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USC vs Cornell for Architecture

GreenTacoBoyGreenTacoBoy 9 replies8 threads Junior Member
So I got into USC and Cornell for architecture. I'm Very happy and i'm still wondering how I managed to get into these two schools. Both are very prestigious schools, but I like USC better. My father says that Cornell is better because it has the ivy league name and it is ranked first on design intelligence. I told him Cornell is in the middle of nowhere and USC is in Los Angeles, a place where I can get plenty of experience in Architecture. Also, I told him that employers don't really care about where you get your B Arch degree from; as long as you graduated and are knowledgeable in the field, then you will have a great chance of getting employed by big Architecture firms. So, with that being said, I'm confused on which college I should go to. My heart tells me to go to USC because it has been my dream school for years, but my dad says Cornell because it has the prestige and the rankings. Do architecture employers care about ivy league status? Please tell me your opinons! Thanks.
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Replies to: USC vs Cornell for Architecture

  • momrathmomrath 5997 replies39 threads Senior Member
    @GreenTacoBoy Congratulations on two wonderful choices. At both, you will get an excellent design focused education and make connections with world class firms, locally and worldwide. Unless there's a marked difference in cost, you simply can't make a bad choice.

    My son did his MArch at Cornell so I can provide a little more information about points of differentiation. Cornell is not exactly in the middle of nowhere (the city of Ithaca has a population of 140,000), but it is in a mostly rural area in upstate New York. The area is cold and snowy, but also very beautiful. If you haven't visited, you really should before making your final decision.

    Having said that, Cornell is VERY closely aligned to firms in New York City. Cornell BArch students have the option spend one semester at Cornell's campus in NYC where studios are taught by prominent architects. A semester at Cornell's Rome program is also an option. Many students find summer internships in New York and, really, all over the world. The visiting studio instructors and critics are also working architects with global reputations. During the final semester. students prepare and present a thesis.

    Though both Cornell and USC attract students from all over the world, the general focus of Cornell is east coast and the general focus of USC is west coast. This is manifested in internships, visiting professors and the overall personality and culture of the campus. The influence is abstract, but palpable. If you prefer California living and see yourself practicing architecture there, then I don't see any reason not to choose USC. The Ivy League connection does carry some weight in some circles, especially overseas, but I don't know that it would be a valid reason not to choose USC. You will do best where you are happiest.
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  • YunbwYunbw 57 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I would recommend looking at each curriculum and student work to have an understanding of what their B.ARCH do and which you prefer to pursue (kinda hard to figure it out so early). Another one, it depends where you want to practice, if you prefer to stay in LA then USC would be better choice. However, both schools are well connected so I doubt you’ll have too much trouble find a job. In the end, it depends what you get out of the program.
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  • steppeboysteppeboy 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Hey, you are incredible! Congratulations!
    I am an uprising senior, and I want to apply for architectural programs in those schools. Currently, I am doing my portfolio, but that it is frustrating somehow. I would be so grateful if you will share your personal experience applying in Cornell and USC (your stats, portfolio experience, maybe some tips). Thank you in advance!
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