USC vs UT Austin M Arch No Background


I was accepted to USC with $ and UT with a recruitment package. I studied psychology undergrad, so I do not have an architecture background. The costs of the programs themselves are pretty equal, but of course LA is a more expensive city than Austin. Because open houses are cancelled this year, I was wondering if anyone had any input on the differences between these two programs, if one is better in ranks, and any advice for choosing a school. I posted this on M Arch 2020 decisions, but I did not really get much feedback. Thanks, and I hope everyone is staying healthy during these crazy times!

Mar 19, 20 11:16 am

UT Austin is ranked higher than USC.   There's also a lot to be said for Austin as a place to settle and build a career, it is one of few places in the USA where I see a big need for new construction.  Austin is a pretty insular place and a UT degree and a local address would be a major help getting a job in that town.

That said, I had way more fun in LA in three days than I did living in Austin for three months.  The art and culture scene in Austin is vastly smaller than LA and a lot of the stuff that people build in Austin shows a questionable level of taste and sophistication.

Mar 19, 20 6:26 pm

Thanks for your response. I was told when I visited that 50% of the master grads from UT Austin end up going to other cities like New York, Chicago, or LA. Do you have any insight on this?


Yes, I know and have worked with UT grads and a lot of them work outside of Austin in places like California and NYC. I think the school has enough reputation and alumni network that people across the USA recognize that it's a good program.


Isn't UT like 25% of USC tuition?


@Archlandia Yes but I received a scholarship to USC

You gotta ask yourself what drives your ambitions to pursue a degree like architecture and what your expectations are coming out of those programs. How are the institutions handling problems that are presented today and where are they heading afterwards?

It should show you how well those schools react and problem solve. It should also be on your part to see which school would come close to your expectations. If your logic is cost savings, then what do you hope to accomplish with that?

I chose USC and I came out of there with two extreme consequences. The first one, I learned a lot not only from the program but the realities of living in a place like LA. It is invaluable experience. The second consequence was the extreme amount of stress that I have to live with afterwards.
Mar 23, 20 12:43 pm

Hi Leon, what stress, like debt? or architecture as a career or something altogether different?




Hey PoodlePalace52, I know very little about the program at UT SoA but there is a guy in that thread who is an M.Arch student there who's willing to talk to people. He posted his email address.

I currently live in LA (been in LA for 13 years now), and I'm originally from Texas, my sister did her undergrad at UT, wonderful university and Austin is a cool town, but it's just that, a town. LA will offer unparalleled opportunity. Also USC will be back up in the rankings in no time. Also, you'll get an unmatched private school experience and the unrivaled USC "network". It's like a huge fraternity. If it's not a question of dollars and cents than I think USC is a no-brainer! Not sure if you've visited the facilities but they're pretty darn cool! - UT SoA seems dope too, just don't know much about it! 

Mar 23, 20 9:07 pm
JoeyTheGiant & AndieT,
The stress comes from my own personal experience, and in the end, it may not apply to others. Debt is an obvious one, but there are other types outside graduate school. Like I mentioned before, USC and LA has taught me so much, more than I could ever wish for, but as you learn, it’s up to you how serious you take in the situation around you. There are a lot of things that do not make sense and it’s up to you whether you want to accept the truth or be ignorant about it.
I took the decision to know the truth and now I’m in a place where I am forced to be very proactive about everything I do within and outside of architecture. It has unlocked a lot of potential I didn’t know I had within myself. This is the stress I have to carry with me.
Mar 26, 20 8:13 am

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: