UMICH VS PRATT M.ARCH 2year fall’2020



I am an international student and have been accepted to the ‘2-year M.ARCH’ programs at Michigan, Pratt, USC and Sci-Arc. (Money is not a concern) 

I know there are a lot of threads on Michigan and Pratt and I’m still very unsure whether I need to pick ‘Michigan’ or ‘New York’,as the city and it’s influence definitely have an impact on pedagogy. I am definitely leaning towards choosing Michigan or Pratt and I hope I could receive help through this forum on informing my decision better and answering my questions- 

1. I am very keen on Pratt and Michigan of those acceptances. As Pratt being in NYC, I believe has an edge in terms of learning and also the job factor and the overall experience might be more engaging in a fast paced and packed schedule. Also Pratt has ‘Starchitect’ sort of work and their portfolios seem more appealing than Michigan students in terms of complexity. On the other hand michigan offers a wholesome university experience, with options to do certifications in real estate and the FAB LAB facilities stand out.

2. how hard/ easy is it to land a job as an architect on graduation? Does Michigan’s degree get an edge? I intend to work in NYC and cannot sacrifice that for anything else.

3. How employable are graduates from both places? 

4. Pros and cons of choosing Pratt institute? 

It would really help me with this discussion as I would need to affirm my place to study in the next few days. Also any insights on USC and sci-arc would also be welcome. Thank you in advance

Mar 31, 20 7:21 pm

I did Michigan for grad and had no problem finding a job in NY. I'm at KPF now. The thing about Michigan, job wise, is that you're leveraging the networks of your professors, who have a range of connections across the country. Architecture is relatively small profession, and almost all of the professors will offer their range of connections to help you out, if you ask. This is exactly how I got my position, so I can personally attest. 

And another thing about Michigan is space. I'm making assumptions about the facilities at Pratt, but I know at Michigan, you have ample space to spread out on the "third floor" of the architecture building, where studios are housed. 

There might be some really great reasons to choose Pratt over Michigan, but I don't think job prospects in the city following graduation are one of them. 

Apr 1, 20 8:35 pm  · 

hey Laurila! 

Thank you for your insights. Really happy to see your comment. I attended the UMICH open day (virtually) and it really is a great place for education and the possibilities are endless considering cross pollination between other related fields and the student experience there. Really feels like a strong community. But the only concern seems to be the design studios and the quality of work produced by students. (Which is very important)

Michigan’s work really seems plain and not ‘exciting’,  even with all the great faculty and facilities.  Though in practice this sort of work might not be always the case. But at least at grad school I hoped there could be more challenging ways to create architectural designs, especially with that kind of industrial grade equipment available for students. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I think Pratt’s studios in this sense are a clear winner. 

Also, could you estimate how much a masters graduate architect would earn in the US? considering having done their bachelors in architecture along with one year experience working as an architect? 

Apr 4, 20 1:06 am  · 

For me, I think the design work which emerges from Michigan reflects a wide array of disciplinary interests, aesthetics, and just overall priorities. It can either be a good or bad quality, but it is a build-your-own-adventure type of school. I say that because there are a number of professors where I don't love their work and I don't love the work which comes from their studios. But then, there are many professors whom I love everything they do. When you say the work feels plain, it feels like an aesthetic judgment, and I'd push back on that claim. Like the work is so diverse, that not all of it will interest you fully. 

I think schools, like Sci-Arc and I'm assuming Pratt might be in a similar vein, define architecture a bit differently, and a bit more dogmatically. Schools with a specific "style," with a specific "look." And if that type of look is important to you, then it sounds like Pratt will be a better fit for you.

Apr 5, 20 8:32 pm  · 

i'm in nyc. tbh, my impression it that pratt (arch) does not have the best reputation. there are plenty of schools here and at best it's probably somewhere in the middle. parsons seems to be more in tune with its fine arts program. this "exciting" work you're talking about is also quite out of touch with the job market you're concerned about. a lot of people tend to view pratt's program as "out there," and not necessarily in a good way. they will say this is the starchitect/genius culture of the school.....  this is just my opinion though, based on observations of the types of firms i've been at here. the columbia, parsons, and city college students i have worked with are all stellar. seems to me students graduating from umich are more desirable from an employer's standpoint.

Apr 6, 20 9:24 am  · 

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Arizona State University, University at Buffalo and University of Arizona.

Which one these should i pick up for Master of Architecture program? And which one of these is preferred considering all aspects.. job opportunities, Do we land up in good jobs early, payscale, how good is the course and curriculum, location and overall ranking?

Apr 8, 20 12:37 am  · 

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