Waterloo vs. Ryerson architecture undergrad


So I've just been accepted to both Waterloo arch and Ryerson arch for their respective undergrad programs, and I am now not sure which one to choose from. Waterloo seems to have a slightly better program (especially in terms of coop), but its located in Cambridge which could lead the experience there being kind of depressing because its such a boring town. Ryerson on the other hand is less prestigious, but its in the heart of Toronto which I love. Obviously academics are top priority, but I also want to go to a place where I will have an enjoyable experience both inside and outside of school.

Is there a significant difference in the Masters/job opportunities that would be available to me in the future based on which school I chose? Is one school significantly better? do employers value grads from Waterloo more? Any insight is much appreciated :)

May 5, 19 2:18 pm

Unless you are aiming to work for top tier design oriented firms, whatever school you graduate from doesn't make that big of a difference in the long run for job wise. From my experience and what I've observed from my peers, here is the general rule of thumb:

For Jobs

  1. Work experience / Networking (60%)
  2. Portfolio (30%)
  3. School (10%)

For Masters

  1. Portfolio
  2. Letter of Intent / References
  3. School / Grades (The higher the grades, the more chances of scholarships)
May 6, 19 12:58 pm  · 

I should also point out that theory and practice are two very different worlds. If I could have one piece of advice when I was at your stage, this would be it... It is important to NOT romanticize the architecture profession and instead set realistic expectations on the career of an architect (note: I am not suggesting that you can't be optimistic). Trust me, I was extremely naive and ignorant and had to learn this important lesson the hard way.  

I strongly recommend fully researching in depth on what each school is all about. Every school has their own "niche" so it is crucial to determine if those values align with your design interests as it is much easier to excel at something you're personally interested to get you through schooling. 

Lastly, majority of students don't end up going into academia/theory, so unless that is your plan in the future, schools don't make that much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.

May 6, 19 1:13 pm  · 

Hi, I plan on applying to both schools this year, do you have any advice? Also if you don't mind can i look at your portfolio to know if I'm heading in the right direction. If not, do you mind taking a look at what I have so far? 

Oct 22, 20 5:55 pm  · 

I don't know about Ryerson as it's quite new as an Architecture school in Canada.  I did not attend Waterloo but I have been super impressed with the graduates I have hired over the years who went there.  The CO-OP program allowed them to gain valuable experience, good training and came into the office fit and ready to contribute from day one.... Can't say that about a lot of folks we have interviewed over the years.

Oct 22, 20 7:59 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

This is an old post but RYU is mostly limited to the gta. They produce decent tech students but poor architects. It’s getting better tho, as I’ve been told.

Oct 22, 20 8:20 pm  · 

If you don't mind me asking, what were your marks/averages for the courses that you gave the universities?

Dec 30, 21 7:35 pm  · 

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