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Princeton vs. GSD

remedios

I have yet to hear back from MIT so... these are the two programs I am deciding between at the moment. I would love to hear a little banter about the relative merits of each.

Have at it.

 
Mar 15, 06 9:49 pm
Stewart Hicks

Have you visited both/either?

Mar 15, 06 10:03 pm  · 
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Archinecture

Come on, it's no question, Princeton all the way. It is a way better school that GSD, if you are seriously interested in learning something. Now, if you are interested in having some crappy ass east coast superior attitude, then go to the GSD (I'm not saying that everyone at the GSD is that way) they both have amazing faculty, facilities and prgrams, but I would take Princeton over the GSD in a heartbeat.

Good luck!

Mar 15, 06 10:29 pm  · 
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oldirty

I think the GSD is the place to go if you want to be involved with architecture on a more 'traditional' level, while Princeton is the place to go if you want are considering being involved with architecture as a field or knowledge, not just as a career. And this isn't a judgement call. There use to be an old stereotype about certain schools and the types of graduates they produced and Princeton was known for producing teachers. I think the Princeton graduates I have met were really preoccupied with how architecture fit into the world and considering other ways that it could fit into the world, while the GSD was more old school and less critical about architecture IMHO.

You're lucky to have to choose between those two schools.

Mar 15, 06 11:10 pm  · 
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o d b

archinecture, I think that's a little unfair--we could probably get in a big argument over which school produces architects with bigger "crappy ass east coast superior attitudes" (and there might be a couple more to throw into the discussion as well)

remedios, they are of course both great schools that have different strengths based on size, focus, resources, locations, etc. and hicks is correct in asking if you have visited them--that's probably the best way to get to know the different schools and how you might fit in there (and also the relative ego sizes of their respective student bodies).

if you have specific questions about the schools, you should ask before this turns into the typical "this school sucks" "no your school sucks" "no way my school kicks ass" blah blah that these discussions usually become

Mar 15, 06 11:14 pm  · 
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newstreamlinedmodel

How’s this for a crapy-ass attitude:

If you have to ask… go to Harvard

If you don’t know the difference already… go to Harvard

If you aren’t really, really cool already … go to Harvard.

No really though.

Remember the end of Apocalypse Now when they finally get to Kurtz’s compound? Princeton is like that these days except it’s not really Marlon Brando, but this other fat old guy who kind of looks like him and the guy who Stands in for Denis Hopper actually looks more like Elvis Costello.

“I don’t see…any method here …at all, sir”

It’s a tawdry little bit of spectacle but what do you expect out in the jungles of Jersey?

If you do go in there just remember that bit about “the code is almighty” for if you don’t make it out and that even the jungle wants him dead.

You just have to decide whether you’re Martin Sheen, Fredrick Forrest or that other green beret guy who never came back.

Mar 16, 06 12:58 am  · 
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remedios

i'm not asking what's wrong with what school or which school sucks more- i'm wondering what people might think are the strengths of each. i've visited both and intend to visit them both again.

Mar 16, 06 1:01 am  · 
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Elimelech

remedios everything I say you can ignore as I have not been to either school... but

as I mentioned here http://www.archinect.com/forum/threads.php?id=33323_600_42_0_C

Many of my friends that have attended those schools feel like Princeton's theory is about 10 years behind, and out of touch. That is all gossip, for what is worth.

From what I have seen (from stuff published and their own marketing documents) Princeton's stuff seems pretty weak to me. I agree with one11 that Yale and the GSD will provide you with a larger class and thus more options.

Whatever you choose best of luck to you, I am sure you won't regret your decision as all these schools are among the best out there.

P.S. What are you passionate about? That may help us help you better. I can tell you MIT has some really interesting classes and trips with a social conscious, Yale just instituted that sustainability specialty.

Mar 16, 06 7:51 am  · 
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aml

basic but useful differences:

princeton is a smaller school, the gsd is bigger [quantity of students].

princeton has an undergraduate degree in architecture, the gsd does not. but there are arch and art history classes for undergrads in other concentrations.

harvard lets you access mit classes, which increases your choices. but as a harvard student, you will be last choice at mit classes [same for mit students at harvard].

my advice is that you consider these and also look at the specific faculty you would be working with. both school will have big names as visiting professors, but look at the ones that will be there all the time. what is their research?

Mar 16, 06 8:51 am  · 
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aml

also interesting to know: sarah whiting + ron witte have moved from harvard to princeton. also, yves alain bois, although he's not quite at princeton but at the institute for advanced studies.

Mar 16, 06 9:05 am  · 
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RickyBobby

In my limited experience you are more likely to experience a "crappy ass east coast superior attitude" from a Princeton SOA student or alum than a GSD one.... by the way I probably have one of those attitudes but consider myself one of the few from the GSD that does...

Sarah Whiting was good but all Ron Witte's students work looked like his.... i guess you can judge whether thats a good or a bad thing.

http://www.wwarchitecture.com

Mar 16, 06 9:22 am  · 
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THREADS

Also interesting: when a well respected faculty member moves from one school to another it’s usually more related to receiving tenure than anything else.

Mar 16, 06 9:57 am  · 
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5

seems to me like
gsd produces more successful practitioners
princeton produces relatively more theoreticians/academics

Mar 16, 06 10:22 am  · 
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RickyBobby

another thing to consider might be the finacial package you get. when I was applying a few years ago, Princeton was giving a lot more money out than the GSD. Tuition use to be basically free to SOA students, altho I think that has changed andnow some have to pay something around 7,000/year. A Princeton person might be able to enlighten us. What I can say is that most students at the gsd after grants etc... pay around 15-20 g's a year for tuition. Most, if not all of that can be picked up in loans but still....

Mar 16, 06 10:41 am  · 
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Stewart Hicks

Yes, it does seem as though you could use some enlightenment.

Mar 16, 06 11:00 am  · 
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5

oh, yeah. the money really should settle it.

Mar 16, 06 11:07 am  · 
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RickyBobby

yea you're right an extra 50 g's really shouldnt play into the equation. sorry for being so naive... i mean it is architecture after all. we dont do this for the money just so we can "enlighten" people to the benefits of good design. stew, it be great if you could enlighten me a little bit buddy...

Mar 16, 06 11:14 am  · 
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Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

Uhh ... go to the place that's cheaper, of course. The thing is, with all the East Coast schools, you will see the same people in juries at GSD, YSOA, PSOA. Peter Eisenman's jury this past fall had Stan Allen, Sarah Whiting, and Mark Wigley. The thing is, all ivies thrive on genealogy ("a" school has "b" professor who studied at "c" school with "d" professor who has studied at both "a" and "c"). If you go to the GSD, you will deal with Yale faculty, although I think the connections between Yale and Princeton are tighter than they are between Yale and Harvard.

Also, the GSD is the second poorest school at Harvard (next to Harvard Divinity School, of course) -- a PhD student at the GSD told me that recently.

Mar 16, 06 11:25 am  · 
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Stewart Hicks

It was a joke, not intended as an indifference towards money, rather the notion of a "crappy ass east coast superior attitude.” The money thing was added by 5.

As someone firmly entrenched within a ‘self-defeating insecure Midwestern attitude’ I think it’s funny that Princeton’s reputation is perpetuated the way it is. I think it does a disservice to the value of the education offered here. I don’t think I’ll try to dispel any myths, as I’m no advocate either way, only observe their formation and continuation with a skeptical eye and hope that those considering the school will do so as well.

Mar 16, 06 11:30 am  · 
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Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

These posts sometimes get ridiculous. I have been on Archinect for over a year now, and I still marvel how people use posts to either share the "difficult" choice they may have between a couple of top-tier schools, or to disparage these same schools. My favorite dilemmas are often from those who have to choose between lesser-known schools -- I admire them for embarking on their career for the pure, unadulterated love of architecture, as opposed for the unbridled search for a brand name diploma to add on to their resume.

Also, there are myriads versions of this post throughout the Archinect site ... research those, because those people are probably at either of the schools you are considering.

I'm ranting, yes.

Mar 16, 06 11:41 am  · 
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aml

SMSS: i agree, but also, this is the first of potentially many comparison posts, once people start getting admissions and have to decide.

it would actually be more effective to just do a 'princeton' post, a 'gsd' post, etc, one post per school, and then alumni could go ahead and give their input on pros and cons. that way you would get a 'princeton vs gsd' followed by a 'gsd vs yale' and a 'yale vs princeton' [just using ivies as an example- insert any school name here].

but i don't see that happening.

Mar 16, 06 12:40 pm  · 
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aml

oops, that was meant to be: you would NOT get all those comparison posts.

Mar 16, 06 12:46 pm  · 
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SuperHeavy

someone else can search the archives but threads suc as those were started last fall for a number of schools all by one person. They quickly sank to the archinect abyss.

Mar 16, 06 3:04 pm  · 
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THREADS

smoky...poor in what sense? compared to Harvard Law and business? well of course.

Mar 16, 06 5:19 pm  · 
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Leidio

this is an asinine debate. there is no formula for comparing princeton to harvard, and if you dwell on vague, intangible details then you will spend your graduate career second guessing your decision, and will miss out on what the school you did chose has to offer you. you've got to simply visit each school and determine which one seems right. everybody in the architectural community, especially those implicated with harvard, princeton, and yale, will give you different opinions and different morsels of gossip. you will receive relevant education at all of these institutions and many others as well. to make that education meaningful is entirely up to you.

Mar 16, 06 6:40 pm  · 
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d-t

....bored....Paradigm shift among debate of pedigree selection for post-(graduate) studies. Which fellowship would you consider if you have the two choices: Fulbright Fellowship or Rome Prize Fellowship?

Mar 16, 06 7:30 pm  · 
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Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

threads ... poor as in "GSD does not get a lot of funding and may not be able to provide as many scholarships to incoming students as it would like." This is endemic to all professional schools, no matter what university they happen to be affiliated with.

Mar 16, 06 10:39 pm  · 
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o d b

Hey smokety I think it's wrong to assume that those of us attending ivy league schoos are not doing it for the 'ubridled love for architecture' --many of us w/ architecture undergrads came to these schools because we thought it would offer an educational experience worthy of our love for architecture, and worked really hard to get here, and assume that the aformentioned heavy debt was worth it just because of our love for architcture. while there may be some opportunists out there coming for the branding aspect, there are just as many of us just trying to give ourselves a great education and take advantage of the great professors and resources provided by the school.

Mar 17, 06 8:56 am  · 
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newstreamlinedmodel

bridle, n.

1. a. The head-gear of the harness of a horse or other beast of burden, consisting of a head-stall, bit, and rein, by which the animal is controlled and guided. to give a horse the bridle: to abandon control of him; so to lay the bridle on his neck. to keep a horse up into his bridle: to keep him up to the full speed allowed by the degree of restraint in which he is held by the bridle. to go up well to his bridle: to be a free goer, not to hang back at the pressure applied.

Mar 17, 06 10:32 am  · 
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Sean Taylor

Simple.

You want to teach. . .Princeton.
You want to work for SOM. . .GSD.

Easy as that.

Mar 17, 06 11:37 am  · 
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Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

o d b ... yes, you're right -- and yes, one's love for the profession and discipline does not necessarily exclude them from applying to the east coast schools, and of course, they work hard to get to where they are. I too attend an architecture ivy (although for a completely different reason and program), and I'm just amazed how the majority of school posts deal with comparing/disparaging one ivy against another -- i'm curious to hear about what is happening outside the ivy circuit and the LA-Berkeley vector.

All good ...

Mar 17, 06 11:38 am  · 
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BOTS

"i'm curious to hear about what is happening outside the ivy circuit and the LA-Berkeley vector."

Bartlett vs AA anyone? Same shit different country.

Mar 17, 06 12:06 pm  · 
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brand avenue

tyvek, exactly

Mar 17, 06 4:06 pm  · 
 · 

dohhh!!!!!

Does the SOM application come with the diploma?

silly, silly.....

Mar 17, 06 4:13 pm  · 
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RickyBobby

tyvek,

a better way to put that,

you want to practice architecture...GSD

you want to talk about architecture...Princeton


and interestingly, I only know three people that work or have worked at SOM. All three went to Princeton.

Mar 17, 06 5:15 pm  · 
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PROPHET OF DOOM
Mar 17, 06 6:11 pm  · 
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snooker

Get a Job....! In Architecture! Drawing Toilets and Lavatories!

Mar 17, 06 6:31 pm  · 
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5

well, 38 posts on the topic of HARVARD versus PRINCETON. who the hell is out designing the built world?

Mar 17, 06 6:59 pm  · 
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THREADS

have you talked about drawing your line today? no just kidding. Stan is very interested in making architecture.

Mar 17, 06 7:36 pm  · 
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newstreamlinedmodel

Indeed, just the other day he was taking about how someone ought to be doing more of it.

Mar 18, 06 11:44 pm  · 
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lifeform

get over it / heres the bottom line. GSD and Princeton are both good schools full of smartchitects.

1. GSD is bigger and more factory-like, BUT it has more intense competition amongst students and more variety of architecture prophets.

2. Princeton is smaller and more intimate, BUT it has less diversity.

But the funny thing *and I know this i shocking* but you can find people just as smart (or dumb) in other schools.

Both gsd and princeton offer the potential to be an architect or a teacher. Dont choose your school thinking that they are going to tell you what you should be. If you are doing that, than you are turning any school you go to into a factory through your expectation.

Mar 19, 06 12:43 am  · 
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j-turn

I think that the GSD/ corporate vs. Princeton/ academic charicature is now well out of date. The latest generations at both schools have moved away from those characterizations.

another thing to consider is that gsd is also a school of landscape arch and urban design, so there are opportunities to cross study in those fields. The architecture department at GSD is also more ecclectic. Princeton, by virtue of the size of its faculty, is more specific. If you go to princeton, you're pretty much assured that you will have access to studios with Liz Diller, Eisenman, Reiser, Paul Lewis .. etc. but not too many others beyond the regulars. At the GSD, they bring in a wide range of interesting people, but your luck is tied to the lottery - which is one of the frustrating sides of being at a bigger school. At the GSD (speaking from experience) one has to be proactive - there are lots of interesting people and opportunities, but its really up to the student to take full advantage.

Mar 19, 06 6:50 am  · 
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marketfair

On a side note, this is Eisenman's last year at Princeton. Also, there have been rumors that Diller might not be around much longer... Nonetheless, Stan does seem to be bringing in an interesting cast of characters - WW are surely a welcome addition to the school. It's probably only a matter of time before RE Somol gets signed on. Good or bad (which is it?), things seem to be happening at Princeton, which is a pretty big deal for the school when one considers how small of a place it is.

Mar 19, 06 12:22 pm  · 
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netizen

marketfair--the diller rumor is totally untrue. she wont be leaving princeton beacuse of her tenure. she has said that herself. it is true that eisenamn is leaving. but allen is bringing in new critics---sejima and nishisawa are there now for this new japan studio. and some rumors of pretty intersting new critics coming in but i wont speculate because theyre rumors.

Mar 19, 06 2:53 pm  · 
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anatomical gift

netizen, you seem to be an expert on all things ivy league. May I ask where you get all of your information?

Mar 19, 06 3:35 pm  · 
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netizen

no expert, and i usuaully make sure to note that most things i say are what ive heard (just like everything else on this massage board)

as for the above information, i have 2 friends at the school now, one of whom was in diller's studio last semester. of course what she told me could have been untrue, although i dont see why that would be.

i did go to an ivy league (not princeton--was rejected like most people) and happen to work with people from all the ivies. i suppose my info comes to me the same way it does to everyone. also directly from the schools. but what i put up on this board im pretty sure of. if any of it is wrong, id be happy to hear it...

for example, there was a rumor here that all students in the three year program at princeton get full tuition. i called the school and found out that wasnt true---only about 2 or 3 get fuill tuition, (one or two might get full tuition PLUS stipend), and most 1st years get 75%. paul lewis confirmed this when i visited. i tend to call the schools directly, especially did when i was applying myself. they give out more info then you might think, especially if you tell them there are rumors circulating...

Mar 19, 06 4:40 pm  · 
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newstreamlinedmodel

don't believe her, she's totaly yanking your chain dude. We all get full tuition, and huge stipends, and free beer, a new car as a siginging bonus, and pretty much what ever else we want (don't even ask about the groopies, it's horrifying). Getting into Princeton is as close as architecture gets to winning the lottery or playing basket ball for UNLV.

I couldn't be more hooked up if I was blowing lines off Zaha's cleavage.

Mar 20, 06 12:21 am  · 
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netizen

its probably somewhere in between. just the idea that princeton gives that much money to some students is pretty amazing. pretty much no school can match it. except cooper, but thats undergrad.

Mar 20, 06 2:31 pm  · 
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mirrored

Actually, Rice gives full tuition and frequently gives stipends as well.

Mar 20, 06 3:20 pm  · 
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newstreamlinedmodel

Indeed, everyone should apply to Rice, if even just to have a bargaining chip when it comes to financial aid “Gimme-mine or I go to Huston”

And it doesn’t sound like a bad school neither.

I would recommend always asking for more money. It never hurts and sometimes it works.

Mar 20, 06 5:39 pm  · 
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remedios

does anyone know how much princeton usually offers to MArch AP students?

Mar 20, 06 11:45 pm  · 
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