Welcome to ARCHcareers, a blog that discusses the process of becoming an architect.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Graduate School Feedback
Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide. I am a 2005 graduate with a Pre-Professional Degree in Architecture from an accredited program. Before going on to graduate school, I decided to work on my IDP requirements, get hands-on experience and gain perspective on architecture beyond design. After three years of working in an architecture firm and completing my IDP requirements, I’ve decided to return to school to complete my education to become registered. However, my initial application was rejected because of a weak portfolio and lower GPA.
I’ve been searching for a way to build up my portfolio and GPA. I’ve seen in some other posts where people mention summer programs that you can help build up a grad portfolio. Do you have any experience with these programs or any suggestions on how to build up a portfolio to show the growth from an inexperienced student to an emerging professional for graduate level admissions?
What is a weak portfolio and a lower GPA? To which program did you graduate? To which program(s) did you apply.
Your best source of feedback is the program that did not admit you. As you are done with your degree, it is hard to raise your GPA but you could consider taking architecture graduate level courses as a non-degree student to demonstrate your abilities. Even if you are not near an architecture program, you could take courses in an unrelated discipline. Also, why is your GPA lower? Did you have a bad semester? In what courses were your lower grades?
As to your portfolio, what did you include - academic or professional or both? Most graduate programs would rather see academic work even if you have worked for a few years. Did you go back and polish up your school projects? Consider reviewing portfolios at -- www.portfoliodesign.com -- and purchase the book Portfolio Design by Harold Linton. Was the portfolio designed?
Also, who wrote your letters of recommendation? What about the GRE?
Again, obtain feedback from the schools to which you applied. Also, contact former professors to gain some insight.
The only summer program that I know of is listed below but it is focused for individuals who do not have a degree in architecture.
William Taylor Los Angeles Institute Of Architecture And Design 617 W 7th St. Suite 200 Los Angeles, CA 90017 Wk: (213) 251-4500 e1: firstname.lastname@example.org
With over twenty years of experience in the fields of architecture and career development, LEE W. WALDREP, Ph.D., has served in positions in three accredited programs -- the Illinois School of Architecture, the University of Maryland and Illinois Institute of Technology. Previously, he served as Associate Executive Director of the National Archi¬tectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and National Vice-President of the American Institute of Architecture Students. Waldrep has written and presented on the topics of careers and architecture extensively around the country. In addition to his own books, he is a contributor to AIA’s Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th Edition.