Grad school decisions


hello, I wanted to ask one last question in regards to grad school decisions. How beneficial is the masters degree in terms of school choice when it comes to the overall picture. I have been accepted to a pretty good school that ultimately I have been thinking about going to for a long time now. I received next to nothing in scholarship money. (Disappointing yes, I thought I would have gotten more since majority of people I know get upwards of 10-20k a year, but nothing that I am not used to as I never received any sort of financial aid in parents just made too much to qualify me even though they aren’t the ones paying for it in the grand scheme of it all even though they still support me financially..) (I guess that’s a discussion for another time...)but now I sit at a heavy decision on whether that dream school is even worth it. It’s a 2 year program vs staying at my own university for a one year master. (I had intended to simply do a fifth year as the normal route but with it phasing our in the next couple years I would prefer to just go ahead get the masters.  So it’s basically 18k vs 100k which to me as a broke undergrad student is a nobrainer. I’ve always known that going to a new school for masters is the way to go but in this case it’s now a 80k difference to do that. My family has state that they would support me in any way as they already do but that just seems excessive even though ita not as much as most. At the end of the day I want to be an architect. I’m not opposed to teaching at some point in my future life but not as the sole purpose of my career. Im torn and anxious about the decision because I feel like it is missed opportunity as both ways. 

Apr 14, 19 2:57 pm
Non Sequitur

easy decision sibce no March is worth 100k. 

Apr 14, 19 6:02 pm
Non Sequitur

*since. Damn phone.


all opportunities are missed opportunities. this is the fundamental paradox of life :)

Apr 14, 19 8:12 pm

in the same boat as OP

Apr 15, 19 4:21 am

Hey @baby - easy decision: 

Stay and do the $18k option - you can always do a post-professional degree anywhere in the world after the next year  - in this way you can shape your personal direction framing in outside the prescriptive criteria of professional programme - 

Far more valuable to your career - 

During this next year get the highest possible marks so that your next application you are applying with the highest standard for scholarship $$

Apr 15, 19 6:04 am

Do not spend $100,000 on a Master's Degree. 

Apr 15, 19 11:16 am

I'm not sure from the OP post if you are planning to pay for this on your own or parents are paying.  Either way $100k is ridiculous for a Masters.  Look up how much a young graduate makes right out and compare what your loan payments would be, even at the 30 year plan.  Can you live on the leftovers?  I know there are reduced payment options, but typically that doesn't even pay the interest... loans are just getting bigger.  It's so incredibly hard to financially get out from under that.  And all so you can draft ADA bathrooms for someone else?

Apr 15, 19 11:34 am

If it helps, think of how many trips around the world $80k can buy you. You and your family can go at least twice depending on how you do it.

Apr 15, 19 12:17 pm

I would not do either of these options.  I'd take a year off from academia, to work full time, and I'd apply to a new set of M.Arch programs in the fall. 

The hiring climate is completely on your side - you should easily find an entry-level job in architecture or a related field right now.  Get the experience, earn some money, possibly get some portfolio material (depending on what type of work you end up with).

I would not do a 2nd degree at the same school where I did undergrad - even if it is a 1-year option.  It's just too much of the same - there isn't  likely to be a lot more to get from that institution. 

Apr 15, 19 1:18 pm

I was just in the OP's position and I just made my M.Arch decision after working for 1.5yrs after a 4-year BS degree. I chose the cheaper option over the 100k+ ivy-league option. My office recently hired someone w/ a 4+1 M.Arch and I was the person training them; they said the +1 part of school was 'very easy'. My former professors also advised going elsewhere. By staying, you limit your network to newly hired professors and incoming students at best, rather than expanding it beyond the locale & reputation of your original school. Even just by visiting the open houses of a few schools I was able to make connections w/ current students + admin. that might be useful eventually.

Apr 15, 19 2:10 pm

NS is right... no M.Arch is worth $100k. Grad school (at least in my experience) was an absolute breeze (and a bit of a joke) compared to my undergrad. I'm not a genius nor am I academically gifted but what I realized was that in Grad school people got away with a lot of "bull shit" disguised as "artistic expression + theory". I've got plenty of stories but that will be another discussion. All you needed was a little bit of discipline, put in the hours for the work, and proper motivation to complete assignments and voila, you've got a Master's degree! 

However, what IS truly important is work experience no matter the school, education or background. Unless you're aiming for a specific firm that only hires Ivy League graduates, I don't think it matters that much in the long run. The reality is that every fresh graduate has a Master's degree, so how will the employer differentiate you from the next desperate applicant?

After coming to that realization, I did the 4+1+2 option... I worked for a year after my 4 year undergrad, saved as much as I could, then attended the shortest M.Arch program and graduated in 2 years which was one of the few advanced programs I could qualify for.

Apr 26, 19 1:27 pm

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