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Old Posted Mar 31, 2007, 5:45 PM
sarocks14 sarocks14 is offline
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Opinions on UTSA College of Architecture

Ok, I wanna be an architect, and I'm obsessed with SA, and I really liked UTSA when I visited it last week...so put the two together and you get the UTSA College of Architecture. So, I'm just wondering if anybody has any opinions or thoughts on Architecture at UTSA vs. my 2nd choice, which is A&M.
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Old Posted Mar 31, 2007, 7:44 PM
Tex1899 Tex1899 is offline
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I know nothing about UTSA's College of Architecture. They have (or had) a professor, Vince Canizaro, who I think is really good - I had him for a class my junior year when he taught at A&M.

A&M has a pretty good program - not as highly rated as Rice, UT, or some of the Ivy programs, but very practical. A survey published a couple of years ago listed A&M's architecture grads as being near the top in something non-design related...the ability to manage a project or something.

A couple of things to consider: A&M's College of Architecture is/was at capacity and the College strongly encouraged students to spend at least 1 semester studying abroad. If a high school student asked, I would tell them to expect to spend at least 1 semester abroad if they go to A&M to study architecture. I don't know if UTSA is in this situation. Second, your chances of getting a job after graduating from A&M are probably better than UTSA - A&M's a better known school, is ranked higher, and you have the power of the Aggie Network.

What do you want to study? Any particular design philosophy? Do you actually want to be an architect or do you want to be involved in the profession? Have you considered research opportunities? http://archone.tamu.edu/College/Research/centers.html

Look at associated programs within the respective colleges. A&M's College of Architecture includes construction science and landscape architecture - two groups an architect will work with. From a graduate standpoint, A&M's College also offers real estate development and urban planning degrees. http://archone.tamu.edu/College/Academics/

Finally, if you want to design hospitals you should go to A&M...no ifs ands or buts about it. Keep that in mind. Your junior and senior years you may be designing hospitals, or something health-related; if you care nothing about this field of design then you may want to consider a different school.

Rodney Hill would be a great person to contact. http://archone.tamu.edu/rhill/ His email is rhill@archone.tamu.edu.
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Old Posted Mar 31, 2007, 8:20 PM
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UTSA School of Architecture is pretty nice.

It's a downtown campus, all of your classes are downtown and the parking isn't that bad. You will work in a studio which is open 24/7 anytime you want. The first semester of Design I will be crazy, they will give you a new project per week with weekend projects on top of that but they will assign things like a plaster project, a basswood project, a project working with light. Be prepared to buy lots and lots of supplies, you will not get a break at the school of architecture anywhere.

Anybody who's anybody at UTSA will tell you about Mark Blizzard, be careful when you take his class. His class is Architecture & Culture. You will be required to write three pages of essays a week single spaced and you will also have to do photo essays. It is extremely demanding. Another teacher is Jon Thompson, he is an excellent teacher and you will like his class, Architecture & Thought. He has an excellent class and you learn a lot from him. Great teacher. Other good teachers are Webb for Design I and try to take Jon Thompson for Design III.
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Old Posted Mar 31, 2007, 8:44 PM
sarocks14 sarocks14 is offline
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Thanks for the info Tex & Double L. Tex, you mention getting a better job coming from A&M, do firms care more about where you went to school or what's in your portfolio? I mean, I would think your work is what "should" be most important. I'm aware of the other architectural fields but I want to be strictly an architect, not landscape or anything else. I would like to design hospitals, and have thought about that, but not enough that I would want to necessarily specialize in it or anything. Double L, I'll keep those professors in mind. 3 page essays a week don't sound too good but I don't have a problem writing so I'm sure I'd manage...hopefully
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Old Posted Apr 1, 2007, 1:31 AM
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As long as you can get into the AIA, you're good.

The bonus in schools comes from how many quality architects they put out, cuz that fosters communication and networking
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Old Posted Apr 1, 2007, 2:53 AM
sarocks14 sarocks14 is offline
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Originally Posted by alexjon View Post
As long as you can get into the AIA, you're good.

The bonus in schools comes from how many quality architects they put out, cuz that fosters communication and networking
I've looked at the AIA membership form, and I may be wrong, but it seems like it's just if you can afford the membership fees, but yes I do plan on being an AIA member when the time comes
I found out today that one of the managing partners of SA Partnership is AIA and graduated from UTSA Arch
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Old Posted Apr 1, 2007, 9:32 AM
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Originally Posted by sarocks14 View Post
I've looked at the AIA membership form, and I may be wrong, but it seems like it's just if you can afford the membership fees, but yes I do plan on being an AIA member when the time comes
I found out today that one of the managing partners of SA Partnership is AIA and graduated from UTSA Arch
AIA means nothing if you're a nobody, silly.

Make a name for yourself... the school can be totally irrelevant if you forge your way through and scream "eff convention! I'm doing things *MY* way!"
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Old Posted Apr 1, 2007, 3:17 PM
Tex1899 Tex1899 is offline
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Originally Posted by sarocks14 View Post
Tex, you mention getting a better job coming from A&M, do firms care more about where you went to school or what's in your portfolio? I mean, I would think your work is what "should" be most important.
Your chances of getting a job are probably better by graduating from A&M than UTSA...not necessarily a better job.

Ever heard stories (some true, some not) of guys getting a job because their fraternity brother hooked them up with one? Same thing with some schools - A&M is one of them. These stories are often embellished. The more likely scenario is your degree from A&M (or fraternity membership, Corps of Cadets, etc) will get your foot in the door for an interview.

College Station is not a hotbed for architecture. You can probably argue either way on San Antonio. San Antonio's home to Lake/Flato. Your chances of getting an evening/weekend job with an architecture firm might be better with UTSA simply because there are (or should be) more architecture firms in San Antonio than in College Station.

Before you decide, make a list of what's important to you...academics, academic opportunities (ie study abroad), work opportunities (internship, evening/weekend job), how you want to spend your time outside of class (campus organizations...I'd highly recommend joining a fraternity), campus/area events (if you like politics consider A&M - Bush Library), and accessibility to Freebirds and Double Daves.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2007, 5:40 PM
TTU Arch TTU Arch is offline
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Originally Posted by sarocks14 View Post
Tex, you mention getting a better job coming from A&M, do firms care more about where you went to school or what's in your portfolio? I mean, I would think your work is what "should" be most important.
Its really about what you do in your school career and how assertive you are. You will find from every school and every class those individuals that rise and those that fall. Being active in something like a fraternity will do wonders for you. Socially and developing into a well rounded candidate. Now for recruiting our Dallas office takes annual recruits from Texas Tech, UT, A&M, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and OU. That is for the regional office, and where we actually attend the job fairs. They do recruit from others as resumes flow in.

Now don't forget about Texas Tech. Tech has one of the strongest AIA alumni in the Dallas area, along with A&M and UT. Tech tends to give well rounded hard working candiates, and a nice dose of theory, but not nearly as much as UT or RICE. Now this is from the horses mouth, but Andy Vernooy is now dean at Texas Tech (very nice nice guy) and when he came from UT and brought several faculty from UT the faculty wanted to change things up to be more like UT. He mentioned that 9 out 10 graduates from Tech go on into architecture and stay with it, so he does not want to mess too much with the system. Tech is very demanding, but worth while. If you do the work you'll graduate. My entry class into the college was 378 we finished with 24. Tech also has a study work program here in Dallas that will put you in Dallas for 9 months with a firm while you are in school with studios and other classes. It also has a very strong foreign study program that Vernooy has really bloosmed in the past years he has been there.

When I was leaving in 02 Tech was developing a new program that concentrated on hospital work. The Tech studio works with our healthcare group here in the Dallas office. A&M already has a well established program.

Now when I went off to work in NYC, it was a high design firm. The partner of the firm told me at lunch one day that he loves to hire people from the mid west because of their work ethic that he has a hard time finding elsewhere. So you'll be fine. Do not pay attention to ratings. NCAAB does not recognize or endorse any ratings of the architecture schools, because each school is so different in their approach. Its really about where you are comfortable.

Last edited by TTU Arch; Apr 2, 2007 at 5:48 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2007, 8:59 PM
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UTSA & TAMU's Schools of Architecture (SoA) are okay. However, the most respected SoA in the state, in addition to being one of the best SoA's in the country, is UT Austin's School of Architecture.

My suggestion is to not only pick a place were you are comfortable, but also one which will put you ahead of other graduates when it comes time to get out into the "real world." Take your time…once you have made a decision, you cannot go back and change things very easily or at all. Plus, you are investing the next 6+ years of your life in this decision (4 years of college work and 2-4 years of residency/apprenticeship) so you definitely want to weigh ALL of your options!
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Last edited by GoldenBoot; Apr 2, 2007 at 9:07 PM.
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2007, 12:07 AM
sarocks14 sarocks14 is offline
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TTU Arch and GoldenBoot, you both mention about going somewhere I'm comfortable with, and that's exactly what my main factor has been. I'm aware and have been aware that UT, A&M, and others are established and have made a name for themselves, and true there might be an edge in getting a job, but I need to go into this relying on my work and my talent to land me a job, not riding the shoulders of a prestigious school, if you get what I'm saying. UT is a definite no -comes from growing up in an anti-Longhorn family , A&M I like but is not where I want to be, I can't see myself being as happy there as I could be at UTSA (basically because of location, which is a big factor in my decision making, maybe thats foolish, maybe not), Tech - too far away for my liking, UTA-no, just plain no, its very close to home though, and Ft. Worth is my 2nd favorite Texas city, but no, Rice-private, that ends that one , UTSA - perfect, and to answer your question, where I feel comfortable at. But dont misunderstand me and think that I feel or don't feel comfortable at these schools because of grades or work ability. For me, like I said it's all about location.

And for the record, I'm not in high school, I graduated last year, If I only had 7 more college hours I'd be a sophomore instead of a freshman-transfer but its ok

Last edited by sarocks14; Apr 3, 2007 at 2:43 AM.
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Old Posted Apr 3, 2007, 12:12 AM
sarocks14 sarocks14 is offline
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Plus, you are investing the next 6+ years of your life in this decision (4 years of college work and 2-4 years of residency/apprenticeship) so you definitely want to weigh ALL of your options!
For the last five years I have dreamed of being an architect and working in SA. That's the only place I've ever, and still ever want to be. Maybe that's being a little narrow minded and selfish, I don't know, but if UTSA will give me a guaranteed 6 years of my life in SA, and then possibly more, then that's where I wanna be

Last edited by sarocks14; Apr 3, 2007 at 2:44 AM.
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Old Posted Apr 4, 2007, 2:15 AM
Tex1899 Tex1899 is offline
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Originally Posted by sarocks14 View Post
For the last five years I have dreamed of being an architect and working in SA. That's the only place I've ever, and still ever want to be. Maybe that's being a little narrow minded and selfish, I don't know, but if UTSA will give me a guaranteed 6 years of my life in SA, and then possibly more, then that's where I wanna be
Sounds like you've made your decision.

Don't rule Rice out simply because it's private - I think something like 80% of its students receive financial aid. U. of Houston's program isn't too bad, either.
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