M.Arch in AA London or UC Berkeley?


Hello to all,


 I'v been accepted to two very different M.Arch programs abroad (I'm an international student) - the AA school in London Sustainable Environmental design M.Arch program and the UC Berkeley Studio One M.Arch program.

 The two programs are very different, but does anyone has an opinion which school offers a better M.Arch program, or other considerations to choose where to go next year?

 Thanks anyway

May 5, 13 4:27 pm

Do you intend to practice in the United States/do you need a professional degree?

May 5, 13 6:18 pm


Exactly.  You're going to be asking a lot of Americans, and Americans like the San Francisco Bay Area.  As for London, I've been and I can do without it - depressing and pretentious.  Since this is your first exposure to architecture, be forewarned that Berkeley's graduate program, even the 3 year, is way more theoretical and current development oriented, than it is "bread and butter."  But, since you are applying to the AA, you probably don't want "bread and butter."  And, if you came to the colonies, you could economize on your spelling in words such as program(me) and colo(u)r.  Also, kudos for spelling Berkeley correctly.  Even the smartest people sometimes spell it Berkely.  Being American, I'd go to Berkeley, and then take extra construction and structures classes in the summers between at one of the cheapo Cal State (second tier system) universities... or somewhere.  I have no idea where AA stands on its balance of the ethereal and the pragmatic.

May 5, 13 6:55 pm

Thanks for your responses.

 I'm holding a 5-year BArch professional degree, so it's not the basics but the extras. I do intend to practice in the US, and believe that my current degree is sufficient.

Both programs are short-termed (16 months for the AA program and 12 months for the Berkeley program).

 In European platforms the AA is held in very high regards, and I wanted to seek a balanced opinion. Are there any graduates or MA students from both schools to way in?

May 6, 13 1:13 am

Just go to the AA - there is no comparison to any school in the US - and if you have to ask or infact applied to lots of schools, you don't get it.

May 6, 13 3:51 am

I don't know.  He or she has a B.Arch.  Is it from the States or Canada?  If so, go wherever you want.  It wouldn't matter.  But, if it is a foreign B.Arch., I might be tempted to go to Berkeley.  However, someone who knows the score can tell me if AA is heads and tails above anything in America.  I'm sure it's the "in the spotlight" kind of place, and in London, but how much better is it than the best schools in America?

Yeah, I'd want to practice in the U.S. more than in the U.K., too, if that isn't obvious.

May 6, 13 1:26 pm

Both are great programs! It is true that the Berkeley program is more towards theoretical pedagogy, where as the AA is more towards new age and more tech-y... in the end it's what you would want to get out from it and since you already have a BArch, the MArch would seem to be useless... so if you want to specialize i'd go to the AA... i know a lot of people who went to the AA, and my school CCA has strong ties with it =)

May 6, 13 4:15 pm

I am american - lived and taught in the US - and went to school at the AA - so I know - heads up for AA - its about ideas.

believe in + following you're dreams and passions - money will come - is not about the job in the end but the ideas you pursue that bring you to that place - what you think is your dream today will evolve, change, move only if the place that you study takes you there - else its training you for a job - 

brave new world, I say. well actually: (Huxley, 1931)

May 6, 13 5:11 pm

Great advice TED!

Sep 3, 13 9:18 pm

@sayaleta what did you end up doing? How was your experience and what do you think now when you look back?

@TED what you've said is so true and inspiring. 

May 23, 19 5:43 pm

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