what do they teach in you in m. arch ?


do they teach/use auto cad, or solidworks, or revit in architecture school? Or is this something your supposed to pick up on your own? 

ps: any grad school suggestions greatly appreciated as far as personal experience or recommendations go .. 


thanks ! 

Sep 11, 13 2:49 pm

M Arch programs can vary greatly in their curriculum, especially with post professional programs. Different schools emphasis different ways of working. Some explicitly teach specific software, others expect you to pick them up on your own, or at least don't devote whole classes to it.

My personal M Arch experience was geared primarily toward design process and theory, with little explicit instruction on software. However, a lot of technical skill was expected. This suited me well because I learned a lot of those skills in undergrad.

So ultimately you can get whatever you want to get from a program if you chose the right one. Since I don't know what you want from graduate school, its hard to recommend one.

Sep 12, 13 3:05 pm

well, first I'll tell you i am not coming with a b. arch and the tools that I have so far are sketch up, rhino, adobe suite.. i took autoCAD in high school I don't remember much about it besides that i didn't have much trouble with it, I don't remember how to use it though. 

my long term goal is that i want to be an intellectual when i reach my 40s-50s+, I know that architecture is not the solution to my life's journey but I do want to be a professional architect and I feel like if I put in a lot of work, and network hard that I will find the right environments for me. I also know that just as easily I can come out of architecture school and continue being as unsatisfied with existing as I am right now if I don't work hard and network, ending up in a firm and working on projects that don't nourish me. 

So, I feel that the school that I choose for m. arch is going to have a huge impact on where my life's path takes me next.  from your response it seems to me that programs that devote a whole class to a specific software are inferior because that time can be used to teach theory, design process, structures etc. 

I want to come out of a program that focuses on theory, design process, like I said I strive to be an intellectual one day but also I would like to pick up engineering concepts and how architecture works in reality. I was told that sky scrapers aren't really an architectural problem as much as an engineering problem and originally I thought I wanted to design sky scrapers I thought that was the pinnacle of one's architectural pursuit. So I would like to have a foundation to hopefully one day be able to work on large building environments. I want a school that balances the fun with the reality but I am leaning more towards the reality. I want to build physical models and I want to present my work over and over, so I can be an asset to any architecture firm. 

What kind of schools should I be looking at? To be honest thus far I am leaning strongly towards CCA in san francisco because I am a california native and I want to be near the ocean but also I don't have the best undergrad gpa so I don't think I will get into berkely or UCLA. I hear all kinds of weird shit about sci-arc I don't think I want to go there. I am also a little sketched on woodbury and the new school in san diego. I am open to leave california I want a program with good alumni, study abroad, and internship opportunities.


wall of text, your welcome ! =) 

Sep 14, 13 2:53 pm

also seems like I am definitely best off learning shit on my own as far as software goes  

Sep 14, 13 2:54 pm

What kind of schools should I be looking at? To be honest thus far I am leaning strongly towards CCA in san francisco because I am a california native and I want to be near the ocean but also I don't have the best undergrad gpa so I don't think I will get into berkely or UCLA. I hear all kinds of weird shit about sci-arc I don't think I want to go there. I am also a little sketched on woodbury and the new school in san diego. I am open to leave california I want a program with good alumni, study abroad, and internship opportunities.

Yeah, since you have California in your blood, it's hard to get it out of your blood.

As for M.Arch., things have changed so much.  When you said you don't have a B.Arch., I'm assuming you don't have a BA or BS in Arch. either, meaning you have an unrelated degree.

CCA is private.  So are Sci-Arc, Woodbury, and New School.  They also are not full-fledged universities but, of these 4, people from Sci-Arc have gone on to be recognizable names on the Southern California landscape.  For me, fame would be hard if the price was sitting next to a chick with strawberry or lime colored hair and those Keds sneakers hipsters in London typically wear, or other needlessly avant garde types.  Of the remaining 2, I'd say UCLA over Berkeley.  UCLA has a better curriculum.  Like we've learned here, grades don't matter, seeing some pole vaults in this last season.  If your portfolio is good, give all the schools a try.

What I saw is that the design work was not based on software, and AutoCAD was there for an elective.  The other stuff was not yet around.  I would have taken it, but couldn't fit it in.  I took it at a c.c.   Revit-BIM is now available at most schools, either as a baseline for digital graphics or as an elective.  Why not take it, if admitted?  Calif. c.c.s are one bang for the buck, so you can take AutoCAD and Revit, and other software, there.  You should count on doing production when starting work.  Few are shown past the velvet ropes immediately into design.  That's a recipe for disappointment.

Other good schools are in adjacent states, such as Univ of Oregon and Arizona State.  U of O has enough admission pressure for grad school, so it's not exactly easy to get in.  Also, it's anomalous in that it's a good department in a just ok school, and they need to STFU about sustainability, and just teach it but, since it's in "tree hugger central," this focus is all too predictable.  If you can handle being some 120 east of the CA border, ASU is actually a decent comprehensive school, and will be easier to get into than U of O.  One of the best designers I've worked with came from there.  I think there is an internship component in one summer between years, which is easier to pull off in Phoenix than in Eugene.  I'm sure it's more linked to Arizona practitioners, but its graduates will also be in California.  It'll be friggin' hot, but just pretend you're in a sprawling Palm Springs wrestling with immigration issues.  Truthfully, though, I think Univ of Oregon is better recognized in Calif, especially in the northern part of the state.

If you want to learn a lot about architecture, including structures, it would be ASU, UofO, UCLA, and Berkeley, in that order +/-, among the public ones discussed.  My two cents.

Sep 14, 13 4:07 pm


haha I know all about ASU and phoenix on the count of that is where I went for undergrad, I don't know if I can spend any more time out there in Phoenix. ASU is an amazing school I had lots of great professors and they have great resources. I thought I would never live there again after graduating, the heat is brutal, and I don't really agree with the culture. I could probably easily get in, and will have to consider it I suppose. If I can get lost in my work, and only come out at night, it could be bearable.   

I was looking into University of washington because they have drawing in their curriculum but then my friend told me seattle can be a weird place. I think I will apply to parsons and pratt in new york. I want to be in a city that matters, with lots going on. 

Sep 15, 13 1:29 pm

and a great big effective public transportation system ! 

Sep 15, 13 1:31 pm

UW over UofO, definitely, for both the quality of the university and the location.

So, as for ASU, were you in arch. / l.a. / u.p. / design, for a 4 year program, or in something altogether different?  I'm not a big fan of Arizona, either.  It's not like a person could be in Havasupai swimming in the turquoise pools or in Flagstaff for cool mountain air as much as they need to be.  But, wait, Flagstaff and Sedona are too funky and Phoenix is too Goldwaterish, so I hear you.  It's easier to live where it's cold or temperate than it is to live where it's really, really hot.

I was thinking you were going the 3 year route.  ASU's 3+ curriculum has just the right amount of construction, structures, and an internship betw. years 2 and 3, so it's balanced.  Note that UW will not be easy to get into for grad school.  A few other adds:  UNM - Albuquerque and UC - Denver, but check on their current reputations.  Gaining admission to grad schools at UCLA and UC Berkeley is also hard, and seemingly harder with each passing year.

Sep 15, 13 1:51 pm


at ASU I graduated from the college of liberal arts and sciences with a bachelors of science in economics ^^; 

I hear you arizona is not a bad place, i have spent time in flagstaff and sedona and re acclimating would be seamless. I am still a newbie in architecture but downtown phoenix seems like a ghost town, the urban sprawl exacerbates the heat, and there is not much that is attractive to me about potentially calling that place my home. Sedona could be a great place to retire to if you want to live with the native american spirit animals, extra terrestrials  - and enjoy exploring vortexes. There's definitely nooks and crannies of goodness and I love ASU as an institution, but then again it's the only place I have experience with. I'll really have to take some time to reflect upon myself and see if I could really spend another 3 years there, my soul tells me it's a huge step back that I should not even consider, my mind tells me that it is a viable solution to my architectural pursuit because of what ASU has to offer. It's very polarizing I can see myself doing well there, and I can also already feel the heat. I think a big reason I see it as a step back is that all of my friends, fellow alumni, I have seen them come through ASU and move on to bigger and better things. To go back feels strange, many mixed emotions about it.

I have come across UC denver already in my research, and considered it. I don't know why but it I did not add it to my list of schools to apply to. However I have reason to go back and dig a little deeper now. I have not considered UNM so I will take a look at what they have to offer.

I'll tell you the way I have been researching schools is by going to their websites, judging the design of their websites. And then reading their mission statements, and curriculum. I look through their faculty and check for notable alumni. I can give you some examples of how this has been working out for me. I checked CCA's website compared to Berkeley obviously berkeley is a better school but CCA's mission statement was a lot better than Berkeley's in my opinion. Perhaps that is just because cca has to sell it more? I had checked UNLV's website and it looks like it hasn't been updated since 2001, also the language turned me off, but the architecture of the strip is great.  Is there a better way to wrap my head around this process? which reminds I should be sending for information from all of these programs and I havent. 

So far I know I am applying to ucla,berkeley,cca those are the only definite so far. cal poly pomona, sci arc, UW, asu, uc denver, unm, new york schools I need to continue to sort through. new school in san diego and woodbury I am interested in solely based on their locations, also woodbury has a good work study abroad program thats a plus for me.  I would like to take berkely off my list because I know the admissions will be extremely competitive (theres 2 others from my prep school alone who want to go there that I would be competing with) however it seems like the best place to go on the west coast, has all of the things that I want in a program.  

I left california to attend school in arizona, for some reason I can't wrap my ahead around attending school in Texas but there's programs there among large urban environments with opportunity. Also have interest in Tulane and lousiana schools but then I realized that new orleans is just gonna get destroyed every decade and it seems dumb to go there for architecture(in my opinion after thinking about it). I hate boston, and I am interested in new york city but frightened by and don't understand how the city works with expenses. Also RISD is in the outer orbits of thought for application. Lastly I want to consider schools along the southeast coast including florida. 

Ideally i would get into UCLA, knowing what you have told me about how it connects with what I am looking for, and all my problems would be solved. I want to apply to at least 5 different programs, ideally I would apply to like 10.

I can't wait to get my portfolio finished so I can show it to you all , sorry for walls of text. im trying to milk archinect .. thank you for response if i get any ! he he 

Sep 15, 13 6:08 pm

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