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Would appreciate insights on these schools

Matilda

I know there are no cheap or affordable schools in architecture, but how do State schools in the Midwest compare to other grad schools? What is your opinion of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, North Dakota State University, or perhaps the University of Minnesota? If affordability is a concern, which master program is the best? It would be really appreciated if you could provide some wise advice.

 
Jul 9, 22 1:09 pm
XCKR__311

Don't have my M Arch yet but did receive my BS in arch from the UMN and had considered NDSU prior to undergrad so can at least speak to the schools, and I know/work with people who have attended both. 

To your main point regarding cost concerns, the tuition rates are easy enough to find on the schools websites, but the overall cost of school and cost of living in Fargo would be far less than that of Mpls. Don't know much about Milwaukee's program but a wild guess would say it's cheaper than UMN but more expensive than NDSU, both for the program and COL.

From what I know of the NDSU program, it is solid enough and was pitched to me as a good value when I visited pre-undergrad and as far as I know though it is definitely on the cheaper end of the spectrum as far as most programs go. You are of course living in Fargo, which was a no for me but for 2-3yrs it's probably doable for some since it is so cheap. The people I know who got their M Arch there know their stuff though; I also had a classmate from undergrad who was able to get his M Arch in only 1 year there due to incoming credits and his BS, if you happen to be in a similar position at all. If affordability is the #1 priority to you, NDSU is your best bet.

The UMN's program is solid and perhaps not as technically focused as some would like, but I believe is fairly well rounded and as good reputation-wise as any other middle-of-the-pack school. Of course you get out what you put into it, and I wouldn't say you are screwed for job prospects in other areas of the country or something. You probably have the most opportunity at MN for internships compared to the other locations, if you want to stay where you go to school to work either during or after school. Also definitely would be exposed to more diversity in architecture/urban design in the Twin Cities compared to Fargo which I think has some value. Rapson Hall at the UMN is also great in terms of overall facilities, studio spaces, shop amenities and such, etc.

Jul 11, 22 2:52 pm  · 
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Matilda

Thank you for your response. I appreciate it. There is a lot to like about NDSU, especially its one-year track program

Jul 16, 22 1:57 am  · 
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atelier nobody

Can't speak to ND specifically, but U of M and U of W are both very reputable programs, as are most of the larger state universities' generally. I recommend almost everyone go to the state university where they'll pay in-state tuition - taking on any more debt that you absolutely have to is a BAD idea, IMNSHO.

Jul 12, 22 2:22 pm  · 
2  · 
Matilda

BAD ideas are debt-based

Jul 16, 22 1:52 am  · 
1  · 
l3wis

these are some of the least popular schools you could possibly choose out of what's available in the US. any school you are seriously considering you must absolutely visit in person to see for yourself what the vibe and studios are like.

If affordability is an overriding concern, I would consider

-5 year programs vs 6 year programs
-low cost of living cities
-programs that support co-operative education internship experience
-apply to numerous schools and select the one that offers the most financial aid

Jul 15, 22 1:53 pm  · 
3  · 
Matilda

When it comes to affordability, what are your top picks based on all the factors you mentioned?

Jul 16, 22 1:47 am  · 
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archanonymous

UWM is pretty solid and has a good rep in Chicago.

Jul 15, 22 5:12 pm  · 
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Matilda

I've heard a lot about it

Jul 16, 22 1:59 am  · 
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Aria_

NDSU left my friends very dissatisfied, from what I've heard.

Jul 17, 22 1:26 pm  · 
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OM..

I'm not sure what the costs are or where you are in your application process. 

That said, you should apply to all three and other schools you'd like to go to. If you get a couple of offers you can call/write the admissions office and try to get a better deal. "Look, I got a slightly better offer at school B, but I'd really like to go to school A for this, this, and this reason." 

You need to figure out what school you're actually passionate about. Try to identify the faculty that is doing work you like in each program and go from there. Find out which programs have a culture of hiring TA's so you can get a stipend and a semester paid for.

To answer your question directly: I'm in Chicago and I think Wisconsin has a better reputation. More alumni apply for jobs here and some faculty commute up from the city. UIC is an excellent and cheap Midwest program that has a theoretical edge with design-forward faculty.

Jul 17, 22 4:08 pm  · 
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archanonymous

I would not recommend UIC to anyone for undergrad. Not technical/ practical enough, and they theory they do teach is heavily weighted towards one specific aesthetic style with corresponding hackneyed intellectual justifications.

Jul 18, 22 1:34 pm  · 
1  · 
Matilda

I have already put Wisconsin on my list. I like the school.

Jul 21, 22 2:21 pm  · 
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Matilda

Dear archanonymous OM.. suggested their master program.

Jul 21, 22 2:24 pm  · 
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OM..

Also want to add IIT into the mix. Expensive private school but they give a lot of financial aid. Strong student work (health mix of function and ideas), well known practitioners teaching at the grad level, and many opportunities to get involved with their busy events / lecture calendar. 

Jul 17, 22 4:19 pm  · 
3  · 
Matilda

That's right. It is sometimes possible to afford private schools with financial aid

Jul 21, 22 2:31 pm  · 
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I_DJ

My only advice is not to limit yourself to the Midwest if affordability is an issue. People discuss many good options here, and there are many out there

Jul 17, 22 11:52 pm  · 
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RichardCader

This is absolutely true. I've learned a lot from hanging out on this forum.

Jul 18, 22 3:26 pm  · 
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I_DJ

In terms of affordability, Texas has a lot to offer, although not everyone agrees.

Jul 19, 22 2:36 am  · 
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Aria_

Have you made up your mind yet?

Jul 20, 22 3:48 pm  · 
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Matilda

At the moment, no. I am looking at universities across the country to enhance my chances and am open to receiving suggestions from anyone.

Jul 21, 22 2:15 pm  · 
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Matilda

At the moment, no. I am looking at universities across the country to enhance my chances and am open to receiving suggestions from anyone.

Jul 21, 22 2:15 pm  · 
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