University of Washington (UW) or University of Minnesota


I know a lot of people are deciding between these two schools.  Please share what you like and don't like about each program.

Apr 2, 13 10:26 am

Washington.  Easy.

Rain or ice box?

Normal course layout and some good practical electives at Washington.  Check out the new curriculum for Minnesota.  Used to be 4 years, on quarters, and is now 3 years, on semesters, and seems fairly loose and oddly organized.  They tout it as avant garde.  Whatever.

Apr 2, 13 11:15 am

Both deans of architecture are pushing for more experimentation into blending an educational experience with some sensible real-world knowledge. I think Minnesota does a better job advertising and bringing in local architects to help teach classes, but the experimentation of the M.Arch path there is a bit off putting.

For the matter, I got my B.Arch at U Oregon, and lived in Minneapolis right after school, and now live in Seattle. I think its more of a question of where you could see yourself practicing after you graduate, as both schools are going to give you some great local connections and a jump into that city's workforce.

Also, don't know if this has any impact, but AIA/AIAS is much bigger at UM/Minneapolis than at UW/Seattle

Apr 2, 13 12:52 pm

I think Minnesota does a better job advertising and bringing in local architects to help teach classes, but the experimentation of the M.Arch path there is a bit off putting.

Well said, a 3 to 3.5 traditional semester based M.Arch. would have definitely fetched my interest, especially being in a dynamic place like Twin Cities.  However, they were once doing the bread and butter program in 2+2 form, with 2 years being the catch-up and 2 years being the regular M.Arch, for a total of 4 years, in quarters (exactly like what Georgia Tech had).  Yikes.  Now, this supposedly award-winning curriculum is all over the map and it's hard to trace studio and tech sequences.  Too bad.  They could have swung the pendulum half-way and created a more sensible M.Arch. for the state's big university.  Georgia Tech did just that - 3.5 using a summer, and on semesters.

Apr 2, 13 1:31 pm

If the flight crew doesn't seem to know exactly where they are going, it's probably best to re-book on another airline.

Apr 2, 13 1:36 pm

My sense was that Renee Cheng really has a strong vision for Minnesota's program.  She is working with AIA and professionals to improve efficiency and the relevancy of architects in the field through new ideas in education, and new ways of thinking about contracts, for example.  

Apr 3, 13 8:43 am

It's your call.  People have given you their opinions.  If you look at their site, it kind of brazenly tells you that they don't want to be linear, yet some of the really good schools still are ... in terms of progression, and not necessarily content.  Someone's vision might remain just that, or it could turn into something.  It's not a guarantee.  The only thing I could see is that UMinn. probably gives you better access to Twin Cities firms and that maybe there are fewer people considering that metro for work than Seattle, from which UWash is the home town school, but there is still apparently more competition for jobs.  On paper, UWash looks like the better program and I've worked with good architects from UW.  Don't know any UMinn grads.

Apr 3, 13 11:27 am

At uw Seattle your guaranteed paid summer internships according to their website sounds like a good deal to me if u want Idp hours, experience , money

Apr 3, 13 11:32 am

Who are some educators you are excited about at either school?

Apr 4, 13 10:23 am

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