Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thought of the day

It is important to be informed so you can make up your own mind and form an opinion. Not just any opinion, an educated opinion that YOU made and not an opinion made FOR you by someone else. It is also important to be open to new possibilities. All around us we see there are infinite possibilities in life. So your opinions could change over time. It is OK. We are all evolving all the time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

College Review: A student perspective - SCI-Arc

I'm in California right now with a group from my school. We visited SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture) yesterday. After the visit, I got an idea to review a bunch of schools I've visited. So let me start with SciARC


Location: Downtown Los Angeles, California
Degrees offered: B. Arch & M. Arch
# of Faculty: 85
# of Students: 500 (50% B. Arch 50% M. Arch)
Class size: 15 - 18 students undergrad
Cost: undergrad 2010/2011 Academic year
  • Tuition - $ 15,125 per semester ($ 3o,250 / yr)
  • Fees - $ 200 ($ 400 / yr)
  • Books & Material - $ 4000 a semester ( from my experience this is actually like $ 6000 a yr but could be more)
Click here for all price details

Financial Aid & Scholarships: Available
Application Requirements: Application, Application fee, 3 recommendation letters, Letter of intent, resume, Portfolio, transcripts
Deadlines: Click here

Pros: Small & close knit architecture community, latest technology - equipment and software, lots of visiting lectures, All the professors are practitioners so you can land on internships and actual projects easily. Did I mention latest technology? You can bring your pets to school. They bring in the big guns to do the final thesis reviews like Thom Mayne.

Cons: Hmm... this is a tough one because I loved it there. But not everyone may like the warehouse-look of the building. It's a quarter mile long old warehouse building, nothing fancy on the outside. I would say looks definitely are deceiving - its like a nerd's dream school :) One more thing is that it's located in the warehouse district so not your fancy-neighborhood school. But most architecture students care less about stuff like these - I didn't find this a reason why I wouldn't go there. It's a private university. So it is a bit expensive. This is a bit of a draw back considering the high cost of living in LA. But it would be an investment in your future.

Notes: Like I said, I loved it. Los Angeles is full of architecture and SCI-Arc is definitely the place to be. I was there at SCI-Arc when the finals were going on, so it was intense. You can feel the intellectual intensity in the air. They have a bunch of installations inside the school and in the parking lot - made by students with faculty's help. They have a gallery with exhibits. They have their own library, supply store, print shop, workshop with industrial grade wood and metal tools, many 3D printers, etc. (Read more about the full list of resources here). They are bringing in 6 or 7 robotic arms that will be installed in May 2011. So latest technology ! You get to work with software like Rhino, Maya, 3D Max, Grasshopper and more. Very computer intensive environment. Students work hard - almost every single one I met and I like that about SCI-Arc. If you are serious about architecture, you want an experimental design experience, and a non conventional educational institute then you should check them out.