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Undergraduate Programs: Cal Poly SLO or UC Berkeley (HELP!)

Jsomoza1

Hello! I am a recent high school graduate and a SLO local. I was lucky enough to be admitted to Cal Poly's B.Arch program and Berkeley's unaccredited Architecture program that leads to a B.A., which I have decided I would definitely pursue a M.Arch after completing my undergraduate degree (if all goes accordingly). I recently saw a similar thread of a student in the same exact position as me, but I have a few of my own questions and I would appreciate anybody's perspective on the topic. I have never been exposed to the industry directly and I am quite ignorant to the realities of the field as I am just a high school student.

Which program will have the best ROI and future job opportunities? If I am committed to pursuing higher education on the Berkeley path, is that better looked at than Cal Poly's B.Arch on the employer's side? Is it actually as common as they say for Berkeley students to get into top M.Arch programs? Lastly, I was looking at survey responses from students who have already graduated from these programs, and it seems that Cal Poly grads don't get accepted into the same top graduate programs as Berkeley grads. Why is that if Cal Poly's program is much more revered?

Thank you so much if you read through all of that! I would appreciate ANY insight from professionals in the field. I have been researching non-stop ever since I found out, but I am still unable to come to a decision.

 
Apr 22, 20 9:44 pm
Haha Hadude

I wish students would stop trying to decide based on "revere" which likely means rankings.. every ranking list is different.

for example: https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2020/architecture

https://www.di-rankings.com/most-admired-schools-architecture/

https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-architecture/

All different ... now that this is out of the way. Cal Poly students don't need to go through an M.Arch program because its a b.arch program. I suppose you could go for a top post-professional program, but those are very difficult to get into. And yes Berkeley students are known to get into Ivy+ programs. What I'm trying to say is that if you attend Berkeley for undergrad and say the GSD for grad school, your resume is going to long outlast those rankings. But, that's just like my opinion.. man

Apr 23, 20 12:34 am  · 
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Jsomoza1

Thank you for your reply! It made me reflect a little bit more on what should be prioritized when making this decision.

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kmskt

my brother! I'm in the EXACT same situation and I am still stuck deciding between these two schools. I posted the same question a while back and managed to get dozens of replies, here is the link: https://archinect.com/forum/thread/150191489/undergrad-uc-berkeley-or-cal-poly-slo-sos-help Hopefully this helps! Also, let me know which one you choose!

Apr 24, 20 11:15 pm  · 
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kmskt

oh shoot, I just realized this might be the post you saw earlier...... anyways, im with you (still) horrifically divided between the two!

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Jsomoza1

Haha, I was referring to your post! Thank you so much for posting your own situation because this thread doesn't seem to be very successful...Sadly, I have so many questions that are unanswered and I am (still) indecisive in deciding. Just realized we only have one week to commit. Are you leaning on one over the other?

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kmskt

I found portfolios from undergrads for both arch programs and the Cal Poly kids make some incredible stuff, they have almost exclusively arch classes and because they are on a quarter system they get to do a lot more work than Berkeley grads, HOWEVER, a degree from Berkeley is usually pretty valued in the Bay Area and can help in finding jobs outside of architecture, overall Berkeley has a lot more flexibility and job opportunity on the whole (include grad school prospects)

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Jsomoza1

Honestly, I appreciate you so much!! Thank you for sharing this with me. But what's the verdict?? Have you decided?

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Jsomoza1

Oops, completely forgot I asked you that question on my initial reply.....So sorry, totally didnt mean to attack you for an answer haha

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kmskt

no it’s alright! i’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately and i believe that if i am truly committed to studying architecture, then Cal Poly is probably the better route. If you see the class of 24 pages on IG and facebook, there are very few people majoring in arch at Berk whereas Cal Poly is flooded with arch majors and people looking to switch into arch...... I like the idea of going to a school where my major is what the school is known for

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kmskt

i also saw that Cal Poly arch students completed projects for reconstruction at Paradise, the local pier, a center on campus, and they received a lighting grant due to some research students had been doing..... overall the undergrad kids seem to be way more active at Cal Poly than Berkeley

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kmskt

anyways, this is just my opinion. i’m most likely going to commit to cal poly, and i’ve met A LOT of other arch majors who are declining Berkeley to go to Cal Poly, so it’s not that strange apparently. I might see you on campus in the fall, good luck with your decision! hopefully i could have helped you!

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Jsomoza1

You have definitely helped me with your own perspective! I too am leaning on Cal Poly atm, but I'm waiting to hear back from alumni to reassure my decision before any commitments are made. Hopefully I'll see you too in the fall if Ms. Rona allows!

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Apr 25, 20 5:58 am  · 
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Jsomoza1

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Sep 14, 20 2:50 am  · 
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