GSD Essays Thread - M. Arch I


Hey everyone,

As the deadlines for a lot of M. Arch I programs approach, I have some questions about the essays for GSD. The statement of purpose a lot of universities ask is pretty straightforward, but I'm having some trouble with the GSD's short essays, so if anyone has done this before or can give some pointers, it would be much appreciated! 

So these are the essay prompts in their applications (all of them with a 300 word limit):

  • Please tell us about a work of architecture or an experience in the built environment that you find engaging and why. 
  • How have your experience and background prepared you for your studies at the GSD? 
  • What is your reaction to the phrase, "Less is More," an aphorism found in many disciplines?
  • Please tell us about a time when you had to overcome a challenge or difficulty. 

My trouble is the one in bold, the "background" essay. Since I have an architecture background, this question is a bit redundant for me? I have done a couple of internships and my B. A. is in architecture, but I'm assuming they don't want to hear the same thing my CV and portfolio already say. Any tips for ways to think about this question as an opportunity to say something new?

Any tips are greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Dec 19, 18 7:00 pm

I thought you only had to respond to three of the four topics, so if that one doesn't make sense for you, just skip it. I think that's the most important prompt though, and I am treating it as a condensed personal statement. I don't know how the adcoms work logistically, but I don't want to assume that the same individual will look at my portfolio and essays in immediate succession, so I want each piece to stand well on it's own.

Dec 19, 18 11:08 pm  · 

Not gonna lie, I totally missed that it's three out of four essays. You're a lifesaver and I'm glad I posted this now! Hahah

This is a great way of thinking about it too. Makes a lot more sense now, I guess the "background" phrase throws me off

Dec 20, 18 1:15 am  · 

this does not bode well for your chances

Dec 21, 18 6:27 pm  · 
3  ·  1

These threads always follow the same pattern: OP who doesn't read the prompts properly, other posters lambasting him/her, and a series of Bots after.

Nov 22, 20 11:34 am  · 
3  · 

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