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Chance me for some undergrad programs

dd11modd11mo 13 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 17 Junior Member
edited December 2018 in Architecture Major
I'd love an opinion if anyone could give any, I'm applying to some of the more difficult schools I think, and I hope I can get accepted to at least one.. sorry for the long post, but it's quite thorough in all aspects of my application. Thanks so much!

SAT I: 1480
ACT: 33
SAT II: 800 math 2
AP (place score in parenthesis): apush 5, ap art, 5
Unweighted GPA (out of 4.0): 3.78 (4.12) (anticipating 4.83 W for senior year)
Senior Year Course Load:
AP Gov
AP Econ
AP Psych
- an honors robotics class
AP calc ab
AP Lang
AP Physics 2

-Been attending private studio art classes for 11 years now
-- have participated in two galleries
-FRC Robotics for four years
-- Created a new subdivision in the club for CADing and graphic design during my junior year, board for two
-- Attended 4 regional competitions
-- I have a professional Solidworks licence after taking a 4 hour test exam
-I interned for 150 hours over summer at a high end residential architecture firm in away from my home.

Volunteer/Community service:
-Self-held robotics community service events where we bring our robot to inspire local kids
-Homeless shelter volunteering
-- received bronze presidential honors award for my volunteering hours

Recommendations (rating 1-10, details):
Teacher Rec #1: 8/10 apush teacher
Teacher Rec #2: 9/10 chem and physics teacher
Teacher Rec #3: 10/10 really great, had her for two years of english, very close and sees my leadership persona in class
Counselor Rec: 10/10 I'm very close with her, she said she wrote a good letter
Additional Rec #1: 10/10 my art teacher for the past couple of years
Additional Rec #2: 10/10 My engineering teacher from school, also my robotics mentor, I'm very close with him

Common app essay: About the creation of the new subdivision in the club, and how I infused my passions for art and engineering into its creation and the success that was achieved the years after.

Portfolio: I would say its quite strong, probably nearing one of the best parts of my application. Although some might disagree. (I think my explanations and process per painting is also extremely thoughtful and proves the time and deliberation I put into each and every piece) Light theory, composition, and tonal/color theory are all shown to their peaks imo. I also have almost half my paintings, drawings using references from 3D models I CAD myself. Might be somewhat unique.

SCHOOLS I'M APPLYING TO: (all rd/rolling)
-Cornell (interview was alright; my essay is about my keyboard building hobby, I think its strong)
-Cooper Union (waiting for the studio test; but I think my GPA is not high enough for cu)
-SCI-Arc (I've visited multiple times, and I really love the atmosphere and all. I'm hoping this is safer to the point where I can fall back to, but it might not be. I also had a portfolio review that went well)
-CP SLO (MCA point scale is about 4500/5000 if that gives any ballpark estimates)
-CP Pomona

Thanks all so much, I know its a long post but I've been insanely stressed seeing all these applicants get accepted recently. And architecture is a rare major, I've only met a dozen people on this forum that are applying to similar schools.

Cornell is obviously the dream but my GPA is quite low, I hope I could somewhat make up for it through my ec's that relate to my major, and my test scores being above average.

I also go to an extremely competitive school in socal, that's ranked within the top 3 high schools in california, I'm in a magnet tech program that has a testing entry, and the classes at my school are insanely difficult compared to most high schools. Our honors bio class prepares you for ap bio, for example. And we have at least 2 stanford acceptances a year, with dozens of ivy leagues and last year we had 56 Berkeley and 17 USC acceptances. My counselor wrote about this environment in the letter of rec as well. But my GPA would have been significantly higher at almost any other high school (although my extra curriculars would have been a lot worse)

thanks again---
edited December 2018
8 replies
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Replies to: Chance me for some undergrad programs

  • bk1366bk1366 173 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 173 Junior Member
    You will get in most of the school. Cornell and USC are reach for every one.
    If you need money that is a different one.
    Based on your list and ranking of the school based on design intelligence I will recommend the following
    1. Cornell
    2. Cal poly SLO
    3. USC
    4. syracuse
    5. Tulane

    I would not recommend speciality schools CU, RISD, etc. You need to go to college to get the whole experience

    My 2 cents...
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  • momrathmomrath 5937 replies39 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,976 Senior Member
    @dd11mo, There's nothing in your profile that would keep you out of any of the schools on your list and a lot that would get you in. You don't mention your financial situation which may be a factor, either positive or negative, as well, but based on what you've laid out, you're in the admissions zone for all.

    The difficulty of predicting architecture admissions (or "chancing") is that few of the schools on your list publish specific admission statistics for their schools of architecture.

    Here are a few:
    For 2018/19 CalPoly SLO had 1501 applicants and admitted 172, 11%
    For 2017/18 Cooper Union had 587 applicants and admitted 35, 6%
    For 2015/16 (I think) Sci-Arc admitted 73% ( I think applicants may self-select.)
    Carnegie Melon (which isn't on your list, but might be) had 551 applicants and admitted 149, 27%

    If anyone reading this has admissions data for any of the other architecture schools, please do tell.

    In most cases you, first, need to be admitted to the university as a whole and for that hurdle I think you are reasonably well placed. The next hurdle is to get the architecture department to admit you. My unscientific guess is that aside from Cornell and Cooper which are insanely selective you have a shot at all the schools on your list, but of course, there are no guarantees.

    I think you did a good job of putting together a balanced list based on selectivity and prestige, but you're not going to sleep at night between now and April you might add a couple more less selectives. Some other "full service" universities with good architecture programs would be University of Kansas, Oregon, Miami, Arizona, Penn State.

    After that, relax and enjoy the rest of your senior year. One way or another you're going to be an architect.

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  • dd11modd11mo 13 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 17 Junior Member
    edited December 2018
    Thanks so much for the reply, that actually relieves a significant amount of angst.

    For SCI-Arc, when I talked to them a while back I believe the 70%ish acceptance rate is for their graduate program. While undergrad is around 30-40%.

    My financial situation is middle-upper class which I think is bad for the whole process.

    and I’ll probably end up putting Oregon on the list just in case!

    thanks again for the reply, it means a lot. I’ll be finishing my finals on thursday and next semester should be a lot more relaxed :-), I’ll be sure to post my decisions here as well for future apps since I found it hard to get any updated architecture applicant threads on this site.

    edited December 2018
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  • momrathmomrath 5937 replies39 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,976 Senior Member
    @dd11mo, Thanks for clarifying the Sci-Arc admission figures. Either way, 70% acceptance rate sounds high to me.

    If by "My financial situation is middle-upper class" you mean that you will be a full pay student, then I don't see it as a disadvantage. It may well be an advantage at some of the schools on your list that are neither need blind nor guarantee to meet full need. Entry level architecture positions are poorly paid and internships often unpaid, so finances are a serious concern.

    Good luck and let us know how you do.
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  • DhhhhhhhDhhhhhhh 9 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Hi! I am desperately looking for an architecture intern. What is the best way to reach a firm/ how did you get your internship?
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  • dd11modd11mo 13 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 17 Junior Member

    I had a couple opportunities for internships:

    One, I gave a sponsorship presentation to my city's engineering council with a few members from my robotics team to hopefully get some sponsors-- the place we presented at was Aecom, which is an engineering and architecture firm. I talked to one of the head employees the same day as we got a tour and asked if an internship would be available for the next summer, and I got his card. I didn't go to this internship though. (Although Aecom seemed quite open to me coming)

    The internship I took was through a family friend's cousin who happened to have been a harvard/usc grad and she and her husband owned a firm that I interviewed for and got the position. They were a relatively small firm and I was their first high school intern.

    I also had a contact with a local architect who specialized in car washes (the nicer kind) that I could've also got from if I wanted to stay local.

    Since it seems like you don't have any family connections, I would really look for small firms near you (or semi-far if the firm is good), look at their website and work, see if you like it, and give them an email with your stats and such. The fact that I had a mutual connection really didn't help me in getting the internship, I had to give them my portfolio (which I think really helped) and do a group call interview and submit a small application thing. I'm sure if you email a dozen local firms then you'll find a good one!

    hope this helps! good luck!
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  • DhhhhhhhDhhhhhhh 9 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9 New Member
    thank you SO SO much, this is really helpful!
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  • dd11modd11mo 13 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 17 Junior Member
    edited February 26
    So far been accepted 2/2:

    Cal Poly Pomona
    SCI-Arc with a very significant scholarship, as I was labelled as a top admit

    Thanks to everyone who replied when I first made the post, I'm very excited so far, and I'll keep updating as I go, to help any future high schoolers ;p
    edited February 26
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