UCLA or U of Michigan? Undergraduate architecture. NEED ADVICE!!


I am choosing between the Bachelor of Art, architectural studies program at UCLA and the Bachelor of Science, architecture program at University of Michigan.

My ultimate goal is to enter a good school like Harvard, Columbia or Cornell to pursue my Master of Architecture degree.

Which school will prepare me better for graduate school? and how is the program of both schools? Is there any big difference between Bachelor of Art and Bachelor of Science?

I am a transfer student btw....

Really in a hard dilemma now! Advice and suggestion NEEDED!!!!

Apr 27, 13 11:15 am

Yeah.  I've got an opinion.  UCLA JUST added on the BA.  They've been known for only having graduate work over the years.  I looked at what the BA entails.  In my mind, it's weak.  Not only that, it's on the quarter system, which sucks.  It's a better place for the M.Arch. 

Michigan has had the BS for a long time.  As far as overall reputation as a university, they are now about the same.  Michigan's program seems to be more slightly more substantial, though it has been diluted minimally in practicality over the last few decades.  Nah, the BA or BS is just a moniker.  Michigan also uses semesters.  The only advantage I see that UCLA has is LA, with its weather and the metro area.  As for everything else, I'd say UMich.

However, if you are already IN California, then go to UCLA because it's a deal for in-state students.  From out of state, such as neither CA nor MI, go to Michigan.

Apr 27, 13 1:03 pm

UCLA undergrad is STRONG (i graduated from there)

they've sent many students to GSD, PRINCETON, COLUMBIA, YALE, etc.

I never been to Michigan, but LA OWNS MICHIGAN IN so many ways. it's a great place to be in - weather, people, art, culture, architecture, etc. etc.

Apr 27, 13 7:15 pm


How long has it been around?  Their website (from glancing at the M.Arch. curriculum) indicates that the BA Arch is "newish."  You don't get any argument from me that UCLA is a good school and that LA is quite the place.  However, the depth of this program (number of studios, courses, and whatnot) does not seem too deep.  For some reason, the UCs seem to lack meat on their bones in terms of undergrad architectural curricula (that includes Berkeley) and many people choose not to go to Berkeley nor hire from Berkeley for that reason.  The point of going to architecture school, in my mind, is twofold:  strengthening an already inherent aptitude for design and acquiring skills.  I wouldn't want just one or the other.  I recommend that the OP puts the curricula side by side.

Apr 27, 13 7:25 pm

viviarch, per your graduate study interests in GSAPP, GSD, and Cornell...I am currently at GSAPP, which has a history of accepting architecture students from Michigan's program. I am not sure if GSD is the same, but provided the close relationship between Michigan and GSD I reckon that it is. Cornell's program is good as good too, but I have no bases to comment.

On the other hand, both undergraduate programs you mention are quite similar, in fact any undergraduate architecture program that is not B.arch tends to be similar then different, in which I would suggest you don't base your decision on where you hope to ultimately end up. I will say however, most of my friends who completed undergraduate architecture at Michigan loved it. Remember the number one thing is a strong portfolio! I'd suggest you base your decision on going somewhere that will enrich your experience in ways that your graduate schools will not.

Apr 28, 13 8:06 am

Thank you so much for you guys opinions! It really helps my decision a lot!
I think for now I've made up my mind to go to Michigan :)

Apr 29, 13 12:22 pm


If I may ask, what region of the US, or what part of the world, are you in?  Have you in fact been admitted to both schools for years 3 and 4, or was it for another academic level?

Apr 29, 13 6:16 pm

I am in California right now. I was originally from Hong Kong. Yea I was admitted to both schools to third year.

May 4, 13 3:00 am

If you get in-state tuition at UCLA, well .... that's important.  I thought you were in neither state.  They are both good universities, known the world over.

May 4, 13 11:28 am

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