2017 M.Arch in the US: Applicants - Admissions prep post here!


@Napoleon Ordaz  Doesn't seem like a lot of people apply there. Did you go to their open house? How did you like it?

Jan 16, 17 1:42 pm

It doesn't seem like a lot of people applied to Cornell either. Nobody is talking about it. My video interview went terribly. The first questions answer got cut off half way through me saying it. The second answer was perfect and slightly made up for the first but good lord! I messed up on that first one, I look like a fool.

Jan 17, 17 1:10 am

@M_ARCHhopeful....I didn't go to their open house. I knew about the professors and the firms before I knew I wanted to apply to Princeton University. It is because of them and their work that led me to apply their. I wish I would've gone to their open house, but I'll have to wait and see now. I am not really interested in people's GPA or GRE scores. I want to hear why we chose the Universities that we did...I feel like some of us just chose just to chose cause we do not know any better. I see people ask which school is better? Why is it better? Where it would be better for me? I feel like if you are gonna invest that much time and money at this should know the answer to these questions and what you wanna do after grad school.

         So, why?  I am curious to hear everyone's story.....

Jan 17, 17 9:07 am

^ Wasn't there an issue with AZP wrt plagiarizing or something like that? Wonder how'd that turned out.

Jan 17, 17 12:42 pm

@GypsySquid I transferred from my fine arts major to do architecture. I only have 2.5 years of training in architecture. In my opinion it helps a lot with architecture school. A professor that went to GSD once told me that they look for potential for M.Arch I program.

Also, I just don't think a lot of people posted about Cornell? I do think UPenn and Cornell get less applicants then GSD and Yale..Check this thread out:

@Napoleon Ordaz I agree with you 100%. When I went to the open house for MIT/GSD/Upenn/Berkeley no one really knew why they were there, what they wanted to do with their degree etc. IMO if you are spending 150k + and three years of your life you should have a little bit more conviction when you apply to schools. My top choice is GSD and it is a perfect fit for me bc of my interests. Here is how I see it though: (schools I applied to)

GSD: Theory heavy school, Strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research (they constantly emphasized this at the open house also), intense program - cut throat 

^everything I have wanted for 5 years. 

PennDesign: Design heavy , have a great psychology department that does the type of research I am interested in..DAVID LEATHERBARROW!

Yale: Emphasis on 'A'rchitecture, somewhat traditional, close knit program 

Cornell: ?? - No good reason - I was pressured into applying to more than 3 program , I wish I went to the Open House. A lot of good firm/partners went to school here. Including Gensler, One of the Pei Cobb Freed Partners etc.

Jan 17, 17 1:25 pm


Thanks a lot! @everyone, I am applying to the schools I am interested in mainly for interdisciplinary reasons as well. I have a strong interest in psychological design. Specifically with working in temporary shelters. Also, I have recently become intrigued by movie set design. This would couple well with psychology, so a designed based curriculum with a great psychology department to bounce ideas off of is the perfect fit! Cornell's open house was fantastic by the way. A lot of amazing facilities with great teachers as you mentioned. Plus they have James Cutting and David Fields doing bomb research on spacial environmental psychology.

Jan 18, 17 12:05 am

@Gypsy Squid

Wow our interests are very similar except for a few things. We should talk!

Jan 19, 17 10:12 am

@M_ARCHhopeful... Yea we can talk more for sure! I have other interests as well besides set design. One of which involves extreme habitat design which is a growing field. Psychology definitely plays a roll in that as well. The problem I am having though is trying to find the right dual degree as I don't want city planning to be my second masters. It just doesn't fit me... And it seems like that's the only option for M.ARCH I applicants (at most schools). 


@Exeg... Sorry I don't have an answer for you but try turning your pop-up blocker off and enable your flash player. This might help... Even though that solution doesn't relate well.

Jan 25, 17 2:49 am

Hello everyone, 

I just get the offer letter from CMU and they give me 25K merit-based scholarship with the advanced standing. They asked to accept it or not before Feb. 27th, but most of the Ivy schools I applied won't have the results until March. They have the STEM-based studio and I only need 1K for tuition for only two years.However, they just have the M.arch this year and they are in the process of getting NAAB credited. Should I wait? I really like the technology studios in CMU and sustainable design, but my top school is GSD or Berkley. Advice anyone? and how is everyone doing?  The waiting is so painful. 

Feb 8, 17 6:11 pm

I would talk to their admissions department. That date is unreasonable. They are supposed to give you at least a month and a half. Make sure to tell them your situation. It sounds like they really want you so they should be able to wait for you.

Feb 9, 17 11:29 am

22 / Architectural Studies

GRE: V:158 Q:153 W:4

GPA: 3.65/4.0

LOR: four studio professors, two of which directed honors thesis

Portfolio: four undergraduate projects, two design studies. Multiple firms I've shown it to loved it, but a reviewer at SCI-Arc said it was too "anonymous & commercial" so we'll see. 

Applied: UCLA, Sci-Arc, UT Austin, Rice, The New School, VTech

From what I've seen, UCLA starts sending out decisions Feb 26ish, Sci-Arc Feb 19th, Rice March 8th, UT Austin Feb 16th, Rice March 8th, The New School March 15th, and VTech March 7th. Bring on the anxiety. 

Feb 9, 17 12:23 pm

22 / B.A. in Architecture from the University of San Diego

GRE: V:157 Q:151 W:4.0

GPA: 3.1/4.0

LOR: my thesis professor, my departmental advisor, and my sculpture professor

Portfolio: 5 studio project, 1 woodworking project, a project from a book arts class that I took, and a spread of articles I wrote for an internship in a related field

Applied: MIT, USC, UCLA, UT Austin, UIC, Ohio State

Really hoping for UT Austin. The sample work of students seems to really fit how I go about my design process. Honestly will go anywhere but fingers crossed for UT! :)

Feb 9, 17 1:58 pm

22 / B.S. Architectural Studies - University of Louisiana at Lafayette

GRE: 159V 151Q 3.5W

GPA: 3.92/4.0

LOR: 2 Studio Professors, 1 Dean/Employer, 1 Employer; some of whom are alumni of the schools that I'm applying to.

Portfolio: 5 studio projects, Design/Build, Photography

Applied: GSD, Rice, YSOA, ULL

I feel like I fit in very well with the ideology at GSD, while Rice and YSOA come in second and third. I applied to ULL, my undergraduate institution, as a safety net. The wait is killing me!

Feb 12, 17 12:07 pm

I am with you all the way CTP801. This wait has made me extremely unproductive, I am trying to stay in the present but it isn't working haha... Oh well. Gotta wait till mid march for everyone to get back to us. :(

Feb 12, 17 2:36 pm

Any Responses yet?????



Feb 14, 17 1:48 pm

Nope. Anxiety central here though...

Feb 14, 17 2:14 pm

Can we "fast forward" a couple of weeks perhaps?

Feb 14, 17 2:41 pm

@dericsen8 we could, but what if all our decisions were rejections?! :O

Feb 14, 17 3:04 pm

If you don't get into your top school, what are the chances you'd get in applying again? Do they care that you really want to go to their school or is it more of a one shot deal?

Feb 15, 17 2:44 pm

they do not care.

if you get rejected and then reapply with the same materials, you will likely be rejected again; you might have a better chance the second time if there is a weaker applicant pool, but that's improbable and certainly not something you can count on.

if you want to get into a school that has rejected you, you need to improve the quality of your application, specifically the quality of your portfolio. this is not rocket science.


Half agree with PBS. Consider that many of these schools have rotating groups of people who review student applications, so you may not get the same people between two different years. Which could have positive or negative effects on your reapplication. However like PBS said, if your work didn't do it this time, it's not likely to go over better next time.

If you are that set on the school, take time off and work, then re-apply in 2-3 years with a refreshed and reinforced portfolio.


Accepted to UCLA today by email! 

Feb 17, 17 10:40 pm

anyone else?

Feb 18, 17 10:49 am

Accepted into University at Buffalo for the M.Arch/MUP dual degree program. I am awaiting other decisions. Meanwhile, opinions please.

Feb 18, 17 12:40 pm

Hey Prahallad Badami,

I also got accepted a week or two ago to UB. Not sure if I will be taking them up on their offer. Even though they are a state school, and are fairly cheap. They didn't give me much financial assistance. 

See what they do for you after you get accepted everywhere else. 

Feb 19, 17 8:16 am

Hey Gypsy Squid,

Thank you for your response. I don't quite comprehend what you're saying. Are you implying that I have a dialogue with the university to negotiate the terms of admission once I have offers from other universities?

Feb 19, 17 11:44 pm

Accepted to UT Austin, m.arch II - Urban Design . Funding information to come in the end of march. First result, first acceptance, sooo happy :) 

Feb 20, 17 5:10 pm

Hey camilahhb,

I was accepted into the MSUD program at UT yesterday as well - Dean gave me the impression that it and the MArch II have essentially the same curriculum. Congratulations!


congrats guys!!!

Feb 20, 17 5:23 pm

To Prahallad,

That is correct.

Feb 20, 17 5:32 pm

Got accepted to UCLA M.Arch I!

Feb 23, 17 11:43 pm

Accepted into University of Oregon for the M.Arch Track 2 at the Portland campus. I am awaiting other decisions. 

Feb 26, 17 11:58 pm

Same! Congrats!


24 / Studio Art & Philosophy Double

GRE: V:163 Q:161 W:5

GPA: 3.72/4.0

LOR: Painting professor, Philosophy prof, three from current managers/coworkers (currently working in law)

Portfolio: Lots of painting, ceramics, drawings, thoughts on large modern sculpture, some excerpts of my honors thesis on color philosophy

Applied: GSD, Cornell, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Penn, New School


Just got dinged at YSoA by email :(

Feb 27, 17 7:17 pm

In at IIT. Waiting on Columbia, Pratt, and UWashington.

Feb 28, 17 9:25 pm

- 23/M/USA
- B.Design/U.Florida/Set to graduate April
- Overall:3.06 Program: 3.36
- V:154 Q:164 Essay:4.0 
Letter of recommendations - 3 from professors

Schools: Applied: UVA, Michigan, WashU, Oregon (Portland Campus), UBC Vancouver

In: Michigan (3.1.2017) with 20k for 2 years, U.Oregon no money
Waiting: All others

Mar 1, 17 5:30 pm

Accepted to Cornell m.arch II with 14k merit scholarship. Although it would be an awsome choice, it would still cost too much, therefore I am waiting for better offers!

Mar 1, 17 9:36 pm

Got into UPENN- woohoo! Just gotta wait on the money as it is expensive. We will see on the 14th

Mar 6, 17 4:06 pm

- 21/m/
b.s arch Universty of idaho
- GPA3.3
- GRELiteraly the average perticle on all three parts 

Letter of recommendations - Employer or Arch firm/ @ proffesors, both who I had for studio and TAed for


Thought this was a stronger part of my application, but later realized I should of shown alot more process and models.

Schools GSD, Yale, Columbia, UPENN, Syracuse, CCNY,UCB, Tampere(Finland exchange program with my Undergrad school)

-Accepted Columbia(15k), Upenn(still waiting on aid, but hopefull!) CCNY

-Denied Gsd, Yale, both of these I think I could of made it if I had revamped some portfolio stuff.


Any input between Columbia vs Penn, I understand they both have some different theoretical approaches.I will be attending most likely Penn's open house, and visiting the rest of the schools while im back east. Also, has anyone been able to leverage more aid from Columbia( I have heard Columbia is firm on their offer) or Penn?

Mar 11, 17 5:20 pm

26/ M - BFA painting -Maryland Institute College of Art

Three Letters (two Art Teachers, one Artist employer)

GPA: 3.96

GRE: 144Q 152V

Would've done better if I didn't miss four questions in the Verbal. 

Schools: M.Arch I-----Buffalo, UH, Cornell, UPENN, Syracuse

Portfolio: 20 Pages, Visual art based, Visually informative about process with a little bit of furniture design. Fairly strong, I kept it fairly simple, and didn't add anything that would take away from the process information. 

Statement is alright and corresponds to the portfolio. High lights goals and desires... People I want to work with.

IN: Buffalo (late feb. email), UPENN (March 3rd email), UH (March 10th email)

OUT: Cornell AAP M. ARCH I (March 8th email). They don't give much money out anyhow so It wouldn't have been possible. 

AWAITING: Syracuse. (They take a loooonnnggg time).

Mar 11, 17 5:32 pm

Did you hear back from Syracuse?


Do any of you have access to the Design Intelligence 2017 rankings for Landscape Architecture graduate programs? The latest releases online only show Architecture and I am looking to see if any of the MLA programs I have been accepted to have fallen / risen significantly. Thanks! 

Mar 13, 17 7:36 pm

I got into syracuse March 14th by email! I am pumped as UPENN  didn't give me a lot of scholarship. Syracuse did! The problem now is this- Do I go to University of Houston for 13,000 a year or Syracuse for a similar price? Which one would land me into a  better phd program? I am passionate about research and wish to continue studies if finances allow.

Mar 22, 17 10:40 pm

Looking for M.Arch/MUP for Fall 2017. Following are the acceptances to both programs.

SUNY Buffalo (Concurrent) - Scholarship of $5000 combined. Can apply for Assistantship.

UW Milwaukee (Concurrent) - Applied for Assistantship and Scholarship. Will know by Mid-April.

UIUC (Joint) - No funding from Planning. Applied for Scholarship, Fellowship and Assistantship with Architecture.

Is UIUC the choice by default? Any idea what the prospects are of funding and employment on campus?

Mar 28, 17 2:56 pm

Hey Prahallad!

Did you apply for the scholarships and fellowships separately or are these through your schools itself?


Has anyone heard back from UCLA Suprastudio? 

Also, the mail saying, 'We have recommended to you to ABC SupraStudio...' is a confirmed yet unofficial acceptance is it?

Mar 29, 17 8:36 am


B. Environmental Design in Arch. @ NC State

2 years (and counting) in a facade design/engineering firm

GRE: not taken yet (stressing out about)

LORs: 2 college PHDs, 1 company principal

SOP: 100%

Hi all, 

New to this site. 

Fall 2018 applicant: GSAPP, GSD, UT Austin, USC, MIT (so far)

Wanting to get your thoughts on these schools. Also, wanting to get your opinions on the requirements of portfolio size and sheet dimensions.

Would most schools disregard the portfolio entirely if it exceeds page count ? Or just stop at the 20th or 25th page? And what if my sheets are 10x8 and 8.5x11 - how serious of an issue is this ? 

Please, any thoughts/opinions are helpful. Don't hold back.


Aug 24, 17 1:23 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: