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Thread: Flexibility of architecture classes / programs for planning grad students

  1. #1
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    Flexibility of architecture classes / programs for planning grad students

    Hello,

    In regard to Planning Master's programs, I'm interested in hearing people's experiences (or perspectives) on opportunities to learn from the Architecture schools in which many programs sit. I have applied only to Planning programs, with no arch/design experience, and want to find an integrated school where I can "test out the waters" without applying for a joint degree.

    For those of you who are current students, have you taken (or have friends who have taken) architecture classes, but are not in a joint program? If so, what types of classes?

    For prospective students, what have you heard from professors and students on how Planning students have engaged with the Architecture programs? Are planning students taking intro studio classes? Theory classes? Applied higher-level classes (like sustainable design)? If higher-level classes, how many classes were needed to fill in prereqs?

    I am hoping to have some time in the Planning curriculum for Architecture studio classes, in addition to any urban design & development offerings of the planning program.

    Personally interested in UNC, Berkeley, Penn, UVa, and MIT but would love to open up the discussion to all arch/planning overlap talk!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Hello Maine,
    I am currently in an urban planning master's program that is within a college that has architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and building construction programs. Surprisingly there is not much overlap with Architecture and our program because all the architecture classes have tons pre-requisites and are mostly undergraduate, so our program will not accept them as electives. None of my fellow students have taken Architecture classes because of the near impossibility to get in them without an undergrad in Arch or LArch. Personally, I see the overlap with Landscape Architecture for land planning more than traditional Architecture. The only overlap in our program is in the Historic Preservation Program where anyone in the certificate program can take the interdisciplinary classes within the college including the Architecture ones.

    I would say in regards to urban design there is more overlap with the Landscape Architecture program and we can take classes there if we get permission. We have some design classes within our department, but it is limited and would probably not suffice to get an urban designer job unless your undergrad was LArch or Arch. Although, If you are interested in urban design I would definitely recommend a program situated in a 'design' college instead of a 'policy' college. Without an undergrad in LArch or Arch, it maybe more difficult to take those 'design' classes, but if you are accepted into an urban design program or take an urban design tract within a program you may have more leeway to take those classes. Best of Luck!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  3. #3
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    Thanks! Curious what program you're in and POV on schools mentioned

    Hi Beach Bum,

    Thanks for the POV on Landscape Architecture and prereqs in general. Can I ask where you are going to school?

    Do you (or anyone else reading this) have a POV on UVA, Berkeley, UNC, Penn or MIT for opportunities to take architecture classes? Perhaps in conjunction with an Urban Design or Historic Preservation certificate? I know which schools offer what certificates, but just wondering if people know how easy it is / how many classes can be taken in design disciplines while meeting all core planning requirements...

    Also, anyone else out there weighing the same question? An interest (but lack of experience) in Architecture in addition to Planning?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    From my limited and distanced experiences, I think MIT lays a heavy emphasis on thinking and drawing information from across disciplines. Perhaps more than the other programs you listed (though I do not know much about those others either). They are very much a "think out of the box" type of program, so far as I can tell from their website and publications from professors there. I say this also based on 4 professors of mine (two of whom were on my MA committee) who attended MIT - three for Planning, one for Architecture. The school I attended (UNM) does not do a very good job of crossing boundaries between Arch and Planning (its pretty territorial), but of the faculty that did so enthusiastically, these professors led the pack. I valued these individuals as among the more innovative thinkers in the School of Architecture and Planning, capable of seeing problems in new and interesting ways and generally unbound by convention.

    But, these people attended many years ago, so there is no guarantee that things are still this way now...

    From my own experiences, I took a few architecture classes in Planning school and really did not have any problems from within the program. I even took the architecture community planning and design studio as the only planning student and, frankly, learned a TON (about a different approach and language about design, about how architects approach and think about problems, basic drawing skills and techniques etc.) and was very welcomed by the architecture students and professors.

    Hope that is helpful...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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