the GSAPP!

Apr 15, 11 12:19 pm  · 

I'm updating:
Got into Berkeley off a waitlist I was never told I was on, so final final count is:
In: Yale, MIT, UPenn, Berkeley

Out: Columbia

Attending: Yale!

Apr 15, 11 5:04 pm  · 

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