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M.Arch Fall 2020 Application Status

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ArchATL11

Hi. Undergrad from GT SOA here, I’d be happy to connect you with a current graduate student there to answer any questions.

Mar 10, 20 9:25 am
harshikaseth

Hi! I am a graduate student so it would be great if you could get me in touch with some students from the M.arch course. Thank you! My email ID is harshika.s.seth@gmail.c
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harshikaseth

Hi! I am a graduate student so it would be great if you could get me in touch with some students from the M.arch course. Thank you! My email ID is harshika.s.seth@gmail.c
om

harshikaseth

Hi! I am a graduate student so it would be great if you could get me in touch with some students from the M.arch course. Thank you! My email ID is harshika.s.seth@gmail.com

Michael.Willhoit

Anyone else kinda bummed about all the admitted student day cancellations? Penn and Pratt are both hosting webinars instead which I guess is still good all things considered, but I was really hoping to get some face time with other admitted students instead of just q&a from faculty.

Mar 11, 20 10:30 am
AndieT

totally feel you on this. I was so excited to visit the schools, and tour the facilities first hand. I feel like it is going to be so difficult to make a decision without ever seeing the campus. (

JoeyTheGiant

Hey Michael, yes, it is a complete bummer. I just got the email yesterday from UCLA. I was super excited as UCLA’s open house was going to be a grand today event. The most important part arguably, getting to know the colleagues in our cohort. But I am glad that they will be doing the online sessions so we can at least clean tons of information from the faculty. And absolutely feeling lucky that I had a couple of opportunities to tour the building and meet with current students and faculty in the last few weeks… But bummed for the other open houses on the East Coast I was planning to attend. (Including Pratt). Was just speaking with someone I met at Tulane’s open house last week, we were so glad they scheduled theirs super early… The open house was an invaluable experience toward making an informed decision. #Bummer 



Mar 11, 20 10:45 am
JoeyTheGiant

Two day event*

h_2512_a

Hi, have the GSAPP M.arch I decisions been sent out?  

Mar 11, 20 5:33 pm
csss

I have not heard anything from Columbia yet, nor from MIT.

chuckluck

I don't believe so but if anyone received emails please let us know!

ciocs353

@csss same boat. Good luck to you!

ciocs353

I was going to post if anyone else hadn't received any news from MIT, but I figured I just missed something!

csss

Just heard from GSAPP 10 min ago (March 13 '20). I'm in! Wondering if anyone else's fin aid was included in acceptance or is that a separate letter?

h_2512_a

@csss congratulations! That’s great

Me too! no there was nothing in there... was wondering if I got any FA at all...

yummy

FA is was not included in a separate letter and i was accepted to gsapp over a week ago. I'm assuming nothing was awarded.

chuckluck

ain't got nothing with my acceptance letter as well. happy to have gotten in but I don't know if I can afford almost 100k a year.

Any news from MIT yet?

csss

March 19th: MIT results where you at? call me....

rnayar20

Has anyone seen a financial aid letter/info for UPenn yet? I only see the decision letter! 

Mar 12, 20 12:24 pm
Archlandia

It’s in the supplemental information. It helps to look at it on a computer. I didn’t see it at first on my phone

Thank you ! Under the check list? All I see is the congratulations, transcript, and GRE info :/

Archlandia

Yes in the checklist with a little download button under supplemental. You have to download the pdf.

constellation

Did anyone here get more than 25k in aid, not including loans?

constellation

At UPenn specifically I mean

Michael.Willhoit

They offered me $35,000

Archlandia

Michael is that per year?

Michael.Willhoit

Yeah per year, provided I maintain full-time and academic good standing.

Archlandia

Wow they hooked you up. I didn’t even get close to that. Nice work

Michael.Willhoit

Yeah it's kinda crazy, much more than Pratt or Temple gave me by a longshot. I still haven't even heard a yes or no from Penn State tho. What's the school that gave you the most?

Archlandia

Pratt did, I got the same as you at Pratt. Haven’t heard from SCI-Arc yet though either

lmnoc1

Hi @Rhea Nayar did you find it? I don't see anything either on the checklist page besides congratulations, transcript, and GRE info

TheArchineer

Hi all! I am late to this party, but with all the open house cancellations, I figure this is going to be our only way to talk to each other before committing to a school!

Here's my info:

U.S./F/34

B.S. in Electrical Engineering/Drexel/2006 + Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering/Cornell/2013

GPA: 3.92@Drexel, 3.86@Cornell

GRE: Uhh, I didn't really study and forgot that the math was mostly probability and statistics, so please excuse such a poor math score from an engineer T_T:

VR: 170 (99th)/QA: 160 (73rd)/AW: 4.5 (81st)

Letter of recommendations 

PhD thesis advisor, another professor from my thesis committee and my most recent manager at work (electronics hardware company)

Personal Essay/Statement 

Individually written based on the tone and interests of each school I applied to - some focusing on my technical background, but most expounding on why I wanted to move into a more human/emotion/artistic focused field.

Portfolio

https://issuu.com/lfegely/docs...

A combination of PhD thesis work, Design Discovery work (which maybe shouldn't have been included, or should have been improved?), some very short selections of drawings and paintings to prove I can do them, and my photography (generally my medium of choice, if a bit traditional in its' content).

Schools 

MIT, GSD, Northeastern, Cornell, Princeton, UPenn, SCI-Arc

Open house impressions 

Tour at MIT: The tour was lead by a first-year student (in Oct., so he hadn't been there long). The studios are decently spacious, split between core and final students (final has more natural light). Woodworking/metal working facilities are a bit cramped, but seem to have everything you would need. We didn't get a lot of info about coursework, as the tour guide had not yet experienced much of it, but he did borrow a tablet to show us application portfolios of accepted students from previous years, which was enlightening. Afterwards, I went with some of the other prospectives on the the MediaLab, which was the truly inspiring part - trying to wedge my way into some of that research would definitely be my goal here.

Visit at Northeastern: Myself and one other prospective got to meet directly with Amanda Reeser Lawrence (Graduate Program Coordinator and Associate Professor), and she was the one who gave us the tour. When I asked for 3 words that she felt characterized the Northeastern Architecture program as compared to other schools, she listed pragmatic, experimental, and urban. The studios were decent, if basic, and interestingly (and conveniently) a part of the same building as the T station.

GSD open house: I think what I got most out of this is an emphasis of the traditional and rigorous nature of the GSD's take on architectural education. I also did Design Discovery here this summer, so I got some inside information - the trays of Gund Hall are pretty cool, but apparently overfilled - students in their pre-thesis semester typically don't get a desk, and some overflow has been moved to another building (which seems inconvenient to me with all the facilities being in Gund). On the plus side, I lived in this general area for the last 5-6 years, and love it. Even the year of 111" of snow...

Cornell open house: I mostly attended this open house because they were having portfolio reviews, but fell in love with the school. The facilities are beautiful (light-filled and spacious, with awesome wood and metal working abilities), the take on architecture resonated with me (especially aspects of technology and design being systems that feedback into each other), and the faculty seemed warm and genuinely engaged with the students. However, having spent 5+ years in Ithaca already, I know exactly how isolated Cornell is (though, tbh, to anyone who enjoys nature, and hasn't already spent a large amount of time there, it's a pretty enjoyable place to spend a few years). I'm curious to see how they try to meet this lack of urban education in the one semester spent at the NYC campus.

Results 

Accepted: Cornell ($$$), SCI-Arc ($$$, but quite difficult to get renewed the next year), Northeastern ($$), UPenn ($)

Wait list: MIT, Princeton

Rejected: GSD

Summary: Generally seems like the schools that are particularly interested in technological innovation and experimentation valued my application highly (except maybe MIT).

Tips

Follow all the advice that says to write your essay for your top-choice school last. It really will be a better essay.

All the schools say to not worry about being 'architectural', just be unique. Especially true for non-arch backgrounds.

Wash your hands for at least 20s with warm water. Constantly. Stay safe and healthy people!

A New Category: Questions!

How are you guys trying to make up for the fact that we can't visit schools? Would love to hear any ideas you guys have!

Also, anyone have any info on SCI-Arc? I was really looking forward to that visit and am basically trying to decide between them and Cornell.

Thanks!

Mar 12, 20 7:05 pm
JoeyTheGiant

First off, congrats!! Nice to meet someone my age, changing careers. Love how multi media you portfolios is. (Secondly, kicking myself for not applying to Cornell. Looks like an incredible program. And arguably the best in the nation)

Regarding school visits, I’ve been super fortunate to have visited most of my top choices in advance. That said, RPI offered me a Video conference with the head of the department. It’ll be nice to pick his brain about the program, maybe get him to walk me through the facilities on an iPhone or something but I worry it will be insufficient to make a legit, educated decision. I mean, RPI is in a small town in upstate New York, a facet that intrigues me, but a place I’ve never been. Any chance you’ve been up to Troy, NY and could enlighten me a bit, knowing you’ve lived not far away in Ithaca?

Regarding SCI-Arc, I also just got admitted this week. Pretty exciting! I live here in LA, so I was able to visit in January and posted some commentary on it, if you wanna check out the first page of this thread, I gave a pretty detailed review. Someone asked me for cons and I listed them beneath as a reply.

The more I learn about SCI-Arc though, I do grow a bit more concerned. At the end of the day, it is a for-profit institution, it is as much a business as it is a
college. But lacks the history and pedigree of a Cornell or a USC. (Not that that should be held against them. I think it’s actually the point. They take a maverick approach to architecture which might suit you considering you spent 8 years in academia already). They are extremely heavy on theory and don’t seem remotely interested in pragmatics, (I could be wrong) which is cool if that’s what you want. Pros.: It’s in a dope spot here in LA. Stellar fabrication facilities — beyond what I saw anywhere else (perhaps tied with Woodbury, who’s facilities were next level). Amazing staff! They made me really want to be part of the family. (didn’t meet any teaching faculty and only met one student. He was cool, a total artist). The building is pretty damn cool too.

I’ve emailed admissions to see if I can come by this week or next and visit while studio is in session to get a sense of culture, if they haven’t shut down due to COVID-19 yet. (I hear it gets really loud. I’ve seen that mentioned in several threads. Makes sense as it’s a massive concrete building with a super open concept. F*ck’n cool space if you ask me.)

If I’m able to visit again, I’ll DM you more info including some pics I took while I was there in Jan.

bubbletea_architect

Hey,

bubbletea_architect

Hey,

lmnoc1

wait have i met you at the GSD open house last year? all i remembered was sitting next to someone studying electrical engineering and took Michael Hays's Architecture Imagination class

archi_gram

SCI-Arc is located downtown LA, and literally right downtown. Only a few other schools in major cities can compete with that, like SAIC, Parsons, MIT, UPenn. So location wise it has advantages over Cornell, because Ithaca is in the mountain. If you really care about summer internships and jobs, SCI-Arc would be the place to go. You won't have to worry about moving to another city, but downtown LA is going to be pricy. (Upstate NY is not cheap either, if rent in NYC is $2000, Upstate will be around $1000). SCI-Arc styles is the most obvious and distinct among all architecture schools. Just look at their website, and you will know what I mean. In recent years, Penn Design trying to catch up with the digital style and hired a bunch of young professors as well. But in term of artistic freedom, SCI-Arc did it the best. They really caught up with the wave of digital architecture and pushed the boundary in the past 5 years. They never raised any huge big-name architects because they were only established in the 70s and their thriving comes with the digital age, but the same to Cornell. Most students at SCI-Arc stay in LA during or after graduation and work for rich people in Hollywood. You can check out some people on Linkedin to have a general sense. Cornell is generally an engineering school so I guess it will be more technical than SCI-Arc.

archi_gram

SCI-Arc is huge, (or skinny?). It felt like walking 5 blocks to walk from one end to another. Cornell Arch is pretty big too. But I felt the overall size, SCI-Arc is much bigger than GSD, YSoA, and Cornell. But again, SCI-Arc doesn't have anything, no gym, no dining hall, no dorms, which is also a reason that they have low ranking. If you want a safe shell campus feeling, obviously Cornell will be the place to go. The living environment at SCI-Arc would be like pushing you to be a jaded New Yorker, or in this case LA(ker?). It will be harsh for less mature students. But that also explains how people graduate and can adapt to the LA designer circles or be able to deal with those Hollywood and Malibu upper-class clients so fast. LA is going to be hot in summer, and Ithaca is going to be freezing in winter. If you like waterfalls, Cornell is the place to go. I can't believe you got waitlisted from MIT, your portfolio is just perfect for MIT. Anyway, good luck with MIT and Princeton too .

TheArchineer

Thanks for all the info guys! And, yes, Imnoc1, that was me at the GSD open house (though I timed out and lost access to the rest of the Architectural Imagination course - have to decide whether to pay $100 to finish it now...)

TheArchineer

Good to see there are other career change people out there as well JoeyTheGiant! I read through your post and am really interested in what your portfolio is like - how did you integrate your music? Also, I was seriously thinking about RPI as well (the strength in lighting, acoustics, and environmental aligns really well with my background and interests), but I didn't end up visiting. It sounds like they would be pretty similar to Cornell - a bit isolated, but pretty, and students do one semester at an NYC campus to make up for the lack of urban exposure.

TheArchineer

And archi_gram, you bring up some good points about having a lot more available at Cornell (I talked on the phone to Anna Neimark from SCI-Arc about the fact that SCI-Arc won't offer ancilliary classes, such as psychology, pure art history, etc., but hadn't thought about the lack of other support facilities). I definitely see value in the challenge that SCI-Arc presents, and value in the support that Cornell offers. It is quite the philosophical merry-go-round I find myself on trying to compare the two!

TheArchineer

I also want to confirm for anyone else considering Cornell, when I left there in 2013, I was renting one room in a 2bd 2.5ba townhouse (with central air and AC, and a gas fireplace) for $675, so you can find much cheaper places, but they will go up exponentially the closer you get to campus/collegetown. There is an amazingly good bus system though (best I've seen outside of a major metro city. Scratch that, better than most bus systems I've seen in cities...). Also, for foodies, there is excellent food there (Maxxie's is amazing Cajun with the best shrimp and grits I've ever had, there are at least 3 fantastic Thai places, and I was never able to find the same combination of cheap and good Korean food in Boston). Having a car helps you feel more in control of your level of isolation in my opinion, but we're probably going to be spending every waking (and some sleeping) hours in studio anyway, right?

lmnoc1

I think it will come up every semester, although mine expires on Mar 31st. You can try this link? https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:HarvardX+GSD1x+2T2019/course/

JoeyTheGiant

Hey @Archineer, I'll email my portfolio to you directly as it is super personal and I consider parts of it confidential in nature. (Some of the songs I included have yet to be released.) Basically it came down to how I presented my song lyrics visually and presented info about them: How they were used commercially, cover art, film and TV credits, global Ad campaigns and Film festival etc... Depending on the school, I also included links to my music and/or video content... [Gotta give credit to SCI-Arc who really encouraged me on the tour that they look for people like me who come from other creative fields, especially here in Hollywood. They also gave me a few pointers on the portfolio itself. – Regarding RPI, as a performer here in LA who's worked in recording studios and been on every major stage in town, I too was drawn to the notion of studying the acoustical and lighting aspects of architecture and perhaps discovering ways to bring in my live-show and music experience into architectural design. Guided research in that area could be incredible! However, I plan to do that no matter where I end up.

JoeyTheGiant

A few last thoughts about SCI-Arc and LA in general and I promise I'll shut up: 1) @Archi_gram raises some fantastic points. Downtown LA (DTLA) is super urban and now quite expensive to live in, which was not at all the case 13 years ago when I first moved here. They're trying to make it like a little Manhattan, which is AWESOME but has priced-out people who used to move there to live cheaply. It is amazing to see all the construction; some amazing projects are coming up all over DTLA. Don't be fooled though, the homeless crisis here in LA and throughout California is getting out of hand. Tent communities are popping up all over the city but especially in DTLA. It's sad, deplorable and disgusting, both morally and hygienically. Economic disparity here in Cali is on full display, where shanty-town squatter camps are set against multimillion-dollar high-rises. But there are plenty of areas here in town that you can live that are not to long of a commute from campus. In fact you could find a place in North Hollywood (NOHO- aka the NOHO Arts District) and just hop on the subway (Red Line), which I'm told is where lots of SCI-arc students live.... 2) It does get hot here, especially up in the valley and in DTLA, but not too crazy hot and certainly not humid; very rarely at least. We get our hottest days actually during the fall, what we call "Indian Summer", from late September to Mid October when temperatures will soar well up to 110ºF (50ºC) which is fine if you have AC, but it's common to find places in LA that DO NOT have AC. But throughout the year the weather is lovely and mild. This week has been, cool, rainy and cozy. 3) A huge pro, SCI-Arc grads are known to nail high-paying tech jobs for huge companies like Google, Amazon etc. Word on the street is tech companies love to hire arch grads in general due to our interdisciplinary creative and technical skills, but they really love SCI-Arc graduates in particular. SCI-Arc also feeds seamlessly into the entertainment and gaming industries where there is a TON of money to be made. (SCI-Arc just launched their MS in Fiction and Entertainment with emphasis on animation and story-boarding and narrative. Crazy!!) Where SCI-Arch may be lacking in pragmatics and practical application toward practicing "traditional" architecture, there may be some major benefits for working in other fields once you graduate. And as Archi_gram mentioned, the connection to Architecture firms and job opportunities here in LA are endless. This city is really experiencing an economic and architectural boom, which is why I may likely stay here to study after all. So much is happening with the built environment now - lots of fearless experimentation. 4) One last MAJOR thing to consider, as I mentioned above, SCI-Arc is a FOR-PROFIT institution, and if you plan to apply for any outside fellowships or scholarship opportunities, many funding programs will only consider applicants studying at non-profit institutions.... Okay, I'm done ;)

thatsthat

I’m not an applicant (just find it oddly interesting to follow the conversation) but I live in the Troy area and thought I may be able to share some insights as someone who is not from NY. Troy is actually not as isolated as Ithaca by a long shot. Yes it’s upstate NY but on the eastern side of the state (Ithaca is central NY about 4 hours west of here) but Troy is 2.5 hours from NYC by train and about 3 hours from Boston by car. It’s centrally located if you need/want to get out of town for a weekend or visit friends. The city has really put money into developing downtown Troy; there are new bars and restaurants opening all the time. There is a sizable farmers market on the weekends, and a first Friday arts program. Troy is actually part of a larger surrounding area of cities so just because something isn’t here, doesn’t mean you won’t find it in the larger Albany area. The rent in Troy varies depending on where you are but I’d say $800-$1000 is on the fair side for a 1 bedroom apartment. There is an ample bus system that serves the Albany-Troy area; quite a few people do not even own a car which helps in the winter. The winters here are milder than Boston or even Ithaca, which still gets lake effect snow. In terms of RPI, I can’t speak to that as much since I did not go there but the grads seem capable, knowledgeable, and excited to work. You’re better off speaking with current students/alumni on that front. Hope this helps!

archi_gram

@thatsthat Poughkeepsie here. $1k is pretty average, it could range from $700 - $1500 around colleges, not even downtown. However, rent is not that much compare with Tuition, Cornell is $10,000 more on tuition than SCI-Arc, but still cheaper than GSAPP .

TheArchineer

@imnoc1 I tried the link, but at least for now it is still grayed out and showing me only an option to upgrade to verified. Thanks for sending it though, it was worth a shot!

faiths.pang

Hi, so actually i have a few friends that went to sci-arc and here are some of their insights on it. regarding location its great but it can feel a bit dangerous at night. especially if you are alone walking home at 3 am after studio. my friend who is a girl said she felt super unsafe being alone. that being said, she did really well at sci-arc and worked at major firms such as MAD, UN Studio and Eric Owen Moss. but she graduated from the undergrad. for m arch 1, my other friend said she was having a bit of trouble getting a good position/offer from the major architecture firms because lots of firms see Sci-Arc as a school that only does a lot of computational design and so they ask her for technical skills mainly... Hope this is insightful for you, if not just ignore this comment haha

faiths.pang

another thing about the scholarship, i also received full tuition at sci arc and felt very nervous about maintaining a 3.7 gpa but my friend assured me that grades are very easy to maintain at sci-arc, all you have to do is show up to the classes basically.

faiths.pang

she was also there on full tuition scholarship

TheArchineer

@JoeyTheGiant Sent you an email, thanks for sharing that! I can't wait to see what you did. You raise some good additional points about LA, especially the last one about how funding/grant opportunities are gonna be unavailable due to SCI-Arc being for-profit. The homelessness situation sounds awful (deplorable was a good word choice), but also like something that is good for architects to be forced to contend with? Though it sucks that rent is so high, I feel like its an advantage to face the issues rather than avoid them. And dry heat would be an interesting change from all the super humid PA and NY summers I'm used to!

TheArchineer

Also, @thatsthat makes a good point about Troy not being nearly as isolated as Cornell (but I will also say, Cornell does not actually get lake-effect snow, sadly. I like snow. Ithaca is at the southern tip of Lake Cayuga, and since the jet-stream blows west to east, all the snow hits just north of Ithaca. Sometimes you can drive just 15mins north into Lansing and 2in. of snow will turn into 1 foot...)

TheArchineer

@faiths.pang Thanks for the info! I hadn't thought about the safety concerns, but with studio that is a good point. In terms of the scholarship, I have to admit, being a self-admitted nerd, I haven't been too worried about the 3.7 GPA requirement. What has me more concerned is the additional requirement that you have to be in the top 10% of the class as well to apply for the continuing student scholarship. I assume that is top 10% GPA wise?

JoeyTheGiant

Thanks @thatsthat! Some great insights. Yes, I love that Troy. Is under three hours from Boston, NYC and Montreal. I speak french, so that could be fun. I love cold weather btw. Hoping things settle down in the next 4 weeks so I can at least see the town with my own eyes. Having said that I’m leaning hard toward staying here in LA. We’ll see...

archi_gram

@faiths.pang are you sure their gpa requirement is 3.7? That sounds abnormal unless they just gave out As to everyone. Is this out of a 4 or a 5?

faiths.pang

yes, the gpa req is 3.7. From what I understand, you just need to make sure you do really really well in studio. The other classes are really easy. My friend said that she almost failed a class and still maintained the gpa requirement. Not sure about the top 10% situation but I expect that is also being adjusted based on end of the year portfolio reviews, grades in studio are of course extremely important.

TheArchineer

Yup, emailed and asked about the top 10% thing - at the end of each year you have to resubmit your portfolio along with a recommendation letter from a faculty member, and this along with your GPA is considered for the continuing student scholarship. Not quite as bad as it seems since SCI-Arc requires all students to continuously maintain their portfolios, but more work than all the other schools. Though I have to admit, I kind of admire them for not completely basing their financial aid on what a student looks like before they even start.

ILYS

Do people have advice on how to draft an email appealing for more FA? I got full ride from a school and am trying to use that to leverage my aid at another school.

Mar 13, 20 12:03 pm
vialee

Get nothing from all the school accept me. Should I write an email to their FA office?

JoeyTheGiant

@ILYS just be as respectful and diplomatic as possible. Let them know they’re you’re top choice and you really would like to study there. Make every effort to sound humble and not at all entitled to anything. @vialee, not the FA office — if it’s an appeal, it really needs to be made to the admissions committee of the architecture school/program and/or the overall graduate division of the university. Also be suuuuuper patient coz they’re overwhelmed right now.

ILYS

@JoeyTheGiant Thank you! I think I'll try to be honest and respectful... @vialee I think most of the admission letters come with contact info including FA so make sure to check those! I also got instructions from the professor who called me

chuckluck

still waiting on Cornell....ugh what takes so long
anyone else on the same boat?

Mar 13, 20 9:21 pm
ks16

I emailed them this week requesting an application status; according to them, they have been busy with planning meetings due to moving all courses to online, and they expect to have all results posted and updated to applicants by next week. Wish you best

chuckluck

Thanks a lot for the info! I DM'd them last week and they told me it would come out this week...guess that's not happening anymore haha

archi_gram

what program? I thought their results come out a while ago

chuckluck

M.Arch

TheArchineer

I will confirm that I already got my acceptance letter, but if the office says they are still sending out letters, trust that.

juju1992

Yeah Cornell already sent some offers but mostly to domestic students and with aids. The rest I believe will come out this coming week, as mentioned above.

TheArchineer

Yes, my acceptance letter was with aid, so that confirms @juju1992

lmnoc1

@juju1992 international student without aid here. I received my letter almost three weeks ago. I received a phone call from the dean two weeks ago and she mentioned that they accepted more people than they can take already, so they hope not everyone will accept the offer.

lmnoc1

Give them a call. That's the easiest way to find out

faiths.pang

hi all, looking for some advice here. I'm reallly debating between Rice, Yale and Columbia. Columbia was originally my first choice, but many architect friends are telling me that yale has a much better programme so now I'm unsure. Any insight on this? Thanks :)

Mar 14, 20 9:26 am
chuckluck

I am sad that I didn't get into Yale, which would have been my top top choice. While it's true that GSAPP is ranked slightly higher... I would go to Yale if I were you, but ultimately it comes down to what you prefer when you take everything into consideration. 

yangtian_yan_

Hi, I'm in a similar situation! Now I'm leaning towards Rice for its financial award and size of its program. I think it comes down to what aspects you're looking for in architecture grad school? All are excellent programs but each offers different strengths. Yale and Columbia offer a wide range of courses and have amazing faculties; Columbia offers a better location and has more of an emphasis on digital production (?) than Yale. On the other hand, it sounds like Rice's education is more aware of "building" and practicality (?). The size of its program might be hinting that there will be more resource for each student. By offering the first year building project, Yale is probably the most well rounded here (in my opinion). haha I haven't been to any of these schools so I'm quite confused as well... but I do think that all these programs can pave the path to either academia or practicing.

faiths.pang

thanks for the advice, i think i will probably go with yale. hoping to hear from them about financial aid soon though. trying to figure out how i can leverage my scholarship from other schools for yale

placemaker

hey faith & yangtian, I'm also strongly considering Rice (other options are Cornell & Columbia). I'm worried about not having an open house to meet any classmates in advance. Since it's such a tiny program, it would be nice to know who we'll be spending all our time with for the next few years. If either/both of you want to chat here or off-line, let me know!

If Not, Winter

Hey, I'm currently at Rice, as far as the classmates go, I couldn't be happier with the crew I've got, really lovely people and I feel super close with my classmates. Just about everyone in the school is a joy to interact with, from faculty to staff to students. While I can't say what the new admits are like, it seems to attract a pretty friendly type, so if that is important to you, you can count on a good atmosphere in the school. That was the thing that sold me at the open house, I half-thought they had bribed the students to be extra friendly, but after showing up they just actually were that friendly all the time. Let me know if you have any questions or want to talk about anything .

faiths.pang

@placemaker sure lets chat. idk how to chat on this thing though haha. you can also just add me on ig -- faithfull_aesthetics

ILYS

I'd also appreciate any advice on thank-you emails to professors who wrote me rec letters. Should I mention all the schools I got into? Or should I only let them know about my final decision?

Mar 14, 20 11:25 am
archi_gram

why not both? You should be proud with all the schools that you got in

jamarch

Is anyone still waiting to hear from MIT SMArchS? 

Mar 14, 20 11:58 am
koala96

Yes

monkeyfish

I got waitlisted for computation. what did you guys apply for and hear?

koala96

Architecture

jamarch

applied for Architecture. I am hearing a lot of people got phone calls...is that the only way they send out the decisions?

monkeyfish

accepted = phone call, waitlist = email, rejected = email. what did you get?

jamarch

haven't heard in any form...and application still says pending decision

autofireunit

Hi all. 

Although I haven't posted any thing during the application process, I have been following this thread for a long time from November last year till now. The application threads from the past helped me quite a bit since I am able to see how every school reacts to different kind of applicants. I also get to know what all the school is about by going through all the posts from the past few years. 

I really appreciate the invaluable resources everyone shared online, with things such as portfolios, grades, GPA, and other information that most would feel too personal to share. Being not able to visit any open house, I really have to get most of my information about the school and the application process online, with the tremendous help from this forum and its community. 

This post is intended for the MArch applicants in the following years. I want to share with you with all the tips and understandings I received and realized in this gruesome application process - if you spent the effort of digging down to this post of mine and read it thoroughly. My stats (and I will write my comment on the importance of each):

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

BS. Architecture (4 year program) / Washington University in St.Louis / 2020

CommentA reputable school with a history of acceptance into certain universities is a big advantage.

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

3.79 - 330 - 114

Comment: reflecting back on the stats, I can say they are mostly unimportant of you meet a certain bar. Based on my research, understanding, and talking with professors who are in the selection process, I will guess the SAFETY bar is roughly at a GPA of 3.6 and a GRE of 320.

  • Letter of recommendations 

Five recommendations. all professors. 

Comment: Later on I get to know that recommendations are mostly useless only when you have Koolhaas to write a letter for you. The reason is everyone who agree to write you letter will probably write nice words so the admissions don't get to see much truth. Just have some to write you letters so the admission team know that you are not crazy. Don't waste energy worrying about it. (But I do know MIT will ask the letter givers to rank the applicant from a 1/10 to a 1/1000 or something like that. There is a possibility other school would do the same thing, asking for a ranking of the student.

  • Personal Essay/Statement 

If you spend time and heart in your projects and studios, you should have no trouble writing something meaningful and authentic. 

Comment: Can't give much tips, but be authentic is never wrong. Also, really customize your dream school essays. They matter to an extent. Not to be taken seriously, but I feel the schools give more scholarship money if you actually spent time writing about why you want to go to that specific school, instead a generic PS. I wrote a customized statement to GSD and MIT, a half customized statement to Yale, and recycled statements for GSAPP, Penn, and Wustl. Perhaps the schools accept people based on portfolios, but give scholarships based on essays and portfolios? Just my thoughts. 

  • Portfolio

https://issuu.com/tailizhuang/docs/__r

Comment: Portfolio probably is the single most important thing. 85% perhaps. Again, I want to thank everyone before me who shared their portfolio. If you study architecture for your undergrad, my tips might be very useful to you. See below.

  • Schools 

Harvard GSD MArch I

MIT MArch I

Yale MArch

Penn MArch I

Columbia GSAPP MArch I

Wustl MArch III

  • Open house impressions 

Haven't attended any. 

Comment: From what I heard and felt, GSD teaches the most traditional architecture. Large class with 60~ students, many design background students. Very good internship opportunities yet hard to get due to large class size. MIT has around 20~ students. Lots of internship + travel opportunities and everyone can get it due to small class size. Can't say I know much about other schools in such details. Wustl grad program is very good and I like it alot. I love the faculty of the Wustl grad program. Penn has good I visited GSAPP once and felt the studio is too cramped (students don't get a large working table instead a small computer desk, so it is not very friendly to a model builder like me). It is very unfortunate this year because we couldn't attend open houses due to the Corona Virus. 

  • Results 

6/6 

Harvard GSD MArch I - 2.5 years Advanced Placement - Full ride (Dean's Merit Scholarship) + 2K Loan per year

MIT MArch - 3.5 years - Full ride (Architecture Graduate Fellowship) + 5K Stipend

Wustl MArch II - 2.0 years Advanced Placement - Full ride (Sam Fox Ambassador Fellow) + 1500 Travel Stipend

Yale MArch - Still waiting for scholarship info

Penn MArch I - 2.0 years Advanced Placement - 80k of loan 

Columbia GSAPP MArch I - 3.0 years - 2/5 tuition (Avery Scholarship)


  • Tips

My undergraduate at Wustl has a good track record of getting into top schools, so my goal from the beginning is to get into GSD, MIT, and Yale. There is a generous amount of portfolio on issuu of the past Wustl graduates who got into those schools. I used them to benchmark my own application process. For me, getting into grad schools is mostly, if not all, based on your design portfolios.

Although applicants from my school was always generally strong, I haven't heard anyone got into GSD MArch 1 AP before, meanwhile I found multiple AP applicants coming from UC Berkeley undergrad. So this naturally became my point of interest to investigate. At that time, to get into AP seems like an impossible goal, but it really represented the rarest scenario (hence the hardest) I could imagine at that time. So I thought if I work hard to try to get into MArch AP, even if I don't get in I still have a good chance to get into the regular programs and other schools.

In December, I listened to the GSD webinar with my classmates, and I thought I really understood what GSD AP is asking about. Using GSD's AP criteria as a guideline, I build and assembled my portfolio around it. Here is what I can summarize from the GSD webinar when the director of the grad program talked about the Advanced Placement briefly.

Criteria 1: A extended experience in studios

Solution: Show them your multiple studio projects. I showed around 7-8, with a few complex ones having 6 - 8 spreads and multiple small ones having 2-3 spreads. They all show different kinds of projects and my different design approaches. You have to show that you've taken studios exhaustively and are approaching architecture designs in an architecturally serious manner.

Criteria 2: Conceptual Rigor

Solution: Show them your design process. Sketch, diagram, study models. Show them the variety. Show them where you get inspirations. Show them your artistic side. Don't just show your artwork in the end; show them as an integrated part of your design process. Most importantly, show a project from beginning to finish. How do you begin a project? how do you design it? My personal solution to this is to show arrays of sketches, study models, and such, as you can see from my portfolio. Quantity does convey rigor. I make lots of study models, because study models are the OG way architects use to design. Also, in comparison, not many applicants make lots of physical design models in their design process, so if you do you would stand out. Most students in school nowadays only make models for the final representation, which is NOT the study models. Use physical models in your design process. Show your variety of approach to it: basswood, paper, 3D, foam and hot glue. Show you make study models with your hands......draw on it, tear it apart, cut a hole on it, modify the model as you design.......use your models to not only represent your design, but also your design process! Anyway, I have to say it is a very personal approach to tackle this criteria. Again, show your own ability to demonstrate the conceptual rigor.

Criteria 3: Spatial Resolution

Solution: Show them that you understand space. Plan and section with no fancy overlays on them. Black and white. Just line works that convey your understanding of space. Plan is the most important. Plan shows how you would arrange space. Does your plan have a sense of order, rhythm, character, or hierarchy? Section shows how you go into the plan and assign each space its definition. Put people in your section to demonstrate you understand how the space is inhabited. You had your conceptual rigor, and now you have to demonstrate it in forms of the spatial resolution. How the initial ideas manifest into space? Does your space have a character? and why does it has such character? Show them that you understand space with sectional perspectives and interior renderings. Renderings should be from a human eye level view point, and showing the space within. Make large models that you can stick your head in it, so you can see how it actually feels like. Interior space is all you have to show to tell the reviewers you understand and have spatial resolution. 


Really, conceptual rigor and spatial resolution are what all it about.

Looking back to my own work, I do feel many things are lacking. Yet I am grateful that I begin to have some concrete understandings of architecture at the end of my undergrad. I want to go graduate school because I truly feel I still cannot design and I wish I can learn more. Again, the tips above are only my takes on what the admission office want to see in the portfolio. Good luck on your journeys!

Mar 14, 20 7:23 pm
yongchoi

Congratulations! I am really impressed by your works. I think you deserves the prestigious school with full ride. Hope I can see your coming works through grad school's platforms.

autofireunit

Thank you

JoeyTheGiant

Friggin awesome! Well done, and thanks for being super detailed and speaking to the next generation. Next year’s applicants will be better off because of it.

hbassal

Did all that and still got friend zoned by the GSD, and I have no idea why!

ctrl_z

Hey - congrats and good advice for future applicant! Was just wondering why did you only take 2K in loan from Harvard from the 12 K (I think) they give - is that all you needed?

autofireunit

Hi ctrl_z, I was stating everything the school offered. GSD offered me a full tuition (~54k) with an additional loan of 20k per year for living stipend. I will take the full tuition but not the loan because I don't need it. Sorry the loan was actually 20k per year, my bad!

esher3

Congratulations on all of your acceptances. Did you hear from MIT yesterday?

TheArchineer

Awesome work! Your portfolio is seriously cool. I also wanted to say that I agree with your comments on rigor/quantity of work/showing process, and looking back at my portfolio, I wish I had realized that sooner! Good helpful comments, thanks :D

autofireunit

Hi esher3, I heard MIT from way back. On 24th I got a phone call from MIT. I get to know my scholarship info at the end of the week. Thanks!

Archlandia

Wow great portfolio and congrats on your hard work!

ctrl_z

Ah, I see @autofireunit! I just noticed youUS

ctrl_z

Ah, I see @autofireunit! I just noticed youUS

ctrl_z

Sorry, my mistake ^ just noticed you’re from the US. The international loan is only 12k ;(

autofireunit

Just got notified I've received an advanced standing from GSAPP, from a 3.0 to a 2.0 program

bessie2b

Beautiful portfolio! Congratulations :) Which school are you planning on choosing?

autofireunit

Hi bessie2b, most likely GSD because I can graduate a year early!

AndieT

Awesome work! Congrats on all your acceptances

zane74

I was accepted to GSD, Cornell, and UPenn. However, I have not heard back from GSAAP. My friend was accepted to GSAAP yesterday. Does this mean I wasn’t accepted ?

Mar 14, 20 10:18 pm
JoeyTheGiant

Don’t think so. For Sci-Arc I heard back two weeks after others. And about a week after some people for UCLA. Don’t overthink it just yet.

juju1992

As euphemistic as I would have liked to put it, the answer is likely yes if you don't receive an email on Monday. GSAPP seems to have a tradition of sending out decisions in waves, firstly the offers, and about a couple days later waitlists, then finally rejections. Don't be bothered much tho, seems like you already have very decent offers in your hands!

esher3

Has anyone heard from MIT via M.Arch I application?

Mar 15, 20 3:20 pm
wuhuuu

Not yet...

esher3

Seems like a lot of acceptances happened at the end of February via phone-call. I wonder if that was the format for all acceptances or if there is still a chance for another wave of decisions to be sent out.

TheArchineer

I heard by email from them Feb 27th that I was on the waitlist.

csss

me neither. the way I understand it, some students are relatively easy decisions (in or out), and some students they have to ponder over more. Also, they split up applicants to multiple subcommittees, so maybe for some reason some of the subcommittees made their decisions quickly and others are more slow. I do not think it's all rejects from this point forward, as it would have been really easy to just notify us of rejection.

esher3

Good to know. Thanks for the intel. I am hoping for an email to be sent today or tomorrow. Good luck to everyone!

Lostboy1

I've been accepted into TU Delft's MSc Architecture track 2020-22, looking for people in the same boat as me (do let me know if this isn't the right thread for this)

Mar 16, 20 10:16 am
meitartewel

Congrats! :) I applied a month ago, but I have a feeling I'll be waiting for their response for a long time... Hope to join your boat soon (fingers crossed!), but you can DM me anyway if you don't mind listening to an uptight stranger with low self esteem (didn't even have the guts to join this really nice thread, jeez)

Lostboy1

thank you, and best of luck! as for the DM -- I would, but I've no clue how to haha. ping me instead?

meitartewel

No idea what's ping (am I old?), but I think I've sent you an email (the one you're using here)?

Lostboy1

I just replied to it! see you on the other side :)

archi_gram

Congrats! That's a top 5 school in the world

sbavtnmvrdv

I've been accepted into TU Delft's Architecture track as well.

wuhuuu

sbavtnmvrdv is that you simeon

Unicornsarereal

International students... are you worried about getting visas now with the Coronavirus situation? Also i heard that current classes have already moved to online classes in a lot of universities, do you think this will affect the next academic year?

Mar 16, 20 2:30 pm
ctrl_z

Europe here - Pretty worried tbh; I don’t see how the visa interview will even take place if everything is on lockdown. I trust they will work something out - even if we start a bit
later in the fall. Till then stay safe everyone x

archi_gram

No, China already made through the worst peak and their Shanghai Embassy was not closed during the time, so I don't see there is anything to worry about for getting a visa. If you are worried about the travel ban, unless the government extends the ban for another 4 months, which is very unlikely because us now have more cases than most other countries and the economy is crashing, they need foreign capitals, so I don't see why you should worry about flying here. But if you have Coronavirus, yes, you should be worried, you will lose your chance of getting a visa.

JoeyTheGiant

President Trump just said they’re expecting this to be over by July or August so we should be fine.

Sssam

Not to spoil your party, but I must say, anyone who think this virus is going to be over by July or August is not being realistic.

Sssam

Not to spoil your party, but I must say, anyone who think this virus is going to be over by July or August is not being realistic.

Sssam

CBS news just interviewed a Harvard professor who thinks 40-70% of the population will be infected. Until a vaccine is available (6 months testing + 3 months production, that’s 9 months best case scenario), it’s really not safe. The problem with this virus is you don’t know who is a carrier. There could be many people who are not sick or not yet has symptom but is a carrier. Please take this virus serious

TheArchineer

Not an international student, but I am curious about how this will affect the next academic year, both for regular classes and studios, and for international travel for studios, biennales, etc. I think there is a good possibility of a second (or maybe by that point, third) wave of coronavirus hitting next fall based on both the COVID-19 reaction to sunlight/warmer climates, and the psychological response of large groups to maintaining selfless behavior in the light of declining risk (as COVID outbreaks would slow down). Maybe for our first studio projects we can design and build our own anti-contagion suits? :D

lco1996

Does anyone think it would be a wiser decision to defer offers (MIT SMarchS, GSD) due to financial reasons, especially during this coronavirus pandemic?  

Am a bit worried about my own personal finances these coming months as employers are beggining to ask people to take unpaid leave and the economic climate during and after this whole pandemic is gonna leave a lot of us jobless.

Mar 17, 20 6:01 am
csss

afaik some schools are sticking to their no deferral policy. You should contact each school specifically. However, with very low interest rates now is probably a better time to secure a student loan.

archi_gram

You need to make sure that you are allowed to do that. Have you called them and asked?

placemaker

As the others have said, I don't think those schools will allow you to defer, so you'll probably have to reapply if you wait. I think you're right to worry about the economy, and if you have a good, secure job now and a flexible timeline for school, no reason not to wait, though you might want to wait two years instead of one. That being said, since most recessions are

placemaker

I don't know why archinect wont let me finish that comment. Most recessions are shorter than two years, so grad programs are a good place to wait out the storm. BUT if things continue to go south, next year's applicant pool is likely to be more competitive (laid-off workers and unemployed recent grads applying to school because they can't find work). No guarantee of getting back in.

JoeyTheGiant

Well said all of above. Our timing could not have been more fortunate!

TheArchineer

Yup, I did a previous graduate degree starting in Fall 2008, right as the last recession hit. Apparently the competition the next year was crazy, even in a field as stable as engineering. I can't imagine what it would be like in architecture, where jobs depend on the economy to be building...

artichokeisbae

Hello guy, I'd really appreciate it if someone could give me some thoughts on Sci-Arc vs. Pratt, for M Arch 1, in terms of career prospects (I see in a previous comment where Joeythegiant mentioned that Sci-arc grads working for tech companies, which sounds very exciting) , living situations, culture of the school and the city, etc. 

Hopefully my question doesn't seem too vague or broad. 

Mar 17, 20 5:40 pm
archi_gram

Sorry, but there is almost no question here. The architecture department at Pratt is trash, even their acceptance letters went into people's spam. If you did not apply for Pratt but somehow got on their email list, they have been extending their deadline for almost 10 times this application season. They have been really desperate in recent years. Their faculty resources are horrible. They discourage any creative endeavor, which supposedly led to multiple student suicide incidences in the department in recent years. Just have a look at their website, Pratt's motto is detaching from technology, from creative designs, from the digital age and stick to the boring status quo. There is another thread on this forum from an alumnus that tells this Pratt messy story even better.

chuckluck

As far as career prospects go, neither school is known for having the best career outlooks, tho Pratt is located in NY and I think that should mean more opportunities. But I can second part of what archi_gram said, I would go to Sci-Arc for an overall better education if I were in your position. If you enjoy what they are doing, that is


faiths.pang

I mean I wouldn't say sci arc isn't known for having career prospects.. Like I mentioned in the thread before, I have several friends from Sci-Arc that have worked for Gehry, Eric Owen Moss, UN Studio, MAD etc. Although many of their students do end up working in the gaming industry or in Hollywood at some point, those who have the drive and talent will be able to find a great job afterwards. I would probably say Sci-Arc has better connections with these firms. As you know there are many starchitect faculty members at Sci-Arc.

chuckluck

Of course, I completely agree, but I just meant that neither Pratt or sciarc is known for having the best career prospects, comparing to some other schools.

artichokeisbae

Thanks a lot! I really appreciate this! I didnt really know anything about Pratt, so this is actually helpful. I am probably gonna put down my deposit for Sci Arc while waiting to get off GSAPP's waitlist.

JoeyTheGiant

ArtichokeIsBae you have more time before you have to pay that very steep SCI-Arc deposit, I’d wait if I were you. At least another week or so!

chuckluck

Having the hardest time deciding between Penn and GSAPP (M.Arch), currently leaning more towards GSAPP but I do very much enjoy Philly, much more so than Manhattan. And Penn's campus is better than Columbia's, supposedly so is their studio working environment, let alone the interdisciplinary atmosphere. While on the other hand, GSAPP's physical location and campus is a little meh (yes, I know it means more connection, more events, better networking, etc), but it is of course one of the top programs and that alone is hard to turn down. As much as I understand, Penn is obviously more parametric-oriented and has a lot of cool works that manifest it (even though I am not a huge fan of the parametrics) and Columbia is more diverse in its pedagogy, which is appealing for someone with no architecture background like myself.

Financially, it would come out as roughly the same either one I choose, so I am not overly concerned about that.

If anyone has more insights on either/both schools I would love to hear about it! Thanks so much.

Mar 17, 20 10:45 pm
faiths.pang

From what I understand, both GSAPP and Penn do parametric and digital design. GSAPP seems to focus muchhhh more on representation and visualisation though. I don't know too much about Penn programme other than the fact that if you want to do computational design, it is one of the most highly regarded programmes. 

I think the programme at GSAPP is very high in numbers but provide very little space. I've also heard that the programme is "not as it seems" on their website..which is unfortunate because looking at their website, GSAPP seems super cool.

JoeyTheGiant

Chuck, I know nothing about either but I’m gonna try to put you in touch with a friend of mine who’s doing his B.Arch at Penn and also just got into the M.Arch. But has his reservations about it. Strong reservations

autofireunit

I will say GSAPP since most of my friends who are in your position chose GSAPP over Penn in a heartbeat. Does any provide you with any advanced placement or scholarship?

chuckluck

Thanks Joey, that would be awesome!
Autofireunit, no unfortunately not :( but thanks for your input!


constellation

If you find out what those reservations are, could you please share them?

chuckluck

Will do, Joey - shoot me a PM whenever you have any updates, really eager to learning more about his reservations :)

10tharch

Hi,  are Columbia GSAPP MSAUD results out? 

Mar 18, 20 12:03 am
placemaker

Better late than never, right?

Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

BA Urban Planning 2015 (note, planning—not design, so nothing for the portfolio)

GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

3.8/4.0 – V:170 Q: 160 W: 5.0

Letter of recommendations 

2 undergrad professors, 2 professional (my boss and my colleague/former supervisor)

Personal Essay/Statement 

There were parts that were common across all schools, but I got very specific about how each school related to my general goals and interests, usually calling out courses & studios that interest me. Since my portfolio didn’t tie directly to my future goals, I had some direct page references to the parts of my portfolio that tied to phases of my background. I don’t know how well that worked.

Portfolio

I think my portfolio was too catalog-y. It’s organized as a sampling of my work in different categories (there are a few single-project sections, but they’re so different in type and content. Otherwise there’s a section of Drawing & Painting and a section of Graphic Design, and they don’t all relate to each other). I love my portfolio design and I spent a lot of time on the design of the document itself. Looking back, I think I should have put more effort into finding ways to tie my portfolio to my future rather than just my past.

I’m not going to post my portfolio because I’ve come to see the risks in that, but if future applicants want to see—shoot me a DM with enough info to prove you’re a decent human and I’ll be happy to share it with you.

Open house impressions 

I went to the GSD open house and toured MIT in the fall and accidentally let myself get too attached to the idea of moving to Boston. I knew it was a long shot and I let myself fall for the dream anyways. Honestly MIT didn’t do a great job selling itself in person—everything I loved about that program came from online. GSD, unsurprisingly, is excellent at selling itself. I didn’t go to open houses for other programs this year, but I spent the summer at GSAPP for Intro, I went to the admitted student day at Cornell last, and I had previously toured Rice and Penn. My summer at GSAPP taught me that studying in NYC has massive benefits, but the facilities are really truly terrible and it’s hard for me to imagine 3 years there. I love Cornell’s program and facilities and the way they foster faculty research. Rice has lovely spacious airy facilities and a very welcoming, lower-pressure vibe. Penn’s building is kind of depressing but it was the first school I ever toured so I didn’t really know what to look for.

Results 

  • Rice – accepted with $$$$ (accepted last year with $$, eventually increased to $$$$)
  • Cornell – accepted with $$ (accepted last year but with slightly less $ than this time)
  • GSAPP – accepted, no $ (did not apply last year)
  • GSD – rejected (also rejected last year) Penn – rejected (also rejected last year)
  • Yale – rejected (waitlisted and eventually accepted last year, so this one really stung)
  • MIT – assumed rejection but no official word (did not apply last year)

Tips

I’ve been so slow to post because things haven’t turned out the way I hoped when I decided to reapply last year. But what good is Archinect if people only share big wins? Let me be a lesson that reapplying doesn’t always result in substantially better results.

I won’t go into last year’s results or decision-making too much because all my previous posts are still on Archinect and if anyone is interested, they can read the history. If anyone has more specific questions, feel free to comment or DM me.

I thought that adding some actual architectural content to my portfolio from last year would make me more competitive for the top programs, and/or get me more money at the schools that accepted me last year. I had a lot of people look at my portfolio between last year and this year, and I incorporated their advice but I didn’t get a lot of big structural revision suggestions, which is probably what I needed. Now I think the weakest point in my application was just a lack of cohesion between my personal statement and my portfolio, so that is what I would recommend applicants focus on. And show as much 3D work as you can.

My biggest takeaway from this is that you really just can’t know what the ad-comms are looking for, and it varies year-to-year. Conversely, I think some schools may just see something in your application that tells them qualitatively that you aren’t what they’re looking for, and unless you change your whole look and ethos (which you probably shouldn’t), they probably won’t change their mind about you. Or maybe I had too many missing pre-reqs for some schools? I’ll never know.

Still, to be clear, I have no regrets about my decision to reapply. I am lucky to have a lucrative job, so I saved a lot of money over the year which I will need as a poor student (especially with this likely recession starting up). I still have great offers. One of the many reasons I decided to reapply was just that I might always wonder what would have happened if I tried again. Now I know.

Mar 18, 20 9:46 am
Unicornsarereal

Same story. How did u manage to get more funding from rice?

placemaker

I just emailed their graduate coordinator last year explaining why finances were so important for me and respectfully asking for more. They didn't send me a revised offer until the day decisions were due, which made me panic-accept last year even though I pretty much already knew I wanted to wait a year. Thankfully they gave me the same offer I eventually turned down last year. How did things go for you this time?

chuckluck

Have you decided on where to go?


Also could you possibly go in a bit more details on the facilities at GSAPP and your experiences while being there? I am leaning towards going there and won't be able to go in person to check it out due to the recent mess, so any info would be very much appreciated!

Unicornsarereal

Got rejected from yale/gad/mit last year but got accepted to GSAPP with the maximum scholarship. Applied again this year and got the same results but gsapp cut my scholraship to half and i dont know how to ask for more or ask why

placemaker

@chuck, I am very heavily leaning towards Rice. I think Cornell would be a better fit for me from a research and resources angle, but I don't think that benefit outweighs the huge cost of the degree. Rice is a great program and their course offerings align really well with my interests, even if I would have to be more self-directed in any research pursuits. That said, I plan on attending all the virtual open houses before making any decisions. Open houses played a huge part in my decision-making last year and it really is a shame we won't have them this year.

placemaker

re: GSAPP facilities, they're just incredibly restricted in how they can renovate/improve because of the building's tiny footprint, so they're ages behind other schools. The studio spaces are extremely cramped, although they are at least bright with lots of windows. And it's great that they provide computers. But the classrooms are also extremely small, and a lot of them are in the basement with no windows and have miserable fluorescent lights. I didn't spend any time in the shop other than the orientation, but it seemed ok at best . I imagine it gets extremely cramped at crunch time though.

JoeyTheGiant

So curious why you decided to wait a year? Rice is a stellar program. And they clearly WANT you there. So important to go to a school that really wants you as much as you want them. It’s like a relationship. They see something in your application that resonates with their program!

placemaker

@Unicorns I feel for you. Getting a worse response from last year at Yale really punched me in the gut. I think maybe they didn't appreciate me turning them down last year? For you with GSAPP, I think that explaining why you reapplied will probably help your case however you do ask for funding. You could potentially tell them that you thought of your decision last year as deferring rather than declining since official deferral wasn't an option. I don't know how true that is for you, but it's something I wrote in my essays because it was how I was approaching it in many ways.

placemaker

@Joey there were a lot of factors in my decision and a lot of them had nothing to do with the schools (bad timing at work, financial concerns, family health issues). Honestly, one of the main issues with Rice last year was that their first offer didn't have enough aid for it to be a very serious option for me, so I didn't get to think about that program realistically until the very last second. I also had to miss their open house due to a work obligation so I hadn't met any of my future cohort, which seemed really important for such a small program (not that I'll get to meet them this year either...). But now that all I've had basically a year to imagine a debt-free degree from Rice I'm pretty pumped about it!

chuckluck

Rice is a great school and I am sure you will get a great education out of it if you decide to attend. & Thanks for your insights on GSAPP, I am really having a headache trying to decide between GSAPP and Penn, both are great schools but vastly different. Like you said, for GSAPP I am mainly concerned about the small campus, the cramped studio space, and just the overall stress of living in NY. But I guess every school has it's pros and cons...

archi_gram

Congrats on your almost full ride at Rice. Cornell and Columbia are the top 2 most expensive programs among all universities over the world.

carriebradshawti

just wanted to bash on GSAPP for a second... seems like a cool program but I was recently admitted and didnt receive a penny in aid...thats obviously largely on me for not being a top applicant...but why bother admitting someone with a 65K price tag attached?? tone deaf and gross! you will probably be with a bunch of rich people or folks stressed tf out about wicked student loans. and NYC rent? "$$$$$$ or byeeeeee!" like a kid born into a SOHO loft would say

hbassal

A question for those who applied to the GSD and got rejected then applied the following year and got excepted, what did you change about the application? and how did you know what to change? (Speaking about MArch I)

Mar 18, 20 10:43 am
hbassal

Accepted*

poodlepalace52

USC or UT Austin? Any thoughts? I liked the Professional Residency Program at UT Austin and how they emphasized travel, and I liked the area around it better. USC I am not sure where I would live. Does one have a better rep? Or are they pretty much the same? Received money so they are pretty much the same costs.


Mar 18, 20 12:18 pm
AndieT

I too am stuck in the same boat!

poodlepalace52

How are you planning on deciding? I am so lost!

lmaccora

Hi, poodlepalace52 and Andie T, I am currently an MArch student, 2nd semester at UT. With the Covid-19 virus messing up scheduled plans, there will be a virtual open house soon for admitted students to get to know UTSOA (hopefully that might help you both). I got my BS Architecture from The Ohio State University in 2019. I also struggled with making a decision on grad schools, but I chose UT for many reasons. Austin is a great, growing city with wonderful weather and culture. UTSOA has a lot of history but is always forward thinking and is flexible to your needs. Traveling is very common in this program as is career development opportunities. UTSOA's career fair that just happened last month had over 100 firms attend from across the country. Major firms like SOM attended. This is made possible because UTSOA is not singularly focused on just their current students and professors, but is also focused on making connections with successful firms and architects and previous students. The academic community is quite unlike anything I've experienced before. My favorite part about UT is the fact that it remains unpretentious yet has garnered many accolades. -> The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture (UTSOA) ranked the No. 1 “Most Hired From” architecture program by DesignIntelligence. 

I would be happy to help you with any further questions. 

yummy

Hi, I'd appreciate any advice or perspectives. thanks.

I'm interested in design computation and new media (I think I favor new media over des comp though). I'm mostly looking at harvard (M.Des technology), Sci Arc (fiction and entertainment), Columbia (MSAAD), and UPenn (MSD ADD). 

From what I can tell, Columbia seems to be the better choice for design computation. The sci-arc program is fairly new so it's hard to get a grasp of job outlooks but would be the best fit for new media interests. 

Sci Arc would probably be my first choice but I am concerned with the job outlook and from the step away from conventional architecture. I am also considering going for a phd at some point which i believe any of my other options would be better preparation for.

Mar 18, 20 4:50 pm
faiths.pang

I have a friend who works at un studio who went to IAAC in barcelona and he said that sci-arc is one of the few schools that have a huge focus on computational design. so lots of good things said about sci-arc from a professional in the field :)

vialee

Anyone still waiting for FA info from Yale?

Mar 18, 20 5:34 pm
esher3

I am. Hope it will come soon?

vialee

Hi esher3: I am still waiting for it too... Don’t know if it is because of the
COVID-19. Hopefully it will come out this week.

ctrl_z

@vialee; my letter arrived today in the post and I’m international. However, I emailed them before asking about FA and they were very prompt to reply!

esher3

Oh! Well I'm quarantining elsewhere. Do you think it's only being delivered via mail?

autofireunit

I have only received it in the physical form, meanwhile my friends have received it digitally via email. I think it varies.

vialee

I received the physical copy with no FA info…… will email them today!

vialee

UPDATE: called them today and have been told they are working from home right now. They will send out all FA info by the end of next week!

faiths.pang

just received my FA award today via email but there wasn't any federal loans to cover to remaining which im kinda confused about...also they said that they will follow up with a physical official copy of FA + acceptance letter later

faiths.pang

hope u get $$ from yale so we can both go!!!

ctrl_z

I think so, yes. But ask financialaid via email! (My letter is dated March 10th if it helps btw)





Mar 18, 20 6:07 pm
Potata

At this point this is more for next years round of applicants.

Considering my numbers, I was really surprised with where I was accepted and the amount of scholarship I received. It's amazing how far a good portfolio and essay can get you.

USA/F/28

Schools/ Degrees / Year:
・University of Connecticut 2013
 BA Linguistics (Philosophy)
 BA English
 Minor Cognitive Science
 GPA: 2.9
 (my first couple years as a DI student athlete were a bit of a struggle)
・LAIAD grad prep program ’19

GRE:
V 153 / M 149 / W 3.5
(I know my numbers are shit.)

Personal Essay/Statement: 

Letter of recommendations:
3 from instructors at LAIAD

Portfolio:
Used the three projects I had from the grad prep program I was enrolled in at the Los Angeles Institute of Architecture and Design (LAIAD). I do feel the pages for my final and most impressive project were rushed to have something to show for it, but time was out.

Results: 
IN
(money scale: 0 - $$$$/ full ride)
・University of Michigan: $$ (attempting to negotiate)
・Washington University of St. Louis (MArch MUD): $$$
・USC: $$
・Pratt: $$
・University of Washington:
 could attend with in state tuition due to WRGP
 merit scholarships offered starting in second year
・University of Oregon: funding info not yet received
・SAIC: funding info not yet received

WAITING ON
(expecting rejection, applied knowing they were reaches)
・MIT
・Columbia 

Open house impressions:
One of my LAIAD program instructors suggested we students go on unofficial visits to schools we were interested in before applying. He said it could be a good opportunity to catch current students in action and off guard to ask questions in person.

I regret not having done this now, but I'm not made of money and was trying to save by only visiting my top school choices that I was accepted to with reasonable funding.

FYI because I didn't know this before, you may be able to attend certain open houses for free. Some schools will either reimburse you up to X amount for travel or ask that you pay a small fee that will cover travel, accommodation, food for the open house.

Tips:
If you’re interested in SAIC attend one of their in person meet and greets, if you do your application fee will be waived in full.

Start early on . . .
・fulfilling your prereqs early
・taking the GREs, remember you can only take it once every 21 days ・your essay(s), given my poor #s I feel this really helped me

Decisions:
Torn between U of M (Taubman) and Wash U of St. Louis (Sam Fox). If I attend Taubman I intend to apply for one of the dual degree option during my first year.

As of now, not just considering the tuition, the financially responsible choice would be Wash U.

Mar 18, 20 8:43 pm
JoeyTheGiant

WashU is an amazing choice!! Arguably the best program on your list of "ins" , perhaps tied with Michigan. Congrats!!! How'd you like the LAIAD program?

cellophane

congratulations on your acceptances!! I also got into UW but I haven't heard anything about financial aid. I was wondering if you heard anything about funding.

Potata

yup, I wrote it just under UW in my list :)
merit scholarships offered starting in second year I think it should be in your letter somewhere
BUT if you are in one of the “14 western states?” you could apply and attend with in state tuition?

Potata

oh my bad financial aid no

frostfrog

Is there anyone who is in at GSAPP Cornell UC Berkely M(S)AAD and couldn't decide where to go like me?

1. I have no idea how to bargain my financial aid on UCB or GSAPP with offer from Cornell. Would it be good idea to try?(Of course it is.. I think) What are the chances? Estimated total expenses are around 100K in Cornell and that's about the maximum I can afford, so if I don't get any FA from them, I cant choose GSAPP let alone whether I prefer their program from others. Any advises?

2. GSAPP just announced to defer their semester on MSAAD program. Has any other schools that starts from summer also decided to do so? My country currently has Visa issue due to to COVID19 and if the other program starting from summer follows their decision, would be helpful to clear things up until then.

Things are going crazy on my country and I couldn't stay sane anymore. Hope things get better...

Mar 18, 20 9:02 pm
wasabi

Hi, been following this for a while and wanted to add to it bc seeing all the threads from previous years helped me a lot.

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

Intl/BFA Communications Design / Pratt Institute/ 2020 

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

3.54  | 157 V, 159 M, 5.0 Writing | exempt from TOEFL

  • Letter of recommendations 

1 employer, 4 professors

  • Personal Essay/Statement 

Talked about being a communications design major and my interest in the overlap between art and architecture + work experience

  • Portfolio

Coming from a graphic design background it was difficult to use projects from school that could show my 3D capabilities. So for my main projects I included stuff  that involved sculpture, typography, scanning, printing, book making, web-design to show "architectural" aspects of graphic/communication design that could span 4-5 pages. Towards the end I showed my 2D work in 1-2 pages per project.

  • Schools 

GSD, MIT, GSAPP, Cornell, UPenn, Yale, Princeton

  • Open house impressions 

Only went to Yale-got a feeling their program was more experimental/artistic than others but then again, I only went to one school so I don't really know. 

  • Results

In GSD $$

In GSAPP (awaiting  aid)

In Cornell $$

In UPenn  (awaiting  aid) 

In Yale $$$

Out Princeton

Awaiting MIT (most probably out cos I haven't heard anything till now)

  • Tips

Looking at Issuu was helpful to a certain extent but I think its more important to know the pedagogy of the school/what their perspective on architecture is and build your essays around that.

Portfolio + essays are the most important thing I think cos my scores were pretty average. I read Graduate Admissions Essays by Donald Asher - great help

Mar 18, 20 10:12 pm
wuhuuu

WOW Keen to see your folio mate

JoeyTheGiant

First off congrats, and thanks for sharing. Never too late. So What's the verdict? Where do you wanna end up? Looks like Yale makes the most sense.

wasabi

@wuhuuu it has some stuff from my internship that is under NDA but would be happy to send it to ya privately-- idk if there are DMs here??

wasabi

@JoeyTheGiant thank you so much!! I'm leaning towards GSD actually- I appreciate their program + ideology much more, will update you on the final decision :)

wuhuuu

wow okay! I'll email you shortly

AndieT

Hi there everyone!! I checked this forum daily back in November, and haven't checked back since. I have a lot to catch up on lol! 

Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

San Diego State University/ Bachelor of Art with an emphasis in Interior Architecture/ Will be graduating this upcoming May    

GPA - GRE  

Cumulative: 3.59                                                                                       Major: 3.76

GRE: V:145 Q: 149 Writing: 4.5 

Letter of recommendations 

Professors 

Schools 

I applied to: 

UC Berkeley- denied 

University of Southern California- accepted!!!!! ($$)

SCI-Arc- accepted!!!!! 

UCLA- waiting to hear back from still 

UT Austin- accepted!!!! 

Rice- denied

Columbia- waiting to hear back from still 

Pratt- accepted!!!! ($$)

RISD- accepted!!! 

Open house impressions

I have not visited any schools yet unfortunately. I am getting nervous with the whole COVID-19 crisis that I won't be able to see any of the schools in person, meet the faculty, tour the facilities, etc., before the deadline. I'm feeling so so torn as I have been accepted to all of my top programs, and so many amazing schools. If anyone has any insight on any of the programs I have been accepted to that would be greatly appreciated!! 

Tips

If you are certain that you wish to pursue your master's in architecture (or any field for that matter) my best advice would be to get a head start on the whole application process. I began researching programs as early as this time last year, and began the first draft of my personal statement shortly after. It is definitely a stressful process, and can be overwhelming to say the least at times. However, in the end getting acceptance offers made it all so incredibly worth it, and I am so ecstatic to see what the future holds for me!! 



Mar 18, 20 10:23 pm
JoeyTheGiant

Hey Andie, congrats! Some big wins here. If you read through this thread from page one, we commented a ton on UCLA and SCI-Arc and a bit about USC. I'll DM you now

AndieT

Thanks so much! I am so overwhelmed by the amount of posts in this thread! Definitely gonna take the time tomorrow to sit down and read through them thoroughly from page one. I am not familiar with this site, how do I see my DM's lol? I feel technologically inept right now.

JoeyTheGiant

Check your personal email associated with this account. It should be there.

lmaccora

Hi, Andie T! I commented on a previous post you were in, but will comment here as well.

I'm first year MArch at UTSOA, second semester. 

I would be happy to answer any of your questions about UTSOA! 

JoeyTheGiant

Super interesting read for most of us who applied to these school for M.Arch. This article is dated BUT I imagine the metrics are similar and have only changed marginally in the last 9 years; so they should still serve as decent indicators for 2020. This is merely an educated guess based on the application vs. admission rates at UCLA in 2011 (when I applied as an undergrad) vs this last year, 2019. The year I applied, 120,000  students applied and about 13% were admitted. This year, about 135,000 applied, with the same rate of admission. Anyway, super interesting. https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/visual-arts-film-majors/1214690-m-arch-acceptance-rates.html#:~:text=442%20applicants%2C%2039%25%20accepted.&text=126%20applicants%2C%2059%25%20accepted.

Mar 18, 20 10:25 pm
csss

To fill in the gap with some juicy GSD stats: https://www.gsd.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/GSD-Factbook.pdf

ap23

I’m not sure where the poster in that article got their info, but I know for a fact that some of it is incorrect. The avg MArch class size at MIT is 25 and PhDs are even less, so I’m not sure where the 94 number came from. Not sure about the other schools. Maybe it’s outdated but don’t want to spread misinformation. Best thing you can do is go to open houses or contact schools you’re interested in to learn more about stats.

JoeyTheGiant

@ CSSS thanks for the GSD stats. lots of cool stuff there. @ap23, as mentioned, it's just interesting, I'm sure there must've been some level of accuracy at the time. Just killin quarantine time out here lol

minnetexan

Hi folks. These some crazy times. I really hope our fall semesters won't be affected. Can't imagine working toward an M.Arch remotely, like many students will be doing for the remainder of this semester.  -_-

Alas, while the earth is on lockdown and trying to heal from the mess at hand, I figured I'd contribute to this thread. :)

Tips for future applicants: 

  • This is going to sound obvious, but try to be very strategic about which programs you're applying to. You're about to invest a lot of time and money into this process, so come up with clear criteria for choosing a school. It confounds me why some prospective students' school lists are literally a regurgitation of the national rankings, because the programs are so immensely different. And while reputation is important, you should also be considering the costs to attend, areas of focus, location, class size, faculty work, student work, studio facilities, studio culture, future job prospects, courses offered, etc.
  • Decide on 4-7 programs to apply to. That seems like the sweet spot for a lot of the people I talked to. Choose a couple programs that might be more challenging for you to get into, a couple that you feel confident but excited about, and one or two wild cards.
  • VISIT the schools, if you have the means. I crossed a few schools off my original list after doing this. Be resourceful and see if you can meet with somebody within the school, or alumni. Send them thank you cards afterwards.
  • Start your working on your portfolio, like, today.
  • Take the GRE as soon as you can, so you have a chance to re-take it if you so desire. I did not do this. I took the GRE in September for the first time before applications were due, and even though I studied hard for a week prior, I couldn't help but wonder if I'd do better with another pass if time allowed. Not as much weight is placed on this component of the application package, but schools definitely use it as a quick way to weed people out or determine if you're worthy of more financial aid.
  • Letters: This for me was actually the most difficult part of my entire application process. Maybe I just psyched myself out, but it felt so cringe-y to reach out to my old professors after being out of school for a few years and moving to a new city. That, plus the fact that this portion of your application is kinda out of your control. One of my contributors went 2 weeks past deadlines despite sending him reminders. Just be proactive, respectful, and patient.
  • For the personal statements, I found it really helpful to jot down thoughts and ideas very loosely at first. Keep a journal, it will give you all the content you need to eventually sit down and write the damn thing. Oh, and have fun with it; don't be afraid to stand out if it speaks to your personality and professionalism.

Undergraduate info:

University of Minnesota, B.D.A (Bachelor of Design in Architecture) with minors in Product Design and Sustainability Studies

Stats:

GPA - Cumulative: 3.57, Major: 3.89                                                                                        GRE - V: 156, Q: 155, Writing: 4.5 

Schools, in order of preference:

  1. UT Austin - Accepted, waiting on $
  2. Rice - Rejected
  3. Tulane - Accepted with $$$
  4. Pratt - Accepted with $$
  5. ASU - Accepted with $$

Well, that's my two cents. Stay healthy y'all, and good luck! <3

Mar 19, 20 4:31 pm
JoeyTheGiant

Awesome! Congrats! Were u at Tulane open house? I Fell deeply in love with the place. Tough choices ahead!

lmaccora

Hi, minnetexan! I am currently an MArch student at UTSOA and would be happy to answer any of the questions that you might have about our school. I can't imagine how frustrating it is to not be able to attend open houses and explore prospective cities at this time. I chose UTSOA for so many reasons and I would be happy to share them with you!

wuhuuu

anybody got into princeton and would like to share?


Mar 19, 20 8:31 pm
Archiatl

Share what?

wuhuuu

Tips? tricks? lessons? folio? whatever

Archiatl

I’d be happy to help. How can I contact you?

wuhuuu

oh wow that's so nice of you! u can email me at my temporary address aril.badai@gmail.com thanks mate

coindefou

Hi! I have been following this thread since Jan and would love to share some of my stats and thoughts. 

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

B.A Architecture, minor in Mathematics/May 2020 

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

3.82 - A very disappointing GRE score - Waived 

  • Letter of recommendations 

Three letters, one is written by my boss from summer internship (Columbia alumni), one from my art history professor, and one from my studio professor who is very familiar with my work and with whom I do research.

  • Personal Essay/Statement 

Spent at least three weeks on the essays. Each one went through two versions. I have my professors and friend majoring in English look at them.

  • Portfolio

(Not super satisfied with my portfolio, and later felt so stressed by two typo errors) Most of them are my undergraduate studio projects. 

 https://issuu.com/lhou-smith/d... suppose to read as one page

  • Schools 

Yale SoA in with $$$, Columbia in no words on FA, Wash U in with director's scholarship $$, Harvard GSD in no FA (emailed them, let's see what will the FA office say), UVA in with $. 

  • Tips

Start early. Stitching all the drawings, diagrams, model photos and etc. into a single portfolio is not a one time task. I spent a lot of time formatting and thinking about how to put everything together. 

Dig deeply on the schools and faculty before writing your essays and think about how schools' research interests and objectives match with your goals. Be as specific as possible. 

Mar 20, 20 2:18 pm
lmaccora

Hi all, 

I am currently an MArch 1 student at UTSOA. I have a BS in architecture from The Ohio State University (2019) and am in my second semester. I know so many of you are struggling with college decisions, which is hard enough without this virus pandemic.  For those of you searching through this feed for information about UT Austin, feel free to email me at lmaccora@utexas.edu and I will hopefully be able to guide your understanding of this beautiful community I'm a part of at SOA.

Feel free to reach out and comment!

Best of luck and congrats!

L

Mar 20, 20 7:56 pm
ILYS

Hi all, I am graduating this spring, and I got accepted to a handful of MArch programs. I really think I'd benefit from taking a year off working and reapplying later, and I had applied simply because I wanted to see what happens. 

There's an architecture grad program in my college, so I can tell that those who directly went from undergrad 1) have to put tremendous effort to catch up due to limited working experience and 2) are sometimes too comfortable with being a student, which is often reflected in their design. I'd rather not do that...

That said, as a few posts have pointed out, I am pessimistic about both the job market and the prospect of reapplying next year due to the economy and the pandemic. Hopefully someone is willing to share their perspective?

Mar 20, 20 10:33 pm
JoeyTheGiant

Time off is priceless. Can help you gain so serious and valuable perspective on life and career goals. It’s not a bad idea especially if you’re in your early 20s.

ILYS

Thank you @JoeyTheGiant! I almost never play safe in my life but the current situation is so unprecedented and unpredictable and I am genuinely anxious... What if the tuition skyrocket in the coming years? What if the admission for grad schools become super competitive? Not to mention that I am not likely going to get a job - my friends have already had their offers revoked (not architectural, but nevertheless) It's real tough times...

JessMynn

If you have an offer to your dream school, or a full ride to a school you're excited about, I think it would be a good idea to take the offer. If you're kind of unsure about the offers you received then it's a harder decision. I don't think this recession is going to be nearly as devastating as the 2008 crash, but architecture is one of the hardest hit industries and internships/ entry-level positions will be hard to come by for a while. You can ask about deferral so you have a guaranteed admission for Fall 2021, or put down a deposit and change your mind last-minute if you find a job/ are willing to lose the deposit.

TheArchineer

I agree with @JessMynn. I would also say, if you don't have any grad school offers you are particularly excited about, but another field you might want to investigate (graphic design, business, teaching, etc.) it might be a chance to try for those. Creativity in leveraging a bad economy into a much more interesting portfolio is likely a good way to get into those dream schools, possibly more so if that work is in an area other than your actual bachelor's degree.

TheArchineer

Trouble is getting the jobs, though, huh?

ahp111

Hello people, I got an acceptance to University of Notre Dame, MADU program with full ride for both the years + TA with stipend. I know it has a bit classical approach and I had actually applied it as a back up. I have also got in at UCLA(yet to hear about $) and U Michigan($). Do you guys think the  offer from Notre Dame is worth considering? If anyone of you could get me in touch with a graduate or a current student, it would really be helpful! 

Mar 22, 20 12:13 am
JoeyTheGiant

Ahp111, follow the money. You’ll still learn what you need for modern design aesthetics. Also, the US government just issued a proclamation that all new governmental buildings be in the classical style. So it will undoubtedly be a well-paid, much desired specialty in the near future. Could be a relatively secure career path. Idk?

ASBB13

Curious to hear everyones perspective  on where they think the industry is heading given the current pandemic situation.  The psychological scaring that could take in place will  effect an overall attitude to the use of public spaces. Plus with the overall trend of things going digital as time progressing does anyone think this is a major blow to the future of the industry or maybe a complete reconfiguration of how spaces are designed?


Also late to this applied for M.Arch I:

23 (M)

USC: In  ($)

UCLA : In 

Sci-Arc: In

Harvard: out

Columbia: Haven't heard back but most likely out 

3.6 GPA/ Business marketing degree 

GRE: 153 V/153Q  average  writing portion 4.0

Have a background in fashion industry which was the focal point of my portfolio ( collection designed which I explained in detail exactly my thought process on every detail of it). Then self taught myself some basic Revit  skills made a configuration of an art museum. Rest was some photography. 

Essays was about my upbringing in a niche fashion background and my goal of blending the worlds of fashion and architecture ; cross pollination of the fields. 


Mar 23, 20 3:05 pm
TheArchineer

Interesting prompt! I do feel like, if handled correctly, so that there is not a major overwhelming of the health system and huge loss of life, the virus itself will eventually be thought of in much the same way as the flu. I feel that the more interesting impact in terms of space and architectural design is the forced move to online learning (more so than the impact on businesses, which already tried to do online meetings where in-person was not actually necessary). I think there will be a push to move to more online and remote capability, for a short while. However, I don't think online learning will ever replace the person-to-person connections people really need to grow, and until VR/AR classrooms are fully realized and matured, there won't be any significant changes. There could be some really neat emergency hospital construction ideas, etc. that could come out of it though!

TheArchineer

Also, with regards to the psychological impact on using public places, I wonder if there will be more of tendency towards well-lit and outdoor spaces (since UV kills the virus)? Will the idea of using spaces to force mixing in both public spaces and work offices be feared? Will touchless doors, faucets, trashcans, etc. lead to future generations fearing touch other than that of their own nuclear family members? Obviously these are overly dramatic thoughts, but I've always enjoyed dystopian novels :D

JoeyTheGiant

Great points @theArchineer ... @asbb13 which school are you leaning most toward? I’m thinking UCLA for me.

ASBB13

Great input @theArchineer! Hey Joey, Ive decided on UCLA Just the best option pound for pound for me. We should for sure connect when/if you decide fully on UCLA

JoeyTheGiant

Yes, I’m 99% sure I’ll be at UCLA. I feel the same. In terms of quality of work and cost of education it just makes sense. I’ll DM you!

AndieT

Is anyone still waiting to hear back from UCLA or Columbia?? Beginning to think it's looking like a rejection provided April 1st is a little over a week away. 

Mar 23, 20 4:28 pm
juju1992

If you haven't heard back from Columbia it's a rejection

AndieT

figured that much, thx lol

DeannaTZ

Hi!  also late to the thread

22/F/Canada (Toronto) 

I must admit, I thought I was going to take a year off and work so I didn't apply to many schools and my applications were generally rushed. (I may consider reapplying next year to Columbia, Princeton and Pratt) 

BACKGROUND

BA Architectural Studies at UofT (2020) 

GPA/GRE: 

GPA: 3.5 and My GRE is N/A

LETTER OF RECOMMENDATIONS

1 prof, 2 employers and 1 supervisor at a non-profit organization I'm affiliated with

SOP 

I mainly talked about my background and my research. My studies/research have been focused on new methods of communal housing so I talked about how I would implement that into a thesis. I also talked about my personal interests (i.e, theater, event planning and my non-profit commitments). 

PORTFOLIO

As I mentioned before, my application was rushed and I do feel like my portfolio is not in mint condition. I definitely took a maximalist approach to curating it (I'm not much of a minimalist). It's definitely colorful and block-ey (if you catch my drift). I mainly featured academic work, recreational paintings and some sample graphics from my professional studio work and volunteerism. 

SCHOOLS

I only applied to these two schools: 

Northeastern (in with $$) and UofT (in but no aid :() 

I'd love to hear any opinions about moving forward. Do you think it's worth it to wait a year and apply to more schools next year or do you think a M.Arch at one of these institutions would suffice? 

Mar 23, 20 5:13 pm
muji-pen

i think you should take one of the acceptances, with the covid-19 economy not looking very promising, 3 years should be enough time for the world to fix itself. Uoft since ur domestic, and already live in t.o.

DeannaTZ

thank you! that's definitely something to keep in mind, future plans are fragile right now with covid-19 upon us. 

TheArchineer

I agree with @muji-pen, though if either of these schools are allowing deferrals, you could try again next year knowing you still have these options. I also want to put in a good word for Northeastern - Boston is amazing and faculty seemed really down to earth and interested in the students from my visit there. Question: Where are you hoping to work, and are you likely to need licensure for the work you want to do? NAAB vs. CACB accreditation might be something to think about.

DeannaTZ

@TheArchineer thanks for the input! I'm glad you have good things to say about Northeastern, I wasn't able to visit so it's good to know what you think. As for accreditation, I'd want the option that gives me the most flexibility in terms of work (I'd prefer not to be static and would like to work in the states at one point) so I would definitely have to look into the NAAB vs. CACB accreditation . I suppose NAAB would be best if I wanted to work in the states.

JessMynn

NAAB and CACB have reciprocity for accredited M. Arch programs, you can seek licensure in the states with an M. Arch from U of T.

JessMynn

That being said, if you pursue your degree in the states, you get a STEM program visa extension (your student visa allows you to work in a relevant field in the states for 12 (guaranteed)-36 months (you can apply for a 24 month extension of the first 12 months)), so it might be easier to find work because your employer won't have to sponsor you for a work visa at the beginning.

DeannaTZ

@JessMynn thanks for your response! I didn't know about the STEM program visa extension, that's good to know.

TheArchineer

Good to know about the reciprocity - what I had seen about reciprocity seemed to say that you needed to have a 10yr history of good standing in the country you were licensed in before you could work in another. https://oaa.on.ca/the%20oaa/join%20the%20oaa/Reciprocity%20Between%20Canada%20the%20United%20States%20and%20Mexico

JessMynn

That's if you want your license to transfer. Where you're licensed depends on where you write your exams, not where you do your degree. So if you have an M. Arch from Ontario, you can work and then write your exams in New York and then be licensed in the state of New York. Is also possible to work anywhere without being licensed in that jurisdiction (many people do), you just can't stamp the plans.

Arch18

Has anyone managed to contact GSAPP Admissions? I've been trying for the last 2 weeks

Mar 25, 20 10:18 pm
juju1992

Yes I did reach them for a couple questions. What are you trying to contact them for?

marcus1928

yea same here, I was trying to reach them and see when they would be hosting their virtual open house sessions... never got a reply.

Arch18

financial aid, they are not answering emails. Also calling them is impossible since they are out of office

Arch18

who did you contact/ what email?

Arch18

@juju1992 when did you contact them?

marcus1928

I've sent emails to arch_admissions@columbia.edu 2 weeks ago and I have yet to hear from them.

Arch18

It's been past 3 weeks, I've contacted 4 different people. No response

wuhuuu

Hi! I know this is so late but some schools decided to take their time but its worth it! - Indonesian btw

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 

University of Melbourne/ Bachelor of Environments/2019 July

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

3.85 - 152V/157Q/4.0W - 109 TOEFL

  • Letter of recommendations 

Dean, 2 professors, several tutors, 2 employers

  • Personal Essay/Statement 

I think this is the most important part, or even more important than portfolio because this is where your voice comes. Portfolio is important, but given that they analize it in 3 stages, skimming, slower page flip, closer reading. it almost feels like as long as the drawings/model photographs are eye catching, your portfolio will be defended in front of the admission team. But the personal statement, they really look into particular traits, events in your life, your alignment with the school's philosophy. 

I really struggled with GSD's essay honestly. It is a bit... quirky? and my writing skill is honestly trash, so it took a lot of people to review my writing lol. And I didn't get to have a thorough review for GSD's essay. Oh well.

  • Portfolio

Tried to really showcase model making culture in every project. 

https://issuu.com/arieljbintang/docs/portfolio_opt_-_copy_14mb

Also adjusted it for different schools with different pedagogy - e.g. Delft is very very technical, US Schools more diagrammatic, Bartlett very narrative based.

  • Schools 

(In order of preference)

Princeton, Yale/Delft, Bartlett, GSD, MIT, GSAPP

  • Open house impressions 

Didn't get to go to any. However, I was caught up in the craze of Princeton. When I was rejected I was like 'noo.....' haha, but honestly after talking to some people related to Princeton, I can say that its no longer my first preference. I mean, they are cool, and 12 students make you feel special, and the tuition fee is just very generous. I really like how they have a thesis that is neither a research nor a project. Kind of a philosophical one I guess. 

I've heard people get into princeton but decided not to go there because of the smallness - I guess in architecture we would like to get enough perspectives, but not too few. I've also heard others saying that they are heading towards a computationally heavy pedagogy. And me myself, I kind of see Princeton now as a really intelligent school that could've had a more distinctive identity to it. They have a mixture of academics from Stan Allen, Jesse Reiser, Alejandro Zaera Polo, and a lot more, people whom I admire ++ CHAOS Lab and many other Laboratory which is very interesting. But, I mean, working with 12-20 people for 3.5 years, everybody will have their own personal ambition and its good, but it might be hard to find pairs who have similar interests, and then work together perhaps. Idk where I;m going with this rant but kind of wished that I got rejected but get to teach there in 10-20 years lol.

But yeah, I mean if i get admitted to Princeton I'd take it straight away still, but I guess my point is, don't go to a school because of the clout, but go to a school for its pedagogy.

  • Results 

Results... hmm yes. Yale $$, Delft, Bartlett PT2 (applying Fin. Aid currently), GSAPP. 

I really wish Yale have a Thesis in their final semester so I can go there without hesitation. But on the other side, they have Independent Study that lasts for 6 months. However still not a thesis. Academics are really great, Mark Gage, Eisenman, Francis Kere. It's also close to NYC but really cheap so thats a +. Its also located just in front of the best art school in the whole wide world. The possibility to collaborate and take classes from other faculty is really interesting because they really mean it when they say an interdisciplinary pedagogy. Rudolph Hall is great and they just changed the Paprika carpet!

I like Delft for having an amazing infrastructure, but I don't even know any of the academics except for Winy Maas. Their masters is based on studio research, so when you go there, you can commit your 2 years to a certain research, or explore 3 topics over 4 semester (2 topics in first year, 1 final topic in second thesis year). I really like the Interiors Buildings Cities, but looking at the students work, it seems almost very.... banal. Not really pushing the envelope of architecture I think. They're also very technical and im afraid it will be hard to push boundaries for my future career. I don't even know if their thesis allows for more conceptual exploration.  Oh, great models there.

Bartlett seems to be fitting with me best in terms of pedagogy. I know that the school is known for its conceptual rigor, but I think most people missed their emphasis on design realisation (there's actually a subject called design realisation. Every fantastical projects that they do, everything is able to be realised (not the flying pigs of course). My only problem with Bartlett is the rumor that's been going through the school, where dirty competition is just everywhere... Like people in Undergrad breaking each other's 3d printer etc. Not sure if that's the case in Postgrad tho. Also, the building itself is not that great in comparison to GSD or Yale or Delft. Coming from MSD, I kind of don't want to downgrade. Also, the academics in Bartlett are great. Although I wished that I've known more of the British academics.

GSAPP is great, academics like Jing Liu................. and I can't remember others, oh Junya Ishigami is there I think. It's prominent location to NY is also great. But, I feel like GSAPP is for those who got the mulla $$$$, apartment's expensive, life is expensive, for a career that is also very expensive physically. So yeah, nope. its also 3.5 years, a bit too long i think. 

  • Tips

Lol, I guess im also writing this to search myself and see which program im fitting best with. My tip, just work on your personal statement earlier if youre bad at writing.

GRE doesn't matter, i mean my Verbal was 152 what kind of trash was that hahaa. Some schools are also thinking of ditching it altogether.

Work again on some of your work from the portfolio. make it eye catching so that admission committe can defend you.

I think this is true across all schools and applicants. In order to be different and fitting with Master's pedagogy, really showcase models, study models, presentation models, 1:20 models, interior montage using physical models. just physical models, and hand drawings. I think I've seen toooooooooo many drawings, diagrams, renders etc, those which the computer draws. I know that the best applicant for Fall 2020 - forgot who his name is but he got $$$$MIT +GSD, he does like giant models, didn't do render but draw with hand. And when it is computer graphics, it's just really fantastical. 

I really regret not doing as much models as I could in undergrad. Was caught up with computer, so let this be a lesson to those who are applying next year. Just work on your studio with as much work as you can, physically if possible. I think the 'hand' is really appreciated by most schools this year. I mean if you see lectures by SANAA or HdM or MVRDV or anybody really, they rarely show renders, but they show shots of physical models. I think too many of us got caught up in Grasshopper and sculptural stuffs that we forgot to do physical models. I mean doing GH is good, but translating it to reality is what matters right?

For those applying to Bartlett, your portfolio matters when you have technical drawings. If you have narrative drawings, its good. but don't get caught up, they want to make sure they have architecture students, not graphic designers.

I know this is a reallly disorganised rant/self reflection but who cares. Maybe its helpful. Happy to take any questions/comments/diss at aril.badai@gmail.com - just a spam collector email so idk. 


Good luck and see you guys if we meet!

Mar 26, 20 7:44 am
ctrl_z

Hey! :) I thought this was super helpful feedback for future applicants and even for people choosing between offers. (That’s exactly the reason I’m thinking of not choosing Princeton atm) However, just a small note about model making :) - I got the same offers and bearly had any models in my portfolio. I definitely agree they are very important (in showing process thinking) but it is counterproductive to suggest them as a must - it gave me lots of anxiety when I
applied. So good luck to future applicants - do not stress about fitting any mold!! :)

wuhuuu

hmm yeah! actually youre right abt the physical models! i think i was caught up in just trying to be different haha, take note everybody!

juju1992

Congrats! GSAPP is 3 years btw

autofireunit

While not a must but it sure is an easy way to make a portfolio different! Diagrams can be cliche because they require less time to invest. If done properly they can be amazing. But then again, I feel, perhaps it is also important to align with a school's pedagogy. GSAPP I imagine is light on physical model but heavier on digital (judging by their ins account).

ec20

Hello everyone! I am an undergrad and was recently accepting into Yale SoA for M. Arch. Sadly I am unable to see the school. People who have visited the school, what are your thoughts on the program/space? 

Mar 27, 20 9:45 am
AndieT

Hey everyone! Is anyone in here a current student at USC or enrolling for the Fall 2020? Would love to meet people from the program ahead of time

Mar 27, 20 3:42 pm
ethanhunt

Hi there. I'm in M.Arch +3 at USC. Are you joining from fall or still deciding?

carriebradshawti

hi yall, im looking for some guidance on my decision as to where to pursue my M.Arch1. I am choosing between GSD vs Yale ... or UPenn or Rice if I can get them to up their aid

im hoping to gain some clarity on the personalities of the schools... each thing i hear contradicts the last. im drawn to architecture as a form of environmental communication / public art. folks like Eyal Weizman, Paul Virilio, and Beatriz Colomina got me excited about architecture and i will likely want to pursue academia in addition to a professional practice

TLDR, which is more academic and/or theory driven and/or interdisciplinary?

Mar 27, 20 11:39 pm
Archlandia

Which one gave you the most money? They’re all great schools. Go with the one that will cost you the least.
Why apply to schools that you don’t have a great sense of the pedagogy

Archlandia

Which one gave you the most money? They’re all great schools. Go with the one that will cost you the least.
Why apply to schools that you don’t have a great sense of the pedagogy

carriebradshawti

GSD but not by much... hence my asking. it's easy to envision where you could go to school...another thing to choose where you will go to school. i did preliminary research but just looking for further guidance. also it's not so straightforward to get a feel for pedagogies when yr a total outsider to the field / most of the info you do find is contradictory.

thoughts on which is more academic and/or theory driven and/or interdisciplinary, folks?

Archlandia

Which schools did you visit and how many professors have you been in contact with?

carriebradshawti

no visits b/c covid. a few professors from each. 


carriebradshawti

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Mar 28, 20 12:38 am
asymptote

Canadian here, got in at UBC (no $) and Carleton ($$). Advise me?

Mar 28, 20 2:46 pm
Kingsessing

Heya—first post from someone who has gleaned a lot of information from this site over the past few years. Thanks to everyone who has contributed knowledge and thoughts, and congratulations on all the 2020 acceptances!

Will set aside time to do a full round-up of my own 2020 applications soon, but for now, wondering if people would feel comfortable sharing the actual dollar amounts of any living stipends they've received, so that we can build up a collective understanding of where negotiation ceilings are at various schools. I know this would help me navigate the next two weeks of decisions/negotiations, and I can only imagine it will be useful for others, too.

If you have received a living stipend as part of an acceptance package (or know of someone else who has), add it in a reply to this comment!

My information:

$3K/year stipend from Princeton; no stipends anywhere else.

Mar 29, 20 10:17 pm
JoeyTheGiant

Hey Kingsessing. I was offered a substantial stipend from one school. I'll DM you details, as I haven't finalized the contract yet. Having said that. I think mine is a rare case. I absolutely did not expect to be considered, much less rewarded. Note: The award came from the graduate department of the university itself, NOT from the architecture school. -- I intended to post the specific info about it and all my $$ offers on this thread in the next week or so.

Kingsessing

Congratulations, JoeyTheGiant—that's fantastic! And thanks so much for sharing. I'll keep an eye out for the details.

newtnuetraility

Hi Kinsessing. I also received the $3K/year stipend from Princeton, couched in some very specific language about that being the max grant to our incoming class. I've been led to believe that the same tuition and stipend $$$ is offered across the board?

In addition, have an offer for $5k stipend first year from MIT to supplement tuition scholarship. 

Are you going to go to Princeton or still thinking of other schools? I'm deeply stuck between the two. 

Kingsessing

Hey newtnuetraility, nice work re: MIT—that's great. And re: Princeton, it was strange ... on my admissions phone call, I was told that all students this year had received exactly the same funding—95% tuition—but then my letter had full tuition plus the stipend (and the same language as yours about that being the max). Hopefully everyone got the tuition plus stipend package, and my admissions caller was just mistaken about the 95% number?

Kingsessing

And I am also quite stuck. Princeton seems like a good fit for me in many ways, but I'll go wherever funding is best, so am just trying to figure out whether it's worth trying to ask for stipends elsewhere. (My other frontrunners are Berkeley and Yale.) Did you get to go to fall open houses for either Princeton or MIT?

newtnuetraility

Active proof that transparency opens up interesting channels- my Princeton offer is the 95% of tuition, which is balanced by the stipend to end up at about a $60/year payout.
I went to the fall open house at Princeton, it was... funny? charming? 
Send me a dm if you want to maybe chat in a more informal way, I'd be curious to hear more about your decision making process. 

Kingsessing

Hm, maybe I'm misunderstanding my letter, then (or the tuition cost?); just so other prospective students can see how this resolves, let's tease it out here, though I'll also dm you about more general things. My letter mentions a $53,650 fellowship and a $3K stipend, for a total of $56,650. I've been thinking of the fellowship as essentially full tuition per the below site, but perhaps I've misevaluated? https://gradschool.princeton.edu/costs-funding/tuition-and-costs

Kingsessing

Also, newtnuetraility, it seems dms can only be sent to users who have made posts, not comments (unless, again, I'm missing something!), so send me one at your leisure.

newtnuetraility

I see, our offers are the same. Full tuition is $56,470. You were sent notification via email of an offer via a complex Princeton web system, that letter (separate from your admission letter) has the exact price of tuition for the coming year...

Kingsessing

Aha, there we go ... I took one look at the Kafkaesque instructions for setting up that account and have put it off ever since. Joke's on me. Glad to know that everyone is indeed getting the same offer, though.

wuhuuu

Dayum great job on getting in Princeton both of yous

ctrl_z

Nice idea - I was clueless about costs/value of scholarships when I applied! So... same from Princeton haha & ~14k “half-stipend” MIT (if I remember right) so i think they might give out even more (FYI future applicants)

c_meeeee

Hi. Can I please get some advice on which course would offer better job oppurtunities- a ms.aad from Cornell vs an M.arch from UVA? 

Mar 30, 20 2:08 pm
chiangie_

Hey! International applicant from Hong Kong here, leaning towards studying at Yale. I'm hoping to connect with potential classmates/other M.Arch students studying in the US. Would be nice to visit the different schools sometime!

  • M/23/Intl
  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated

BSSc Architectural Studies / The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) / 2019

  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 

3.4 // V:155,Q:157,W:4.5 // 117

  • Letter of recommendations 

Dean, 2 Professors, College Master

  • Personal Essay/Statement 

This was probably the hardest part of the application for me as I wrote and re-wrote several drafts for each school. I tailored each essay to reflect my understanding of each school’s pedagogy and curriculum.

  • Portfolio

https://issuu.com/ethanchiang97/docs/chiangethan_architectureportfolio_2020

  • Schools 

Harvard GSD
Columbia GSAPP
Yale
UCL

  • Results 

IN
- Yale
- Columbia GSAPP

OUT
- Harvard GSD
- UCL

  • Tips

1) Choose between 4-6 schools (Less schools = more time to refine your application)
2) Portfolio & Essays will most likely determine if you get in
3) Reach out and talk to current students at your desired schools!

My best advice is to just go for it and give it everything you've got. These apps are a huge investment which take a lot of time, so start as early as you can and only apply to school's you would definitely consider going (aka drop the "backup" options, its not worth the time). My strategy was to focus on my top 3 choices (GSD/Yale/GSAPP) so I applied to less schools in order to perfect my essays. The small cohort size was a consideration which led me to drop MIT and Princeton from my initial list. However, if I were to apply again I would add these schools and drop UCL.

  • Questions

- Thoughts between Yale and GSAPP? I'm curious to hear about the studio culture, student life outside architecture school, and what the university as a whole is like

- Has anyone successfully applied/appealed for financial aid at GSAPP? I'd be more inclined to go if tuition costs were lower

- Anyone studying at these schools (GSAPP/Yale/GSD) this fall? 

If any M.Arch students/future applicants want to talk, feel free to message me: ethanchiang97@gmail.com :)

Mar 31, 20 5:02 am
chuckluck

Going to GSAPP because I didn't get in Yale, which would have been my top top choice :/

chuckluck

But depends on what you like, they each have distinctive style and very different pedagogy

chiangie_

hey chuck! congrats on GSAPP! what made yale your first choice? I

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