Cornell or Calpoly B.Arch


I have been accepted by both Cornell and Calpoly for the B. Arch program. Both are excellent programs and I am at a loss which to pick. Any suggestions? 

Mar 20, 14 5:48 am

Is it Cal Poly San Luis Obispo or Cal Poly Pomona?

Mar 20, 14 11:47 am

Where do you live?

Mar 20, 14 2:44 pm

It Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I am an international student. Cornell have given me a grant and scholarship so the tuition for both are about the same so that is ok.

Mar 21, 14 12:14 pm

If they are both B.Arch programs and about the same price, then of course Cornell. It's an ivy and it'll be able to get a lot of connections. 

Mar 21, 14 1:18 pm


Mar 21, 14 1:55 pm

If you are international, go to an Ivy for the prestige. :)

Mar 21, 14 1:59 pm


Mar 22, 14 1:02 am
Erik Evens (EKE)

If you want to be a good architect, go for Cal Poly SLO.

Mar 22, 14 12:54 pm

I have heard Cornell is a good school but I am not sure what their program consists of.

I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with the B. Arch program in 2008 (I went right after high school in 2003). This is my experience and hopefully it will give you an idea of what to expect. Please check with the Course Catalog/ the Arch Department to see if the classes are the same.

The Program:

1st Year:

-Design Studio 3 times a week for 4 hours

-intro to materials of construction and intro to architecture courses

- you will be building and learning how to use carpentry, stone, welding tools to design a piece of furniture

- Start taking architecture History


2nd Year:

- Design Studio 3 times a week for 4 hours

- start structural courses (3 or 4 total)

- finish architecture history (3 courses total)


3rd Year:

-Design Studio 3 times a week for 4 hours

- finish structural courses

-start and finish environmental control systems courses (3 courses total); this is learning all about green building, lighting, acoustics, heating/cooling spaces; etc.)


4th Year: Study Abroad (if you get accepted to a program)

- all year programs: Denmark or Italy

- quarter programs: Mexico or Washington DC

- I attended the program in Denmark

- Design Studio 3 times a week for 4 hours

- took architecture electives: Modern European Architecture Theory; Danish Housing etc.

5th Year:

-Design Studio 3 times a week for 4 hours; this is your thesis project; most professors require a book; you have to apply for the professor you want to have and you will have he/she all year)

- Professional Practice



About the school:

Cal Poly is on a quarter systems, so there are four quarters per year. So instead of two semesters, you will have three quarters. This means classes are 10 weeks long and the pace is faster. The Architecture Program is very extensive, so you won't take as many general requirement courses as other majors (like English, math, etc.). You are required to take Calculus 1 &2, and Physics 1&2.

Most of the faculty has their own private practice or used to practice architecture, but this does not mean that they are more practical than theoretical. By the third year, half the students are transfers and half have attended as freshman. The professors are tough, but fair. Fellow students can be competitive, but  few are arrogant or snobs. We all tried to help each other and critique one anthers work and get advice; I made some really good friends there and everyone was very accepting. This was essential to survive school.  I would say 70% of the students were white.

The city of San Luis Obispo is wonderful and has a lot to offer if you like being outdoors. The beach is 15 minutes away, there are many hills to climb/bike, the old downtown is used and has many shops and restaurants.

I loved my experience there and had a job within a month of graduation in California.

Hope this helps! Good luck!!

Mar 24, 14 11:30 am

dear joy1212. Thanks a lot for the extensive information. It has been really very helpful

Mar 25, 14 5:08 am

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