What should I expect from Yarch program at UIC?


Hello all, 

I have made the decision to pursue an M.Arch, I found out about the Yarch program at UIC from this website/form. I do not have any architecture experience.  I am currently a photographer with a B.A in African America Studies from KU. 

After applying I was accepted into the program which starts this July 2024 (next month). I have a few questions; Is it worth it overall? If you've attended what was your experience ? The program is one month in Chicago is $3k enough for living expenses for the month? I am considering staying on campus and bring my car (traveling from Kansas) any thoughts on this? Any advice anyone has I would love to hear it.

My personal goal for attending this program is to become familiar with architectural software like Rino, gain studio experience and use this experience to build a portfolio for when I apply to M.arch programs this fall. 

Jun 11, 24 11:49 am

I’m also attending YArch this year too, I’m really excited to learn all about the architecture history of Chicago! Attending all the way from Mexico!

Jun 13, 24 8:05 am  · 

I did YArch and found it helpful as someone who took a few studio classes in an unrelated undergrad degree. "Worth it" is a personal choice, whether that month is better used doing something else can only be decided by you but I certainly didn't feel like it was a waste of time. You get a good introduction to Rhino and Illustrator workflows as well as the experience of a design project from start to finish, albeit on a very compressed timeline. There are some aspects of the pedagogy I wasn't a fan of and overall a very formal approach to design, but for some people that can be a good thing. I would definitely recommend the program to people making the switch to architecture grad school from a different field. You will also get a portfolio-ready project out of it which is nice. In my experience the instructors were great and all my classmates were super friendly, you can definitely have a good time too. 3k should be enough for a month in Chicago provided your rent is reasonable.

Jun 14, 24 9:47 am  · 

I personally dont know anyone who uses Rhino professionally or any firms that use that software.

Jun 14, 24 10:44 am  · 
1  · 

Many firms use Rhino on a daily basis, and many don't. What matters is that once you learn Rhino (or any modeling software) the others become much easier. 

YArch's a solid intro program and UIC is well tapped in to the Chicago- and beyond- architecture scene. I hate to say "network," but if you go to a couple of events and start some friendships during that month you'll learn a lot about what's possible in the field in addition to the course work.

You'll be comfortable in Chicago with $3,000. You should be able to find a sublet for $1,000 or less. 

Jun 18, 24 4:54 pm  · 

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