Columbia GSAPP VS. PRATT for M.S. Architecture and Urban Design?



I got accepted to both universities, Columbia University and Pratt Institute for MS Architecture and Urban Design. Pratt offered an schoolarship. I don´t know which school to choose. I have heard Pratt has an artistic direction and Columbia has more structure and theory.

I know Columbia is $$$ I´m looking for fundinding althought I have savings and family support . Money may not be the problem. Both in NY but diferent zones.



Can you help me with the pro´s and cons? WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Thanks a lot!


Mar 19, 13 2:44 pm

are they both one year?

i mean, Columbia is kinda the bees knees for UD my friend. Pratts program is like a year old. Just saying.

this isnt architecture. this is a specialty field. Both will be great. Columbia will open more and better doors. 

Mar 19, 13 7:04 pm

I'm doing MsAUD at Columbia now.  From what I've heard from friends at Pratt and faculty that teach at both schools, Pratt's urban design is aesthetic, experiential, formal, and object based.  Columbia's urban design focuses on urban issues, geography, community needs, and competitive advantage of a region. The program is a healthy exercise in context and restraint of excessive architecture - extremely research and site analysis heavy.  The third semester allows for a bit of that architectural exploration, as you travel abroad to a specific site and usually have real clients.

I must admit, the most difficult thing about MsAUD is occupying the same studio space as MsAAD and third year M.Arch students, who explore things like the architecture of a volcano that has cold water shot into it, or architecture created for and by ants and flies - for certain studios, or the somewhat resolved designs of museums or cemeteries - for others studios, that produce some killer images and models.  I mixed a bit, as I took 4 visual studies and seminar with Kenneth Frampton in addition to the required UD, and produced excessively for 'Digital Modeling for Urban Design'.

If you want to see my UD work done at Columbia, I've posted it here the studio projects are labelled, and 3 of the other projects (the jellyfish, the Lebbeus study, and encoded matter) are visual studies or DMUD, also done at Columbia.  Aesthetics have been very important to me, so Columbia's UD program was helpful in bringing urban strategies and a different way of thinking to the forefront of my brain.

I couldn't help but to write a long response - I've dedicated the last 10 months to MsAUD.  hope it helps.

Mar 20, 13 1:39 am

thanks @sparkle! I agree with the open doors....

@Ara Hovsepyan

Thank you for the comment, very complete and it really gave me the general idea of the program. Congratulations on your stunning work! I liked that you also mix visual arts/modelling. Was that part of the MSAUD program? or was optional to take because Im really into that! willing to learn!

I just got another acceptance letter from AA (March Urbanism & Housing) any advise? I guess AA is more like Pratt (experimental, art etc). Although the prestige of AA is something to consider.

Im comming to the open house on April 4th at Columbia, hope this helps to clear my mind though Columbia seem like the right option.

Last, are you considering working on NY? Is that difficult for foreign people? because I would like to work after the degree for at least 1 year before returning to my country. So it seemed that in London for example, is not that easy to get a job after graduation. Any comments?


Thanks thanks thanks!!!

Mar 21, 13 5:43 pm

@ Ileyan - It's optional.  Your summer classes are set, but keep an eye out for the 'Visual Studies' and anything else you might like that's offered in the fall and spring.  Also, as far as I know, MsAUD is quite similar to Housing and Urbanism.  Make sure you're not confusing 'Housing and Urbanism' for the DRL 'Architecture and Urbanism', which produces the parametric, more visually stunning work.  Either way, grad school will be intense - so good luck!  Whichever program you choice, I'd like to know how it goes when you're in it.

Mar 21, 13 11:20 pm

Hi Ileyan,

I got accepted to Pratt for MS Architecture and Urban Design. Please let me know if you are joining .

Mar 22, 13 12:20 am

Hi Ileyan

I got also accepted to the program in Columbia and Pratt and I accepted my position in Columbia. Please do let me know if you are joining Columbia, both ways I wish you the best.

@Ara Hovsepyan 

Thank you very much for all the information you provided, it helped me as well. 

Apr 4, 13 4:03 pm

btw... here's a thread about GSAPP's open house:

Apr 4, 13 5:26 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: