In direct response to your questions:
1> The PSU program is consistently ranked within the top 20 BArch programs in the country.
2> Please see discussion below…
3> The course load is extremely heavy. Approximately 60% of D2’s BArch class changed out of architecture before graduation. As a point of reference, D2 spent about 36 hours in the design studio during her first weekend on campus. Not sure how representative that is since her class was over-enrolled by 40% to start.
I really can offer only one perspective, but I’ve been nothing but impressed with what PSU provided and enabled my daughter to grow into. Daughter #2 (aka D2) graduated from PSU in 2015 with her BArch:
- She was offered a job as an architect with a firm in Washington DC before graduation. The opportunity manifested from the visiting architects that participated in her crits (critiques) during her education. In other words , one of the partners of the firm, a PSU alumni, had been invited to participate in crit reviews and appreciated her designs and wanted her to work for the architecture firm when she graduated. (What I’m discussing here is the extensive PSU alumni network that can help new graduates get into jobs.)
- D2’s experience during her semester in Rome became a major discussion point when she interviewed for jobs as she approached graduation.
- D2 worked three years as an architect involved with designing buildings and interiors with multiple Fortune 100 corporations as well as several top 7 law firms. She was both a project manager, a design manager and customer relations liaison. The firm and D2 both received several awards and accolades for projects.
- D2’s goal, even before going to PSU, was to become a set/production designer for movies.
- During her 3rd year at the Washington DC architecture firm, a Burbank, CA design firm offered her a new job in California working as a set designer in the video game world. She accepted the offer, which also included reimbursing relocation expenses.
- In the past year and a half, she’s worked on designing and directing the building of sets in Madrid, Spain, Montreal, Canada, Austin and Dallas, Texas, New York City and others. The big plus in her resume and discussion with the California design firm was her BArch design from PSU.
Again, I want to emphasize that I’m discussing one graduate from the PSU BArch program…YMMV
Anyway, best of luck with you going forward!