M.Arch I Advice


I am a recent college grad with an interest in pursuing m.arch 1. I would really appreciate some practical honest advice for applying to grad schools. Please refrain from responding if you simply want to scare me away from architecture :) 

I have a bachelors in art history, which to my understanding is fairly common amongst m.arch 1 applicants. I have taken many studio art courses in college (drawing, painting, printmaking digital design etc). A basic question I have is many m.arch 1 programs require architecture history and physics at the college level, how might I go about fulfilling these requirements once graduated? community college? Enrolling for a single course at state school without credit? Would be helpful if anyone who pursued M.Arch 1 had advice on how they fulfilled certain requirements before starting grad school. 

Ideally, I would have wanted to do design discovery or one of the summer architecture programs this year but covid has changed my plans. I definitely do not want to be naive before investing time and money into an m.arch. Was looking to those programs in order to decide if architecture was something I should pursue further. In the mean time, any suggestions for literature on architecture/design history I should read as a beginner? 

Finally, I have been looking into the Los Angeles Institute of Architecture & Design (LAIAD) Grad Prep program. As someone without previous design experience, this program seems quite useful. Maybe even for simply figuring out whether architecture is my path? Anyways, if anyone has opinions or testimonies about this program, that would be very useful! 

Thank you for reading all of this! Any general advice on applying for m.arch 1, especially from those who pursued with a non-design background, would be greatly appreciated ! 

May 22, 20 8:50 pm

Hey I hope you do go into architecture . Regarding design discover or summer arch programs and since you mentioned LA I would suggest Sci Arc's program. (Even though they are very different from the usual norm they will focus on the technology side a lot which IMO as the profession evolves will be very technology driven.)  

So if you want a bridge course I would suggest looking into Sci Arc's program . 

Secondly if you do end up picking to go into architecture, then you would need how to draw and brush up on basic trig / and math as that would be your bread and butter for the first year courses regarding structure. Also brush up if you can in photoshop or photo editing software and Indesign. Since you will need a portfolio while applying . 

Yes several schools do require Physics and Math but its not all schools . You could fullfill them from anywhere *even online (this was before pandemic) and I am sure even now you could do that. Regardless personally architecture math isn't that bad specially now .

Good luck on your journey.

Graduated 4 years ago from Pratt (accepted at Sci Arc) and currently employed at corporate firm, so that is all the honest info I can give you :).

May 23, 20 1:23 am  · 

All of this sounds great. You clearly understand the right steps to take before applying to architecture schools.

For the pre-required courses on architectural history and physics, yes, you can take them at a community college. You could also enroll for a specific course at a state school, but make sure that it’s for credit so that you receive a final grade. Architecture schools want to see proof that you mastered the course content.

Career discovery or design discovery programs are a useful way to explore how much you like architecture and if it’s the right path for you. I haven’t heard anything about the LAIAD program, so I can’t weigh in on it. 

Here are three good introductory books: Francis Ching’s Form, Space, and Order, Reinier de Graaf’s Four Walls and a Roof, and Jean-Louis Cohen’s The Future of Architecture since 1889.

Best of luck!

May 23, 20 8:37 am  · 

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