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penny-lanepenny-lane Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
edited April 2008 in Architecture Major
which undergraduate program do you consider is better?
Post edited by penny-lane on

Replies to: UCLA vs UVa

  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,304 Senior Member
    The one that best fits your personal college selection criteria.
  • 4trees4trees Registered User Posts: 383 Member
    An that's the tricky part. I listen to my son describe how the different schools fit him, what he expects each to be for him. What I hear is that he feels he could fit himself in any of his choices, and there is no clear 'best' fit.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,304 Senior Member
    4trees, I totally understand what YOU are saying and in fact, my D is deciding between six fabulous MArch programs that she got into and she'd be happy at any one of them. I do believe a student CAN be happy at more than one school and therefore can't lose in many of these situations. In fact, in a competitive admissions process, it is best going into it not fixated on one or two "must have" schools, but in finding many that fit what you want and that you like enough to attend.

    However, I am reading thread after thread on CC of people simply asking....should I go to X or Y college....which is the "best"? I do not think one should pick a college on which is perceived by others as the "best"? The decision is very individual and must pertain to how the school aligns with what your selection criteria is. The exercise then would be to jot down everything you know about a school, as well as your own pros/cons. Before you began the college selection process a year ago, there should have been criteria by which you selected schools to apply to. So, compare these notes now between schools but also with your original selection criteria.

    Yes, it is tricky because more than one school can fit what you are looking for. Indeed, my own D has that situation now as she was handed a bag of riches, it feels, with way more acceptances to top programs than she ever dreamed was possible. However, I feel that since she likes them all enough to attend, she can afford to be super picky and think about things like location which would not be as paramount had she only got into one of these fine programs and she'd be OK with the location of any of them but now that she has lots of options, she can consider more minor factors. Another thing is to go a bit with your "gut" and which school really excites you in an indescribable way. My D was excited about every one of her acceptances but said that when she got the call of admittance to one particular one, she felt a major rush and so that says something too.

    Basically, I was saying that all these posts where people are asking others which of their schools is the better school are not really where it is at, in my view. Instead, they need to figure out which school most closely suits THEM and we can't tell them that. It is very individual. However, I'd prefer to see a post that describes one's selection criteria and then asks specific questions of others as to how X or Y college might align with that criteria. Asking which school is the "best".....just is not the way to pick a school. If that is all that matters, take out the rankings lists.
  • rick12rick12 Registered User Posts: 642 Member
    I love UVA. My wife went there, and it is in one of my favorite parts of the world. My wife and I had lunch with the Dean a few weeks ago, and I was very impressed with the things she is doing. It was my daughter's first choice for architecture school from among Cornell, Rice, and WashU. I don't think you can go wrong there. However UCLA may be a great program, I am just not that familiar with the school and its graduates. Ultimately I think it is going to come down to a California vs. Virginia preference. Where do you want to live and practice?

  • 4trees4trees Registered User Posts: 383 Member

    First, congrats to your daughter on her MArch acceptances. I'd love to hear what programs and her decision once she makes it.

    I feel most of the kids asking should I go to x or y are really reaching out for more info to bolster a decision they've probably already made. I agree with your suggestion of explaining your wants and needs then asking for info on how the different programs or schools meet them and tried to encourage my son to do just that. Trouble is, a 17yr old, (at least mine) is so early in their discovery process. Are they asking the right questions? When my son showed me a list of the walking distances from the various arch studios to the closet Starbucks I began to wonder.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,304 Senior Member
    4trees, I am happy to share where my D got in now that decisions are all out. This seems like a weird thread to do it on. Should we have an acceptance thread for the arch forum like there is on the Musical Theater Forum, Arts Majors Forum, Music Forum, Parents Forum, etc? Should I start one?

    I do think if people truly want to garner other opinions about schools, it is better to ask those who attend, rather than outsiders. I think it is better not to ask "which is the better school" but more which has this or that that I am looking for or some specific questions. It is more about which school has what the student wants, along with some preferences and gut intuition. I just am not into "what is the best school?" type questions on here and I think it is more an indvidual decision and that the input is better if gotten from those who have been or are in these programs. For instance, rick has first hand knowledge of UVA.

    LOL about the walking distance from studio to Starbucks! We know what's important!
  • 4trees4trees Registered User Posts: 383 Member
    He's loyal to Starbucks. When we were in NE I tried unsuccessfully to introduce him to Dunkin Donuts as they still seem to be more abundant. It was at Penn State, in the little town across the street from campus where we found an intersection with a Starbucks on the northwest corner and DD on the northeast corner, he called it the "caffeine front line".

    I always enjoy acceptance threads, so ya it'd be nice. Also the enrollment decisions...

    You mentioned asking those in the programs. I tagged along at some of the colleges my son visited and explored on my own. Whenever I could corner an arch student I spoke to them (OK, I grilled them) about the school and their experience. I know so little about architecture that I didn't have any good questions, but I did meet lots of happy, engaged kids. Then again, what do they know locked-up in studio? lol... Seriously, I never met one that said they wish they'd chosen a different school. Seemed like the old "grow and bloom where you're planted" thing in action.

    OK, I've hijacked this thread long enough. My apologies to the OP.

    Back on topic, both UCLA and UVA were recommended to my son last fall. He chose not to apply to any school in the south or LA, so he never investigated....
  • vyanvyan - Posts: 393 Member
    I can't say anything about VA
    but in UCLA, we offer tons of advantages and courses for you to work with "prestigious" architects. I am sure VA has famous architects to and like everybody says, it's all based on your preference in your living.

    the undergrad just started last year so no reputation from that, however, the M.arch program is one of a kind in California. Very sought out after, good professors, and amazing work that the grad students produce. Many connections if you become the best of the best when you graduate.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,304 Senior Member
    OK, I'll start an arch forum acceptances thread and put my D on it but I hope others here join in and post their acceptances too as I don't want the focus just on my kid! :D Also, it is good to have such a thread as some may connect with others who are contemplating or matriculating at the same schools.
  • penny-lanepenny-lane Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    Hi people and thanks for posting opinions =)

    I have broken my head thinking about these two colleges since i've got the acceptance letters. And the truth is that I just recently decided to follow architecture (i chose the university to which applied according to the biology major - yes, i was not-totally-convinced about it when i applied, but realized that architecture was really my thing in these months, and since ever - i can tell you all the story if you want). I am 17 years old, and the truth is that somebody of that age cannot know what he/she wants to do the rest of his/her life (except for some few cases where their destiny is like already marked). But in the end I decided to follow architecture, which made my list of universities to shrink to 2. I have made really long lists of pros and cons, incluiding location, diversity, amount of students, tuition, kind of people, professors, or anything you could think about being important, incluiding experience from other people (I realized that facebook is a really excellent tool for finding students and alumni and contacting with them) but still can't make a choice, since i couldn't contact many in that certain field.

    I came to the conclusion that both are great schools, REALLY different, EXTREMELY different, and that both universities have pros and cons, which make me really doubt about which one is best for me.

    After all this, I just wanted to know if anyone knew which had the strongest UNDERGRADUATE architecture program, since I think that is an important fact to have in mind, and since many opinions from students/alumni seems to be biased (of course, it's their university of which we are talking)

    ps: i know my question was kind of bad asked; too superficial.
  • penny-lanepenny-lane Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    ps: no, i'm not letting other people making my choice, and i will not make the decision ONLY based in the answers given in this forums. but i guess is a way of finding out things about universities that i could not get in other way, since i am an international student who doesn't know many people who know about these universities. thanks for answering =)
  • penny-lanepenny-lane Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    oh. and the intuition thing..
    my intuition almost-always goes wrong.
    (or maybe it was not my intuition at all)
  • penny-lanepenny-lane Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    oh! and other thing
    if there is any arch student (UVA or UCLA)
    would you pleeeeeease pm me? thanks!
  • vyanvyan - Posts: 393 Member
    I go to ucla as an undergrad and I can say that my experience studying architecture in UCLA is really different, way different, in a good way. A lot of learning, a lot of opportunities to meet and engage with prestigious architects in the LA area and around the world. More than what I had received when I was in city college. So here are some tangents stuff that that I can say...

    This year we've changed the chair for the school and his name is Hitoshi Abe.Since then He has integrated many programs like a lecture series where many, many, many architects, from japan to france to u.s. (all well-known) that came to lecture or sit on critiques.

    Another program that he made was he invited four well-known Japanese architects and students from undergrad to grad, that worked with them to design for an apartment competition. They did all this in one week.

    One good thing about our work-shop is we have a laser cutter, 3d modeler, and the usual cutting workshop you find in a wood cutting workshop.

    Again, I don't know too much about UA and I can't say much about it, but I can assume they are different. The program in UCLA really emphasizes on art a lot and computers, which is a good thing since the whole field is really going towards computers now a-days. A lot of work in illustrator, photoshop, rhino 4.0, maya, etc.

    Please keep in mind you can't judge which architecture is program. It's like saying is Picasso better than Van Gogh? It's all based on preference and the type of architecture you like, really. Just look at the resources that both schools give you and you take that chance wherever you think best benefits you in the future.

    also, please, please make sure you're in architecture because you really love it. Due keep in mind, the money in this field is not rewarding, but however; the work that you create and finish is rewarding. Since you just came out of High School, you got long ways to really set your stone in this field, unless again, you have the utmost passion for it. If you like to broaden yourself,
    maybe try studying a different major, and then go to grad school after. That is always suitable for a diverse person.
This discussion has been closed.