USC vs. Umich vs. RISD vs. CMU undergrad


I was recently admitted to the four schools above, and am having a hard time deciding. Money isn't a problem at the moment, and I am looking for a school that would allow me to enjoy a traditional college experience (which is why I am leaning towards USC atm) while also helping me in the future with M.Arch applications. I don't like working in studios with too many people. 

Any suggestions / advice will be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you!

Apr 4, 19 10:14 pm

Finishing RISD and heading to grad afterwards. Do miss the college experience as RISD is not that st all. How “artsy” or “creative” are you?

Apr 30, 19 12:59 am  · 

For a more traditional college experience you should consider USC and CMU. They're both in great cities though being in Pittsburgh might be better in term of walkability. CMU has a wonderful fabrication and computation aspect to their program. If you're kind of in the middle between being a "techie" and "artsy" CMU would be the best option. You also have the option between doing B.Arch and BXA.

UMich is very far off the main campus. I would recommend against it. It's highly isolated and has large studio groups. Amazing program though.

RISD would be an amazing opportunity as itll expose you to many other design related fields but as Klai Lynn noted above you won't have access to a "traditional" campus. However you can take some classes over at Brown - I'm not sure how that'll fit in your time table.

Apr 30, 19 8:16 am  · 
1  · 

I would consider myself pretty artsy, but hold more interdisciplinary interests. My primary goal is to get into a good M.Arch program, possibly the ivies, and I wanted to know what school would be the best in that regard. 

Thank you for the help

Apr 30, 19 7:09 pm  · 

All of those schools should give you the necessary rigour to prep for M.Arch at the the big names. By M.Arch do you mean a professional M.Arch or post professional M.Arch? As in have you been accepted into a B.Arch (5 year) program at RISD, USC & CMU and B.S. at UMich?

Apr 30, 19 8:15 pm  · 

I am not sure at the moment, but I fet like schools ok the east coast would give me an advantage with ivies? Is this true?

Apr 30, 19 11:26 pm  · 

If you accept a B.Arch program you most likely would not want to do an M.Arch afterwards but something more specialized like M.AAD or MSEBD or SMArchS. Location of school is largely irrelevant as it will depend on your application portfolio.

May 1, 19 8:34 am  · 

Looks like those schools will give you a B.Arch, which means don't waste your money doing a M.Arch after. You don't need it. 

I don't personally know too much about the college experience at the other schools but I do know about USC. I think it will give you a very traditional "college experience" while still allowing you to be apart of the studio architecture culture. 

May 1, 19 5:13 pm  · 
Umich’s undergrad is not a 5 year professional degree. You’ll need a masters after. Like someone else said though, if you are lookin for a traditional campus experience it’s not the ideal option. The north campus area is nice though.
May 2, 19 11:34 am  · 

Thank you all for the help. I chose to accept CMU's offer. 

May 3, 19 8:13 pm  · 

Hi, how do you like CMU for Barch and would you still choose that over USC?

Apr 24, 22 12:57 pm  · 

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