2014 M.Arch Applicants Prep/ Commiserate Here

MR. Obsessive

i think its high time someone started this, it being october an all....  so where is everyone applying?

23// M// B.Arch// International //No significant work experience...

Program: M.Arch II

Schools im interested in:



RICE Present futures


Columbia MSAAD

UC Berkeley


IELTS done.
GRE: Next month
Portfolio: 40%
LOR: 50%

Oct 13, 13 10:14 am

22/m/bs civil engineering/international/recent pass out -some internship &teaching experience

program -march 1

schools interested in

MIT,Havard gsd,princeton soa ,penndesign

GRE-dec 3,tofel-next month

portfolio-to convert from analog to digital format

sop-done,transcript-done,lor remaining

Oct 13, 13 11:13 am

21 / m / B.Sc civil engineering / canada / work terms at general contractor

m.arch 1

UofT, UBC, Dalhousie, UofC

portfolio: 20%

LOR: 30%

SOP: 10%

Oct 13, 13 3:24 pm
Ramtin Taherian

22 / M / B.Arch / International / Internship, junior architect, other experiences

M.Arch II

Berkeley, CCA , UIC, IIT, Buffalo, Penn State, RISD, ..


GRE Done.

Portfolio : 50%

LOR : 100%

SOP : 1 %

Transcripts : 1%

Oct 13, 13 4:11 pm

23 / M / B.SArch / Local (IL) / 1 Yr Internship experience

M.Arch I

Harvard GSD / Yale / MIT / Cornell / Sci-Arc / Princeton

Portfolio: 80%

LoR: 50%

SoP: 80%

Transcripts: 100%

GRE: Oct. 25

Oct 13, 13 9:23 pm

26 /  M / B Arch / USA

 1 Yr internship experience while in school, Teaching seminar at regional arch school, 1.5 years experience at top render house, work appeared in Argentine Bienalle, slated to appear in Netherlands and Venice Bienalle in 2014.

M. Arch II

Harvard, Columbia, Yale, MIT

Portfolio: 75% first draft

LoR: 100%

SoP: 25%

Transcripts: 100%

GRE : End of November

Oct 14, 13 1:06 pm

25/BBA-Finance/Currently Investment Banker and intern hours for small Arch firm in Detroit. 

M.Arch I

Michigan, University of Southern California, Yale, Harvard, Tulane, Illinois Institute of Tech. 

Taking GRE in 2014. 

Oct 14, 13 6:42 pm

30 / M / USA / B.S. City and Regional Planning / 5 years professional experience in urban planning

Applying for MLA and/or MUD

Cal Poly Pamona / Berkeley / U. of Washington / U. of British Columbia / Colorado Denver / Penn State (Maybe).

Portfolio - 50%

LoR - 0%

SoP - 25%

Transcripts - 100%

GRE : Took it in 2011, Average scores. Not taking it over.

Oct 15, 13 12:02 am

23 // M // B.S. Political Science + Art History // GSD CDisco 2011 // 1 + year at a high end design/ build company, now working for an international audio company as a woodworker

M.Arch 1

GSD // RISD // Berkeley // UVA // UW // SCI-Arc // Cincinnati 

Portfolio: 50% (teaching myself Photoshop and InDesign; projects done)

LoR: Secured 

SoP: 0%

Transcripts: 100%

Resume: 100%

GRE: November 19

Anyone have any recommendations of where/ how to print my portfolio? I've considered buying a professional printer, but there must be someone in the Boston area who can recommend a good place...

Oct 16, 13 11:59 am

21 || F || B. Environmental Design || 1yr. Jr. Graphic Designer

M. ARCH: GSD || Cooper Union || The New School || Ryerson || IIT || Penn || UoWaterloo || Carnegie Mellon

LoR: 0%

SoP: 0%

Portfolio: 30% of first draft

Resume: 100%

GRE: November 12, 40% prepared


Has anyone heard of New School? I walked around it on a recent trip to New York and talked to some people and it looks pretty interesting in the online resources (i.e. Wikipedia and their website.)

Oct 16, 13 1:29 pm

24 / F /  BA in architecture / 1 year of MArch experience / currently working at an architecture job.

Interested in: (MArch I)





I am also considering Sci-Arc and Berkeley, but I feel like I'm less familiar with the west coast schools and I am still researching them.

I am attempting to transfer to a different MArch program; basically I want a school that is as theoretical, interdisciplinary, and progressive as possible. I really hope that I can get advanced standing somewhere, but I know that's difficult. I have a lot of portfolio work from when I successfully applied to some top schools a few application cycles back, but I am also re-doing my past year of MArch work. 

Oct 18, 13 3:45 am

26 / m / BS business admin 






and Austin... maybe?


Portfolio : anywhere from 10%-60% finished - hard to tell. 

LoR - 30%

SoP - 0%

Resume - 100% 

GRE - Late November

Well-rounded experience with things that universities look fondly upon, but, unfortunately little experience in Architecture. Fingers crossed for getting into GSAPP with $ or Berkeley. 

Oct 18, 13 12:12 pm
Lian Chikako Chang

Printers in the Boston area: Kendall Press and Pageworks.

Oct 18, 13 2:48 pm


Last year I received a ton of help from this forum and was accepted into the GSD. As a current GSD student I hope to return the favor... Feel free to ask me questions or if I have time I might be willing to review a portfolio. 

Oct 18, 13 9:38 pm

Sent you an email. Thanks a lot man.

Oct 18, 13 10:33 pm

26/ M / BS Arch & Environment Design/ 3 yrs of experience (3D Modeling & Graphic Design)

MArch 1:


Newschool of Architecture and Design


Portfolio: 75%

LoR: Haven't gotten them yet.

SoP: Brainstorming (0%)

GRE: 0% afraid of taking it. Yet must take it before January or February.

Oct 19, 13 5:56 pm

24/ M / BA Geography / 2 years experience working at engineering consulting firm - no architecture experience

Applying for M.Arch 1 at:

University of Toronto, University of BC, Colorado Denver, University of Washington, CCNY, Buffalo

Portfolio: 15%

LOR: 75%

SOP: 20%

Resume: 100%

GRE: Next weekend...

Oct 19, 13 11:12 pm
C. Watts

23// F// B.Arch// USA //1 year Internship

Program: M.Arch I

Schools I plan to apply to:

UCLA // USC // Sci-Arc // UIC // Pratt Institute // UPenn // Yale // GSD // and Columbia (?)

Portfolio: 40%
LOR: My part is done, just waiting on Professors now. 
SOP: 100% first draft
Resume: 100%

GRE: Just took it the other day, my V and Q scores did not improve at all from the last time (literally the exact same...). despite studying much more this time around.  I think my writing score improved.  Will not be taking it again. Scores are just below average. I don't have the time, money, or patience to take this damn thing again.  My only concern is that Columbia has on their website that a min. of  150 is required for verbal, which I did not make.  Not sure if I will be applying there anymore or not. Will probably be emailing them.

Oct 21, 13 12:50 pm

Is anyone applying for dual degree M.Arch/MLA programs? Found anything useful about them? I'd love to hear about how you are approaching the portfolio building for the dual degree. Are you making two different portfolios to show off different things? One that shows both? 

I'm applying to Harvard GSD, Penn, University of Washington, U of T, UBC and WashU.

Does anyone know any other good ones? 

I'm mostly focusing on GRE currently, but also organizing my portfolio of course, I have't even started on recommendations or personal statement yet. 

Oct 21, 13 2:41 pm

Hey Mbaryam,

I'm applying to PennDesign's dual MArch//MLA. You only submit one portfolio and application for them. I studied architecture but had a big "landscape" semester senior year, so I'll be highlighting that work. But I think there's not too much you can do other than the projects that you've already done! Maybe the personal statement becomes the best place to demonstrate your particular interests and potential skills in both areas.

Oct 21, 13 4:01 pm

24 / M / BFA w emphasis in Architecture / USA native / 2 years work experience at a large international firm in the Urban Design / Planning studio

Applying to 3 year MArch / City Planning where available

Schools I am likely applying to:
UCBerkeley - Concurrent MArch / Master of City Planning

GSD - MArch I with advanced standing... ideally.


I would also like to apply to a school that has a higher acceptance rate int eh event that I don't make the cut for these three. Any suggestions? I went to SAIC for my undergrad so I'm not really interested in programs that are too obtuse or lack critical rigor.

GRE scores were slightly above average, 159 Verbal, 154 Quantitative 4.5 Writing.... taking it again this weekend.

Portfolio and resume are together but I'll probably re-tool them before I submit.

Essays are all in-progress, I think these will be the most time consuming effort.



On that note, I wouldn't advise anyone go to SAIC's grad program for architecture, in case you were considering it.... I somehow made it out of their undergrad with decent enough work to land a job, but I can't say the same for almost anyone else I know who went there. Its truly a disorganized mess of a program.

Oct 21, 13 4:12 pm

Lane Rubin, 

Thanks so much for that tip, I must have missed that on the PennDesign's FAQs, so glad I won't have to submit two of everything to *all* the schools I'm applying to. 

Good luck, perhaps I'll see you in the fall!

Oct 21, 13 10:02 pm

23 / M / BS in Arch / USA / short stints as an Intern Architect, Design Assistant for a TED and as an Intern at a Project Management & Real Estate Consulting Firm (roughly a year combined)

Pratt, Cincinnati, GSD, Cornell, GSAPP (if I finish in time), potentially one more undecided

Portfolio: 50%

LOR: 0% but people in mind

SOP: 0%

GRE: Later November / Early December

Resume: 100%

Oct 23, 13 3:31 am

36 / F / International / 12 yrs of working exp as an Interior Architect / Design Mngr / worked in Dubai & India

M. ARCH 1 / M.Int Arch I.........and still deciding - ( not sure about M.Arch as I havent worked on any architecture projects in my career & its been a long time since i did my undergrad !)

Schools : UT- Austin / SAIC / UC-Berkley / Iowa State / Arizona State / Pratt.........and still deciding

Not looking at GSD as I have heard that they do not give many grants-Is it true . Need a school which will give Grants./ fin aid. Want to apply to all the top schools, but not sure if I'll make it - planning to apply to 6 - 2 dream schools / 2 will do schools & 2 safe schools. What do y'all think?

TOEFL - oct 27th ( struggling to juggle a full time job and study )

GRE - nov 24th ( suck at math  )

LOR - 0%

SOP- 0%

Portfolio-5% ( no clue where to even start )

Transcripts - 100% 

Is SAIC really a bad choice ? I was looking at M.Arch with emphasis on Int Arch. How good is their placement program ? And the faculty ?

What is a good school to do M. Int Arch?

Oct 23, 13 3:50 am

23 / M / Venezuelan / BA in Urban Studies from a selective liberal arts college (taken several studios in the US and Denmark while studying abroad) / Several internships during undergrad at arch-related NGO, GSAPP think tank, small firm in Brooklyn and mid-size firm in Hong Kong.

Program: M.Arch I

Schools im interested in:
Harvard GSD
Yale SOA
Columbia GSAPP
The New School

GRE: Next month
Portfolio: 30%
LOR: 100%
SOP: 0%
Transcripts: Done

Oct 23, 13 12:41 pm

21// F// B.Arch, (RIBA Part 1)// USA // Currently Interning at a European firm

Program: M.Arch II


UC Berkeley: Thinking of concurrent (M.Arch / MLA)
Columbia GSAPP

GRE: 100%
Portfolio: 40%
LOR: Sent out request, but still need to send SOP & additional info to recommenders..
SOP: 60%
Resume: 100%
Transcripts: Need to order from university

Some people gasp at the sound of 9 schools, but I like to be ‘safe’! ☺ I’m open to any suggestions/comments on my school list, never had any sort of guidance in this application process, as I graduated from the UK and pursuing M.Arch in the US isn’t ever brought up.

Oct 24, 13 1:43 pm

@Jade.MM - that's a huge range of schools, in terms of both selectivity and philosophical approach. Have you thought about what your specific areas of interest and strengths/weaknesses are within architecture? Maybe you should also consider some other schools with landscape departments (Maybe Harvard or Penn? I'm not an expert on landscape schools) if you are interested in landscape ... even if you don't get an MLA you could still take advantage of their classes and resources.

Oct 24, 13 9:29 pm

28 / M / M. Arch 1 transfer 

Looking for a digital school 

applying to:


Sci Arc 


portfolio almost done 

gre done 

Lor , just one left 

transcripts done 

SOP / need to start soon 

Oct 25, 13 12:28 pm

Anyone else doing the open house week in New England? Columbia the 30th, MIT the 31st, and Harvard the 1st?

Oct 25, 13 4:47 pm

i am applying for m. arch 1 and i am  10% on everything except that i have taken the GRE a couple years ago and my score probably is not very good. at this point since i dont even have enough of a portfolio up to get reviewed ill just say that  my goal is too apply to Berkeley UCLA CCA woodbury UC boulder sci arc columbia pratt actually i am not even 100% on what schools i wanna apply to besides Berkeley CCA and UCLA, if of course i can get this portfolio done by dec. 15 which seems way too close already 

seems like everyone wants to go to berkeley as far as the west coast goes. i cant decide what schools to apply because i cant decide where i would like to live.  i wanna stay on a coast 

Oct 25, 13 8:19 pm

@snail thank you for your reply. I do realize that I have a huge range, this is because I am not 100% sure of the direction I want to take at this moment of my life. However, I would be happy to be in any of these schools. I’ve been doing research since my final year of undergrad and I found that there is something I like about the approach of each of these schools. As for the MLA, I’m not specifically interested in just landscape, however I would like to try applying to one of these programs. But as you said, I still have the chance of benefiting from their classes, even if I don’t get in.

I don’t want to come across as naïve, but truth is after spending just 3 years in the field, I can’t say that I’m an expert in pedagogical approaches to architecture. Nor do I have strong opinions in Arts vs Technical schools.

Oct 27, 13 7:05 am

Then you should work before applying!

Oct 27, 13 9:49 pm

B.E(Hons) Civil engineering from BITS-Pilani Hyderabad Campus INDIA

CGPA:7.7/10(MAJORS: 8.8/10)

GRE:327(VERBAL:157,QUANT:170) AWA:4.0/6.0














Oct 28, 13 4:06 am


Oct 28, 13 4:09 am

Little bump! Though I'm sure we're all too busy with our portfolios and statements to post anything just yet. 

23; female; B.A. Architecture from UC Berkeley, 2012, with Highest Honors; currently working at a small architecture firm

Applying for MArch I: Columbia, MIT, GSD, Yale. Need to switch coasts for awhile.

GRE: 161 V; 156 Q; 5.0 W

Portfolio: getting there. 

Was anyone at the Open Houses on the East Coast in late October and early November? I met so many people but was too caught up in the madness to exchange contact info. 

Nov 19, 13 6:50 pm

@acetaminophen I was out there for the Columbias/MIT/GSD open houses. I am applying to MArch II programs but met a good amount of MArch 1 candidates. 

Nov 20, 13 1:58 am

Are there usually more M.Arch1 applicants than M. arch II?

Nov 20, 13 9:41 am

@insomniarch That was quite the marathon, wasn't it? I attended those three as well, and then stayed an extra week to visit Princeton and Yale as well. 

@regina11 From what I've gathered attending open houses, it does seem like there are more MArch I applicants than MArch II applicants. This difference generally reflects the class sizes of each program.

Nov 20, 13 1:23 pm

But don't they combine? I mean won't M.Arch I and M.Arch II students later be in the same class?

Nov 20, 13 1:31 pm

No. You're thinking MArch I AP and MArch I regular. MArch II is a completely separate program, as far as I understand. Maybe some shared classes in some schools.

Its a pretty common misconception. MArch II is a post-professional program usually tailored to those who already have a 5-year professional BArch. MArch I is a professional program that is for those who have a 4-year B.S.Arch or any other degree.

Nov 20, 13 1:43 pm

Ok now it is getting a bit confusing for me. Is M.Arch with advanced standing and M.Arch II different programs?

Nov 20, 13 1:53 pm


Nov 20, 13 1:55 pm

How different is it? Now I will put my case. I have a B.Arch degree from India. I am planning to apply for M.Arch with advanced standing (which I thought is the same as M.Arch II)

Nov 20, 13 2:12 pm

@acetaminophen it definitely was! But it was very nice to see all of the different programs/cities

@regina11 You should email the schools admissions departments directly and see if your BArch transfers over. The March 1 AP and March 2 programs for most schools are completely separate programs.

Nov 20, 13 2:20 pm

@regina11 Seems like you need to at least contact the schools you're interested in to get the degree programs straightened out. 

B.Arch = professional degree earned as an undergraduate

M.Arch = professional degree earned as a graduate, for people who earned BA or BS degrees as undergraduates

M.Arch AP = advanced placement in the M.Arch program for people who earned BA or BS degrees in Architecture, and show that they have taken enough studios or have enough experience to shorten their graduate studies

M.Arch II = post-professional degree for people who already have a professional degree (a B.Arch). At some schools this is a MS degree.

Nov 20, 13 2:38 pm

@Roshi. Thanks for responding. This really made me dig into the programs again. I think I will have to ask the same question to the universities and clear it out. @insomniarch. I had contacted(early this year) the admissions office of every university that I am applying to asking whether I am eligible to apply for the advanced standing program ( which they mentioned as the M.Arch II track). They did say that I am eligible. I really got confused while reading the thread.

Nov 20, 13 2:39 pm

@johndocuments, get me a TOFL score?

Nov 22, 13 12:27 am

I'd like a "fake passport of Albania" please...

Nov 22, 13 12:28 am

Ok so update to keep myself going. Just finished my GRE last night so now it's on to the rest of the application. I updated my school list after visiting a few open houses.

26 /  M / B Arch / USA

1 Yr internship experience while in school, Teaching seminar at regional arch school, 1.5 years experience at visualization company. I have had work in a few biennales and will be showing in a couple more in 2014.

M. Arch II: Harvard, Columbia, Berkeley , UCLA Suprastudio with Hodgetts

Portfolio: 100% Second Draft

LoR: 100%

SoP: 50%

Transcripts: 100%

GRE : 155 Q / 162 V -waiting on the written section.

Nov 22, 13 12:57 pm

Is anyone interested in setting up a portfolio review group?

Nov 22, 13 9:21 pm

23 / M / Bachelor of Environmental Design / Canada + USA

Portfolio: 80%

LoR: 90% just waiting on two of three to submit

SoP: 90% 

Transcripts: 100%

GRE: 162v/161q (waiting on awa)

Applying for M.Arch I, in order of preference:




SCI-Arc (M.Arch II)

Nov 27, 13 11:20 am

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