advice for masters for an average student


Hi all, 

I'm a Junior studying architectural studies in a university in Asia. The studios are competitive and foreboding and there is not much sharing, just everyone secretly working their hardest and it's tough. I like what I'm doing, but it's never enough. Everyone seems to be doing better than me in terms of design concept, representation technique and software skills. I tried my best but I'm just an average student. 

I think I might be doing the worse out of my cohort... but I'm graduating next fall so I still want to apply to M.Arch I in the US since my current degree is not accredited. My degree is also quite arts based. I was recently rejected to several programs for RA/internships. My whole application is average, perhaps even below average (gpa below 3.4, portfolio average, gre not yet taken,). What do you guys think I could do to make my application stand out? Will working for a few years make my application more competitive? (but my gpa will still remain unchanged). Which master programs should I look into? 

Thanks all. 

Mar 2, 21 10:33 pm

You still have plenty of time and options. By definition, most students are near average. I can tell you that most of the people I've worked for, were totally average students, and they'd tell you that if you asked.

There's a saying: "A's work for C's, and B's teach." 

As for ways to stand out? Go work in an office for a year or two. Better yet, go work in construction. Work on your portfolio. Take some classes to improve your skills if you can. 

Part of being a designer is problem solving. You've got a problem to solve here, so get at it. Good luck.

Mar 2, 21 11:30 pm  · 
3  · 

I'm curious if that saying seems to hold true in your experience for architecture profession.

Mar 3, 21 4:02 am  · 

An interesting observation, In my experience, has been that there are only a handful of graduates in each cohort that get licensed at all. While there are exceptions, licenses lend themselves to owning a firm. I've noticed a large share of the "A" students in studios are typically "designers" who get lost in the artistic side of architecture & have no interest in the business or construction side. Thus they end up working for someone else. I do think teachers in architecture were often times A students though, they found that they enjoyed the possibilities of studio & academia rather than the limits of the industry.

My advice to the OP would be to apply to a handful of programs with realistic expectations of where to apply. There are tons of programs out there who may be interested in your work, average is relative.

Mar 3, 21 10:32 am  · 
3  · 

I'd add to that - learn how to actually detail your design work. That will make you stand out the most - especially where it counts - to your future employers. Obviously still focus on design and theory but take some time to learn how your design will go together.

Mar 3, 21 11:02 am  · 
1  · 

Thanks bowling_ball, I think I will work a year in the field and also spend more time working on my portfolio before applying.

Mar 4, 21 11:54 pm  · 

Also, thanks RJ87, I will look at schools that are at my level. Do you have any programs to recommend?

Mar 4, 21 11:54 pm  · 

Chad Miller, I agree, I want to learn to be more technical and detail-oriented since my portfolio right now contains mostly conceptual pieces... do you have any recommendations how I can learn construction detailing?

Mar 4, 21 11:56 pm  · 

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