USC vs. Cal Poly Pomona MLA Programs


I was accepted into both USC and Cal Poly Pomona's MLA programs. I know Pomona has a long history of a solid MLA program, often ranked highly by Design Intelligence. However, Pomona also has a limited budget, but often makes the best with what they have. On the other hand, USC is a fairly new MLA program, with some recent changes in leadership and direction. However, they have a lot more money to spend on developing their program and also have the advantage in having the name USC on the diploma.

I know the costs are very different, but in spite of that, what advantages or disadvantages does one program have compared to the other? Will one be preferred over the other to potential employers? 

From my research so far, Pomona seems more practical and hands-on while USC seems more academic and theoretical. Are those accurate assessments? 

Apr 11, 14 7:22 pm


Apr 21, 14 11:44 pm  · 

Sounds like Cal Poly will cost you less? Go with that. Nobody will jack up your starting salary because you went to such-and-such a school.

I am starting an MLA program this fall as well. Chose a full ride at a solid state school over partial money at all the fancy names.

I come from an architecture background (5 yr degree, 3 yr practice) and chose the program that was more practical and would target my weaknesses, as someone who got a very design/theory-heavy B.Arch.

I wouldn't worry about the budgets as much as what they make of them. From my limited awareness of west coast schools, your assessment is correct. However, I'd say that emphasis doesn't mean exclusive focus. You will be able to seek out faculty to balance your education.

Are you able to visit the schools? The visit made a huge difference in my decision-making.

Best of luck!

Apr 22, 14 12:22 am  · 

I'm in a great situation where I don't have to consider the cost difference between the schools. If costs were equal, I would like to know the pros/cons of each program so I can attend the school that is best for my needs and "target my weaknesses." I was hoping some of the people on this site might know more about those programs. 

Unfortunately, I'm currently in the military and can't visit until late summer. 

Apr 22, 14 12:28 am  · 

What program did you end up choosing?

I am a Cal Poly MLA student myself. 

Dec 19, 15 2:05 pm  · 

I'm at USC.

Jan 10, 16 8:54 pm  · 

do you feel like you made the right choice? 

I’m interested in the program but can’t find much online

Sep 20, 19 11:52 pm  · 

Hi! I have to make the same choice.

Did you liked USC?

Feb 4, 23 2:04 pm  · 

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