WUSTL March 2+(2.5years) vs USC March1(2years)


Hi everybody.

Anyone can help me out?

I am a student with architecture design background but I won't received a professional degree in architecture. Recently, I have been accepted to both programs and I don't know how to pick. Both programs seems to be very good for me.

The first one is WUSTL March 2+(2.5years) .I know that WUSTL rank higher than USC in DI ranking. But my concern is the st louis city is not as big as los angeles.

And the second one is USC March1(2years) , which I also want to go. Although I cannot find any information from DI ranking(except ranking No.4 in west region), but it has a really good location, and when I have time I can go to visit UCLA or Sci-arc when they have some show or lecture. 


So, could you please tell me which one is your choice?Please let me know your opinion. 


Thank you very much!

Mar 28, 13 8:54 pm

Hi goldhammer,

I was in a similar situation with you a few weeks ago, considering between USC and Syracuse. I was also rejected from WUSTL, just to say that I have researched about WUSTL too.

The biggest difference between USC and WUSTL, i think, is that USC's graduate program focuses strongly on the relation between architecture and urban elements. As you can see in their student works publication link below, many of their projects are case-studies investigations of buildings in the urban context, specifically that of Los Angeles. They also have a good reputation for integrating computational/parametric design into their projects and actually they tried to build some of these kinds. (google Bloom by Doris Sung or Alvin Huang...) Besides, the location of USC is great too. Let alone what you'll be able to see in LA, there are also numerous great works in the nearby San Francisco (works of Herzog, Mario Botta, Renzo Piano, Richard Meier,...etc..) Plus a cozy weather that could allow you to go out more and whenever you want to.

In terms of reputation, WUSTL is obviously in a higher rank than USC, though both of them are all well respected schools. I think any school that shows up in that ranking of DI is good enough, regardless of its precise ranks.

Mar 28, 13 11:41 pm

Sorry, I forgot the link of USC's Student Works:

Mar 28, 13 11:49 pm



Thank you so much for your long answer! I have been out for a few days so I just noticed your reply! And thank you so much for your link to the USC student work which I cannot find on the USC website!

I haven't compare the student work yet, and I heard that USC is really famous for parametric design(but I also heard the March 1 studio in USC is a traditional one). I agree with your idea about location, and one of my friends who is studying in an IVY school told me that the following stuff.


1 USC is much more stronger than WUSTL in location, because the internship experience is really important for an architecture students(but some of my friends also says since the UCLA and Sciarc students are much more stronger than the USC students, so actually it has weaken the USC's advantages in location)

2 WUSTL is a really good place to learn and study. And it also has the international studio which is a semester long in europe or south america, which the USC one is like a field trip

3 and actually the USC area has a high criminal rate since it is close to a dangerous region in LA


So I am still trying to figure out which school I am going to choose. 

Have you made your decision?Which school did you choose finally? 

Mar 31, 13 10:02 am

Don't worry about the DI rank - it's meaningless. I don't know a lot about USC as an architecture school, but I do know that studying in a major city is a huge advantage in terms of your access to architectural culture and to the latest advances and most well-known practitioners.

Mar 31, 13 10:34 am

Hi goldhammer,

I've made my decision to choose USC over Syracuse, IIT and UIC. It's the best option for me, in terms of finances, program length, location and curriculum.

You mentioned the insecurity of the USC area. I've also heard of that on collegeProwler. But there are also positive feedbacks about the working efforts made by the school to ensure you're safe. Never been to the US, I'm not quite sure how "safety" is defined over there. But basing on my personal experience: raised up in an asian developing city, 7-year living in an infamous neighborhood full of drug dealers (specifically next door neighbor to one of them) but never had any single trouble, I believe if we're prudent and wise enough then everything'll be alright.

So I think security shouldn't be considered a big enough factor to dismiss such a good school like USC.

WUSTL is a really good school. But I hope we'll meet this Fall in LA :). Wherever you choose, I wish you good luck! Please let me know of your decision when you made it.

Mar 31, 13 11:41 am



Thank you so much for your comment! I also think the location is pretty important. I will think about it. And I also heard that the USC don't have the 3 year master of architecture which is comparing in the DI ranking so that USC is not on the list.


Thank you once again!

Apr 2, 13 12:19 am


Thank you so much. And which Asian Country are you from!?!?!!!! I am also from Asia~~!

Yeah, one of my friends also tell me the same story , and he told me that there is not a 100% safe place in America, so just forget the security stuff.

I also hope we'll meet somehow! Thank you so much and I will definitely tell you which school I am going to after I made my decision!

Apr 2, 13 12:39 am

I think both universities would make the best choice when it comes to pursuing a professional degree in the architecture stream, which makes choosing in between these colleges slightly tricky. So, make use of location as a determining factor to choose your final option.  

Apr 2, 13 1:30 am

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