M.Arch II | Yale or Princeton?


I have been admitted to both programs with similar funding (Yale slightly higher but not much), and after a month of extensive research, I am still confused. I come from an undergraduate program that is more towards the practical end. My plan for the future is to practice for some years (ideally in Europe, I had one long internship there before), and then also enter the academia (might do that in Asia, which requires a Phd degree potentially.) My thoughts on the two schools:

Yale: larger class size and program size, might mean one has more options for electives? The design studios focus more on the practicality.

Princeton: very selective student body and faculty, which means it is relatively small. Theory heavy. The design studio focus more on experimental and technological stuff.

My questions would be:

For Yale: is the new design research component in the program similar as a thesis, in that students get their own advisors and select their own topics of focus? How many Yalies enter the academia or go to Phd degrees afterwards (since I do not have a lot connections so I don't know)

For Princeton: Would the focus on avant-garde experiments hinder the students' focus and training on design capabilities? Would some old-school pedagogies or focuses still have a place there?

I welcome any thoughts! They can be random and not addressing my questions :)

Mar 30, 21 1:28 pm

Regarding Yale's Post-Pro program (which I was a student of):

Many decades ago Fred Koetter became concerned that post-pro students didn't have as much cohesion and didn't integrate into the school as much as the M.Arch I's. Post-Pros are put into the Advanced Studios with M.Arch I's who have spent a year already bonding together. So he started (and was the professor of) the Post-Pro studio in the first semester to try and build an opportunity for Post-Pros to connect together before being dispersed in the M.Arch I Advanced Studios. He then added a course in the first semester of the second year to try and keep them together. Fred left the school in 2014 and passed not long after. This is all a legacy of his ideas of the program and edited by Ed Mitchell (now at Cincinnati). The course is very open-ended. 

From my class of 17 students, a few have already taught studios at other schools and I believe more will in the future. 1 is currently in the PhD program at GSD. Other years have similar stats. 

Mar 30, 21 2:43 pm  · 

Thank you! Those are very insightful points.

Mar 30, 21 4:25 pm  · 

Hiii, that's such nice Q&A. I have similar questions and I'm really curious about your decision and experience at Yale or Princeton. I'd really appreciate it if you could update what you think!

Apr 11, 23 9:40 pm  · 


I am currently a first year in the M.Arch II program at Yale. The design research essentially is a thesis. Students pick an advisor (or advisors, you can pick secondary advisors too) in the first semester of their second year and they work on topics of their choice. Each student gets $2,000 research funding. From the people in the year above, I see that frequency of interactions with the advisors differ widely depending on the interest of student and advisors. I think it is being discussed if it could be an option for post-pros to do 2 semesters of thesis studio in their last year instead of 1 advanced studio and 1 thesis studio, but not too sure about this.

In both my year and the upper year of post-pros, there is an evident interest in academia in at least half of us. I think it is a good environment to go both ways. 

I wasn't trying to decide between Princeton and Yale and I don't know too much about that program. I just heard from a few people that the class size is a defining difference, depending on what you want out of the grad school experience. I think you should definitely visit the buildings if you have the possibility. In any scenario, congratz!

Apr 12, 23 4:00 pm  · 

go to princeton, yale is overrated

Apr 14, 23 3:41 pm  · 

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: