Interested in hearing who is applying this year, why, and where. As materials near completion this can serve as a great place to post for feed back.

As for myself:

28 male


Currently work in Aspen as a junior architect and chef at 5 star restaurant 

Previously worked for the Renzo Piano Building Workshop


Schools applying to:





Yet to complete:

Portfolio 75%

Resume 75%

Statement of intent 75%

Jul 16, 12 1:47 pm

21/female/B.Arch USYD'11

currently working at an architecture firm in sydney


schools applying to for M.Arch:







Usyd (back up)


Yet to complete:

portfolio 60%

statement of intent 100%

references 100%

theres still time i guess...

Jul 29, 12 10:38 pm

Now I don't know anything about applying to oversea's school from America. Is the deadline the same (december)?

Jul 30, 12 1:21 pm

most of them are around jan, with the exception of australian unis as the academic yr begins in march. so the deadline would probably be around nov?

Jul 31, 12 8:10 pm


i've never met anyone who worked for RPBW—was that experience awesome?

Aug 1, 12 1:38 pm

Yes the experience was great. I personally had a unique experience though as I spent most of my time onsite and travelling and not so much in the office. RPBW is a unique firm with a unique way of operating/ managing/ designing/ drawing. It was one of the most exciting and passionate and 'european' places I worked with everyone taking on a lot of responsability.

There is poetry,art, and elegance in everything they do. There is rigur and control in the drawings. there disapline in the innovations. And there is a sence of importance and impact in the construction.

It should also be noted that they are very collarborative with everyone they work with. Renzo of course has a lot to say about the overall design but its very much a collaborative atmosphere in the office and with consultants and architects of record.

The biggest takeaway comes from the process of innovating and r&d. This is the main reason I would like to head back to school... to continue developing a process for innovation and studing other elements of architecture than can be pushed further.

The staff never turns over and if I thought I would have an opportunity to advance I would have stayed but I saw the opportunity to gain more experience at another firm and I took it.

Aug 1, 12 4:04 pm

That sounds fantastic, sandhill!


23 male

Univ Cincinnati BSARCH 2010

Currently work in NYC as a junior architect at corp. firm

Schools applying to:



(UT Austin or UMich?)

Yet to complete:

Portfolio 50%

Resume 100%

Statement of intent 0%

Letters—haven't asked anyone yet.


Portfolio is coming along well... thought I think I will have just as much professional work in there as I will stuff from my undergrad (if not MORE so). This is because I have had the good luck to be involved in alot of design work at my firm. Also, I've grown alot from working professionally for 2+ years... my stuff that I've done in the past year at my firm is miles better than what I had done in school. Hoping application committees won't be miffed by that. Trying to get a personal competition done so I can put that in, but putting the extra hours in on that is difficult most nights.


Aug 1, 12 4:48 pm

31 Male

Kansas State University - BArch 2007

Currently work at small design firm in Cleveland. Previous work experience includes New York and Dublin, Ireland.








% complete

Portfolio - 75%

CV - 95%

Statement of Intent 50%

Questions: When is everyone beginning to actually apply? Is there any advantage to submitting in September rather than Nov / Dec? Are you formatting your CV/resume as part of your portfolio or separate? What percentage (roughly speaking) of your statement of intent is about your research focus (thesis) and what percentage is about your qualifications? Any help is appreciated.

Aug 7, 12 2:16 pm

Yeah good question. Every accepted essay that I've read is different but the one constant is the supported series of ideas that convey who you are, how you think, how you work and what your intentions are...

From what I've seen there is no formula. Thats where the art of architecture comes in:

Start with an idea

support the idea

make the idea strong

make the idea convincing and beautiful

Aug 7, 12 4:12 pm
Kevin P


20 male

BsArch UIC

Student at UIC, no work experience.

Schools applying to:







Yet to complete:

Portfolio: 100% but about to restart it because its bugging me so 0%

Resume 0%

Statement of intent 0%

I guess I'm a little behind, but if I don't finish everything on time there's always next year. I'll have a lot of time since I most likely won't have a job next summer.

Aug 7, 12 4:41 pm

Post your portfolio, Kevin—we might have some ideas for you!

Aug 7, 12 6:59 pm

@mtt9999 applying around mid dec, . Some unis, i think its karch,, states on their site that its better to apply earlier than later. as once the spaces fill up they wont offer any more.... although personally i think sept is a bit too early as i dont see why you wouldnt spend an extra month or two touching up essays or portfolio

formatting the cv/resume separately. as i want my portfolio read more as a curated publication rather than a 'portfolio' to get into uni. so i guess it depends what approach you want to take.

statement of intent - 30% qualifications 70% research focus. I think they already know enough of what you're capable of through the portfolio and your resume...i think it would be nice to show them what your personal interests are and what you could contribute to the school rather than a lengthy essay of your life story.

p.s what made you want to apply to mcgill? just curious as its more about living in montreal than the school itself for me. i havent seen much of their student work and dont know how they compare to other unis. although they do seem to have a strong theory department.

Aug 7, 12 10:20 pm


21 Male

Student at LAU, Beirut, graduating 2013.

3 internships (total of 9 months) in Beirut.

Applying to

Yale, GSD, MIT, UTSOA, RISD, and Northeastern.


CV finished.

Recommendations requested.

Portfolio: 0%.

Statement: brainstorming.

I have an old portfolio ( but I'm completely starting over, so any suggestions towards it are more than welcome.

Good luck everyone!

Aug 8, 12 4:16 am


Thanks for the valuabe suggestions there. I am trying to apply about mid Novemeber if possible (GRE scores are the litmus). After more thought I am going to format the CV/Personal Statement/Sample Writings together as one piece, and the portfolio as a second piece. In my hard copy portfolios with no page limitations I will also include my statement and CV.

I agree with you statement of intent percentages... I spoke with a friend at MIT SMArchS program, he said don't be toooo specific during your written statement, as you don't want to sound limiting or not-open to other twists as they may come during your studies. However he did suggest having a focused theme / process during you letter. I want to reiiterate that I am mostly looking at MScience in Arch 1-2 year research degrees rather than an March I or March II - so take these statements as you deem them to fit each program.

As far as McGill. The 1-year history of Theory program looks great for my research focus. McGill has a good reputation. And you get to study under Alberto-Perez-Gomez... plus the city and the cost.

Aug 9, 12 12:42 pm

Another Question: When you submit a digital version of your portfolio to grad schools through your application process - will you have the pdf set to 1 sheet per page, or 2 sheets wide per 'page'? As in: on the screen is there going to be an 8.5x11 or 8.5x22 - full spread?


Aug 9, 12 3:16 pm

Thanks for the advice. Have yet to begin my statements so anything is helpful. Should probably have noted that im not applying to any unis requiring a GRE score so by nature, im placing more emphasis on the portfolio. Submitting hardcopies for 5/6 of the unis, the only one that required a digital (delft) already stated they wanted 1 sheet per page (A4 preferably landscape). quite limiting in layout but i guess it makes sense as they would be viewing the portfolios on the computer screen so no point doing a portrait. So i would probably do the 8.5x22 full spread (but stitched together so theres no visible separation down the middle) good luck!

Aug 10, 12 12:09 am

21/ B.A. Arch (UK) with a year of working experience.

applying to:

Yale, GSAPP, UMich, Rice, Pratt

Yet to complete:
portfolio, sop, references, gre...

Anyone willing to share their stats (ie gre scores and gpa)?

Question: Since I've done a 3yr BA Arch in the UK, should I apply to the 2.5 or 3.5yrs MArch?

Good luck everyone!

Aug 16, 12 10:17 am

hello everyone!

23/female/ B.Arch(5yr) 2012/ India

Currently working as a teacher + research assistant with some previous work experience in professional field

3.95 GPA, GRE in october

Yet to complete:

Portfolio: 60%

CV: 40%

SOP: 100%

References: 60%

Planning to apply to(yet to shortlist):

GSD; Bartlett UCL; Sci Arc; ETH Zürich; Institute of Applied arts Vienna; GSAPP; Princeton; UCLA, Cooper Union

Query: Can one send in the GRE/ TOEFL scores after all the other application requirements have been sent or do we have to send them with the other stuff itself?

Also Is an early application helpful for scholarships/ funding?

Aug 17, 12 1:32 pm

hey snigdha I am in the same boat as you, did my B.Arch from india. Tell me how did you evaluate your percentages of B.Arch into GPA ? did you use some evaluation agency or something ? 

Aug 18, 12 5:16 am

hello stolid!
my college uses the GPA system itself fir grading...

Aug 18, 12 10:51 am

Aah..okay...cause most of the universities still use percentages and class systems....

Aug 18, 12 6:10 pm

Hi all....


27 F, Comm Studies at Cal State LB, No architecture background whatsoever.  I do have an art/design background, but it is mostly self-taught and through extracurricular courses.

Thinking about applying to:






Portfolio - 20%

Resume - 90%

References - ehhh, gotta start thinking about that

GRE - Studying, taking in October

Statement of Intent - Have a few drafts/versions, need to fine tune

Aug 22, 12 12:53 pm

No more "20__ M.Arch Applicants Commiserate Here"?!?!


22, Male

B.Ends UBC '11

Working for small firm in Vancouver, leaving in September to travel + write for design blog.


Schools I'm considering (will probably only apply to 2, max 3):

U of T - not huge on the location, but it's not terrible, much cheaper than the others on my list, seems to have some good faculty, I know a number of people there that are happy

GSD - good location, have liked their pedagogical approach for a long time, great faculty, clout

Columbia - great location and faculty, seem to be turning out young architects that I'm interested in pretty relentlessly, some of the work seems to be overly focused on computation as a form of architecture, class size is maybe too big

Princeton - location is pretty good, solid faculty, apparently good odds of financial aid if admitted, like the small class size, not super impressed with recent work from students (also not particularly familiar with it), seems a bit more insular than GSAPP and GSD



CV - 90%

Portfolio - 20%

SOI - 40%

@sandhilldesign, i'd be interested in hearing about what you did at RPBW and how you got that job. I assume it wasn't part of the Fondazione programme?

Aug 24, 12 5:58 pm

22 Male

B.S. Arch UW-Milwaukee 12

No real work experience



University of Oregon

University of Washington 


I have a SOI and portfolio, but both need major work. I tried to apply last fall while in studio, rushed the whole process and it turned out pretty shit. 

Portfolio - 20%(?)

SOI - 0%

CV - 90%

Does anybody know if letters of recommendation are kept on file by the school or will I need new ones if reapplying?

Aug 26, 12 9:15 pm

23 Male

BS. Civil and Env. Engineering - Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

Internship with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Chicago office)

Construction experience in Peru

Now working as junior designer at mid-size NY Arch/Design firm - lots of great exp.

I have a little portfolio put together, needs work and updates. (30%)

Resume (80%)

SOI (0%)

LOR (0%)

Starting to really dive into this program research. Interested in the following:

- U of Oregon

- U of Michigan


- UT-Austin

List above will probably change soon and often.

Looking for advice on portfolio most of all. Coming from an engineering degree (although I took arch. elec - Revit/SketchUp) don't have extensive examples of design work. Anyone have anything to say on the subject?

Also, didn't development too many close relationships with undergrad professors; very large class sizes, not too personal. Any recommendations there?

Any, any, any advice is WELCOME!


Aug 27, 12 7:35 pm

Who was incharge of the internship program at SOM chicago this summer?

Sep 6, 12 3:25 pm

Camhard, didn't you apply last year? Your name looks familiar.

Sep 7, 12 9:38 am

24 female - Iran

B Arch (5 years prog.) from university of tehran

2 years of full time work exp. + 3 years part time ( 5 different architectural offices in Tehran)

I have applied to a few different places in the last two years but didnt take it seriously - I was accepted in the Bartlett but couldnt pay the fee, and to the A.S.G programme in the BTU in cottbus germany, which was affordable but suddenly cancelled the class!! (3weeks before the start of the semester!!)
I was also rejected at the RCA, EPFL, and from Vtech....

so I am planning to apply to the USA universities this year and take it seriously this time. have a TOEFL test in November, and planning to take the GRE about the same time...

portfolio is 50% done - meaning that I know what I want to put in it but I have to make the template all over again and put it nice and neat together....

SOP is 90% done - I am going to use my last years letter, just do a little retouch maybe.

Recom letters 80% done - have them already but plan to get at least one more.

I would like to know if any of you could help me choose the right places to apply to? what should I base my choice upon? 
I am totally confused by the number of universities available in the US! :)

Sep 10, 12 4:04 am

@sandhilldesign it was a structural engineering internship, i was working for Bill Baker, the structural engineering principal

Sep 10, 12 8:18 am

27/ F/India

B.Arch/ 3 years work experience

toefl: 100

gre: 145v/ 158q / 3

I am planning to give gre again in oct just started preparing.As per my qualification which M.Arch program will be better 2 years or 3 years?

Sep 11, 12 12:22 am

Does anyone have some sample sop would be helpful in writing mine.

pls help

Sep 11, 12 12:37 am

If I have an undergrad degree in architecture (bachelor of environmental design) is it a bad idea to include non-architectural related pieces in my portfolio?  I have a good 10 or so pages of condensed design work but I'm thinking about adding a bit of my photography (which is better than my current design work) to bring the page count up to 15 or so.  Any insight into this?

Sep 11, 12 2:45 pm

Hey zenza, check out the university's website and look for their portfolio specifications. Some of them want to see non-architecture projects in portfolios. 

Sep 11, 12 7:13 pm

Anybody here applying to Portland State University for M.Arch? I'want to apply but they currently aren't NAAB accredited. Right now they're just a candidate, but their review is this month and they'll get the decision in Jan or Feb 2013. Should I apply anyway and hope they get accredited next year? Any suggestions?

Sep 11, 12 7:17 pm

27 male

Woodbury  - B. Arch '10

Schools applying to for M. ARCH II: UCLA, SCI-Arc, USC, GSD, Yale

%  complete:

Statement of Purpose 65% (undergoing peer reviews)

Portfolio 60% (deciding what personal projects to include)

Resume 90% (mostly up to date, maybe needs some tweaking)

Letters 0% (received the ok, haven't sent the go ahead e-mails yet)

GRE 60% (need to review one more section and take a buttload of practice tests, exam scheduled for early october)'

Been working at a small design studio for the past year and a half after graduation.  Looking to go back to school for another year or so for my m. arch ii.  Future in teaching perhaps, also a move to a bigger city, more opportunity, desire to learn etc.

Sep 13, 12 5:02 am

@zenza: most of the students ( as far as I have understood ) would include art or design works other than architectural projects in their portfolios. I would say that's a good idea actually.

Sep 13, 12 11:39 am

Cheers Noypi and Shiva.  Wasn't too sure if they'd see it as a plus or just wonder what the hell I was doing in design school for 2 years.

Sep 13, 12 12:51 pm

30 male/Canada/Waterloo'11


 Schools applying to for M. ARCH II: Angewandte (Vienna), SCI-Arc, Waterloo (last resort)

Statement of Purpose 0%

Portfolio 70% (needs to be completely redone.. including many projects to reflect the program of the schools I'm applying to.  Most of my internship and school projects don't cut it.)

Resume 90% (need some updating)

Letters 0% (haven't decided who to ask.. Won't need them for Angewandte)

GRE 0%

Sep 16, 12 8:20 pm

21/female/ BS in Arch

No professional experience


3.75 GPA

GRE: 158V 164Q 4.5W

Yet to complete:


Portfolio: 70%

CV: 90%


SOP: 30%

References: 90%


Planning to apply to:






Wash U St. Louis

Sep 20, 12 2:08 pm

How are applicants coming along?

Oct 4, 12 12:13 pm

Pretty good... whole portfolio should be done by December.

here's a draft of my folio. you'll have to open it in the presentation mode and hit 'single page view' in order for the layout to work. i'll have the competition, four work exp. projects, and 2-3 undergrad projects (in that order) when it's all said and done. is it weird to order them chronologically? it seems like most people put their work experience at the back of their portfolio.

criticism and encouragement are welcome!

Oct 4, 12 3:14 pm

almost there.

Oct 4, 12 7:10 pm

Holy shit jk3hl... your portfolio just destroyed my self-esteem... What schools are you applying for? Cause if we're applying to the same school then I should just give up now lol. 

But back to the subject lol. I highly recommend against ordering your projects chronologically. You portfolio started out with a full-out sprint but fizzled out in the end. kinda like an action movie with a badass intro fight scene but no finale. I recommend putting your best project in the beginning and your 2nd best project in the end.  

Oct 4, 12 10:10 pm

Wunderfully presented professional work jk3hl.  Looks like you were given a lot of responsibility right out of school.

I wish I could render like that.  Would you mind leaking any insider rendering secrets?

Oct 4, 12 10:45 pm

thanks noypi! I'll definitely reorganize things... i'm applying to IIT and GSD i think. maybe yale or cornell.

british_gent, one little trick i really like is sharpening the renderings. in photoshop, if you:

1)flatten your final rendering, and duplicate it
2) filter > high pass > 2.0
3) blend that layer to 'hard light'

you can bring out a huge amount of definition and detail. sometimes you don't want that... so I usually mask away certain parts of the sharpen layer.

Oct 5, 12 12:18 pm


I really liked your projects - stick with the simple style, it's really eye catching. personally speaking I think you should reduce the pages for the second project. too many pages for one project will tire the viewer. 

all in all I should admit that I too lost my self steam. I am not sure if I still want to apply to the schools that you are applying to!! 

Oct 5, 12 2:41 pm

25/Male/B.Arch University Of New Mexico

3+ Years profesional experience
   -1 Year in Albuerque New Mexico, Firm dedicated to architectural design and sustaintability consulting - Design, Energy/Daylight/Performance Modelling
   -2+ Years in Quito, Ecuador at a top firm as a project mananger, lead designer. Lots of good design experience and construction. 

-3.85 GPA at UNM. 

Working on portfolio...
GRE in a week...
Working on SOP...

Considering (I have to narrow down the list)

How many progrmas should I apply to? Any recommendations? I am thinking of narrowing down the list to 8-10 (is that too much)

Harvard GSD
UT Austin
U Oregon
U Washington
UBC (Canada)
UC Berkeley

Oct 16, 12 12:47 pm

27/F/New Zealand

BDes Interior Archicture

Applying to Syracuse, Berkeley, CCA, Michigan, Sci-Arc. 

Portfolio, Reco, Transcripts still to come. 

Sitting GRE in 2 weeks!

Good luck everyone

Oct 17, 12 8:22 am


22 Male

B. Arch RPI, GPA 3.88

2 Internships

GRE: V: 163 (91%)   M: 167 (96%)   W: 6 (99%)

Applying to

Yale, GSD, Princeton, Columbia, (MIT maybe)


CV finished.

Most recommendations requested.


Statement: brainstorming.


Any comments welcome/helpful on my portfolio! Planning on editing portfolio some, and have to go through the text again, its been a while for that.

Going to the open houses for most of them so let me know if ill see you there. 

Good luck everyone!

Oct 17, 12 9:04 am


Nice portfolio with lots of good diverse work. My only critique would be to show more process. You have a nice finished product but grad schools are going to want to see how you came to this, what your creative process was, your problem solving skills, and how you think more than what you think.  

Oct 17, 12 12:32 pm


I agree with the previous comment. I would also add that your portfolio seems to dense with information. 50 pages is long and with that density of information/graphics/text it might make the reviewers tire. 

Oct 17, 12 12:38 pm

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