Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Summer Programs - College Graduate

I am an ardent fan and follower of your website and ArchCareers blog. Thank you so much for providing these outstanding resources to the community.

I'm writing to you to inquire about certain summer architecture programs. Before I go into that, my background:

I'm enrolled in a three year college program in animation and design in India. I will be receiving my bachelor's degree next year. Over the past couple of years, I've become fascinated by the study or architecture. I'd love to get an M. Arch degree, but it is literally impossible for students from
non-architecture backgrounds to apply to M. Arch programs in India. I thus began looking into M.Arch programs in the US, and was glad to notice how accepting the universities were of non-arch majors into their respective M. Arch 1 programs.

As a first major step toward this goal, I'm applying to summer programs in the US. From the extensive list you have so carefully compiled on, I narrowed it down to 3 programs that take international college-level students and provide documents for obtaining a student visa for the summer. They are:

1) [IN]ARCH, at UC-Berkeley

2) Jumpstart: Intro to Architecture, at UCLA

3) Intro to Architecture Summer Program at Cornell

In addition to these programs, the Summer Discovery Program at GSD Harvard also accepts and provides visas to international students, but unfortunately the start date is much earlier than other programs, and I will not be done with my Spring semester in college by then. So my choices at the moment are limited to the three programs listed above.

As a student with limited financial resources, limited guidance from my college and from family, and limited time left to put together a strong application, I'd like to make the best use of every opportunity
I am fortunate to get.

My question to you is: among these programs, which one would you consider especially strong, or especially beneficial in furthering a grad school application? Alternatively, would you suggest another
activity this summer that might be more productive and conducive to grad school admissions?

Thanks in advance.  I value your time and opinion, and could use your expert advice in this matter.

Best regards

First, thanks for your comments on my blog - ARCHCareers.

In the U.S., over 50 architecture programs offer a Master of Architecture for those with an undergraduate degree in another discipline.  The best resource for learning of these programs is  While you do need to create a login and password, the resource is free and provides you the opportunity to search them.

To address your primary question, I apologize in advance for not being to address it as I have not had any direct experience with them.  I can offer two suggestions - 1) contact them directly via email and ask them direct questions you are seeking; 2) another is to post a question to which I now see you have already done.

As for other activities during the summer, I would encourage you to immerse yourself in architecture - reading, sketching, drawing, seeing, etc.  As you apply to graduate programs, you will need a portfolio; while you have a more design related degree, consider a art/drawing course to help with the creating of your portfolio.

Best and keep in touch.


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