Thursday, September 7, 2017

Biology to Architecture - Graduate Portfolio

I just stumbled upon your blog and I'm finding a lot of your comments very helpful as I try to apply to M.Arch programs. I thought I'd email you to gain some more insight on this process. My biggest concern is what exactly graduate programs are looking for in a portfolio. 

I do not have an architecture background but i did take an Intro to Architecture course this summer which gave me two projects I'm proud of but I know I need more. I'm looking into taking additional  classes before the deadlines but what would help boost my portfolio? Is it a basic drawing class? Should I try to find some computer graphic courses? My background is in biology and I am so hopelessly lost in this application process, any advice is much appreciated.

Thanks for being an ARCHCareers fan.  You are the reason I do the blog; I am more than willing to address your questions below and future questions.

Also, I suggest you obtain the following

Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design - 3rd Edition

First, congrats on your desire to pursue architecture.  I think you will find it extremely rewarding.

The best source to determine what graduate programs are looking for in a portfolio is to contact them directly.  I would suggest contacting them by phone to learn firsthand on how they make decisions and how the portfolio is used.  Below is probably the best website for a list of the programs.

Below are the portfolio requirements for a particular graduate program for their 3+ MArch; for applicants with an undergraduate program other than architecture, you do NOT need to submit architecture.  Instead, you submit work that is creative (see below).

I would NOT do a computer graphics course -- freehand drawing would be more helpful.

Portfolio Requirements:
A portfolio of student, extracurricular, and professional work is required of all applicants to the MARCH 2+ program. This portfolio should demonstrate the applicant’s creative abilities, skill level and talent in graphic communications. Applicants should include items demonstrating a latent interest in architecture. Submissions may include undergraduate or extracurricular design or drawing studio work, sketches, photos of architectural models, and digital models and drawings demonstrating abilities in architectural representation, drawing and sketching as well as the applicant’s abilities to use such graphic and design programs as Photoshop, In-Design, Illustrator, Sketchup, Sketchbook Pro, and Rhino.  Portfolio content should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Show at least eight [8] different items completed as a student or in extracurricular or personal study.
  • Demonstrate an applicant’s ability in graphic analysis, conceptualization, and development as well as and final products for each included item. A short narrative must accompany each entry.
  • Illustrate abilities in two- and three-dimensional thinking
  • Demonstrate attention to detail as appropriate for the item included
To receive full consideration, any professional work should include a statement from the employer indicating the extent of the work performed by the applicant. All examples of work should state whether the project was completed individually or by a group. For projects completed by a group, the applicant must include a statement outlining the number of group members and the applicant’s responsibilities as part of the group.
If you are near any of these cities, you can visit schools directly.

College Fairs - Fall 2017 - Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York

Finally, I am more than willing to create a email exchange or even set up a phone call it that helps.

Keep in touch and best.

Dr. Architecture

1 comment:

Allison said...

I have a degree in journalism and returned to seek a graduate degree in architecture after a twenty year career in magazines. The only programs I would suggest for individuals with a Core curriculum. Essentially, you complete 4 years or 8 studios that are required for graduate acceptance in 1 or 2 years, depending on whether a summer term is offered. in addition, NCARB has recently implemented an Integrated Path to Licensure (IPAL) where you can be licensed upon graduation. There are 18 universities in the country that have been accredited to provide this curriculum. I chose to attend University of Florida's regional campus called UF's CityLab Orlando as it not only offers both a Core and IPAL curriculum but is in an urban area where it is possible to gain experience and receive the required hours necessary for licensure while attending classes that are scheduled to meet the needs of student work schedules.