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Thread: Switch to Arch from Planning?

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    Switch to Arch from Planning?

    Does anyone know if Columbia will let someone who is accepted to the Urban Planning Program transfer into the Architecture Program?

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    Cyburbian The District's avatar
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    WHOA. that's going to be tough, mostly because of the prestige of columbia's architecture school. do you have a portfolio? you're gonna need one. with academics, nothing is impossible, but this could take some work. post your question on the www.archinect.com discussion board. much better luck there.

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    Quote Originally posted by The District
    WHOA. that's going to be tough, mostly because of the prestige of columbia's architecture school. do you have a portfolio? you're gonna need one. with academics, nothing is impossible, but this could take some work. post your question on the www.archinect.com discussion board. much better luck there.

    Yeah, I know. But I also notice Columbia accepts people with no arch background (which is me). I hadn't seriously considered it previously, but I've been giving it more serious thought lately...

    Do people with woefully under-developed drawing skills really have a shot at someplace like columbia?

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    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    It's possible to transfer in, but you'll probably have to take the first design lab (or whatever they call it) in the summer on a probationary period. They'll decide to let you in depending on your performance in that class.
    Definitely look into it. It's highly competitive, but you might get in! I'm assuming you're talking about undergrad? If so, they often don't like students who have too much drafting or drawing expereince, they prefer you haven't been influenced by others and want to teach you their way.

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    Quote Originally posted by CosmicMojo
    It's possible to transfer in, but you'll probably have to take the first design lab (or whatever they call it) in the summer on a probationary period. They'll decide to let you in depending on your performance in that class.
    Definitely look into it. It's highly competitive, but you might get in! I'm assuming you're talking about undergrad? If so, they often don't like students who have too much drafting or drawing expereince, they prefer you haven't been influenced by others and want to teach you their way.

    This is for graduate study - schools typically a bit more strict about grad students switching over I'd assume.

    I think I may apply for their summer "intro to arch program," then talk to them about it. Thing is, I'm still very much interested in their planning program as well; but architecture would be like a dream come true.

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    Cyburbian The District's avatar
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    But I also notice Columbia accepts people with no arch background (which is me).
    MANY arch schools offer M.Arch's to nondesign students. Columbia is not alone; the practice is quite common.it does takes longer than if you have a previous arch degree.

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    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    Most people I know with a grad degree in arch. did not have an undergrad in arch. This is because if you have an undergrad in arch and want to practice, a grad degree would be redundant. The only reason you'd get a 2nd arch degree generally would be if you want to teach, and then you'd probably go straight for a PhD, which is necessary to teach in a university. Most people in arch. grad school were in related fields (planning, landscape architecture, civil engineering, building contruction) for undergrad and now want to redirect their career path towards practicing architecture. There are some who go back for a 2nd arch degree to develop a specialization.

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    Quote Originally posted by CosmicMojo
    Most people I know with a grad degree in arch. did not have an undergrad in arch. This is because if you have an undergrad in arch and want to practice, a grad degree would be redundant. The only reason you'd get a 2nd arch degree generally would be if you want to teach, and then you'd probably go straight for a PhD, which is necessary to teach in a university. Most people in arch. grad school were in related fields (planning, landscape architecture, civil engineering, building contruction) for undergrad and now want to redirect their career path towards practicing architecture. There are some who go back for a 2nd arch degree to develop a specialization.
    Well, architecture is one field where a PhD is not generally required to teach. Perhaps because an accredited professional Bachelor's is all that is required to practice (in contrast to other fields where a Master's is a given), most practitioners have a Bachelor's and most professors have a Master's.

    In addition to a desire to teach, people pursue a Master's of Architecture after a Bachelor's of Architecture for some of these reasons: enjoyment/knowledge, to distinguish themselves, to specialize in some aspect of architecture (such as Green Buildings), or because their undergrad degree was non-accredited (as with many non-five-year programs) and adding a little extra time for a Master's will impact their licensure and other professional prospects.

    To return to the original posting, I can say that Columbia has a tremendous reputation in the architecture field. To me it is one of the very best programs, thanks in no small part to the great Bernard Tschumi (who left only recently).

    In order to produce a portfolio one doesn't normally need any architectural drawing skills at all but does need to show some artistic and creative ability. If you have no evidence of either, it may be difficult to be admitted. More importantly, you might not want to apply to an architecture program if you have never felt a desire strong enough to have produced any sort of artistic drawings or creative artwork.

    Good luck with your decisions. Myself, I am going the other way - having received a BArch and practiced in the field for 6 years, I am now exploring the field of Planning through an MRP and perhaps an eventual career change.

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    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RSW
    to specialize in some aspect of architecture (such as Green Buildings
    that's funny, when I mentioned specialization as a reason to go back to grad school, green buildings was the example I was going to mention too!
    very interesting growing area which was not being explored in my school back in the day!

    At my school, (heavily Bauhaus influenced), they actually didn't want you to have previous drawing expereince. They didn't want you tainted by having been taught the wrong way, they wanted to teach your their superior way. They said those with drafting experience particularly had to unlearn all they been taught. Of course, now with CADD, that's probably a moot point.

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