UC Berkeley vs University of Washington


Hey folks! So, I’m currently fielding offers from UC Berkeley and UW, and I’m really torn on my decision. UW has offered me admission in their 2-year program with in-state tuition, and Berkeley has offered me admission into their 3-year program with the first year free. From what I understand, the tuition at Berkeley is more expensive than that of UW but I would be an in-state resident after my first year and there are apparently better opportunities to TA at Berkeley than there are at UW, so I think cost is pretty much a wash, aside from the extra time I’d spend in school. I don’t mind this though, because I love learning.

I’ve heard amazing things about Berkeley’s faculty and I actually had the opportunity to speak with Lisa Iwamoto on the phone, and she was wonderful. She definitely made me feel excited about the school. I’ve also been able to chat with Rick Mohler from University of Washington and he seems great too. Outside of them, though, I don’t know too much about faculty members. I’ve tried to research but not too much info. I’m wondering what the faculty is like at both places. How approachable are they and are they friendly?

Outside do this, I’ve heard the job market is better in San Fran than in Seattle, and that’s definitely appealing because being able to make decent money and live comfortably is important to me. Also the weather in SF kicks Seattle’s butt hahaha. 

On a more academic note, though, I’m extremely interested in affordable housing and its intersection with real estate development, parametric design, creating walkable communities, and sustainable building techniques and materials. I’m wondering if anyone had any insight into which program is better on these fronts? That would be great.

Any advice would be wonderful! I feel like some days I’m leaning toward Berkeley and some days I’m leaning toward UW. I have until April 15th to make a decision so I’m just trying to get all the info I can in the meantime!! Thanks y’all!

Apr 2, 23 7:38 am

Berkeley - I've had co-workers from both schools - Cal is more design oriented,  however many of my PMs are from UofW or Cal Poly SLO - it really comes down to what what pigeon hole you want to go in - Do you want to be a designer, then architect or do you want to follow the production/documentation track to be a Project Architect, then PM? Many designers here in the bay area are from Berkeley and are very adroit with a high degree of sophistication - 

 Weather?, San Francisco doesn't have a summer and Fogust is often the coldest month of the year 

Apr 2, 23 9:47 pm  · 
1  · 

Good to know! I definitely think I’m more interested in design (specifically parametric), but I’m also interested in design justice through housing, sustainable material research, and real estate development! Though the weather is not perfect in San Francisco, I still think it beats Seattle and it definitely beats the cold in Utah where I live!

Apr 2, 23 11:48 pm  · 

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