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Shittiest schools thread?

kristian96

It seems we got too many threads about the best schools, the ivy's and whatnot but absolutely no threads regarding the bad ones. The ones you should really avoid..

Went to a bad school and wanna share it? Here's your chance!

Let's shed light into which are the shittiest schools and have a laugh at it. In fact, this could be a useful resource in answering all those lazy X vs Y school threads.

Reputation management budget? Not gonna be enough! 

 
Sep 29, 20 5:17 pm
Jay1122

There are no bad schools, only bad students. Even the shittiest school can produce students better than Ivy. If there is a real bad one, probably out of business already.

Sep 29, 20 5:24 pm  · 
5  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

All the trad-nationalist schools.

 · 
archanonymous

What school is teaching nationalism currently? The only I can think of that does traditional architecture are Notre Dame... just because Stern was at Yale forever doesn't mean they have a neo-classical curriculum.

 · 
tduds

Catholic?

I could be wrong re "Nationalism" but I remember them having a fairly traditionalist reputation.

 · 
tduds

Boston Architectural College

*runs*

Sep 29, 20 6:30 pm  · 
4  ·  1
autofireunit

Don't know it very well but I thought it is quite reputable. What is the problem with it?

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thisisnotmyname

We had a former BAC teacher working with us for a while.  From what I understand, BAC has taken a nosedive in recent times. It was better decades in the past. I do, however, think as a college for working people of modest means, it's exactly the kind of place USA academic types always tend to loathe.

1  · 
archanonymous

Probably easier to do a "most overrated" or "most underrated" list than just "shitty" but here's a few:


UIC (University of Illinois Chicago)

Clueless students with even more clueless professors. Still toying with gradient collage renderings and filleted shapes instead of working on developing relevant design skills and concepts or solving real architectural, planning and technical problems.


Cal Poly SLO

Maybe highly rated, but my experience working with their grads was utterly soul sucking. I don't know if they teach the excitement out of them or focus too much on technical issues, but whatever they are doing, it isn't working.


BAC

Self Explanatory

Sep 29, 20 6:35 pm  · 
3  · 
tduds

My thumbs up is for the idea of "most over/under rated", not your specific examples.

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justavisual

SLO for sure...I left an office once because too many of them got hired. Wasn't very much fun/soul there at all.

 · 
sameolddoctor

SLO kids are pretty boring, unfortunately. Great for doing grunt work though...

 · 
tduds

Check the thumbs downs on this thread to see who went to which school.

Sep 29, 20 11:46 pm  · 
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randomised

So far, only fulcrum went to Boston.

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tduds

I was hoping for more drama. Oh well.

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randomised

I nominate the one you went to kristian!

Sep 30, 20 2:09 am  · 
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natematt

Any school that knowingly gouges students with 3 year first professional master degrees regardless of their background degree. 

The schools know who they are.... 

Sep 30, 20 3:02 am  · 
7  · 
Jay1122

I actually don't get your point. What is wrong with offering pre professional March to students from different backgrounds. Many people majors in shits like psychology, English or even women study. Architecture master is their holy grace to right the ship and set foot in a real specific profession.

 · 
muji-pen

I think he means if someone gets like a B.Sc. in Arch then STILL has to do 3 years without advanced standing options. Not if someone comes from an unrelated background

5  · 
Jay1122

oh, in my book If you get a B.Sci in Arch instead of Barch it is your own fault. And I've seen people in my school do that. The reason is, the undergrad school is mediocre in reputation and cheap, trying to build some expertise and then have a Master degree in one of the better ranked schools like ivy or equivalent. Doing an accredited Barch then post professional March2 would be my choice Maybe some people think the March1 is better or short term post professional March2 is not as fancy as March1. Columbia's MSAAD only has 1 year 3 semester. Some people sure would think 1 year ivy is not real ivy education.

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tduds

I'll fully admit that my BS Arch was my own doing ("fault" is a strong word to apply to a 17 year old!), but not because the school was mediocre or cheap. I chose my undergrad because of the school/city/social environment, the degree was a secondary consideration (& I didn't even really understand the differences until my third year). For grad school, I ruled out any >2 year MArch programs, though. I don't need a "foundation" studio with some ex-accountant or BS Biology kid. No offense to them, they had to do in one year what I did in 4, but I didn't want to do it again.

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natematt

I'm with you Jay, it is your fault.

The reality is that a particular set of schools requires a year or two more of education than most other schools when you have what should be a reasonably qualifying degree. I did a 4 year BS undergrad that was very pragmatic. If I had stayed at my undergrad I could have gotten a masters in a year and a summer. I switched to a higher profile school and did it in 2 years, with some credit beyond the normal which let me do more electives (which was great and I'm not complaining about) 

There were particular schools that would have required me to do 3 years.... because they could. 

The fact that a  4 year BA degree is often of little more benefit from this standpoint than a non-related major should be an indicator of how stupid it is. 

2  · 
Jay1122

Those schools just don't want to give you credits. I understand some schools will, while some schools won't. It could be due to various reasons, maybe they are greedy for extra tuition or arrogant to disregard other institute's value. But if you ask me to whip up a defense for schools who does not offer credit, I would say it is because their courses and design pedagogy are designed in succession and conjunction. Taking certain courses out would make the overall pedagogy and education quality incomplete. For me, I would view the extra year as another opportunity to further develop my portfolio before I have to compete in the field. You definitely need it. If you want fast and cheap, just do Barch and be done. Well I don't have a master, so just my 2cents. Can't justify paying 50K per year for some extra design studio courses unless I am loaded with $$. Grad school is more like a vacation to me. I sure want it, but does not really want to pay for it unless I am really wealthy.

 · 
natematt

Not a great defense, but I wasn't asking for one. Seems pretty obviously to be greed, plain and simple.

 · 
Non Sequitur

Some of my criteria to determine if a school is shitty:

  1. Is proudly associated with a religious body and relies on this nonsense to determine student life and policies
  2. Is for profit
  3. Expects students to pay more than 10k per year in tuition fees
  4. Is called BAC
  5. Is called UofT (due to it's poor M.arch feeder arts bachelor degree)
  6. Has no good pub on campus with staff capable of pouring a pint of Guinness

One of these is likely enough (ie. points 1 and 2) in my book to be considered shit.  2 hits of the shit bingo is an almost certainty.  



Sep 30, 20 8:22 am  · 
6  · 
square.

sci-arc. can't speak to instructors and students first hand, but based on the image they project.. yikes. sorry- just not excited to live in this world. great for the third installment of blade runner, though. not to mention, to non's point, no one should be paying remotely close to 46K a year for a "school of architecture thinking;" one of architecture doing is a hard enough sell.M.Arch 2 - SCI-Arc1280 × 720

Sep 30, 20 10:31 am  · 
3  · 
Jay1122

I agree, those projects are pure shit. However, The BAM world ranking puts sci arc master program in #14. Yale did not even make it to the list this year. No logical explanation.

BAM ranking

 · 
x-jla

Hey man, post apocalyptic hellscapes May be in high demand soon the way things are going...

1  · 
natematt

My appreciation for the school has actually improved over time from a output standpoint. I don't think it is as much an apex design school as it tries to project, but it does well with what it gets.... their price point though... oh lord. That's where this critique really hits.

1  · 
Jay1122

Is that where you got the master from? Sci arc? Did they even teach you something remotely helpful that you feel helped you in practice? I am just curious. Anything real apart from those Mars projects or the supposed "Architectural thinking".

1  · 
square.

yeah, sci-arc provides a fine art degree. but it should cost 5-10k a year.

4  · 
natematt

Didn't go there, didn't want to. But I have worked with a bunch of people who did, and honestly they are similar to people from any other school in my experience, but considering they stack up against people I know from much more "selective" and/or "traditional" schools, seems like they aren't doing a trash job to me. Just the price....

1  · 
shellarchitect

I used to think the NCARB exam pass rate tables were a fairly objective way to rank schools.  The problem is that they can be skewed by very small class sizes.  

For example Andrews University is showing pretty good pass rates for construction and evaluation, 88% vs 33% in 2017.  

Since they have a typical class size of 10, its easy for the school to look either really good or really bad.

Kendall college, which just started, has an incredible pass rate, but again super small sample size.


Oct 1, 20 12:46 pm  · 
2  · 
proto

ivies seem to get shit on here, but, according to the pass rates, they seem to be doing pretty well

altho i'm going to attribute that to the caliber of student and not to any training that may have been directed towards ARE tested info at the schools

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shellarchitect

hard to argue that they prob have the best students and professors. Most of the grief is related to tuition i think

1  · 
randomised

Ivies get shit because most people never made it in

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dotbox

UCLA

Oh where to begin. I attended the grad program a few years ago. The day before classes began they slapped an $8,000 "Professional Fee" onto tuition. A year or two later they reduced it, but rather than refunding it to every student they first wanted to give it to one star student who was having financial trouble. So we would've been paying off loans for years for that student to attend. As you can imagine, the rest of us revolted and the faculty came to their senses. 

The atmosphere was the definition of toxic. Because of the lack of focus in the program, every review was just a game of "Gotcha!" where whatever you didn't address - tectonics, programming, formality, etc regardless of the studio brief - was seized upon and you're torn a new one. The attitude mainly put forward by one professor who would dominate reviews - and because being the strongest personality the other jurers would follow suit- seemed designed to humiliate the students. I know reviews are meant to be tough, but the rate of crying and panic attacks from girls and guys was a bit high. This resulted in 6 students out of thirty leaving after the first semester. 

Oh let's see there was a sexual harrassment complaint against a professor while I was there. There were some other professors whose personal lives seemed to color their behavior when seated at reviews together, that's all I'll say about that. I ran into an esteemed professor a couple years later and asked how everything at UCLA was going and she said it was, exact quote, "a shitshow." 

Finally, while the competition between students was not overtly cutthroat, but there was a lot of bad behavior. I knew of students cheating and plagiarizing on exams and papers. I had three models stolen from me during my time there. I knew a student who lied to another about the 3D printer being broken to steal their time slot. Students roaming late at night stealing snacks and supplies off of fellow students desks. Maybe that's not a big deal, but in my undergrad experience,  stealing, whether it was ideas or snacks, was absolutely looked down upon by students. 

Maybe, hopefully, all of this has changed since I've left.

(takes a shot)

Ok that's better. Have a great weekend!

Oct 1, 20 2:58 pm  · 
 · 
sameolddoctor

Was this the "revolt" around 2001-2003? I remember the M.Arch1 was a shitshow back then. I had a good time there, but noticed that certain people who hung out with the profs after hours were always favored, and the whole teacher situation was quite incestous (sorry, I meant family-based)..

 · 
dotbox

No, this was after that. I guess "revolt" is too strong, rather we "soundly rejected" the idea of taking everyone's tuition savings and donating them to one person (while we paid loans on the full amount). The $8,000 fee we couldn't do anything about. It was just one of many "Are you f*cking kidding me?" moments. 

Obviously there were/are some brilliant people at UCLA, but being a  brilliant designer does not necessarily make you a good teacher, nor does it make your institution functional.

Oct 1, 20 5:58 pm  · 
1  · 
axonapoplectic

my opinion on the BAC is that it is a school you end up at, not a school you go to on purpose. However, it’s one of the few places that will give you a chance if you are coming from less than ideal circumstances. Whenever I hear people bad mouth the “quality of student” at the BAC (or any school for that matter) I immediately think you’re an elitist piece of shit.


its one thing if you think the BAC takes advantage of students, that the quality of instruction isn’t as strong as other programs - but shitting on people’s dreams of becoming an architect because they’re at the BAC is not OK.

Oct 2, 20 7:40 pm  · 
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