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M.Arch Fall 2020 Application Status

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
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!

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

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 :)

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
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.

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!

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

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

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

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