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M.Arch Fall 2020 Application Status

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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
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?

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

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.

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.

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

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?

lmnoc1

haha go to school in Cleveland, now applying for MIT

Is your username about Cleveland Clinic?

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 :)

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.

lmnoc1

pretty much all my schools do. although I called and some schools said around mid Jan should be the latest

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!

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.

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
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

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
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

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 ;)

lmnoc1

Dang liberal arts kid environmental science major here and my portfolio is also all about the Hudson Valley and philo sophy

pootchikins

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

lmnoc1

I went to Bard. Hopefully, GSD, Cornell, Sam Fox, or Taubman

pootchikins

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

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!

lmnoc1

I called today. Interviews are for applicants who they need more info from, so not the best cases

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!

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
arielbintang

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...

lmnoc1

damn your GRE will help you a lot

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

lmnoc1

Lol if you actually got a double full scores, that's a full ride mit, no nothing to worry about

peijunfei

wait, only mit and princeton?

Jan 16, 20 10:45 pm
cece_me

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!

arielbintang

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
gksrnrdls

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
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
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!

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.

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
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

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