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M.Arch Fall 2020 Application Status

1143
chuckluck

Hey all,

Opening a thread for all of us m.arch applicants this year to share our status of application (and decisions) together.

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 
  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 
  • Letter of recommendations 
  • Personal Essay/Statement 
  • Portfolio
  • Schools 
  • Open house impressions 
  • Results 
  • Tips

 
Nov 27, 19 1:13 pm
juju1992

I guess I can start this off! I am Intl./M/26

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

B.Arch/UCLA/2018

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

3.4/4, GRE 160/160, TOEFL waived

  • Letter of recommendations 

Previous Profs and one employer

  • Personal Essay/Statement 

Working working...

  • Portfolio

Finalizing as well, hope it turns out ok.

  • Schools 

GSD, Princeton, Syracuse, Rice, RISD

  • Open house impressions 

Didn't have the chance to go to any yet, was working all year in a local firm



Good luck to everyone!!

Dec 16, 19 12:25 pm  · 
 · 
faiths.pang

any updates?

 · 
ahp111

India/F/25


  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

B.Arch / 2017


  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

GRE : 150V 166Q 4.0AWA


IELTS : 8.0


  • Letter of recommendations 

3 from professors 


  • Schools 

UCB (MCP - Urban Design conc.), UCLA (MSAUD - Urban strategy), Cornell (MSAAD) , UT-Austin (MSUD), UMich (MUD), Notre Dame (MADU), Georgia Tech.(MSUD), Carnegie Mellon(MUD)


  • Results 

Dec 19, 19 11:57 am  · 
 · 
kunjdab

Any update on the results? India/F/26 and applied to UCB and UTAustin. Haven't heard from either. 

 · 
ahp111

No updates yet! Waiting and waiting. Will definitely post whenever I hear from anywhere! Btw, you've applied for the same programs?

 · 
ahp111

Update: Out at Berkeley and GaTech. Berkeley was a long shot, but don't know what went wrong with GaTech.

 · 
ahp111

In at UMich, no
information on $ yet.

 · 
ahp111

Just received an email notification. 19k scholarship at UMich!!

 · 
ethanhunt

Congratulations! UMich is a good one. Do consider Michigan's climate. Coming from hot and humid climatic conditions, I'm not used to cold weather as it makes me lethargic so I didn't go for extreme cold cities. You know how hectic is architecture!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Congrats ahp111, UMich Graduates are the 4th highest paid in the industry. You're in great shape: https://archinect.com/features/article/150170495/a-deep-dive-into-the-salaries-of-nyc-architects

 · 
ahp111

Thanks ethan! I am yet to hear from other schools, so will be deciding accordingly. And yes, I haved lived in Michigan for a few months. The weather is harsh!

 · 
ahp111

Thanks Joey! That article was definitely insightful.

 · 
ahp111

I received a departmental decision letter from UCLA MSAUD that I have been recommended for admission and should receive an official admit within a few weeks. Are there any chances of a reject from the Admissions
Office?

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

I don’t think so. I know technically it allows them some tiny wiggle room, I think you’re fine. I got the same last Friday 2/28 but then got the official letter from the admissions office late last night 3/3. Only bummer, no $. Anytime a school doesn’t offer $, it means they don’t really want you.

 · 
ahp111

Oh okay. So, I should be expecting the official letter in a few days! And also, there's nothing mentioned about $

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Yes you should and if the department (AUD) recommended you for merit based scholarship then you’ll hear about it in that email from Admissions. Also, the Financial Aid department emailed me this morning with my full aid package. It was ALL loans, ($45k-worth) not even university Grants which I received when I
did my undergrad at UCLA. I plan of appeal though, both to the department (AUD) and to graduate Admissions.

 · 
ahp111

Okay, I am waiting from the Admissions. I hope your appeal goes well!

 · 
archi_gram

Congrats on U Michigan Taubman! I don't think they give out that much money any more according to grad cafe this year. I didn't get any this year. It is sad because I really like Ann Arbor. I stayed there for two weeks, love the lake weather, love the sunshine, and love the lively street at night (streets still filled with people at midnight), truly a safe and energetic city to study in

 · 
ahp111

Thanks @archi_gram ! I ha
ve been to Ann Arbor and I liked it too. It's really a lively college town.

 · 
ahp111

Update : In - Carnegie Mellon (negligible $), Notre Dame ($$$$)

 · 
ahp111

Out - Cornell, UT Austin

 · 
Archlandia
  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

Bachelor of Arts Architecture / Portland State University / 2016

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

Sub 3.0 - 155/152/4.0 - Not needed

  • Letter of recommendations 

3 professors (Ivy alumni, not that it will matter, see tips below), 1 Associate Principal (current employer)

  • Personal Essay/Statement 

Completed - Talked about my background in arts, how it influences my process, what I learned since undergraduate studies, how I will use my background/education/work experience to push a specific process forward alongside current works at the schools, and how I see my past experience blending with the schools pedagogy to reach my career goals.

*I will post the actual statement after/close to the application deadlines.

  • Portfolio

Completed - Two academic projects, one personal residential project, and two artistic explorations.

*I will post my final portfolio after/close to the application deadlines.

  • Schools 

Pratt, UMich, Penn, Yale, PSU, Woodbury, SCI-Arc

  • Open house impressions 

Yale was phenomenal. The architecture building is the best that I've seen. The city is kind of lame. The studios were very roomy and clean. The work was more attainable than I anticipated. Work was 90/10 (good/okay). The students and faculty were very nice and intelligent. One of the students admitted that most students there don't utilize the digital labs to their full potential and there wasn't much push to do so. 

Penn was great. The work was 70/30 (really good/good) hit and miss, but the good work was phenomenal. The studios were a little tight. The campus and city is a really nice place to be. The students and faculty were very nice and intelligent. Also got to hang out around Thom Mayne which was pretty cool.

Pratt was okay. The building is pretty cool, but not many really open spaces. The studios were more roomy than Penn though. The work was 30/70 (really good/okay). The faculty was pretty serious, also intelligent, and the students were not the most rigorous or focused. The city is well, NYC, so amazing and unfathomable. The campus was just okay though. David Erdman (the chair?) was super awesome and helpful, but definitely has a strong point of view about discourse. They did seem slightly unorganized. 

SCI-Arc was great. The building is good. The surroundings are hit and miss. It is in the arts district area which is up and coming and great, but there is skid row right there too. I didn't get to interact with students and faculty much while I was there (two years ago?) but the contact that I've had recently with current faculty and students has been positive. They were both very nice and intelligent. Work 80/20 (really good/okay)

Portland State is my alma matter - the building is okay. The undergrad studio spaces are way better than the grad studios. The campus is amazing, and it's right in the city. The faculty is sometimes pre-occupied, but very knowledgeable (many Ivy, MIT, etc.. grads) Digital fabrication and design is not currently a focus of the school, but you will focus on craft and analog manifestations. You will definitely need to be self-motivated at this school. Not as much energy currently as these other schools, but they just got a new dean this year that is full of design oriented energy. Work is 20/80 (good/not good). Opportunity to be a big fish in a small pond.

  • Results 

TBD, will update in March/April.

  • Tips

VISIT THE SCHOOLS. I cannot stress this enough, especially if you don't come from an academic household. I work full-time, but used my vacation hours to take trips to these places for a couple of days. I learned a ton about the programs that I visited that helped in my applications process. I'm a first generation student, so many things that weren't passed down to me, I learned from asking questions at these visits. I got to meet some of the admissions committee and made good impressions. Also - you will be surprised how much your school priorities change once you actually go and visit them.

Work on your portfolio way more than anything else, this is the most important factor of your application.

Some schools don't care about your professional work, and most all schools prefer to see your individual projects over group projects. Through research, you can find out which schools find professional work important or not. Most of the schools I am applying to have been transparent about how the review portfolios/what is important to see as far as projects/explorations go.

Grades definitely matter, but don't let that stop you from trying. Try to make up for bad grades with a solid portfolio and essay.

Unless you have a really famous person writing your letter of rec, then don't really worry about who they are coming from, just worry about if they will write you a strong rec and they know your work. Also - most schools prefer professors over employers. Even if you've been out of school for a few years like I have, the schools said one letter from an employer was plenty.

Start your essays really early. I spent months on my essays, and I still feel like they aren't as good as I wanted them to be.

Use Issuu to your advantage.

Contact current students at these schools (via social media in my case) and ask questions about their application process, school pedagogy, best faculty to research or get in contact with. 

Most questions that you have for current faculty will be answered at the open houses. But if you feel the need to contact faculty, some are very open to answering questions. Sometimes you won't get an email back at all, but they're very busy.

Research, research, research.  

Haters gonna hate.

Good luck everyone.

Dec 19, 19 7:38 pm  · 
 · 
juju1992

Very informative read, thanks for your input. I am applying to Yale, UPenn, Sci-Arc, and Pratt as well so it was very nice to see some comments on them from a prospective student especially since I wasn't able to visit any of them (except for Penn). Are you applying to M.Arch II? Best of luck to you :)

 · 
Archlandia

Glad it helped! I’m applying to the professional program for all the schools. At Penn it’s the M.Arch 1. Thanks, you too!

 · 
Archlandia

Here is an example of a portfolio I submitted, it doesn't look exactly like this and it will be read as single pages. I've submitted all of my applications as of yesterday. All Done! https://issuu.com/reedportland/docs/blank_portfolio_2020

 · 
chuckluck

Congrats buddy! Portfolio looks great.

 · 
Archlandia

As promised, here is an example of my personal statement for future applicant reference. 

Just for some basic info: the maximum word count was 500 words with no true prompt. Basically, the school just asked that you state 'why architecture?' 'why this school?' etc.. aka the standard prompt.

**Not that anyone would or should copy this, but it would be very unwise of you considering I've already turned in all of my applications.

Hope this helps one way or another

https://issuu.com/reedportland/docs/sculpting_edited

 · 
Archlandia

In at Woodbury with $

 · 
chuckluck

aye first dub under this thread, congrats man!

 · 
Archlandia

Thanks Chuck, anxiously awaiting the rest!

 · 
Archlandia

Still waiting to hear back from the rest, but updated info from Woodbury in the mail. Advanced 2-year track and TA position.

 · 
Archlandia

In at PSU - no further info yet

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Congrats!! Love that campus

 · 
Archlandia

In at Pratt with $$

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Massive congrats @Archlandia!!

 · 
Archlandia

Thanks Joey! Hoping to hear from UMich soon...

 · 
Archlandia

Out at UMich

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

@archlandia No worries! Pratt graduates earn about the same as GSD ones, so you're fine. The Harvard names only gets you so far, it's about the quality of the work. https://archinect.com/features/article/150170495/a-deep-dive-into-the-salaries-of-nyc-architects

 · 
Archlandia

Ha! Thanks Joey for the words of encouragement!

 · 
Archlandia

In at Penn

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

And there you have it!! Congrats!!

 · 
Michael.Willhoit

Congrats archlandia!

 · 
Archlandia

Thanks Joey! And you too Michael!

 · 
Archlandia

In at SCI-Arc. I checked the website just now

 · 
ahp111

Congratulations on your admits Archlandia!

 · 
Archlandia

Hey thanks, you too!!

 · 
Archlandia

Out at Yale. I had a good run though! Super happy, Penn has been my top choice!

 · 
Michael.Willhoit

Are you going to be attending the open house for Penn or Pratt?

 · 
Archlandia

I don’t think so.. I’m in Oregon so it’s kind of a hassle. Especially with work and everything going on right now. If I change my mind though I’ll let you know!

 · 
Archlandia

I sent you a message with my contact

 · 
chuckluck

Maybe I'll see you at Penn :)

 · 
Michael.Willhoit
  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

BS Arch / Temple University / Spring 2019

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

3.76 - 161V/154Q/4.0AWA - N/A

  • Letter of recommendations 

4 studio profs from undergrad

  • Personal Essay/Statement 

Because each school had slightly different prompts to expand upon, I did variations on a theme. Mostly talked about how my passion for architecture is shaped by a strong tie to rural America and how my undergrad education has prepared me to take on a lifelong project of creating a better future for the under-served.

Probably not going to post those unless someone asks me.

  • Portfolio

4-5 academic works depending on the school I applied to. Took a reserved approach to showing my work, explaining the work concisely on the intro page and using one or two images per page to elaborate.

Might post after the deadlines.

  • Schools

MArch for all 6 schools 

  1. UPenn
  2. Yale
  3. Harvard
  4. Pratt
  5. Temple (alma mater)
  6. Penn State
  • Open house impressions 

Penn: Really love Penn for a few reasons. First, I've gotten to know a lot of the faculty as there is some crossover in Philadelphia between schools (lots of profs teach at Temple, Penn, Drexel, and Jefferson), so I've had a lot of conversations with them about Penn's curriculum and my own interests for graduate school. Second, I live in Philadelphia and I would love dearly not to move because of money and because this is The Best City. Third, I really like the curriculum and their optional thesis track in the third year, and a lot of the projects done in their studios deals directly with issues I find myself passionate about (rust belt revitalization, energy infrastructure, etc.). Also lots of travel options, which I missed out on in undergrad. That being said, their studios feel a bit cramped and they have a reputation for being a little too focused on parametric design, not to mention their marked reliance on student tuition for funding (lost the link to the article on this but I'll try to find lol.)

Yale:  Fell in love with it when I visited in November. The building is beautiful, the students are very interesting people of all different academic backgrounds, and the curriculum and pedagogy is right up my alley. What really sold me on applying was their first year student building project. Definitely expensive though, even if their financial aid department offers up to $35k in need-based aid. They also seem to have a strange cult regarding the color of their carpet also.

Harvard: Visited once for an AIAS even in Boston, really impressive space. At first their pedagogy seemed a bit arcane to me but now I get it. Still feel like it's a long shot for me to be accepted but after seeing how diverse and interesting the research is coming from their MArch program, it's worth a shot. Why not?

Pratt: Visit occasionally because I have friends that go there. Surprisingly a lot of overlap between Philadelphia faculty and Pratt faculty so that's pretty neat, it actually really comes through in the student's work that their professors also teach at Penn, some serious blobby stuff sometimes lmao. That being said I also like the location, and the fact that should I go I have a support network.

Temple: My alma mater and all around a pretty good school in my experience. It's a fairly small program but there's good faculty at the class-level even if the school lacks a bit in overall direction. Heavily tied to the fine arts programs at Temple as well, and a lot of grad students end up participating in thesis work between departments; notably, there's a huge resin and fiber column in the lobby made as part of someone's project, I think it's been there since the year I started (2014).

Penn State: Admittedly I've only ever walked through their studios, but I respect the school and have also gotten to talk a lot with the faculty there, even if briefly. I also work with a lot of Penn State alumni who are very fond of their time there so that's neat. Also close to my parent's house so I could easily just mooch off them for a bit.

  • Results:
  1. Penn: 
  2. Yale:
  3. Harvard:
  4. Pratt:
  5. Temple:
  6. Penn State: 
  • Tips

Grad school is incredibly demanding and expensive, and can take you away from people you need or people who need you. If you feel as though finances and family will be a factor in where you apply, seriously consider looking into schools close to where you live, or try to look for places where you have family or friends to be with. You don't want to end up broke and lonely.

Spend a few months making a portfolio, then start over and make another portfolio, and then repeat. You will not get it right on the first try. I had a seriously rude awakening a few months back when I thought I had a real banger, and then showed it to my former profs and a few ivy league alumni who promptly ripped it to shreds. Of course, take this with a grain of salt too. I've known plenty of people who completely ignore advice from people they ask for help who end up being admitted to their dream schools because it says something interesting about them. Just try to have confidence and humility at the same time.

DON'T PAY SOMEONE TO DO YOUR WORK FOR YOU. It's kind of an open secret that there are consultancy firms that will either "assist" or fully complete your applications for you, and it is never worth it. You may get into your dream school, but you'll be several thousand dollars lighter and with nothing to show for once you end up matriculating. In fact, in Yale's online application it makes you click Y/N to the statement "I certify that this portfolio was completed without the help of a paid professional consultancy firm." It's lazy, underhanded, and unfair to students who don't have mommy and daddy's money to take but have more drive than you.

Also there's always next year.

Dec 19, 19 9:23 pm  · 
 · 
pootchikins

big lol to broke and lonely

 · 
Michael.Willhoit

In at Temple, no info on financial aid. Expected to get in but had no idea they'd send so early.

 · 
pootchikins

Congrats on Temple! Philly is awesome

 · 
Michael.Willhoit

Updates: in at Pratt for M.Arch I with $60,000 scholarship. No AP tho.

 · 
Michael.Willhoit

Posted too early oops, also out sd GSD

 · 
Michael.Willhoit

In at UPenn!! Holy shit!! Sent me an early notification, says financial aid info and stuff will be available on March 12th. Walking on air rn, huge weight off my chest.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Friggin awesome bro! You’re killin the game out here!! Well done!

 · 
Michael.Willhoit

Out at Yale. It's ok tho I got penn

 · 
Michael.Willhoit

Just looked at the official accepted letter from Penn. They're giving me $35k per year assuming good academic standing! But they also need me to
send them a course syllabus for my physics requirement lol.

 · 
chuckluck

Time to hop on the train.

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

B.Arts in Urban Studies / Haverford College / 2018

Any other non-arch buddies?

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

3.51/4 - 165V/162Q/4.5AW - TOEFL waived

  • Letter of recommendations 

Two from profs (department chair/architect) one from employer

  • Personal Essay/Statement 

Almost done, with the amount of schools I am applying to I have to spend a lot of time on writing and rewriting but I am glad it's coming to an end. Don't imagine I would submit the app until maybe the day before the deadline.

  • Portfolio

Super exhausting process but finally got it done yesterday. have a longer and a shorter version for different schools. Coming from a non-arch background with limited projects to show off I only have one portfolio for all the schools, but they are very much architecture oriented.

  • Schools 

M.Arch I for all, ranked in terms of preference:

Yale, UPenn, Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, RISD, SCI-Arc, Pratt 

  • Open house impressions 

Didn't get to go to any since I live abroad now, but have done extensive research on each school.

Yale and Penn are my dream schools, if I am admitted into either one I probably won't even consider other programs. Yale's international studios are big hits for me, and needlessly to say Penn's versatility and broad curriculum which really speaks to someone like me from a multidisciplinary background. Also have a strong personal tie with Philadelphia having lived there for years.

Harvard of course is a great school, one of the best, though I have yet to fully grapple with the ethos of the program. Yesterday on the webinar one of the GSD persons said (paraphrasing) that a lot of schools teach architecture in a broad and all-inclusive manner (pertaining to many different subject matters), but GSD teaches architecture as architecture, while still have that versatility. Really confuses me lol to be honest...

Cornell and Columbia are both incredible schools too and I will not say too much about them. Both Ithaca and Manhattan are great (yet contradicting) places to live in... I am sure it has all the tools and connections to shape us into great future professionals

Then the three art schools, to be honest I would love to hear more about it. They just have a bit more mystical vibes to them. RISD has supposedly one of the best arch programs in the states (according to the ranking though I am not a big ranking person myself), is that really true? I found very scarce info on their website, though connection with Brown is a good thing. Pratt is interesting, I have heard the undergrad program is stronger than the grad, again not sure the validity of that claim, but living in NY is a big plus. Sci-arc is the only school out of east coast, very avant-garde and prestigious as an architecture school, heard they are very super detail-oriented which ughs me a little bit. I really like the student projects though.

  • Results 

Yet to come.

  • Tips

The mistake I made - and I want to let future applicants know that - was that I started with too many schools, basically aimlessly. Though I did refine them down to 8, when I am researching and writing personal statements, I realized that I should've applied to less. Though there is no right or wrong amount, I would say keep the numbers manageable, 8 is a bit too much for me but since I already started there is no going back. Ditch the idea of safety school, unless you really need to go to a school (??), there is no point of compromising yourself and go to a school that does not fit you especially when you know you could do better.

Time is limited and goes by fast. I started making my portfolio from scratch in July, 2018 on and off and I just finished it right before the deadline (yes i am inexperienced and not an architecture student but just to show you the time and effort that goes in making a portfolio, not to mention everything else, GRE, SoPs, etc).

Anyways, I am glad I got the test done early so I had months to fully focus on my portfolio. Fingers crossed and hope everything goes well. Good luck to all the fellow 2020 applicants as well!

Dec 19, 19 10:21 pm  · 
 · 
chuckluck

Uploaded my portfolio for anybody who is interested (meant to be read as single page not spread):

https://issuu.com/charlieliu6070/docs/portfoliogsd

 · 
juju1992

nice work coming from a non-arch student :)

 · 
chuckluck

In at RISD w/ $ + assistantship


Props to them for sending out notifications so early

 · 
juju1992

big w! congratulations!

 · 
Archlandia

Nice work Chuck!

 · 
peijunfei

Big Cong!

 · 
bessie2b

Many congratulations Chuckluck! I didn't know they send out notifications so early. When did you hear from them?

 · 
juju1992

^

 · 
chuckluck

Thanks all! Bessie2b, I got an update on the 6th, I think many others got it on the same day as well.

 · 
Hachiko

Loved your portfolio.

 · 
juju1992

Have you heard back from Cornell?

 · 
chuckluck

Nah boss I have not, not the best sign but fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

Also a quick update:
Out at GSD, In at Pratt and UPenn.
So happy about Penn, my top two choice!

 · 
Archlandia

Good job Chuck!

 · 
chuckluck

Thanks Archlandia! To you too

 · 
chuckluck

Latest: In at Columbia and Sci-Arc, Out at Yale. Only waiting on Cornell now, not sure what the deal is

 · 
chuckluck

Out at Cornell, so got into 5/8 schools, not bad but wish I could have done better. Penn ended up giving me some money ($) but I might go to GSAPP

 · 
kmbarnes003

33/Female -- changing careers, I started doing a certificate program in Interior Design + Architecture in 2018 while working full-time just to gauge my interest in the field. And then I decided to apply to M.Arch programs for 2020 to see what happens. I've been out of school for a long time and I'm not coming from an Architecture background so I know my chances are lower. My back up plan is to do a M.Int.Arch. if I don't get in to any of these programs. 

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

BA Business Administration & Fashion Merchandising

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

3.5 --  157/V161/AWA 4.5

  • Letter of recommendations 

1 professor, 2 employer 

  • Personal Essay/Statement

Varied by school

  • Portfolio

I used hand drawn and rendered plans from class projects and some additional room and object sketches - I'm a little concerned this isn't enough but it's all I had! I haven't done too much with software yet and I didn't feel the work was strong enough to be included. 

Schools 

UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, University of Oregon

  • Open house impressions

Did not have time to attend

  • Results 

Waiting with bated breath. 

Berkeley - 

UCLA -

USC - 

Uni. of Oregon - 

  • Tips

Start early. I waited too long to take the GRE so I was working, taking classes, studying, and writing essays all during the same time period. I got it done but it was stressful. I could've eliminated some of the burden by taking the GRE earlier in the year. It also would have freed up time to attend Open Houses. 



Dec 28, 19 3:18 pm  · 
 · 
kmbarnes003

Update:

 · 
kmbarnes003

In at Oregon!
Waiting to hear about $$. Out at Berkeley, not too surprised about that.

 · 
chuckluck

congratz!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Congratulations!! Good to have a win

 · 
skrab011

Congrats! I'm in at Oregon as well. Did you hear about your $$ yet?

 · 
kmbarnes003

I still haven’t heard about $ yet from Oregon, also haven’t received anything in the mail at all. Hopefully in the next couple weeks. Have you heard anything?

 · 
clevelandcynic

Hi all :)

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 
  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 
  • Letter of recommendations 
  • Personal Essay/Statement 
  • Portfolio
  • Schools 
  • Open house impressions 
  • Results 
  • Tips
Dec 30, 19 6:02 pm  · 
 · 
clevelandcynic

Haha ok trying again since I messed up the first time :p

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 
B.S. Architecture / MIT / graduated December 2019

I have minors in Computer Science and Materials Science/Engineering

I just finished my degree (a semester early), so I'm working full time at a lighting company, designing colored LED displays for bridges, skyscrapers, casinos, etc.

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 
3.6 GPA cumulative
3.9 GPA architecture (B's and C's in my minor coursework drag down my cumulative)

163 V / 167 M / 5.0 AW

  • Letter of recommendations 
One studio professor, one structures professor with whom I also did a research project, and one non-academic school administrator (I am the rooming chair of my residence hall, which means I work with university admin to write housing policy. This is actually a significant leadership position and a lot of work, but it's hard to explain concisely in an application, so I'm hoping this rec letter will help convey that info).

  • Personal Essay/Statement 
Completed. Can post link if folks are interested. I wrote about why i'm minoring in CS and Materials and how I want to use those skills with architecture. I explained some of my research in material conservation of art/architecture and computational tools for structural performance. MIT has a very weird undergraduate curriculum so I also explained some of that context.

  • Portfolio
Completed. Again, can post a link if anyone is interested, though I don't think my portfolio is super strong.

4 studio projects (including one from a graduate level options studio). I also included 2 pages with a bit about some of my research. Most of my studio work has been group work (groups of 2-4), so I only included one individual project. We'll see whether that's an asset or a curse.

  • Schools 
UT Austin, Tulane, Rice, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech

I want to be in the south. The cold weather and snow gives me serious seasonal depression (I'm from Cleveland, so I've lived with this my entire life and I do not want to do it one second longer). Even Virginia Tech is a bit too far north lol. Though I definitely want to be at a solid program, I've prioritized location and quality of life factors. All of these schools are good, and all the extra sun will certainly make my work better. I want to live in Texas long term and will be happy to network a little closer to the region I want to settle down in.

  • Open house impressions 
I can speak the most about UT and Tulane, so feel free to ask about them. Tulane has some of the friendliest folks I've ever met, particularly in the architecture department. I almost went there for undergrad instead of MIT. UT is my top choice, provided I get in with a nice financial aid package.

  • Results 
We shall see!

  • Tips
Figure out what makes you weird or unique and lean into that, rather than copying whatever seems to be standard application practice. Some schools may be turned off, but some will be excited, and it will certainly make you stand out.

When choosing where to apply, decide what's really the most important to you and hold yourself to that. It will help you narrow down programs really quickly and you can be more confident about where you're applying and why.
Dec 30, 19 6:48 pm  · 
 · 
ahp111

Which program have you applied for at these universities?

 · 
clevelandcynic

ahp111, I'm applying to professional M. Arch programs at all these schools, hopefully with advanced standing.

 · 
clevelandcynic

lmnoc1, MIT is amazing and I wish you good luck! Yeah, my user name is just a little pun that sounds like Cleveland Clinic

 · 
ahp111

Clevelandcynic, great! good luck for your applications.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Would love to hear any thoughts on Tulane, what you saw in the studios, what students and professors were like.. etc..

 · 
clevelandcynic

Hi Joey! Tulane is great because they really focus on being connected to New Orleans (which is an awesome place to be). Lots of research about disaster resilience, especially in river deltas. Great community service and design build projects if that's your thing. Students and faculty and incredibly friendly and welcoming. Everyone seemed pretty laid back, which I really appreciate in contrast to the intensity that some other schools seem to project. Not that the work isn't challenging, but no one seemed to be driving themselves crazy. As a senior in high school, the Dean of the School of Architecture had lunch with me and a couple of other prospective students for over an hour. The studio spaces are really bright and cozy and the campus area in general is really nice. No complaints about Tulane from me!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Hey CC, I appreciate the quick reply. It's funny, I studied literally dozens of programs and when I got to Tulane it really stood out to me for so many reasons. You can check my little thread post below; should be the last one. But yes, what struck me were the real-world projects and social justice outreach you could do. To me, that's what an architect should be doing, at least, that's the kind of architect I want to be. Plus I love NOLA. One-of-a-kind place. And what you say about the 'lack of projected intensity', I really felt that in my research and in my contact with someone in the department. It lacks that ego-stuffiness of some programs while still remaining super competitive, and well respected. Thanks for the insight. Hoping to get in with $$$. We'll find out by next Friday 2/7. Did you get the email they sent out today?

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

One other thought. You went to MIT, which means you know Boston. Was thinking of applying to The BAC but then read tons of horrible reviews and looked at student work, changed my mind Any thoughts about other programs in the area apart from MIT and GSD?; too late to apply to either anyway . (But there may be flexibility at U Mass Amherst, which has the IPAL program, and Northeastern). Studying in Mass was a childhood dream of mine.

 · 
clevelandcynic

Yes, the email made me nervous because I thought decisions wouldnt be out for a few more weeks :o I do know Boston as a city pretty well but I don't actually know very much about the architecture programs in the area (aside from a lot about MIT and a little about the GSD). I think the Northeastern program is pretty solid, but I was never crazy about their "campus" and I never met any students from the architecture program. The school is kind of a disembodied collection of buildings in the middle of Boston, although its close to the orchestra and the MFA. Not applying to the BAC is probably a good call, but they have some fun lecture series I appreciated going to while I was in the city.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Not gonna lie, I feel you BUT, they may be one of the schools that does decisions earlier. Their website says Graduate decisions will be out by March 1st at the latest, so the 7th of Feb sounds reasonable. We'll see.... Makes sense about the Northeastern campus, that sense of a true home base is preferable. Thanks for all your insight. I'll be sure to DM you next Friday when Tulane decisions come in!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Bro, did you hear back today? I just go email, I'm in at Tulane! So so so so happy!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Bro or sis – I shouldn't assume. ;)

 · 
clevelandcynic

Updates: In at Tulane with good $$. In at UT but won't know about money for another month? They also didn't give me advanced standing which kind of grinds my gears since I have an architecture degree (not the end of the world).

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Congrats again! Noticing a trend, the public state schools don’t notify about $ in their acceptance emails. .. I just registered for the Tulane graduate open house and booked flights. Pretty pumped!

 · 
clevelandcynic

I'll be at the open house too, so I'm sure I'll see you there :)

 · 
clevelandcynic

Updates: In at Clemson (3 year track), Georgia Tech (2 year track), and Rice (3.5 year track, with a very generous financial offer). And a recruitment scholarship from UT. What a Monday! lol

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Cc, congrats!! you’ve got a ton of options!! I imagine Rice would outpace everyone else on your list, including Tulane?

 · 
clevelandcynic

Thanks! Rice is definitely in a league of its own but I'm not sure about the culture fit. It's a very different atmosphere from everywhere else on my list (honestly I didn't expect to get in so I didn't think I'd have to worry about it). I'll definitely be visiting and I've got some tough choices to make.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

You went to MIT and graduated with honors; you were getting in to anywhere you applied — you’re humility is endearing though :) I feel you on Rice completely. I mentioned to another person in this thread, that’s why I didn’t apply. However, I Really wanted to have the city of Houston as an option though as it’s home and quality and affordability of life is incomparable, so I applied of UH and got in. I fly into Houston tonight to meet with assistant dean and some students, tour etc.. anyway, see ya at Tulane Friday. I’m sure you’ll make the best decision for you!

 · 
AndieT

What are your thoughts on UT? I was accepted back in February and unfortunately with the whole COVID-19 crisis, I won't be able to make it out to visit before the April 15th deadline. Would love you hear any input you have on the program / school!!

 · 
clevelandcynic

Hi Andie :) Firstly, the UT campus is gorgeous and everyone is so friendly. The program is larger, broader, and more multidisciplinary than many other schools. It offers quite a few degrees, not just architecture. The profs pitched it as a school where you can choose your focus and carve out your own path of interest, as opposed to other schools that tend to focus on theory, design, technical skills, etc. I do think this breadth-first attitude comes at the expense of a little bit of depth, but they pride themselves on being the "#1 most hired-from" program of their size and that's probably a meaningful criterion. They have a professional placement program where you can be set up at a firm for a semester, though they did say this tends to push back your degree date. I'd probably not do the program and stick to summer internships, but running the program has allowed the school to build a really powerful professional network for its students.

 · 
clevelandcynic

The reasons I love UT are pretty me-specific. Austin is an awesome city and absolutely my kind of place. I do think it's a really good place to go to college; it has a good mix of being a "city" and a college town with great food and live music and a neighborhood feel. I latched onto UT early in my school hunt because of the Materials Lab. As a materials science minor, it's pretty cool to have an architecture school with so many resources in my niche. I love the school spirit at UT and I think being a UT alum is really a lifelong identity.

 · 
uuuuu

Hello,

I am applying to architecture school for grad programs but not M.Arch. Just want to see if anyone of you will be expecting late recommendation letter from your recommenders? Do schools accept late letters? :\

Good luck to all of you!

Jan 2, 20 11:46 am  · 
 · 
blasé

Yes, I am expecting late letters. Certain schools have different deadlines for the recommenders and for you, and I am really hoping that all schools have grace for this. It is really out of our control! Best of luck

 · 
Non Sequitur

it is within your control if you give enough notice to those writing the letters.

 · 
blasé

Non Sequitur, I'm not sure why you always feel the need to reply. Your responses are almost always on the brink of being rude if not outright. I sent my recommendation requests in Early November, and had asked all of my recommenders to write for me in person months before that. 5/7 of my recommenders have sent in all of their letters and of the last two, I sent reminders and both have emailed me reassuring that they will submit ASAP and are working on it right now. I am guessing that the original poster is in a similar situation. Profs are busy and often late. We can only do so much. It is out of our control.

 · 
Non Sequitur

Cool story. My replies are typically pretty damn good including the one above. Plenty of students wait until it's too late for recommendation letters. You should have asked in September.

 · 
chuckluck

Some schools can tolerate late LoRs and some don't. Best to check on their websites to see what it states regarding this.

 · 
skrab011
  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated
  • B. Design Architecture / University of Minnesota / 2019
  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL
  • 3.313 GPA
    157V / 160M / 4.0AW
  • Letter of recommendations
  • 2 professors, 1 employer
  • Personal Essay/Statement
  • Varied by school.
  • Portfolio
  • 2 versions of my portfolio, one longer and one shorter. The longer version included 5 studio projects, while the shorter version only included 4 projects.
  • Schools
  • Oregon, ASU, Miami, UPenn, and Minnesota
  • Open house impressions 
  • Didn't attend any because of time. Also, having already attended Minnesota I know what the school and program is like and how the studios are set up.

Results

Waiting impatiently to find out...

Oregon -

ASU -

Miami -

UPenn -

Minnesota -

  • Tips
  • Get started early! I took my GRE over the summer, but waited until later in the fall to begin the rest of my applications in earnest and it proved extremely stressful. Also getting on your recommenders early and making sure they get the letters written in time. Two of my recommenders had the letters done well ahead of time, but my other recommender told me she was going to do it over winter break. She emailed me a week before my letters were starting to be due to inform me she would be working on them soon and I still ended up having to remind her day of to finish my letter to get it in.
Jan 7, 20 2:45 pm  · 
 · 
Archlandia

Any reason for this strange mix of schools?

 · 
skrab011

I thought I might get some questions about my choices. Minnesota was pretty straightforward as my undergrad school. I know a large number of the faculty there and am familiar with the school, professors, and the city. I have large number of friends at the school and in the surrounding area so it made sense to apply. However, the biggest issue for me is my familiarity with everything. I enjoy being comfortable and that's how I feel about Minnesota which was why all of my schools are so vastly different and far away.

 · 
skrab011

Woah. Accidentally posted my response early and edited it, but apparently the edit didn't post. So I'll rewrite what I had originally answered with. As I already said Minnesota was pretty straightforward for me. I’m won’t go into detail since I’ve already done so in the other comment. I’m interested in Oregon and Miami for similar reasons. I’ve always had a passion for housing and through my work experience I’ve come to the conclusion that housing and hospitality are the two things I’m most interested in. Hence, applying to these schools, Miami does a lot of research into both and Oregon has their specialization in housing that really drew me to the program. In addition, I’m from a very small, rural town and the logging industry is the number one economic driver in the area. Naturally I’ve always been interested in logging and timber, and Oregon’s Tallwood Institute for timber research is a resource that I am very interested in leveraging and participating in. As for Arizona, the thing that drew me to their program was their Indigenous Design Collaborative. The small town I am from borders a Native American reservation and both of my parents worked for the tribe in varying capacities and I had a lot of friends that were tribal members. And it was a pretty poor tribe so I saw how bad conditions could, especially the lack of quality housing. The vast majority were 20-30 year old trailer homes in varying levels of dilapidation. I visited multiple other reservations in my area with friends and most of them had similar housing issues, so looking into that is an interest of mine. There isn’t a whole lot to say about Penn. It’s one of those schools that I’ve always wanted to attend since I was younger and this seems like as good an opportunity as any to make that dream a reality. It certainly helps that it’s a reputable school. And I have a friend who is attending Penn for grad school in another field so it would be fun to reconnect with him and to have someone in the area that I know. The overriding theme was to look for places as different from Minnesota as possible geographically as I want to explore something new. I wouldn’t have people around me that I already know and that is something I’m looking for as I’ve gotten comfortable with my current surroundings and need to break away from that. And frankly, I want a change in climate. I don’t mind the snow, but the cold just gets old really quickly in Minnesota and I’ve dealt with it for long enough.

 · 
Archlandia

Wow thanks for sharing! The Indigenous Design Collaborative sounds particularly interesting. Good luck!

 · 
skrab011

Update: In at ASU w/ $$$ 1/7 In at Oregon 2/5 (still waiting on $$)

 · 
Archlandia

nice work!

 · 
skrab011

In at Minnesota 2/24 - no word on $ yet

 · 
skrab011

In at Miami w/ $

 · 
skrab011

Out at UPenn

 · 
brookrb

  • B.s. Architectural Studies Winter 2017 from US Uni
  • 3.8 GPA
  • 1 Professor, 1 Supervisor/Mentor, 1 CEO
  • Different per school
  • https://issuu.com/brookrb_arch...
  • United States: Yale, MIT, Pratt
  • International: (#1)TU Delft, (#2)Aarhaus School of Architecture, UCL, KADK, possibly other Nordic Schools
  • Visited TU Delft and KADK last year and loved TU Delft and loved Copenhagen.
  • Waiting
  • This is my second year applying. First time for american schools, despite being a US resident. I've put a lot of time into my portfolio, which is a must. I completely redesigned 2 projects and updated 3 other projects graphics, which took 30 hrs per week for 4 months. Give yourself more time to study for GRE, I did not do great on the math portion as I had not taken a math class in 7 years. 
Jan 7, 20 4:07 pm  · 
 · 
chuckluck

what happened last year that made you wanna reapply? if you don't mind sharing

 · 
brookrb

Well, I still want my Masters so that's why I'm applying again. I applied to TU Delft, KADK, and Polmi (Milan) last year. I only got into Polmi and I visited all three after I applied, but before I got any decisions. I did not like Polmi, so I decided to wait and work another year. I work at a nice firm that pays well, so it didn't feel like a big set back. I'm applying to a lot more places this year and all that I could see myself at, so fingers crossed.

 · 
brookrb

Got into Pratt with a scholarship covering more than a year.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Amazing ! Congrats!

 · 
koala96

       Intl/M/23

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated
  • B.Arch / 2019
  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL
  • 8.8/10 - 152V,166Q,4.0AW - 109/120
  • Letter of recommendations
  • 3 professors, 1 employer
  • Personal Essay/Statement
  • Varied by school.
  • Portfolio
  • 3 Academic Porjects, 4 Competitions, 2 Professional work and 1 Research project.
  • Schools

       (Applying M.Arch II and MS AAD resp.)

    GSD, Yale, MIT and GSAPP
Jan 9, 20 6:23 am  · 
 · 
koala96

Update: In at Cornell MSAAD with $$

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Huge congrats!!

 · 
koala96

Thank you JoeyTheGiant

 · 
koala96

Out at GSD
 · 
koala96

Update: In at GSAPP MSAAD (5th March)

 · 
jenniepeng

Intl/F/22

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated
  • BFA /RISD/ 2020
  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL
  • 3.6/4.0- 151V,166Q,3.0AW - 103/120
  • Letter of recommendations
  • 3 professors, 1 department head (2 GSD alumni, 1 MIT alumni)
  • Personal Essay/Statement
  • almost the same... have no time to write them separately...
  • Portfolio
    will post it later 
  • Schools
    MArch at GSD, Yale, MIT 
Jan 9, 20 10:07 am  · 
 · 
juju1992

Good luck, it would be cool to see your portfolio. My friends from BFA backgrounds all tend to have very intriguing portfolios .

 · 
jenniepeng

Thanks! Just posted it. I was trying to have an "interesting" portfolio, instead of intriguing... really out of energy...

 · 
Archlandia

Good work, looks nice

 · 
jenniepeng

Thanks!

 · 
koala96

Interesting portfolio @jenniepeng

 · 
yangtian_yan_

Applying to same schools and also haven’t heard back..! getting quite anxious haha

 · 
JessaMynn

I'm pretty sure all GSD admissions results are out, if you haven't received an email, you should check your application for an update.

 · 
haisumbasharat

Intl/M/23


• UNDERGRAD/SCHOOL/YEAR


BArch/ Beaconhouse National University/ 2019


• GPA -IELTS


2.67 - 7.0


• LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION


3 professors from Beaconhouse National University


•SOP


Strong SOP as i have mentioned particular courses i am interested in plus mentionable professors w/ summary of their contribution to architecture.


•PORTFOLIO


I will try and upload today


• SCHOOLS


Parsons, RISD, UofT, CCA, Woodbury

Jan 9, 20 10:34 pm  · 
 · 
haisumbasharat

RISD - Accepted with financial aid 18K
Woodbury - Accepted with financial aid 9K

Parsons - Waiting

UofT - Waiting

CCA - Got interviewed via skype will receive offer in march

 · 
Dokuser

I don’t apply until next year...but good luck to everyone 


This thread gives me second hand anxiety 

Jan 9, 20 11:48 pm  · 
 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Lol!! Yeah but good for you reading them now and learning from us as much as you can!

 · 

22/M/Ohio

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

Ohio State / BS Arch / Spring 2020

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

GPA: 3.56/4.0 (closer to 3.75 or 3.8 only counting arch classes, had a rough first semester that dragged me down)

GRE: 158 Verbal, 164 Quant, 5.0 Writing

  • Letter of recommendations 

3 letters from professors (1 Rice alum, 1 recent MIT alum, 1 professor previously tenured at MIT)

  • Personal Essay/Statement 

Each of them were different for each school but willing to share if someone is interested.

  • Portfolio

Will update later with a link to issuu after I get it uploaded.

4 studio projects and 2-3 smaller unique works from seminars, research, and a fashion show.

  • Schools 

MIT, Rice, UCLA, UVA

  • Open house impressions 

I didn't have time to go to any open houses, but have visited all but UCLA.  I have friends at Rice and was able to fly down during the summer to check out the school and talk to a couple people about their time there.  Stopped into UVA after their finals week on the way to DC, enjoyed the building and work there.  Visited MIT while in high school, but not the architecture building.  

  • Results 

Will update later!

  • Tips

Take the GRE early when you can dedicate the time to study.  I was able to take a prep class through Kaplan because it was free for me, but I wouldn't recommend it based on the costs.  I studied a lot with the hopes that a higher score will allow me to leverage more financial aid possibly.  If you want tips or tricks for it in the future feel free to DM me.  I started my portfolio too late and it felt somewhat rushed.  I was happy with the end result but I would have liked to re-do some drawings for sure.  Between work and school I didn't have the time until after final reviews but I would start well in advance and show it to as many people as possible for feedback.  The essays were also very challenging since those felt rushed as well.  I made my personal statement very personal, in regards to struggles with indecision about my future career and my growth through school.  Don't forget the "personal" part, and don't just make it a long resume of your accomplishments, they don't care.  For Statements of Purpose I focused on what I was interested in for research in the future, as well as what I want to do after graduating.  I want to teach and work in a small research based practice, so I harped on that a lot.  Start the essays early and do them over and over again.  Don't be afraid to share them with peers, faculty, advisers, etc.  Take your time and make sure that they reflect you and your ambitions.  Also, really think about what school(s) you want to go to.  Don't bother applying to safety schools if you don't really want to go there.  If you only see yourself actually going to two schools, apply to those two.  If you don't get in, try again next year.  Don't settle for something you don't actually want.  




Jan 10, 20 4:50 pm  · 
 · 
jenniepeng

Good Luck!

 · 

You as well! I enjoyed your portfolio!

 · 
pootchikins

Hi all,

Ecologist carpenter trying to go to arch school. Very excited to be turning these applications in. It has been so so much work, everyone here has done great. Bravo.

86/M/USA

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

BA Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior/ Skidmore College/ 2015

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

GPA: 3.25/4, GRE: V- 160, Q- 157, AW- 3.0

  • Letter of recommendations 

1 prof, 2 employers

  • Personal Essay/Statement 

Somewhere in between a personal history and a philosophical rant

  • Portfolio

https://issuu.com/dougztootis/docs/stephen_mccann_m.arch_1_portfolio

  • Schools 

M.Arch I for all these schools:

CCNY Spitzer, UT, UIC, IIT, Clemson

All these schools are awesome, I'd be stoked to go to any of them

  • Open house impressions 

Have only visited Clemson and CCNY. I was very impressed with the studio work I saw at both schools. CCNY a little cramped but comfortable and Clemson's building is beautiful. Very Excited to get out to Chicago and Austin. Please let me know if you have visited these schools and what you thought of them.

  • Results 

Pending

  • Tips

Non-design Non-art 

Some of these schools are gonna want to bench their starting lineup to see what the other guy can do. I'm that guy, let me in coach please.

Have fun with it if you can. I got so deflated coming onto this forum and seeing how incredible past applicants' portfolios were and I felt like I would never be able to compete with that level of work. If you're doing what I did and looking at this forum to compare your work to others STOP. It was a bad play for me, I just stopped looking at arch stuff finally and just tried to make stuff that I liked, and that was way more enjoyable. 

Best of luck to everyone.


Jan 13, 20 8:45 pm  · 
 · 
chuckluck

It's like what they say, you're never too old to do anything!! best of luck ;)

 · 
pootchikins

nice, link that! where are you from and where are you going?

 · 
pootchikins

oh very cool! the HV is remarkable. been meaning to get up to Bard to see the vinoly building. GL to you!

 · 
pootchikins

IN: UT SOA, Clemson, IIT

 · 
pootchikins

OUT: UIC

 · 
snarky-tect

Just curious, and I mean no offense— are you actually 86 and applying for M Arch programs? If so, extra kudos. If not, kudos just the same

 · 
pootchikins

No I’m younger than that. It was supposed to be a 2. Are you going to the UT open house?

 · 
pootchikins

The 8 was supposed to be a 2

 · 
snarky-tect

Unfortunately I’m not gonna make the open house. I am visiting the department next week though

 · 
csss

Oh man, I thought you were actually 86 and I was so impressed haha

 · 
gotigs

I went to Clemson for undergrad and I couldn't recommend it more. I went there for the program, fell in love with the campus and especially the football Saturdays, even though I was a basketball fan. There is a ton to do if you like the outdoors, and Greenville is a really cool city, I ended up moving there.

 · 
snarky-tect

Greetings,

21/M/domestic

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 
    • BS Engineering Science-- Sustainable Design
    • Vanderbilt University, 2020
  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 
    • 3.43/4 - 165Q, 162V, 4.5W
  • Letter of recommendations 
    • professor (Columbia alum.), another professor, supervisor at local architecture firm, sculpture professor (professional artist, taught at UT Austin)
  • Personal Essay/Statement 
    • very straightforward, addressed the points in the prompt-- why grad school, why architecture, academic interests, professional goals
  • Portfolio
    • ceramics, charcoal drawings, sculptures, 2 non-architecture design projects, 2 architectural projects
  • Schools 
    • all M. Arch. 1
    • Cornell
    • Rice
    • U of Washington
    • U of Oregon
    • UT Austin
  • Open house impressions
    • have not attended-- will probably visit after I find out decisions
  • Results 
    • awaiting
  • Tips
    • figure out why you want to be in architecture and explain it vulnerably in your statement. If your reasons are bad, don't apply 


Jan 15, 20 3:26 pm  · 
 · 
peijunfei

lots of ppl got an interview invite from Cornell, did you got one as well?

 · 
Archlandia

How many students that got interviews were international students?

 · 
koala96

I did not receive, but one of my friend got one.

 · 
juju1992

I wonder who receives and who doesn't? like is this an indication of anything? Personally did not get one

 · 
koala96

I read somewhere that the ones who receive need ‘augmentation’ to their profile so ‘Maybe’ category get the interview request. If one is in a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ category then your
wouldn’t receive.

 · 
koala96

*they wouldn’t receive

 · 
snarky-tect

peijunfei, I submitted my application on Monday because of the extended deadline, and I haven't heard anything since

 · 
juju1992

Koala, makes sense. fingers crossed I am not in the "no" category then

 · 
peijunfei

all, just confirmed via email Cornell extended the deadline to Jan.17. So seems they only issued an interview invite for "part" of applications, which the application is complete. Somehow they figured there are many applicants who did not finish with their process and will review most of them after 1.17 (next week). So no worry about YES/NO for now.

 · 
koala96

Great!

 · 
snarky-tect

In at Oregon! Possible funding to come in a couple weeks.

 · 
peijunfei

Congrats man! Go shopping in Portland, low tax rate!!

 · 
Archlandia

*no sales tax :)

 · 
snarky-tect

Thanks for the heads up; I'm stoked to check out Portland when I visit!

 · 
snarky-tect

In at UT Austin! The best Valentine's gift I could've hoped for

 · 
peijunfei

Big cong again!

 · 
snarky-tect

Thank you!

 · 
skrab011

I'm on at Oregon as well! Are you going to their open house in a couple weeks?

 · 
snarky-tect

I’m not sure yet. I was going to visit over my spring break but I’m visiting Austin now. I’m really going to try to make it though

 · 
snarky-tect

Update: rejected from rice. Knew it would be a long shot but the possibility of that sweet funding was worth it

 · 
AndieT

Did you ever wind up visiting UT Austin? I got accepted on Valentine's Day as well, and was so excited to attend the Graduate Open House on April 3rd. Now that it's been canceled I am at a loss for when/if I'll get to see the school in person and tour the facilities.

 · 
snarky-tect

I visited over spring break, and I was really impressed! Seemed like a great program with great facilities and also a very laid back atmosphere which is great for me. I think it’s a very unique program and is my top choice as of now.

 · 
AndieT

I'm deciding between there and USC as of right now. Would love to talk more about UT's program if you would like to exchange contact info! Lmk !!

 · 
peijunfei

lots of ppl got interview invite from Cornell, did you got one as well?

Jan 15, 20 4:27 pm  · 
 · 
davidramisus
  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

bs arch / uic / 2015

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

2.88 (not great) / 170v 170q 3.5aw(also not great)

  • Letter of recommendations 

2 teachers/bosses, 1 boss

  • Portfolio

https://issuu.com/davidramisus/docs/2020-01-07_david_ramis

  • Schools 

mit and princeton

  • Results 

applied last year, didn't get in, maybe i'll get in this year. 





Jan 15, 20 10:30 pm  · 
 · 
Nonononotme

I don't know why but I have a strong feeling you'll get in? because of how quirky it is? personally i really like the portfolio

 · 
juju1992

I like how you used "quirky" haha...to me the text were placed so oddly into the portfolio i don't know...

 · 
muji-pen

ur approach to representation is pretty refreshing! cool to see larger scale installations as opposed to the painful amount of rhino drawings in other people's portfolios..

 · 
peijunfei

wait, only MIT and Princeton?

 · 
davidramisus

this needs a serious edit: 160v 160q. im not that smart. thought for a min it was out of 180 


 · 
davidramisus

i think the folio will be hit or miss depending on who reviews it. i get annoyed with how sleek looking most are but maybe schools like that. ill apply to more schools next year depending on how this one goes

 · 
Nonononotme

so? how was the results?

 · 
peijunfei

wait, only mit and princeton?

Jan 16, 20 10:45 pm  · 
 · 
c_meeeee

F/24 

Toefl: 110. GRE: 152Q 155V  G.P.A 3.55

Background. B.arch

Schools: UC Berkley, YSO, Cornell, GSAPP, Sci-Arc, UVA, Pratt, IIT 

M.Arch II for most, Msd.aad for Cornell + Gsapp. 

Personal Statement: Varied School to School but mostly talks about future interests- personal and academia related and how the courses offered at the school would help me with the future vision that I have for myself. 

01. ( Kind of messed up Essay 02 for Yale where they ask for the research interest in particular. Wonder how much that particular one matters. Is it to get an idea of the inclination of interests or do they want to know a more defined area of interest. I feel mine was too broad. )

02. It'd be great to get some input from you guys about a thought I've had recently. I'm only applying to msd.aad programs where advanced standing is not an option. However, I also heard that the msd.aad program is a bigger program with more intake than the m.arch I but do they require or look out for portfolios that are more parametrically evolved for the advanced design program? 

Portfolio- Thesis, 3 other academic projects of different scales, 1 showing professional work experience, personal photographic narratives, furniture drawings and renders ( not built just drawings) 

I feel like I HAVE NEVER HAD SUCH BAD ANXIETY IN LIFE BEFORE!  Goodluck to everybody! 


Jan 19, 20 5:08 am  · 
 · 
peijunfei

Yo, we got lots of overalp, YSO, Cornell, GSAPP, good luck gal!

 · 
Nonononotme

keen to see the portfolio!

 · 
domini8888@gmail.com

Is anyone applying for MIT SmarchS in Computation and Design?

Jan 21, 20 10:06 am  · 
 · 
frostfrog

BARCH 3.44/4.00


TOEFL 106


GRE : V158 Q166 W3


UCB MADD


Cornell GSAPP MSADD


YSO Princeton GSD MArch II


MIT SMarchS computation


LOR 1 boss 2 prof


Portfolio, 8 projects (3 academic 2 professional 2 research 1 personal), took 4 months to finish


cant post the works since some images and photos are confidential and bound photocopyright. 


Essay, I think I didnt put much effort on it. took 2 weeks to finish.



Jan 28, 20 1:05 am  · 
 · 
frostfrog

In at UBC MAAD, donno any FA yet...

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Congrats FrostFrog!! British Columbia or UC Berkeley? Hehe

 · 
frostfrog

Well, the UC Berkeley!

 · 
frostfrog

In at Cornell MSAAD 2/28

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Massive! Congrats!

 · 
frostfrog

GSD MArch II rejected 3/2

 · 
peijunfei

same here

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

@frostfrog Here are about twenty thousand reasons why you're better off going to Berkeley than GSD anyway! https://archinect.com/features/article/150170495/a-deep-dive-into-the-salaries-of-nyc-architects

 · 
frostfrog

GSAPP MSAAD in 3/5

 · 
domini8888@gmail.com

hey frostfrog! have u received a result from SMarchS Computation and Design?

 · 
frostfrog

They informed me to be on the waiting list, but I doubt I would get into the line...

 · 
domini8888@gmail.com

yeah same! seems chances are slim...

 · 
monkeyfish

applied to computation and design and got waitlisted as well and my f
, doubt any of us are gonna get in based on what a professor i know personally told me. the waiting list is huge and the acceptance rate is high :(

 · 
monkeyfish

my friend also got waitlisted for C&Dm

 · 

hey @frostfrog, are you taking up the MAAD course

 · 
frostfrog

I just got rejection from MIT MArch (I applied both SMarchS and MArch) Well, seems like my SMarchS would also be rejected soon? :(   I haven't decided where to go, but I am preferring to go Cornell at this moment.


 · 

Allright. Congratulations on Cornell. I have been accepted for the MAAD in Berkeley and wanted to know of others going for it.

 · 
monkeyfish

I got a email from Smarchs! @frostfrog did you get any email regarding smarchs?

 · 
frostfrog

@monkeyfish Nope, no response yet. But it seems I will be rejected soon....sad... ! Anyway congratulation to you! I think I would try my way on Cornell or GSAPP.

 · 
sqqq

@frostfrog where did you decide to go? If you are going to Cornell, see you in August

 · 
frostfrog

@sqqq Yeah, I am 99% on Cornell unless nothing changes. See you there!

 · 
sbavtnmvrdv

B.Arch 3.55/4.3

TOEFL : 103

GRE : V153 Q168 W 3

GSD M.arch 2

YSOA M.arch 2

Princeton M.arch 2

GSAPP MSAAD

UCB MAAD

MIT SMARCHS

TU DELFT M.sc

Portfolio - 9 projects ( 5 acadamic, 1 professional, 2 personal, 1 installation)

LOR - 4 prof, 1 boss

Fingers crossed!

Jan 28, 20 3:39 am  · 
 · 
sbavtnmvrdv

Update: In at Cornell MSAAD with $$

 · 
peijunfei

Cong!

 · 
sbavtnmvrdv

Out at GSD

 · 
sbavtnmvrdv

Update: In at Columbia MSAAD in 3/6

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

You got two excellent options! Congrats!

 · 
sbavtnmvrdv

Out at yale.......frustrating...wanna go jump

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Gksrndls.. it’s not that serious. You’re in at some incredible options. Cornell and Columbia are amazing! I’m at an open house now with students who follow this thread, we been talking a lot. The schools really shouldn’t have this much power over our emotions. It’s all good! You’ll be A-okay!

 · 
sbavtnmvrdv

Update: In at TU delft

 · 

Hey  what did u decide on? I am deciding between TU Delft(Berlage) and the MAAD Berkeley.


 · 
sqqq

@sbavtnmvrdv where did you decide to go? if you are going to Cornell, see you in August

 · 
sbavtnmvrdv

Still dont know where to go but probably g
o to cornell or columbia

 · 
peijunfei

Int./M/3.84/4.0

TOEFL: 107

GRE: V150 Q164 W3 (Brrrrr)

GSD YOSA M.Arch2

PennDessign, GSAPP, CornellAAP MSAAD

(Only new England area. No time for MIT, and europ schools, started  preparing my application since mid of Nov.) 

Portfolio - 7 projects (5 acadamic, 1 professional competition, 1 personal competition) Took 2 weeks to finish.

Only 1 week working on PS/SOP.

LOR - 2 prof(FAIA), 1 boss

Finger crossed as well! GL all. Do not learn from me, should prepare everthing as early as you can.

Jan 28, 20 12:37 pm  · 
 · 
peijunfei

Update: in at Cornell MSAAD w/ $

 · 
sbavtnmvrdv

Same as me

 · 
snarky-tect

Congrats!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Congrats to you both @gksrnrdls and @peijunfei !!!

 · 
peijunfei

Thank you!

 · 
peijunfei

Update: Rej from GSD

 · 
JoeyTheGiant
  • Male/USA/Multi-Ethnic
  • BA French Language and Linguistics/ UCLA/ '14 
  • GPA 3.7 - GRE  V:154, Q:147, W:3.5 (NOT great I know, taken in a hurry. Might quickly retake? We'll see. Not sure it's worth it)
  • Letter of recommendations   Architect Mentor, Professor (UCLA), and former Creative Supervisor at a tech firm.
  • Personal Essay/Statement Obviously varied, but small bit of life experience stuff depending on the program. A bit on academic and professional background, my experience as a former B.Arch major, why I left it (to pursue music) and why I'm back. Professional experiences and volunteer work mentoring urban teens and how all of this truly informed by decision to return to arch. 
  • Portfolio: My creative work in the entertainment and music industries, presented in such a way as to show off my design aesthetic and potential in architecture. Then some personal artwork, and 5 select projects from when I was in a B.Arch program. I should've started building this thing much sooner, MUCH SOONER, but I was blessed to have three week vacation time in December/Jan, and i think, hope and pray, that I nailed it. 
  • Schools ALL M.Arch 1 (or first professional).  I applied to 8 programs, each for various reasons. All amazing in their own respects. (USC, UNCC, and Woodbury all offer the IPAL, the fast track toward licensure). I went for a few programs that are more traditional in their pedagogy and others that are 'futurist' in their approach, but ALL are very pragmatic and less esoteric/theoretical, than perhaps the Ivies may have been?? (I could be wrong). With my GRE scores not as great as I thought they'd be, I'm glad I didn't apply to Ivies BUT I know they take all things into consideration.   
  • UCLA (my alma mater) 
  • SCI-Arc
  • USC
  • Woodbury University
  • University of Houston 
  • Tulane
  • UNC- Charlotte
  • Pratt
  • Rensselaer


  • Open house impressions 
    • UCLA (Going to an Graduate M.Arch open house next week and have also scheduled a separate private tour. I used to wander into the building when I was an undergrad there, and the work was amazing. Small school though. You can feel it. Really wanna go visit their new massive, ultra-high-tech fabrication space down in Culver City next chance I get.) I'll UPDATE this post after my visit(s) next week. 
      • SCI-Arc. ART ART ART!! The staff were so accommodating and informative. They've really taken the time with me through the application process and even gave me a few pointers about my portfolio before I submitted it. I'm sure they won't always do that. It's likely because I dropped by and showed sincere interest. Student work is/was threateningly next-level, super intimidating but exciting and encouraging. My architect mentor stated that firms have hard-lines about hiring Sci-Arc grads; they either love em or hate em. But mostly love. Facilitates are cool. The building is a dramatic space, sure to inspire design. It's very industrial and concrete.  The downtown "neighborhood" called The Arts District us super urban, up-and-coming, and inspiring. I live in LA, and I spend nearly every weekend in DTLA. It's expensive but I love the prospect of studying here. I have second architect friend who is really pushing me to go here if I get in! I see why. 
      • Woodbury. This school really impressed and surprised me. the studios were bright and open air. The fabrication facilities were arguable the finest I've seen yet, though shared with other schools of art on campus. (that's a non-issue). The staff were obviously passionate about art and architecture and really eager to see you/me apply. Only drawback, considering it's a private school, they're pretty upfront about the FinAid they can offer. But it may be worth the sacrifice to take on the debt in exchange for the IPAL fast track) 
      • USC: Went on a private tour. Hands down best experience I had. Staff, Professors and M.Arch students all took the time to educate me on a ton of aspects of the program, pros, cons, studio culture, employment prospects, etc etc. Great studio spaces, nice fabrication facilities, a Huge Architecture library and the amazing resources of the unrivaled USC networking culture. That extends into architecture, where firms actively recruit from USC while you're still studying. People hate on the neighborhood coz it's kind of in the "hood" but that's one of my favorite things about it; perfect for an architecture major. If I get in here with $$ I wanna do the historic preservation certification. The area is replete with historic, victorian properties. USC is famous for funding, so I'm hoping for the best. 
      • UH This is where I initially began my undergrad degree toward a B.Arch. The Architecture building at U. Houston is famous in the city. four stories high with all studios overlooking the central gallery space. 
      • For the East Coast schools (Pratt, Rensselaer, and UNCC), I hope to do an east coast tour this Spring. Some of your advice above was super helpful!!! 
      • Tulane, I haven't visited the campus, but I worked on a major music project in New Orleans and lived next to the campus in the garden district for a month, working with tons of Tulane students. The NOLA culture is truly rich, diverse, and incomparable. Both the university and the Arch program are well-ranked and the school has amazing practical experience opportunities doing real-world work in the community while still studying. If I get in here with $$ it'll be a touch decision. 
  • Results (Awaiting) 
  • Tips Visit Visit visit! Stalk the Instagram pages of the schools and the students, watch interviews and lectures with the various faculty on YouTube. If you can't visit, get in contact with admissions and ask relevant questions, make yourself known. Most of these schools have YouTube pages. Based on what I learned from meeting the schools in person, authenticity in the personal statement is super key. Speaking in an "academic register" is important but not as important as explaining/having a real POV as a human being. I don't know if any of this is good advice yet, coz I'm not in yet lol 



Jan 31, 20 2:25 pm  · 
 · 
chuckluck

Anything you don't like/like less about SCI-Arc?

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Only a couple of things I didn’t like at SCI-Arc but they’re probably super personal to me. 1) being that it’s an art school NOT part of a full fledged university may have it’s drawbacks in terms of culture and community while studying - not having that “university” environment I love so much having gone to UCLA: libraries, gyms, restaurants, making friends and connections with folks from various disciplines etc.. 2) this will sound like a contradiction, but the thing I might dislike a little about it is something that I also love about it: that they are very futures driven, very technologically advanced, implementing technology for art/architecture production is the schools ethos. The design and modeling are all very digital, and fabrication is all very technical with robotics, in 3-D printing, laser cutting, and even animation, it’s insane! In a good way, but may not be for everyone.… Gone are the days of hand drawing, sketching and analog model making. There were some elements of the old school methods still there but not as much as I’d have liked, but then, those things are disappearing everywhere. My only concern really is that the education at SCi-arc may not be as practical in terms of real-world application as it might be at other schools… Having said that, perhaps, like in the fashion world, if you can design extraordinarily avant-garde, futuristic, out-of-this-world, conceptual, next level designs, then you can certainly handle basic “normal“ stuff. Not
sure if that makes sense.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

As promised, here's the update from my UCLA visit. UCLA AUD is certainly focused on its Masters Program which is great for us. (not so much for the undergrads). As I mentioned above, the school feels super small compared to the massive nature of the campus and compared to my visits to other Arch programs. UCLA is a STUNNING campus. Gotta be the most beautiful in the country but Perloff Hall, the Arch building, is completely uninspiring. The Master's studios are beautiful though, with huge windows, allowing in a ton of natural light. I got to peak in on a visiting lecturer, an architect from Iceland. Pretty cool. The tour was given by an M.Arch student who had a lot of info for me. Super excited to be going back again next week to speak with a professor and glean more information about the pedagogy. I was completely bummed to find out that the super high tech, experimental "IdeasLab" they opened down in Culver City is only open to students who apply for special  courses taught there, in an extremely competitive application process within the M.Arch program – It is NOT part of the general program. Total bummer!!  The fabrication facilities were decent at the main site. Nothing to write home about; all the usual stuff BUT the 3D printers are in disrepair/un-managed, so most students have their own. After the tour, I spoke to a member of faculty who gave me insight into the program. She assured me not to worry about my GRE scores. She said the most important aspect is the portfolio and the statement. I described to her what was in my portfolio, how I laid it out and what I discussed in my statement(s), and she said I should be in good shape. Above all, I was most excited to discover that while working on the M.Arch, students are encouraged to take elective courses from anywhere within the University if we want; any subject at all, though they prefer it to be within the Art school. (In contrast to USC who has a firm policy on Arch courses only.) Overall, UCLA would be an amazing choice, based on in-state cost and massive global prestige of the University and the growing success of the Arch school.

Side Note: found out today I'm in at U. Houston, waiting to hear about $!!  

Feb 5, 20 12:53 am  · 
 · 
peijunfei

Thank you for the thorough visit review, man! I heard that ppl got interviewed from UCLA, did you have one as well?

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Hey Peijunfei! I haven't been invited to a formal interview but I'm thinking that my meeting next week with a professor may constitute one. Not sure if that's how that works - like if the professor would communicate with the admissions committee to give direct feedback about an applicant. It's certainly possible.

 · 
ahp111

Hey Joey, this was really helpful. I have a web interview with a professor from UCLA tomorrow for the Suprastudio. Fingers crossed!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Awesome AHP. Godspeed to ya. Just be yourself. The faculty I spoke with at UCLA yesterday told me they value authenticity above all else. Don’t worry about sounding like you know it all, rather, that you are teachable and eager to learn. That’s what was conveyed to me, you got this!!!

 · 
ahp111

Thanks Joey, it went well! She just asked some general questions like - Why UCLA?, My research interest and which other universities I have applied to.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Congrats. Keep us posted on results!

 · 
ethanhunt

USC doesn't have a firm policy for arch courses only. I'm in my 1st year of M.Arch program and a couple of my classmates have taken courses from Roski School of art, pottery, furniture design, etc. I'm taking a couple of courses from the Planning school in sustainable cities. The choice of special topics makes it a very interesting program (I'm taking a space architecture course from a Professor who teaches in Aerospace Engineering and is also an Architect & Urban planner. It's really fun)

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Hey Ethan, thanks for clarifying that. That’s great to know as I really wanna broaden my study and research while I’m there. Feeling hopeful to get in as would really wanna take advantage of the IPAL.. are you gonna do the IPAL ?

 · 
ethanhunt

I'm planning on starting the IPAL procedure but from next year. The 1st year in the 3 year program is a bit intensive and I took up other responsibilities in the AIAS chapter which takes up some time too.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Yeah I can only imagine, year one is epically intense. But love the idea of getting that license in four years. Will you do your AXP hours as a third year “gap year” and finish the M.Arch in a fourth year, or finish the 3 years and take your AXP “gap year” as your fourth year. Other USC students I spoke with said they’d be doing the latter

 · 
ethanhunt

Probably latter. I want to get finished with the program first. I don't mind it getting a year after

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Makes a lot of sense. Also, I’ve heard it’s hard to come back into a program for the final year if you leave to go work for a year. Once you start working you’ll want to stay in that mode and not go back to academia. The biggest advantage of the IPAL is actually not the AXP hours in my opinion, it’s getting to sit for your ARE’s while in school. That’s a game change
r!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Update: I’m at UCLA!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Update: in at UCLA! Such a relief.

 · 
ahp111

Congratulations Joey!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Thank you AHp111. I appreciate it...

 · 
ethanhunt

Congrats Joey! Which one are you going with?

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Great kweshton lol I am honestly unsure. Still waiting to here from USC, and a couple east coast schools. Also going to visit my UH and Tulane open house this week, flying out tonight. (And possibly UNC-Charlotte later this month). I think after that I’ll be able to make a more informed, head over heart decision. I’m still confident I may get in at USC. One of my references was written by an architect who is a USC grad. Also, if I do get in, I am confident that I will get pretty well-funded. So lots still up in the air. Praying about it all. Though, moving out of LA might be nice. I’ve been here 13 years.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Update: In at Rensselaer (RPI) on 3/5. One of my top two or three choices, So surprised I’m the only one in this forum who seems to have applied to this amazing program!! The faculty is incredible. So honored. Will find out
about $ soon.

 · 
Michael.Willhoit

Nice one!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Thanks Michael!! At Tulane Today, pretty blown away by it!

 · 
AndieT

When did you hear back from UCLA? I still haven't heard one way or another.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Hey Andie, I heard from the architecture department that I’d been recommended to the graduate Division for admittance on Friday Feb. 28, then got the official letter from the Graduate Division on Tuesday night March 3. Then found out on Monday March 9 that I was recommended to the graduate division
for a full Fellowship. Did u get my email? Sent you a DM last week

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Update: in at Tulane!!!! 

Feb 5, 20 6:06 pm  · 
 · 
clevelandcynic

Congrats :) Me too!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Congrats CC! I'm going to try to DM you my contact info!

 · 
csss

Late to the game.

  • Civil Engineering / Texas A&M / 2015
    • Structural Engineering MS / MIT/ 2019
  • 3.9/4.0 - V:167 Q:164 W:5.5  - n/a
  • Letters from professors and one professor who was my internship boss
  • Portfolio contained medium/low arch experience, but had some material from internship and a few design classes
  • GSD, MIT, Columbia, UC Berkeley, UT Austin (intentionally didn't finish application to Rice)
  • Haven't been to any open houses yet, but since I went to MIT at least I know how it is. Facilities are older, but they will move into a new building in 2-3 years?
  • Results: TBD



Feb 6, 20 5:37 pm  · 
 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Hey CSSS, welcome. Same here, I started my Rice app but didn't finish. What were your reasons?

 · 
csss

They were actually very specific. I'm originally from Houston, and my husband didn't want to return to the job market there because it is so oil and gas heavy. It was more of a cultural thing than a Rice thing. My grandma went to Rice so I actually was a bit bummed that I couldn't be kind of a legacy student, but at the same time I didn't want to pay the application fee if I knew there was such small chance of actually attending.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Makes sense! That's wisdom. I'm originally from Houston too.. but my reasons were mainly about Rice. The program seems a bit small for my liking. About 15 students in each cohort. Also the essay prompt "What's at stake for architecture today?" As someone who is applying for the m.Arch 1 (three years) without much of a background in architecture, I thought the question was unfair. It expected me to take an uneducated stance about architecture, where I'm hoping to gain such education and guidance from the institution. To me, it communicated that a big wall was up, and that with such a small in-take each year, they are looking for a very specific kind of student. And I'm not sure i'm the one. Generally I would be okay to go back to Houston which is why I applied to UH (and was accepted) and I love the Rice Village. Gorgeous part of town. I'm sure Rice is amazing in its own ways, just not for me!

 · 
csss

Good point, I know some alumni from the program but didn't realize how small the program is! Either way, good luck on your other admissions!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Best of luck to you as well! Fun times!

 · 
csss

Update: In at UC Berkeley

 · 
ahp111

Amazing! Congratulations. You got the admit on 7th?

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Amazing!!!Congratulations!! That's huge!!! Is it top choice, or you gonna wait to hear from a few others?

 · 
peijunfei

HUGE CONG! UCB is a hard deal! You made it!

 · 
csss

Thanks guys and girls! Yep, got admit on the 7th. My top choice is GSD for now, but my basic strategy is to see where I get in first, and then visit GSD, Columbia, Berkeley to see whats up with the programs before I make any choices. Unfortunately I wasn't very clued in to the open houses last year so I have to arrange my own visits. UCB is good for me because I'm currently in the Bay Area and my husband works here too. I'll visit soon and add my impressions about the program.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Fantastic, some of the schools will invite you to open houses for admitted students. Hopefully none of the dates will class. But at any rate, congrats again!! It’s such a relief to have solid dub under your belt.

 · 
csss

Update: In at UT Austin - no word on financial yet.

 · 
csss

Update: In at UT Austin - no word on financial yet.

 · 
csss

I visited UCB today (just a guided tour and visiting the arch bldg) and I was really disappointed by the architecture facilities. Does anyone have something glowing to say about Berkeley that can negate the abject depression of Wurster Hall? Ive seen other dingy/brutalist architecture campuses, but none as bad as that.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

CSSS, this is precisely how I feel/felt about UCLA's Perloff Hall. Completely uninspiring. One hopes the course content and instructors will bring the material alive and inspire your genius. Coz the building surely ain't gon' do it! Perhaps it's something about the UC system. Highly ranked Arch programs in shitty buildings ;)

 · 
constellation

I got accepted to UC Berkeley’s M.Arch program. I’m super excited about it. I did a summer architecture program there and thought it was great. I really like the brutalist building. It does feel very “public university” which I’m a big fan of, tbh. The view from the studios are pretty amazing. The faculty that taught the summer programs were amazing too, super intelligent. I hear people joke about how the architecture buildings are
always the ugliest.

 · 

Congrats! I'm in at UCB too! Heading to the open house this weekend. Going to manage my expectations about the building

 · 
k000

Congrats! Im
also going to UCB open house. See yall there~

 · 
csss

k000 we have a pretty similar background as both from TX plus both from CVEN background and both already have a masters in engineering topics as well. Looking forward to chat with you at open house!

 · 
csss

Another great update: in at GSD with $ (note not $$$$) got the notification March 2 afternoon. :)

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

CSSS, you’ve got amazing options now. Congratulations!! Will it come down to dollars and cents or will you go with GSD no matter what? Inquiring minds wanna know :)

 · 
k000

It was good talking to you today! Also congrats!!!

 · 
csss

k000 you too! Best of luck on choosing a school. Joey, I was excited for 3 hours yesterday and then I started thinking about money and no longer excited. Even a 20% grant to GSD will still leave $150k + in student loans, which is insane if I go a traditional arch route with an average salary. I need to figure out if it’s worth it.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant
csss

haha yeah, certainly something to consider. though since I already have MIT under my belt I'm not sure quite that I wouldn't be closer to the MIT category than the Harvard category.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Good call!!

 · 
csss

March 13 Update: In at Columbia GSAPP

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

What?!!! Congrats CSSS!! Too cool!

 · 
t.s.

Hi, I am pretty late to join here, sorry about that.

 · 
t.s.

Hey, I am super late to this, sorry about that.

 · 
t.s.

I do not understand why my response won’t get completed here. Undergrad - B.Arch. 2018

I am admitted to the 2-Year M.Arch at UC Berkeley too. Though being an international student I could not attend the open house. It would be helpful for me if you guys could share your experience regarding Berkeley and the open house? @csss, @constellation, @k000 and @Sabin Ciocan.

 · 
Izzy.arch

hi everyone,


What are your thoughts on RISD M.Arch 2 yr program? Is it worth the expensive price tag or is it too conceptual of a program?


Thanks


Izzy

Feb 8, 20 1:14 pm  · 
 · 
Izzy.arch

also who all got in?


I was accepted into RISD that’s why I’m asking

Feb 8, 20 1:15 pm  · 
 · 
chuckluck

I got into the 3 yr program but I am giving priorities to other options. I got some $ but still a lot of money to be paid. It's a highly ranked program but I haven't been able to find too much information about it, even on their website. The student work seemed nice, the proximity to Brown is also a bonus, but idk, personally I'd still prefer a big university than an art institute. Still very happy to have gotten in though.

 · 
Arch1722

Did not find any Canadian schools on here, so hope that might help some

22 / Male / Canadian-Egyptian

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

Bachelor of Environmental Design / University of Manitoba / Spring 2020

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

3.86 / 4.5 - N/A - N/A

  • Letter of recommendations 

2 Studio Profs and Architecture Employer

  • Personal Essay/Statement 

Mainly talked about my Egyptian background and my experience living in Dubai and how it inspired me to pursue my undergrad in Bachelor of Environmental Design (Landscape + Urbanism). I expanded on talking how my undergrad education and my Co-op work experience has prepared me and directed me towards my grad education and what subject of interest I would like to pursue in my masters which in this case is sustainable built environments.

  • Portfolio

Would Appreciate any feedback or comments on that specific part/

https://issuu.com/shaheermansour2624/docs/u_of_m_portfolio_issuupdf

Length of portfolio varied based on each school requirement but the attached link shows most of my projects that I included

  • Schools 

Mcgill

Carleton

UBC

U of T

Calgary 

U of M

  • Open house impressions 

Unfortunately, did not get the chance to visit any beside (U of M obviously) but would like to hear any recommendation if anyone has been to any

  • Results 

Still waiting upon result in Mid-March (top choices UBC, UofT and McGill)

  • Tips

Go through multiple drafts of your portfolio and statement of intent. Seeks advice and feedback from professors from diverse backgrounds and family or friends. It really helps and open your eyes towards things you might have not noticed.

Feel free to drop some comments, feedback, or adivces

Feb 10, 20 1:10 pm  · 
 · 
ngocbaolam

Hi. I am applying for Canadian School too. Still waiting for UBC, UoT (thegradcafe shows they started to release the result already), Calgary and Waterloo.

 · 
ngocbaolam

Btw congrats for your offer in Manitoba and a nice portfolio. It paid off! 

 · 
k000

M Arch I applicant with no design background

24 / Male / Korean American (문재인 유시민 화이팅)

  • BS Civil Engineering / UT Austin (Hookem!) / 2018
    • MSc Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions / UPC / 2019
  • 3.8/4.0 - V:162 Q:170 W:4.5
  • Rec Letters from undergrad/grad/community college professors where i took a studio art class
  • Portfolio solely consists of works of Drawing(Charcoal and Pen), Watercolor, and Sculpture (Metal and Wood) of beginner level
  • GSD, YSOA, UCB, RISD, Rice, Washu
  • Results: 
    • RISD (In with $ and Assistantship)
    • UCB (In with financial info yet to come)
  • Tips: After finishing my master's program in Europe, I came back to Texas to take a year off and figure out what I really wanted to do in life. For couple months I did nothing but learn how to draw, paint, and sculpt - remaining time spent on studying for GRE. It was a big gamble for me (especially making the portfolio), my parents were worried about me giving up a nice engineering career, and it was not easy seeing my peers enjoying that work life and getting engaged/married one by one, but I wanted to give it a shot when I am still young and passionate.
  • For Non-Arch/Design Background people: My portfolio was mostly drawings and paintings of my family and friends I met in various parts of the world, and places I've lived and visited during my trip in Europe. I was fortunate enough to get hands on experience on 3D printing, bronze/iron casting, sandbox molding, steel welding, laser cutting of plywood from Sculpture class at CC. Since sculptural pieces were my strongest, I placed them first in my portfolio followed by watercolor series and finally sketches and drawings of figures and people. I placed each work on white background with minimum description like an art exhibition pamphlet. I had such difficult time finding examples portfolios by non-design applicants so hope this helps.


Feb 14, 20 12:48 am  · 
 · 
chuckluck

Fellow non-design applicant here, would be nice to see your portfolio :) and congrats on your acceptance to RISD and UCB!

 · 
k000

Haha thanks @chuckluck. Portfolio is too personal so im a bit hesitant to share it online

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

k000 and @chuckluck, another non-design applicant here (in the strictest sense). Congrats on your admits!! You've got a solid academic foundation, which I'm sure served you well. I can imagine your portfolio is pretty inventive and unique as well. Seems your application portrays a whole person with some serious emotional and academic depth/breadth. Keep us posted as you here from the rest!!

 · 
architekkk

Hi Congrats on your admission! When did you hear the announcement from UC Berkeley?

 · 
k000

Thanks @joeythegiant! And i heard from berkeley on 2/7

 · 
k000

In at WASHU!!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Huge congrats k000!! Top university, top program!

 · 
k000

Thanks! Congrats to you too

 · 
k000

Waitlisted at Rice and Rejected from GSD and Yale haha. Whatever. Im just thankful that i am given a chance to study architecture, will attend the openhouse at RISD and WUSTL and decide~

 · 
joshalbert

USA/Male/21
Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year Graduated 
B.A. Philosophy with Distinction & Minor in Physics/University of Colorado Boulder/2019 (December)
GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 
GPA: 3.777/4.000
GRE 1: 158/80%V, 154/53%Q, 4.0W
GRE 2: 157/76%V, 157/64%Q, 4.0W
TOEFL: N/A
Letter of Recommendations 
Quantity: 3
From: 1) Instructor/Graduate Student,  2) Professor, and 3) Instructor.
Suggested Content for my Essay Writer: 1) Artistic and creative abilities; writing, research; 2) Analytical skills, i.e. I am ready for advanced coursework; 3) Epistemic (knowledge related) diversity and being chill and enjoying books, especially sci-fi.
Personal Essay/Statement

  • Six months of drafting to get good template, each essay catered to institution - including tone. I mentioned certificates and faculty whose work I was interested in. Depending on the school, I included examples of past work I value a lot more than only being an item on my CV. 
  • I continuously changed my essays until they were submitted (and could no longer change them), usually refining the next one from what I learned reading doing the previous one. This could be diction, grammar, or overall concept I was developing about. 
  • I found out a lot about myself with regards to architecture as I wrote my essays. I didn't have it all figured out before hand.

    Also, I have a few typos on every essay I submitted, so don't let that stress you out. Typos stressed me out, but I should have proof-read my essays more carefully than I did.

Portfolio
19 page pdf made in PowerPoint consisting of woodworking, drawing, and photography. Black background (except Clemson, which I did in white, because I had to physically mail them my portfolio in a notebook with my CV. I shouldn't have to do this in 2019. Clemson lost a lot of points in my book because of this). White text, Arial font. Title page consisting of my full name, program name, program specification (track 3, etc.), and the university. Page numbers starting second page. No table of contents. 4:3 aspect ratio for slides.
Schools
North Carolina State University; University of Tennessee Knoxville, Virginia Tech, Clemson, University of Kentucky, Cornell, Rice, University of Oregon, University of Washington
Open House Impressions
N/A (yet). I have only toured the NCSU program. My thoughts from the NCSU tour as well as my experience taking one class as a non-degree seeking student this spring (2020): NCSU is a very horizontally integrated program within the College of Design and is a practically oriented program with a lot of lecturers working in professional offices, not in academia. The M.Arch program is also very diverse, notably with nationality. NCSU students consistently are consistently internationally recognized and have large scale competition winning work. And, the woodshop is amazing.
Results
As of Feb. 21 2020:
4/4 Admission:
University of Oregon (prompt decision, with Tuition Remission)
Clemson
NCSU
Virginia Tech
Tips

  • Architecture is a holistic profession. Everything counts, and counts together, when it comes to who you are as an applicant and student. I submitted my CV wherever possible because it is, ideally, a more holistic representation of who you are as an applicant than a resume. 
  • Do your research - what does each school feel like? What is/are their main thing/s? Why do you want to go there besides it being a good graduate program?
  • I'd say the location of the school as a reason for application is not sufficient on it's own. That is, don't just apply somewhere because you want to live in that area. 
  • Have strong opinions. Strong opinions differentiate you from other people. 
  • Spend a lot of time (seriously, a lot of time) critiquing your essays and portfolio. What is each sentence and picture doing for your work? If anything does not work towards your goal of admission, don't include it. For your portfolio, you are not supposed to show them only good pictures. You are supposed to show them who you are, and "good pictures" can be very good at communicating this, but not always. I dropped many of my favorite pictures because they were not contributing the person I was creating for review as a good potential M.Arch student.
Feb 21, 20 4:42 pm  · 
 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Amazing rundown, and some solid wisdom considering your age. Well done sir.. what is/are your top choice(s)? V.Tech is arguably the most prestigious
of the four you’ve gotten into thus far.

 · 
joshalbert

Update since I can't seem to edit my original post:

 · 
joshalbert

Thanks for the complement JoeyTheGiant. I decided to go to NCSU primarily because of place. I was accepted into all schools besires Cornell and Rice, and waitlisted at UW. Clemson ended up offering me a fellowship and thus in-state tuition. But, I'd prefer to live in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill rather than get funneled into Northern Virginia/DC as I likely would be through VT, and I do not want to live in Clemson, SC (or SC in general), and although UO is in the PNW which is a region of great personal interest, I read Eugene is pretty unexciting and does not have nearly the architectural resources as Raleigh.

 · 
frostfrog

deleted

Feb 24, 20 6:57 pm  · 
 · 
ozmus

US undergrad applying for the UK schools

Undergraduate Degree/ BS. Architectural Studies

GPA - 3.95/4

GRE  - N/A

TOEFL - N/A

Letter of recommendations 

2 from professors (have no idea what they have written)

Personal Essay/Statement 

Some personal understanding of the relationship between video game and architecture. 2 weeks in total.

Portfolio

https://issuu.com/qingyuanzhou/docs/zhou_portfolio_school

*Similar graphic theme throughout the whole portfolio

1 personal project of a video game proposal (#narrative #dystopia #sarcasm)

3 academic projects 

sketching+photography

Schools 

AA diploma, UCL MArch Part 2

Open house impressions 

After a tour in AA I believe the school provides all kinds of facilities for the students, but I cannot tell if the quantities are enough. The school was really compact and I was always surrounded by people no matter where I was, but it was fun to walk around. I won't consider the physical size of the school being problematic for the students since their 'school' isn't just the building but the whole city. 

I haven't visited the Bartlett yet. I'll update later if I have a chance to visit.

Results 

Got an offer from AA but a year lower. (AA Experimental 3rd year)

Still waiting for the Bartlett. 

Tips

***Spend time on figuring out who you are and what you want.

*Show your specific interest in your Essay and Portfolio (a personal project will help a lot).

*You don't have to stick too many projects in your portfolio. Quality is more important than quantity. 

*You don't have waste your money to apply for 10+ schools.

Feb 25, 20 7:07 am  · 
 · 
chunglohcs

Hey, congratulations!

 · 
chunglohcs

Was wondering when was your interview and when did you get the offer from AA?

 · 
ozmus

Thank you :)

Interviewed on Feb 6th

Offer received on Feb 11th

 · 
chunglohcs

I had mine on the 13th, but I haven’t received any email yet regarding the offer. Starting to worry now. I don’t know if I should call the admission office.

 · 
ozmus

I think you should call them because many students got their offers after calling the admission office, which gets particularly busy at this period each year.

 · 
chunglohcs

Yea I called them. They told me to wait for another two weeks... I’m getting more and more nervous!

 · 
ozmus

update: UCL accepted

 · 
vialee
  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated: BA/ Mount Holyoke College/ 2019 (originally 2020; finished my degree one year earlier)
  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL: GPA 3.84/4.0; GRE V158+M163+W3.5
  • Letter of recommendations: 4 professors and 1 former employer
  • Personal Essay/Statement 
  • Portfolio
  • Schools: Harvard; Yale; Sci-Arc; UC Berkeley; WUstl; UCLA; Columbia; Rice
  • Open house impressions
  • Results: UC Berkeley; WUstl (no rejects, still waiting for the other schools)
  • Tips




Feb 26, 20 2:27 am  · 
 · 
vialee

Got into UCLA too!

 · 
Nonononotme

wow ! congrats! keen to see your portfolio

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Congrats Vialee!!! Big dub. What did you do your undergrad in? Do you have an architecture background?

 · 
vialee

Hi arielbintang! I will post it online and let you know soon!

 · 
vialee

Hi JoeyTheGiant! I studies "architectural studies" in school, with a BA degree!

 · 
vialee

Also got into Georgia Tech's Mater of Human Computer Interaction program!

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

Vialee, if you’re going to the UCLA open house for admitted students, I’ll see you there. Just registered.

 · 
vialee

Got into Harvard GAS M.Arch 3.5years!

 · 
vialee

Got into all the schools except Rice. No fundings at all. I guess I will not study architecture anymore.

 · 
JoeyTheGiant

@vialee, choose your top school and appeal. Only pick one, so you can spend the energy appealing and asking if they have any additional funds. Harvard has a ton of money. But be smart, do some research and appeal hard. To the graduate program at the university and to the school or architect. I’m doing it for one of my programs. I’ll keep you posted!

 · 
AndieT

@JoeyTheGiant what is the process for making an appeal? Is that like frowned upon?

 · 
indigoing

Hey all, thought I'd join in!

F/23/Canada

  • Undergraduate Degree

BA Architectural Studies, U of T 2019, GPA 3.91/4.00

  • GRE

V165 Q155 (major oops, but wrote it at the absolute last minute) AW5.5 

  • Letter of recommendation

3 profs, one of whom I have a long-standing relationship with over the course of 3 years (recommend doing this) 

Personal Essay/Statement 

Went kind of wild with this one since writing and architectural theory is a strength of mine. Wrote about a research interest and made sure not to belabour what's already on my CV. 

  • Portfolio

I personally felt like this was my weakness, since my undergraduate programme was (arguably) not that good, and I didn't have the in-depth plans/sections/architectural drawings I see in many of the top-school portfolios. I had a lot of conceptual/analytical work and made sure to include minimal group work and kept it original. I made sure to only include the strongest drawings and went through two versions before I was happy with it. 

Also, to supplement my studio projects, I did some independent work which focussed on my research interests to tie it together with my personal statement. 

  • Schools 

This is a long one, but I'm applying to both US schools because the pedagogy and reputation appeals to me and EU schools because I'd like to come out of school debt free if possible. 

US: MIT MArch I, Princeton, GSD MLA I AP (my work is at the intersection of landscape/architecture so I thought it would be a good fit, also didn't think I was competitive for the MArch I)

Europe: Bartlett, TU Berlin, KADK (Denmark), KTH (Sweden), IKA (Austria), potentially some more German universities but the deadlines are in like June/July...

  • Open house impressions 

Can't attend any as I'm working in Berlin 

  • Results 

In: MIT, financial aid TBD 

Waiting on everything else. Top choice would probably be the GSD. 

  • Tips

Portfolio: I found the application process to US schools quite challenging, mostly because my work was very different from many of the best portfolios online. I would recommend not looking at other portfolios too much, because the sad reality is that so much of everyone's work is same -- stay true to yourself! Nevertheless, it's important to get feedback from teachers and colleagues. I worked hard on having a narrative in my portfolio, and the projects "talked" to each other. I had 5 projects, included some of my photography work and an exhibition which I ran/curated. 

Personal Statement: Despite what everyone says, I do think this is an extremely important part of the application, especially if your portfolio work isn't as strong as everyone else's. I worked on mine intensively for about a month. If you have an original research interest or good writing skills, I believe that this can be the decisive factor in your application to US schools (probably not so much for European schools). I made sure to include specific aspects of each programme that interested me. Also, I didn't write about my background or my "lego moment," I think personal anecdotes are usually not a good idea...

Good luck everyone! 

Feb 26, 20 3:04 pm  · 
 · 
Hachiko

When did you receive MIT's decision?

 · 
indigoing

This morning :)

 · 
Hachiko

Congratulations

 · 
constellation

oops I commented down below. Congrats! did they call you?

 · 
indigoing

I actually didn't have a phone number at the time when I submitted my application (was in the process of moving) so I'm not sure if they would have. I got an email from a professor.

 · 
csss

I haven't heard back from MIT either, but I'll update when I do hear back. Super nervous now haha

 · 
indigoing

Update - full $$$ + stipend at MIT, full $$$ at GSD

 · 
peijunfei

OMG CONGRATS!

 · 
ahp111

Congratulations!!

 · 
Nonononotme

Wow that is soooo cool! Really shows how writing is as important as portfolio! Keen to see it

 · 
indigoing

Thank you!! Good luck to everyone, nervous to hear back from Princeton now

 · 
constellation

did they call you?

Feb 26, 20 5:10 pm  · 
 · 
ctrl_z

Hey :)

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated: International / BA Architecture / University of Cambridge
  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL: GPA n/a; GRE V158+Q160+W5 (studied aprox 2 weeks after work); TOEFL 114
  • Letter of recommendations: 3 professors 
  • Personal Essay/Statement Not great - quite general, but personal; sent in the first drafts, as I wrote them late
  • Portfolio Around 30 pages of uni work and one page of personal drawings/paintings
  • Schools: Harvard; Yale; MIT; Princeton (MArch 1)
  • Open house impressions: -
  • Results:  MIT - accepted (call by Admissions Director; financial aid TBD)
  • Tips I found comparing my portfolio/essay approach to what I found online to be detrimental (and stressful!), I just did whatever felt representative of me :)
  • Good luck all! x
  • Feb 26, 20 6:58 pm  · 
     · 
    JoeyTheGiant

    Ctrl, Congrats on MIT. Curious, what would’ve been your UK/Europe choices had you decided to stay?

     · 
    ctrl_z

    Joey, Thank you! Uhm, possibly ETH (but I think they require German...), Delft or back to Cambridge (loved it!).

     · 
    JoeyTheGiant

    Makes sense!

     · 
    ctrl_z

    Update: Call from Harvard - AP and full ride. Shocking

     · 
    ap23

    Wow, congrats, that's amazing news to get.

     · 
    JoeyTheGiant

    Hats off!! Well done.

     · 
    ctrl_z

    Thank you guys so much! Fingers crossed for everyone.

     · 
    ctrl_z

    (MIT offered 3/4 tuition and stipend; but no AP)

     · 
    csss

    Serious congrats!!

     · 
    ctrl_z

    Thank you, csss! Fingers crossed for you as well xx

     · 
    csss

    Any MIT admits know when open house is scheduled?

     · 
    fishguy123
  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated: Manufacturing and Design Engineering / Northwestern University / 2017
  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL: GPA 2.9; GRE V164+Q161+W4.5 
  • Letter of recommendations: 2 professor, one colleague
  • Personal Essay/Statement Like to think that these kicked ass, spent literally hundreds of hours
  • Portfolio 13 pages. short but it's really slick. furniture design, public sculpture, product design, VR world creation, digital manufacturing research, jewelry design, gallery installation, algorithmic design, data viz, advanced rendering/texture mapping, 1 yrs work experience at premier architecture model studio
  • Schools: Yale, MIT, Berkeley, UCLA, SAIC, Michigan
  • Open house impressions: Yale - loved it. made me want to go to architecture school. Michigan - rad, great facilities. lots of space. MIT is rad too. SAIC is great rising program, well-situated in the rich chicago ecosystem
  • Results:  Out at Berkeley
  • Tips I found comparing my portfolio/essay approach to what I found online to be detrimental (and stressful!), I just did whatever felt representative of me :) << same
  • Feb 26, 20 7:41 pm  · 
     · 

    a

     · 
    ciocs353

    Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

    University of Florida / B.A. History,  B.A. Political Science, Minor: Public Leadership / 2012

    GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

    3.31 GPA (Undergrad was more about personal growth rather than academic focus)

    158 Q | 167 V | 4.5 AWA (August - October studying after work almost exclusively for math, took six full practice tests prior to test day)

    Letter of recommendations 

    3 for most, 4 for some. 

    2 - employers/managers in architecture/design field (1 previous, 1 current) 

    1 - previous client (worked with closely on a specific project)

    1 - studio instructor 

    Personal Essay/Statement 

    I spent a significant amount of time on these and was still writing/editing up to the deadline. I think because I started working on Berkeley’s application first, and their essays were structured as a “Personal History Statement” and a Statement of Purpose, my essays were skewed more towards personal narrative rather than future research / professor-focused. I also felt like my longer-than-usual journey to architecture school needed additional context. 

    Portfolio

    I never studied architecture formally, but have had about 7 years of professional experience in the design/construction field. It was tough to figure out what to include from my professional work, personal design work, and Design Discovery (a studio intensive program) I did last summer. The advice I got from the summer program was to really emphasize the design of portfolio itself--to treat the presentation as a design project in and of itself. The final breakdown was: 5 “academic” projects, 2 personal projects, and 4 (single-page) professional projects.

    Schools 

    Harvard GSD, Yale SOA, GSAPP, Berkeley, MIT, Princeton, Cornell, Rice

    Open house impressions 

    GSD - I spent 6 weeks there last summer doing Design Discovery, so I got a good feel of the studio/facilities, the culture (to a certain extent), and the school’s approach. The instructors of the program were all recent grads, or students finalizing work on their thesis. They were amazing as instructors but also as a resource to understand what going through an M.Arch is like, what the GSD was like, why they chose it, what they plan to do after. I also attended the open house this past fall and it was helpful to see the school’s “official” presentation about itself rather than the more informal perspective I got this summer. After going to other open houses, I can say that what impressed me most at GSD was the quality of the student work. There wasn’t any work that I wasn’t impressed by. I was taken by the level of rigor, the depth of inquiry, and the final presentation of work. Consistently good through and through.

    Yale - This was the open house that surprised me the most. Unjustifiably, my impression of Yale was that it was stuffy and self-centered. During the visit, I found exactly the opposite. I really connected with the first-year housing project. I love the hands-on nature of the approach and its commitment to the local community, and how despite being a competition, seems to bring the cohort together. I was surprised (in a positive way) by the overall tone and focus on social justice issues. In reading the student publications, and seeing the issues that some of the current studios focused on, I really felt like this was constant dialogue that the school was engaged in. I found that all the students that I engaged with (not just the hand-picked tour guides) were friendly and willing to talk about their work and it seemed like studio-culture leaned more towards camaraderie rather than competition. Really awesome open house.

    Cornell - This is such a tough school for me to talk about. I love the program, the facilities were outstanding both spatially and the in the availability of resources (brand new fabrication shop, etc.), the research labs were engaged in exciting and meaningful work, and the professors were all very interesting and welcoming. I also really liked Ithaca. It has a small college-town charm, and the access to beautiful hiking and other nature is a huge plus. The biggest downside is how remote the school feels. The M.Arch I program (maybe others too) has a component in which students spend a semester in NYC which is a nice effort towards connectedness, but Ithaca itself honestly feels very isolated. Of course, for some people this may be a bonus, because you can be very focused on your work with few external distractions. All in all, amazing school, but location was a big hurdle for me.

    GSAPP - I loved the school’s contextual approach to architecture. It felt very in-tune with all of the different aspects of the built environment rather solely a formal aesthetic approach. I was really impressed with their faculty and I enjoyed the critiques I observed--good conversations and a real sense of collegiality among the students and professors. I was disappointed in the facilities. After spending the summer at GSD, I thought all schools provided as much real estate for each student. I was really shocked at how cramped the studio spaces felt. Then again, it is New York (I currently live in Brooklyn), so I guess I should have known better. Other than the physical space, this was an amazing school that is fully engaged in architectural discourse and contributes original ideas and research to the broader conversation.

    Results 

    GSD -

    Yale - 

    GSAPP - 

    Berkeley - Accepted! Heading to the admit open house for a first visit. Doesn’t seem like I got any aid. As a public school, I can gain residency after the first year so that should help manage the cost.

    MIT - 

    Cornell -

    Princeton -

    Rice - 

    Tips

    • Give yourself plenty of time to study and write.

    • If you don’t have a formal architectural background, don’t try to make your portfolio more architecture-y than your previous work/experience actually is.

    • Don’t wait to apply. I kept waiting to apply until I felt like I had more experience and more projects under my belt before I felt like I was a ‘worthy’ applicant. After sitting down with the Architecture Lead at GSD this summer, she gave really good advice: “You’re applying to grad school so that you can learn about architecture, we don’t expect you to come in as an expert. It’s the biggest misconception I think people have.” 

    Feb 27, 20 6:38 pm  · 
     · 
    fathermango

    A lot of good insights, thank you!

     · 
    ciocs353

    Update 2/29: In at Cornell with $. Very excited and grateful.

     · 
    snarky-tect

    Congratulations!

     · 
    ciocs353

    Update 3/2: Waitlisted at Rice

    Update 3/3: Rejected from Harvard

     · 
    archi_gram

    Congrats on Cornell! Good luck with MIT and GSAPP! I am hesitated here between cornell and upenn also because of the location. Literally in the middle of the mountains, definitely going to miss a lot of opportunities to find summer jobs and then move around. I wish I got into MIT, I just love Boston

     · 
    ciocs353

    Thanks! Updates: Out at Yale (3/6) and Princeton (3/9) still

     · 
    ciocs353

    (continued from previous)...still waiting to hear from MIT and GSAPP. Between the two acceptances I have, I'm leaning towards Berkeley over Cornell. Even with the scholarships/stipends that Cornell is offering, the total cost of tuition is about double. It's also a 3.5 year program compared to Berkeley's 3-year track. After going to Berkeley's admit open house, I was most struck by the overall laid-back vibe--it was very refreshing compared to the northeast schools I've visited! All the professors and students were very approachable and willing to share what they were working on even if it was very much in-process. I'd like to talk to more current students and alums to make sure that laid-back doesn't translate to low expectations/low-quality work. It didn't seem like that was the case during my visit, but I want to get more background.

     · 
    archi_gram

    I am writing a thread with tuition information from all schools. Does UCB only cost $5,000 flat tuition for out of state students? That's insane!

     · 
    ciocs353

    @archi_gram not sure if that's correct. According to https://registrar.berkeley.edu/tuition-fees-residency/tuition-fees/fee-schedule#ced out-of-state tuition is $19,525.75 per semester.

     · 
    ciocs353

    Update 3/9: Rejected from Princeton

    Update 3/17: Waitlisted at Columbia

    Update 3/20: Rejected from MIT


     · 
    t.s.

    Hey @ciocs353, I have been accepted to UC Berkeley too for M.Arch , are you still leaning towards it?

     · 
    sqqq

    @ciocs353 where did you decide to go? if you are going to Conell, see you in August

     · 
    Unicornsarereal

    do you guys think the GSD and YSOA will post their decisions afternoon of the 28th like every year or will it be the 29th since its leap year? Im so anxious lolll


    Also what is up with people saying they got phone call acceptances from MIT and GSD when its clearly stated on the website that there will be no decisions given out through phone calls? Help me understand, is this real and they just call their fav applicants informally? 




    On a lighter note, how is everyone holding up? Im an anxious mess here cant even get out of bed. Hope we all get the schools we want 

    Feb 28, 20 9:52 am  · 
     · 
    Hachiko

    Can totally relate. Am super anxious as well. Aaaaaaah...

     · 
    ctrl_z

    Don’t want to say it’s a certain way or another - can only confirm they do call informally. They also confirmed when the official email will be sent out - i got MIT yesterday and GSD said I’ll get theirs on Monday. Hope this helps. It doesn’t matter how we’re notified - good luck!! :)

     · 
    csss

    ​I imagine today, the 28th, because I imagine they would do it on their workday, not their weekend. Ditto on the super anxious part! I started checking my emails every 30 min yesterday.

     · 
    chuckluck

    Thanks for sharing ctrl_z! Well, looks like it's coming on Monday then, at least I will have another weekend to kill.

     · 
    JessaMynn

    They call the top applicants. It says no decisions given via phone so people don't call in to ask about their status.

     · 
    JoeyTheGiant

    Can def relate, thankfully I’m not too anxious coz I got into one of my top choices, Tulane, with $$$, and two other great programs (UNC-Charlotte and U Houston) but still a lil nervous as I’m hoping to hear positive news from one of my LA schools ( USC, UCLA or Sci-Arc), so I Would have the option to stay here if I don’t want to leave LA. Tho moving isn’t the worse thing ever... At the end of the day, the schools will help us reach our goal, but career prospects will be on us, to be aggressive and smart about how we take advantage of the time and resources availed, no matter where we end up. I’m also hoping I hear from UCLA by today (yay or nay) so I can decide to keep or drop this pre-rec I’m taking before the refund deadline of March 1 lol (UCLA only one I applied to requiring Survey of Arch history).

     · 
    JoeyTheGiant

    Lol feeling super grateful, found out I am in at UCLA just minutes after I posted the above comment… (Feb 28, 2020, for anyone reading this in the future). Obviously as it is a public/state school, won’t find out about money right away. The graduate department will inform me about that when they send out the official letters in a few weeks.

     · 
    csss

    @Joey congrats! awesome news

     · 
    JoeyTheGiant

    Thanks so much CSSS! What a ride!

     · 
    vialee

    Haven’t heard from them. I assume they will sent out decisions in Monday.

     · 
    peijunfei

    Phone calls are true stories. Not mine though. Sadly.

    Feb 28, 20 10:52 am  · 
     · 
    bessie2b

    Any Landscape Architecture applicants out there?

    Feb 28, 20 11:31 am  · 
     · 
    indigoing

    Yes, me, I applied into the MLA at the GSD (MArch everywhere else though)

     · 
    bessie2b

    I also applied to a mix of programs! MLA at the GSD too. Wondering if they are released around the same time as MArch results. All the best!

     · 
    landarch2217

    I am! I applied to MLA at Harvard, Upenn, Berkeley, RISD, UBC, U of T and U of M. I got my Upenn acceptance last week.

     · 
    indigoing

    Good luck both of you!

     · 
    fathermango

    Yes, I applied for UPenn for MLA and MArch. The chair sent me an email for the admission!

     · 
    landarch2217

    Wait listed at GSD for MLA 1 AP

     · 
    10tharch

    Yes, me too. MLA applicant here. In at Uni of Mich and WashU St Louis. Out at GSD. Has anyone got an update from Berkeley yet?

     · 
    landarch2217

    Haven't heard from berkeley yet! But accepted at RISD yesterday.

     · 
    landarch2217

    Anyone heard from Berkeley yet for MLA decisions?

     · 
    10tharch

    Hi, did anyone hear from Berkeley for MLA? I am thinking its a rejection for me as its already too late.

     · 
    landarch2217

    I emailed them a few weeks ago, and they just replied saying they are very behind on applications due to the COVID situation. They said everyone will be advised by the end of april.

     · 
    10tharch

    @landarch2217 Oh okay, thanks for the information. The other schools want the decision by 15th April. Do you think they might postpone it?

     · 
    chuckluck

    So results should be rolling out starting tomorrow, best of luck to everyone in this thread! Here's to the countless days and nights spent in anxiety

    Feb 28, 20 11:31 am  · 
     · 
    peijunfei

    Kudos and much obliged!

     · 
    hbassal

    umm, the GSD website says the results are due in the first week of March is that not the case?

    Feb 28, 20 2:58 pm  · 
     · 
    JessaMynn

    By the first week. Top admits have been getting phone notifications over the past two days, everyone else will be notified by email by the end of next week.

     · 
    hbassal

    if you don't mind my asking, what are top admits? from the sound of it, it seems -if i'm not mistaken- like those would be the ones they are sure about as opposed to others that they are not sure about yet, correct?

     · 
    peijunfei

    From my understanding, the calls to admitted students take time, like each 10 min or so. They need to inform one by one, imagine that. The ones not got informed, will be told automa tically by email to check the portal, which means, most of the cases, rej.

     · 
    JessaMynn

    It's the one's that have been awarded merit scholarships (as opposed to though maybe in addition to, need-based financial aid), so the top 10%ish, there may be definite yesses that will not be notified by phone. I'm assuming most of the decisions have been made.

     · 
    OrderinChaos

    I am questioning how healthy it is to speculate on the intentions of schools in their decision release methods, and the meaning of who gets where when. It is likely based on factors we will never know about. What we handed in is in the hands of the admissions teams, and thats it. I am still extremely nervous but speculating on other's standing with respect to the school does not help, and does not reflect any facts of the situation. This rises to the level of speculation

     · 
    JessaMynn

    That's just GSD, every school is different. I think MIT makes an attempt to contact every admit via phone, but they have a much smaller class.

     · 
    peijunfei

    You know what? it is indeed unhealthy, it is just reflecting how anxious we are! lol, good luck to everyone here! Fi nger crossed...

     · 
    peijunfei

    From my understand, the calls to admited students take times, like each 10 min or so. They need to inform one by one, imagine that. The ones not got informed, will be told automatically by email toi check the portal, which means, most of the cases, rej.

    Feb 28, 20 3:09 pm  · 
     · 
    hbassal

    https://youtu.be/9JVNMmsN3Co

    Feb 28, 20 3:19 pm  · 
     · 
    jenniepeng

    hahahah, exactly what I feel right now

     · 
    vialee

    hahahahahahaha so true

     · 

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