University of Oregon / safety architecture schools

I’m looking to go into a B.Arch program and my list so far includes VT, IIT, and UO. I have a 1350 SAT (might be retaking) and a 3.6 unweighted gpa with 6 APs so far (more to come senior year) and decent extracurriculars with leadership and drafting experience. I’m working on a portfolio. UO’s site says that their preferred gpa is 3.25 and preferred SAT is 1190, and the example portfolios don’t look all too hard to match, but I see good things about their program so I don’t know how easy it really is to get in. Is UO a good safety for me? Or should I find some more? What are some easier colleges to get into with a B.Arch program? (I’m from Washington and both UW and WSU offer M.Arch only. I’d be willing to do that as a safety, but if it’s more competitive than UO I’m not so sure. I’d love to hear feedback about those, too.)

Can you afford UO?

Portland State has an architecture program with a BS or BA in Architecture, and would be much cheaper than UO because you would have WUE tuition. So that would be an obvious safety school. UO doesn’t participate in the WUE so you pay full OOS tution.

You might qualify for some OOS merit money at UO. https://financialaid.uoregon.edu/scholarships_freshmen

You might look at Arizona State which is, I think, slightly higher rated than UO in architecture and I think also participates in the WUE so you’d have reduced OOS tution.

If you might consider a B.A. in architectural studies, look into HWS’s program.

https://www2.hws.edu/academics/architecture/

@wndrer, Oregon has a solidly good architecture program with a focus on design and sustainability. Some of the most admired firms in the Pacific Northwest were founded by alumni/ae.

It’s difficult to project acceptance rates at schools of architecture as few release reliable statistics. Overall acceptance rates at the parent university can be an indicator, but there are exceptions depending on the prestige of the architecture school. Programs that require (or recommend) portfolios tend to put more emphasis on the design side of architecture, so a strong portfolio is a plus.

Some others that you might look at are Auburn, Kansas State and the University of Miami.

If you decide to go the BA/BS + MArch route you’ll have many options; however, that’s a different educational experience from the BArch. You first need to decide which is better for you (and most affordable). Many BA/BS students go on to get their MArchs at different universities. Also admission to MArch programs is not necessarily automatic for the university’s own BA/BS students.

I think that I’m just looking to make sure that I apply to enough colleges to ensure that I get into some architecture program. I’m pretty set on it as a career and I’d prefer to do B.Arch over M.Arch (to cut down on time, for one thing) but I’m not sure which colleges would take me. If M.Arch was easier to get into over B.Arch, I’d prefer to do it at home, but UW’s program looks difficult to get into, which is why I hesitate there, and I just don’t know that much about WSU. Among what’s been listed, what are good safety B.Arch schools and what do their programs look like?

@wndrer, That’s the problem: Most BArch programs don’t publish application or acceptance data so you can only extrapolate based on the acceptance rate of the parent university and the reputation of the school of architecture.

You could try contacting the schools of architecture directly for information, but my experience has been that it’s hard to come by. My guess is that Oregon and the schools I listed (plus Arizona) are likely admits for you. If a portfolio is required or recommended then your chances of admissions increase in proportion to the strength of your portfolio. However, statistics comparing architectural school to architecture school admission rates are not widely available.

I would consider applying early to Oregon and other schools that have rolling or EA options. You potentially could hear back before Thanksgiving. Last year my son heard back from both Oregon and Penn State (both B Arch) before Thanksgiving. He then knew he didn’t need to add more likely schools. While he didn’t end up going to either school, it sure was helpful to hear back from two great schools.

Good luck!

My daughter is a freshman in architecture this year at USC. I kept track of a lot of data on SAT scores/GPAs over the past year as people posted their acceptances/declines from most of the B Arch schools. I am happy to share it with you and have actually been meaning to post here for everyone. If you are interested, message me and I will figure out how to get it to you. Also, we are in the Seattle area as well! And I do think you would get into Oregon and get some scholarship based on your stats, but portfolio will obviously play a role.

Hello @50nTheHill I would like to see the stats you have collected on SAT scores/GPAs from B Arch schools if possible :slight_smile:

Catholic University might be worth a look, if you do not mind a Catholic school.

Cal Poly Pomona is also a WUE school, and has a well-regarded 5-year BArch program.

@5OnTheHill Hi, this is a bit late but I would love to see some of those stats if possible! I’m not sure how messaging works on here but that would definitely be helpful to narrow down some other schools to look into :slight_smile:

Hi Would love to see the stats. Could you please share it with me? Thanks

Hi @50nTheHill, I would really appreciate your sharing these stats with me too. Thanks in advance!!

Hello 5OnTheHill. I would love to see those numbers also.

I too would love to see the stats if possible. We are also looking for feedback on U of Oregon. We are in-state, but are wondering if my son should be applying for more
'big-name" schools like Rice or Notre Dame. Does that matter in this field? In-state tuition would be a big plus. Does U of Oregon have a good reputation for architecture when it comes to hiring? On most national lists it ranked around 35, but in sustainable design, number 1.
I’d appreciate any feedback!

@penguin503, I’m a parent not an architect, but my impression from my son’s friends and associates is that the architecture program at U of Oregon is very good and that its graduates are well placed professionally especially in the Pacific Northwest.

Architecture jobs and internships tend to be geographically localized. Some big name schools do have country wide or even global reputations, but most have no problem placing students at local area firms, especially through alumni/ae support and connections to visiting professors and critics. It really depends on where your son would like to be based after graduation.

Because sustainability is so important throughout the industry these days,
PNW “style” with its overarching emphasis on environmental awareness and natural materials is a big draw. Portland and Seattle based firms are working on projects all over the world.

I wouldn’t worry too much about rankings. Personally, since Design Intelligence changed their categories, I find the results unintelligible.

Your son should comb through the schools websites to try to glean differences in focus from program to program. BArch programs are regulated to cover a core curriculum of design, structures and technology; however they vary widely in focus and extras. Because the BArch fall-out rate is high, most schools are generous with information, so ask a lot of questions and take advantage of information and counseling sessions.

The strength of his portfolio will also be a factor. At some BArch programs it’s the #1 determining factor. At others it’s optional or not even required.

Like all undergraduate disciplines, your son’s list should include reach/match/safety selectivity. If he can apply to Oregon early (rolling or EA), more the better. Pre-Covid, architecture jobs were on a roll and salaries increasing exponentially. Now, who knows? To me, it seems like a good time for fiscal conservatism.

Thanks! this is helpful.

I would love to have these information if it is possible. Thanks.