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MLA 2023 Application Status

otherplacer

Hey everyone!

This thread is for all 2023 cycle Master of Landscape Architecture applicants to share our application status and decisions.

Feel free to ask questions, share stories, and make connections!

Suggested Format:

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated 
  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL 
  • Letter of recommendations 
  • Personal Essay/Statement 
  • Portfolio
  • Schools 
  • Open house impressions 
  • Results 
  • Tips
 
Feb 9, 23 1:33 pm
otherplacer

B.A, Urban Studies and Planning with minor in Climate Change Studies | UC San Diego | Spring 2023

3.83 | no GRE or TOEFL

Letters of Recommendation: All four of my letters were from professors at my school. I TA'd for one, had another as a mentor for a summer research project included in my portfolio and as a PI for a paid research assistantship, another was a professor who taught a Green New Deal Superstudio course at my university, and the last was a well-known architect who teaches within the visual arts department at my school, and who I currently work as an intern for 

Personal Essay/ Statement: My personal statements varied according to school, but a common theme was my focus on urban ecology and a passion for provoking curiosity through the design of "magical" spaces

Portfolio: https://issuu.com/ethan.m.o/do...

Schools: Harvard GSD, RISD, Penn, Berkeley, U of Oregon, U of Washington, U of British Columbia

Open House Impressions: only attended virtual ones, so not too much to say as of yet! Felt really drawn to the culture at U of Washington and RISD, but Harvard and Penn have that global prestige that is really enticing, yet potentially a bit toxic too?

Results: will update in this comment thread as they come in

Tips: cross your fingers.

Feb 9, 23 3:06 pm  · 
1  · 
otherplacer

RISD: got the acceptance call this morning - was such a nice surprise! do not know how much financial aid yet though

Feb 9, 23 3:08 pm  · 
4  · 
otterworldly

Your portfolio is excellent! Congrats on the acceptance!

Feb 9, 23 10:53 pm  · 
1  · 
otherplacer

thank you!

Feb 13, 23 2:17 pm  · 
 · 
otherplacer

in at Penn!

Feb 23, 23 5:21 pm  · 
1  · 
otherplacer

in at Berkeley!

Feb 25, 23 3:43 pm  · 
1  · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

Congratulations @otherplacer! RISD and Penn and Berkeley woww!

Feb 27, 23 4:27 am  · 
1  · 
otherplacer

Thank you @A_leaf_amongst_many!

Feb 27, 23 8:19 pm  · 
 · 
otherplacer

in at Harvard with a full ride scholarship!!! so unbelievably happy right now

Mar 6, 23 5:33 pm  · 
9  · 
aloogobi

that's amazing! your portfolio is really great so all these acceptances are definitely deserved . does full ride mean full tuition or is there a stipend/gra/fellowship or something for cost of living?

Mar 6, 23 6:11 pm  · 
1  · 
fullofbeans

oh wow congratulations otherplacer! 

Mar 9, 23 9:28 am  · 
1  · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

Amazing @otherplacer for GSD, now either a) it won't be a hard decision, or b) completely opposite- a more complex decision. Congratulations regardless, that's a great position to be in :)

Mar 10, 23 1:21 am  · 
2  · 
otherplacer
Day 1 Of Sharing Good Luck Doggy : r/memes

:)

Feb 9, 23 3:08 pm  · 
2  · 
fullofbeans

Hi! Nice to find another MLA person here

  • Undergraduate Degree/ School/ Year graduated  - B.S. Environmental Science, Ohio State 2020
  • GPA - GRE  - TOEFL - 3.56, struggled a bit freshman year but my senior year GPA is much stronger. No GRE or TOEFL
  • Letter of recommendations - professor/thesis advisor, student org advisor, public garden internship advisor, all of whom knew me pretty well
  • Personal Essay/Statement - tweaked it a bit for each school, but essentially talking about my art/science interests, my desire to be in a profession where I can be creative and analytical and also engaged with communities and ecology.
  • Portfolio - highlighted a range of my environmental research, writing, class drawings and photography, personal art and creative work
  • Schools - Ohio State, Cornell, Penn, UVA
  • Open house impressions - OSU felt really welcoming but I also have some bias. UVA's info session was really interesting. I've been impressed by Penn's GND work for a while. Didn't get a chance to go to any Cornell sessions though.
  • Results - OSU admitted me pretty quick which was nice. Just got an email from Penn with an acceptance! Waiting on UVA and Cornell still. I'm excited about Penn but I know I probably won't go unless I get some decent financial aid. I also hear the concern about prestige and the toxic culture that can create. I have OSU as a good option with in-state tuition and that's hard to pass up, honestly. But I'll see what the offers look like at the end of the day!
  • Tips - get started early so you don't have to stress too much. Also don't worry too much about trying to be what you think the program wants, just present your perspective and what you would bring as a student
Feb 23, 23 12:56 pm  · 
4  · 
otherplacer

Congrats on Penn! I just got an acceptance email from them yesterday too - no information about financial aid on my end either though

Feb 23, 23 5:20 pm  · 
1  · 
fullofbeans

Congrats to you too! Maybe we'll see each other at Penn in the fall haha

Feb 24, 23 12:23 pm  · 
1  · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

Congratulations @fullofbeans!

Feb 27, 23 4:28 am  · 
1  · 
fullofbeans

thank you!!

Feb 27, 23 2:18 pm  · 
 · 
fullofbeans

also in at Cornell!

Feb 27, 23 2:19 pm  · 
3  · 
otherplacer

Congrats!! I hear Cornell has a really great program

Feb 27, 23 8:20 pm  · 
3  · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

@fullofbeans, will you be coming to Cornell? Have they offered any financial aid package? 

Mar 9, 23 12:59 am  · 
 · 
fullofbeans

@A_leaf_amongst_many Cornell didn't offer me any sort of funding which feels a little rough, honestly. they've also done the least amount of personal outreach so far. I'm planning to do their virtual open house but unless I'm blown away by something it's probably off my list. still waiting on Penn financial aid, also accepted to UVA with a partial scholarship! so it'll likely be between those two and OSU for me

Mar 9, 23 9:34 am  · 
 · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

@fullofbeans, maybe we will meet online in the Cornell open house. I haven't received any financial aid either and the admissions office seems pretty swamped/ non-responsive to questions about the same. I hope we will know more on 14th. I was reading through the other discussions, I saw someone on an M.Arch forum mention that Cornell offers 20k$ as a basic financial aid package to all and additional 5k$ if you demonstrate further need. Also their funding page mentions if you have offers with financial aid from comparable universities, they might match the offers. Don't know if its for UG or grad school. All the best, UPenn will release financial aid info on 13th right? UVA partial scholarship sounds cool.

Mar 10, 23 1:29 am  · 
 · 
fullofbeans

@A_leaf_amongst_many I hope you're right about the $20k aid, but since architecture and landscape architecture are in entirely different schools at Cornell (AAP vs. CALS) I feel like the funding process would be completely different. I could be wrong! Hopefully the open house will be helpful. And yeah, Penn official letters/funding are posted on the 13th at noon. Fingers crossed!

Mar 10, 23 10:57 am  · 
1  · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

@fullofbeans, MLA being situated in the CALS it is able to accept government funding which is not the case with AAP (based on hearsay), so I hope they offer more than 20k$ aid. Although its just hopeful speculation. Fingers crossed!

Mar 10, 23 12:07 pm  · 
 · 
fullofbeans

@A_leaf_amongst_many were you able to go to the open house? I'm curious to hear someone else's thoughts on it

Mar 14, 23 11:02 am  · 
 · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

@fullofbeans, I did attend it. The curriculum and program are definitely well rounded and the active research projects and collaborations are fantastic. They seemed pretty inflexible on offering any sort of funding the first year, with TA/RA options that have tuition fee remission limited to second year only. And to top it off, additionally painful uncertainty of STEM designation (makes no sense taking out a humongous loan). My wishful thinking definitely didn't manifest. What did you think of it? Also did you get $$$ from UPenn?

Mar 14, 23 12:44 pm  · 
 · 
fullofbeans

@A_leaf_amongst_many agree it's definitely a solid program and the faculty is doing a lot of interesting work, but the funding options are not great compared to other schools, especially since my program is 3 years. Penn gave me a decent offer, it would be a little less than Cornell for me. not ruling it out until I learn more about funding options. I think there's a good chance I'll go to OSU though, really good program for a much lower price for me. good luck!

Mar 15, 23 12:21 pm  · 
1  · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

Applying for MLA 2

Very grateful for this community!

  • Undergraduate Degree/ Year graduated - B.Arch, 2022, International Student
  • GPA - 9.857/10, GRE - NA / TOEFL - 111
  • Letter of recommendations - From 3 professors, one colleague
  • Personal Essay/Statement - I talked about my interest in understanding spaces, people and nature. Why MLA and why now. Also mentioned how I envision my future model of practice. 
  • Portfoli- Thesis project, 2 award winning competition projects, 2 academic projects
  • Schools - UC Berkeley, Harvard GSD, RISD, Cornell, UPenn, UVA, Penn State, TU Delft
  • Open house impressions - RISD open house, info sessions and portfolio reviews were excellent with the faculty and students very supportive and happy, UPenn's open house was exciting and their faculty's work was the star of the show, GSD was interesting (but current students were slightly visibly unhappy with the course rigid structure and theory heaviness), TU Delft's was also interesting
  • Results - TBD (I'll update in the comments below) 
  • Tips 
  1. Attend as many pre application info sessions, open house events and faculty panels, also portfolio reviews (RISD does have this but I don't know if any other schools offer these). UPenn gave an application fee waiver for attending a faculty panel. 
  2. Start your portfolio early, take at least 3 external reviews from friends and colleagues. Start with SOPs early, writing things down gives a lot of clarity and also guides your portfolio making if you do this early enough, it also helps in narrowing down programs in your school selection. 
  3. Start prefilling application details once you finalize your schools to save time, also making a separate email ID just for applications helps. Reach out to the admissions team if you have any query, they are most of the times quite ready to help and ask for possible waivers- application fee/English proficiency.
  4. Submit one day before the deadline to avoid confusion over submission times (especially if you are an international student, time zone conversion can create confusion and you definitely don't want that at the last minute). Also while submitting, the application checklists take some time to update and you might require to mail the admissions team to sort it out in time. 
  5. International students who need to give English Proficiency scores (IELTS/ TOEFL) research beforehand which schools absolutely most definitely require the official scores and then only give their codes while enrolling for the exams. Some schools offer a language waiver if you have studied at a 4 year university course with the language of instruction as English mentioned in your degree transcript. 
Mar 10, 23 2:44 am  · 
 · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

Results- Got accepted at RISD (with a fellowship), UC Berkeley (joke of financial aid), UVA (partial scholarship), Penn State (one year TAship with tuition waiver), Cornell (No financial aid, but hoping to get through an appeal)

Mar 10, 23 2:48 am  · 
1  · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

Rejected at Harvard GSD, Waiting to hear from UPenn and TU Delft
(Fingers crossed and wishing for 13th March to come earlier)

Mar 10, 23 3:09 am  · 
 · 
ODMA

Hi A_leaf_amongst_many. Those are great options you have. Congratulations. A tuition waiver at Penn State is amazing, and I think there is some really interesting work in the department.

You mention above that you noted the GSD students seemed unhappy? I'm wondering if you could elaborate on this a little? I only applied to GSD and UPenn (international student) and trying to make decision between the two for MLA I AP, and MLA II respectively. Fortunately I have no fees to pay at GSD, but not sure what will come of UPenn. Will find out on Monday. Appreciate any help you can offer as I missed the Open House sessions. I was enrolled in a course elsewhere and left, so decided to apply quite late.

Mar 10, 23 8:30 am  · 
 · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

@ODMA, Congratulations on both the admits and the scholarship too!! About the GSD open house, it had a current student panel which was unsupervised by faculty or administration. A few questions were put for them by the attendees about cross registration with Harvard. The student panelists didn't exactly say in the same words but they did mention that the curriculum could be a bit flexible in terms of electives, it's somewhat theory heavy and rigid currently.

Mar 10, 23 11:51 am  · 
1  · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

*cross registration for courses with other departments and schools within Harvard.  

I hope UPenn matches financial aid offered by GSD should you choose Upenn. Still, Upenn and GSD both amazing programs. 

Mar 10, 23 12:02 pm  · 
1  · 
ODMA

Those are fair observations on the programme. I believe it is possible to replace these electives if you can show an equivalence between electives in the GSD and another school. I would hope to take electives at other schools such as HKS and School of Arts and Sciences. Thanks for the info A_leaf_amongst_many, and keep us updated.

Mar 10, 23 5:26 pm  · 
1  · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

Waitlisted at UPenn. I guess that doesn't count since I've read they don't offer any financial aid to waitlisted candidates who are notified of status update changes, if I ever manage to get off the waitlist :(

Mar 13, 23 9:46 pm  · 
 · 
ODMA
  • Undergraduate Degree/ Year graduated - B.Arch, 2016, International Student
  • GPA - n/a GRE - n/a  TOEFL - n/a
  • Letter of recommendations - From 2 professors (also colleagues), one practice partner (UPenn grad)
  • Personal Essay/Statement - My interests are at the intersection of food systems, animal welfare and rural land use.
  • Portfoli- happy to share on request by private message
  • Schools - UPenn, Harvard GSD, ETH Zurich, University of Edinburgh, Wageningen University & Research
  • Open house impressions - Did not attend as I was enrolled in an MLA elsewhere and left quite quickly as it did not align with my interests.
  • Results - in comments below
  • Tips - Many years of research and thinking this through will lead to good results. 
Mar 10, 23 8:42 am  · 
1  · 
ODMA

ETH Zurich - rejected before reaching Department of Architecture by admissions. According to regulations my undergraduate institution is not a university. Totally black and white BS! Anyway.. moving on.

Mar 10, 23 8:44 am  · 
1  · 
ODMA

UPenn - early admit. Do not know anything about financial aid yet

Mar 10, 23 8:44 am  · 
3  · 
ODMA

Harvard GSD - Mixture of Dean's Merit Scholarship, financial aid, and university funds means I will have no fees to pay (or it covers 94% of the fees to be more precise). Quite happy with that.

Mar 10, 23 8:46 am  · 
4  · 
A_leaf_amongst_many

Tough luck with ETH. They are quite strict, overly so possibly :(

Mar 10, 23 12:08 pm  · 
1  · 
almostuniquemediocre

Hi, congratulations on the admits! I'm curious about GSD's scholarship and financial aid as an international student. Could you send me a breakdown of the aid via private message? I still have 2 years to apply and I want a better view of finances. Thanks!

Mar 14, 23 3:04 am  · 
 · 
plantsplus

Hey! I actually applied last year but deferred my decisions til now! Hope it's ok to participate :)

  • Undergraduate Degree/ Year graduated - B.A, 2016, Psychology - McGill
  • GPA - n/a GRE - n/a  TOEFL - n/a
  • Letter of recommendations - From 3 profs
    Personal Essay/Statement - My interests are at the intersection of cultural memory and environmental toxicity. 
  • Portfoli- happy to share - nondesign background, was pretty all over the place, hand drawings, photos, painting, dye projects/textile works.
  • Schools - Harvard GSD, UBC, UofT, Guelph (I'm a Canadian PR and wanted to take advantage of the cheaper tuition)
  • Open house impressions - N/a
  • Results - Accepted at guelph with entrance $, accepted at UBC/UofT with no $, rejected Harvard GSD
  • Tips - Talk to profs if you can! 
Mar 10, 23 10:35 am  · 
1  · 
ODMA

Hey plantsplus. Great schools. University of Guelph looks really interesting and I like that there is a strong agricultural component. Am I right that it's the oldest landscape programme in Canada? In any case those are all cool schools to choose from.

Mar 10, 23 10:39 am  · 
1  · 
plantsplus

yeah that's correct! oldest in Canada and thus largest network of alumni etc to tap into. Really torn on there and UBC right now. Thank you! Your list look super exciting as well. good luck:)

Mar 10, 23 4:41 pm  · 
1  · 
gb416

congratulations. I also applied to the university of Toronto and Guelph. Do you remember when you received an answer? I’m still waiting… :/

Mar 14, 23 7:04 pm  · 
 · 
nicemonster123

Okay loved reading this thread because I'm awaiting my results for MLA fall 2024.

Jan 31, 24 11:17 am  · 
 · 
jingp

Have you heard back from any schools? My friend heard back from UC Berkeley on Monday but I haven’t gotten anything yet.

Feb 15, 24 5:03 pm  · 
 · 

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