M.Arch I With No Background


How are applicants evaluated that come in with no arch background? I understand that creative, not necessarily architectural, work is asked for in the portfolio. In the evaluation process, how are these people compared to and ranked against those who have received their undergraduate (4 year) degrees in architecture (esp. for programs that do not have M.Arch I AP like YSOA)? Is it even possible to receive a scholarship? I have scavenged this forum as well as issuu for examples of work from accepted non-background applicants and have not found too much to go off of. It is quite difficult to gauge how "good" you have to be to get into schools of both mid and high caliber. If anyone has any advice, I would appreciate it!

Jul 22, 19 8:53 pm
Non Sequitur

Before asking for examples, tell us first, what you have to offer?

Jul 22, 19 8:59 pm  · 

In the M.Arch admissions process, a person without an academic background in design isn't typically judged against people who do.  Generally how it works is that a certain percentage of the class - say a third - is targeted to be made up of people from backgrounds other than architecture and related design fields, and those applicants are evaluated relative to each other - but not to the two thirds of the class who come from more art-and-architecture-related backgrounds.

Some of it is how "good" you are:  it's nearly impossible to get accepted without a strong portfolio of visual work of some type, and your GPA will usually need to be higher than if you were coming from an architecture major, to be competitive.  But some of it is also what unique background you add to this year's class.  A lot of admissions is just about assembling a diverse group of individuals.  If you've done something uniquely noteworthy, even if totally unrelated to architecture, it may help - whether it's rank in an Olympic sport, or hold patents on some interesting inventions, or just have a particularly unusual job and a good story about it.  Even if you were merely a run-of-the-mill chemistry major that still may work out fine - if you're the only chemistry major to apply this year.  On the other hand, if there are 7 of you applying this year then you'd better be the one with the 4.0 GPA and the amazing portfolio.

Jul 23, 19 11:14 am  · 

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