BAC vs SCAD - MArch

Hello Everyone,

I've hit a road-block in my career, I worked for 12 years in the industry but can't seem to move ahead. I need to get my MArch and get licensed. I have been accepted to BAC - Boston Architecture College and SCAD - Savannah College of Art and Design. Both have the IPAL program, I've already done most of my hours. SCAD gives full credit for hours already completed and Boston 1500. BAC Tuition is $50,000 SCAD is $74,000. Which school is the better option, in terms of quality of education, IPAL program and overall reputation? Any insights or advice would greatly be appreciated.



Dec 4, 20 1:36 pm
Non Sequitur

Take the cheapest route (cost + time).  No M.arch is worth 50k+... let alone 70k.  

Dec 4, 20 1:54 pm  · 
2  · 

from what I remember reading SCAD is a bigger shit show.

Dec 4, 20 2:17 pm  · 
1  · 

I'm going to be honest here... You may not like what I am going to say, but I think it's better hearing it before you spend $150,000 on a masters degree at these schools. NEITHER of these programs is worth the money... I'm sorry to say that. They are both pretty subpar universities, and cost way more than your average public university masters degree. This type of money should be reserved for the Ivies and even at that I would be HIGHLY skeptical at investing this money into a masters degree. I would take a year, rework your applications and apply again. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I hope you find a good fit.

Dec 4, 20 2:25 pm  · 
2  · 

That's insanely expensive. I'm with the Crow on this. Another thing you could do is find a university that has instate tuition, move to get that, and then save even more money. If you've worked in architecture for 12 years, can't you go for one of the alternate methods of licensure?

2  · 

Thank you for the feedback. Those amounts listed are actually the total costs of the program. Both are 2 years in duration.

Dec 4, 20 3:26 pm  · 

I would consider getting licensed through an alternative path in a different state if your state doesn't offer this option. It is possible, and some states don't even require you to live in their state. I would also research other states where you would consider living (or where you currently live) and see what it would take to get registered elsewhere.  NCARB has a licensing requirements tool:

Dec 4, 20 4:12 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

I'm going to piggyback a question about grad schools, which may be relevant to the OP as well--does anyone have an opinion of this program: A friend of mine got a M.Arch there, all or almost all remote. He thought it was good. I'm considering doing the same.

Dec 4, 20 6:20 pm  · 
1  · 

I would very carefully study the costs of living with a $150K (really $190K out of your lifetime earnings when you include interest) student debt versus instead going to an inexpensive state school for a non IPAL MArch and accepting another three years of unlicensed employment while you fulfill AXP.

Will the salary bump from getting licensed mitigate the 190K hit?  Probably not.

The fact that an IPAL based licensure path will not be accepted in 15+ states including Arizona, Colorado, and Illinois is also off-putting for me.

Dec 4, 20 6:28 pm  · 
I graduated from SCADs MArch in 2014. Its a great program and has proven award winning talent that comes from their program. AIA Georgia event yesterday had the majority of student awards coming from that school.
I enjoyed the program and the city a bunch! Resources there were pretty solid.
I can only say I enjoyed my time there and cant say anything about any other schools as I didnt go to any others!
I have had friends go on from there to work in a variety of environments including big corporate firms, boutique firms, starchitect firms, starting their own companies, and even bailing all together. More than anything, its up to you to go where you want to go- the university you go to is not the end all.
If you just care about getting any MArch and moving on to licensure, go find a cheaper program. SCAD is damn expensive. I will be paying my loans back for another ten years at least! Wooh!
If you have 12 years of experience in an Arch firm Id imagine you have a well rounded skill set. That said, I would try to find the cheapest program out there to check the MArch box and move on to testing.
Id avoid the IPAL program as your going to be paying another year in testing for them to hold your hand while you knock out your hours and testing. Took me a year to buckle down and study my ass off and blow threw those ARE tests out of school. I think I spent somewhere around 1500 bucks that included some retakes! The most stressful year of my life! Certainly beat the hell out of another year of tuition though!
Get out there and get after it! Best of luck!
Dec 5, 20 10:44 am  · 
2  · 

Thank you so much for that informative response, I really appreciate it. Wise words, you given me lots to think about!


I would do the online degree at BAC. This way you get to live at home, keep your job, and study on the side 

Dec 15, 20 3:50 am  · 

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