Is this normal for a school of architecture?


I got accepted into my nearest school of architecture. After being excited about the idea of attending this school now I find myself wondering if it was the right one.

1. We have no choice in who our professors will be, especially maddening for studio. Some professors in the pool are seasoned architects with great portfolios and others have recently graduated from the same school so have little experience. I was told the last studio  will be a lottery to choose your professor.

2. We have to pay graduate tuition even though we are not recognized as graduate students by the university. They tell us as a "convenience" we are allowed to become grad students earlier than other university students when we reach 120 credits. That's no comfort when financial aid is only covering undergraduate tuition. So my friend, in a different major at the same university, is paying $300 out of pocket to cover what financial aid isn't covering and I have to come up with $3000.

3. To sign up for structures lab is a first come first serve jostle. We can not secure a time and day in advance. We have to wait for the first day of class to hope to have the day and time we need.

So, is this normal for a school of architecture?

Aug 21, 14 5:25 pm

Some state schools do the studio teaching as lottery, but the tuition issue seems a bit strange - do you have a student rep systems that meets with the dean ? 

Aug 21, 14 5:33 pm

Not sure about the tuition issue. But I know the studio selection thing is common. At my school we didn't use a lottery, we just had to sign up for a studio number. The first day of class our professors were announced... "Such and Such is teaching studio 1... Such and Such is teaching studio 2... ETC..." Here is a tip, make friends with the professors, they know who is teaching what section usually a semester in advance.

The idea is to get students to take professors they normally wouldn't so they could be exposed to different ideas. And make it so a professor doesn't end up teaching the same studio year after year.

Aug 21, 14 5:50 pm

At my undergrad we didn't get to choose our studio professors - this only came in the masters program. A few people were able to change to the prof of their choice after raising a ruckus, but that wasn't common. A couple people did straight-up swaps, but when thats the case it's easy, no additional work for the admin.

Picking a lab like that doesn't seem out of the ordinary either. Granted, I thought every university had moved doing this online well before the first day of school, but even in that case there is a specific time/date where it becomes open for people to choose (IE - everyone still gets the same timeslots to pick, so there's no advantage to anyone).

Can't speak to the tuition cost thing because that doesn't really make sense...

Aug 21, 14 8:28 pm

are you in an M arch or a B arch program?

Also studio selection is almost only offered at large schools 50+ faculty.

Things to consider:

can you get the education you want?

Are you stuck at a school that mislead you and will possibly mislead you in the future?

Can you switch schools or majors if you are not satisfied?

Aug 22, 14 9:52 am

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