February 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm #165117
I am looking for input on graduate programs which would best compliment a BLA. I’m interested in a few different programs, but have yet to focus it down. I would be applying for fall 2012 and wanted to give myself a good year to sort things out. Currently I am looking into Urban Design, Architecture, Regenerative Studies (at Cal Poly), and good old Landscape Architecture. There are aspects of each which I am interested in and would like to pursue further. Has anyone had any experience making the jump to a different discipline for their Masters? Opinions? How feasible are these options?
ThanksFebruary 8, 2011 at 5:29 am #165125Jason T. RadiceParticipant
If you decide to got the MLA route, make sure you don’t end up in a combined program, rather, find a program that is not studio focused and will allow you to research what you want. If not, you will be wasting your time repeating much of your BLA studios and stuff. That was the mistake I made. I had an article about it in the “critic at large” section of December’s LAM.February 8, 2011 at 5:33 am #165124Jay EverettParticipant
If you are still open to other options, maybe look into an MBA with a focus in sustainability. That will substantially increase the range of jobs availbile to you when you get out of school, some firms might find an MBA more attractive than an MLA. I don’t feel like we gain much understanding of the economic side of sustainability in design school, and it’s just as important as the social and environmental aspects.
A word of warning: if you get too far away from design curriculum, you may have to take some leveling classes. I also have a BLA and I’m currently on undergrad leveling class #5 of 7 and plan to start the Green MBA in the fall of this year. On the other hand if you’re taking a year to figure things out it might be worth experimenting by taking a course or two in business or some other field like biology or geology just to try out something different. I agree with Marie, be aware of the job opportunities before you choose a master’s program.February 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm #165123mauiBobParticipant
I agree with Jay. Pursue an MBA, it will open up more opportunities beyond the construction industry. Although I love being a LA / Planner, if I had a chance to do it all over again, I would go into Business Finance with some international studies. Which by the way was my second choice behind a degree in landscape architecture. Master’s in Geography or Planning is good too. Forget finding what compliments with a BLA. Instead ask yourself what you’re passionate about?
My candid advice to students? Unless you have true passion for this career field, change majors now! Do something else. This industry is a roller coaster ride every 8 to 10 years.February 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm #165122
Thank you for the input! I appreciate the advice about the MBA, but I don’t think it would work for me, as the primary reason I would like to go back for my masters (and eventually a doctorate) would be to go the academia route. I haven’t really felt passionate about private practice since I graduated in 2007, but I suppose that could have something to do with a sluggish economy and industry-wide turmoil.
Jason, I didn’t realize that the combined programs for LA are like that. I am considering a combined program at UCLA for architecture and urban design. Would you stay away from all combined programs?
Marie, That is a very good call on seeing how people are using their degrees! Thank you!February 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm #165121
Have you heard anything about UCLA’s program?February 9, 2011 at 10:52 pm #165120Thomas J. JohnsonParticipant
Chris – Really?February 10, 2011 at 12:25 am #165119Jason T. RadiceParticipant
If you already have a BLA, then the MArch and UD @ UCLA would be fine. You are changing subjects. You want to stay away from an MLA that claims to be a “second professional degree” that lumps you in with “first professional” candidates.February 10, 2011 at 1:28 am #165118Veenu JayaramParticipant
I would totally agree with a beware of a MLA if you have done a BLA ( just so many repetition). Architecure and Urban design is good at UCLA as far I have heard. I went to USC, MLA program after a BArch from India. But do your home work well before choosing you school and major. Ask yourself how the studio focus are, faculty, what courses are offered in the program and how the program connects you to the outside world practically ( Well, if getting jobs is your final desitination). MBA could be good focus too. Fees matters, check if schols offer scholarships. Aslo as said before ask yourself what are YOUR goals. What are you pay back expectations and what kind of a work place you want to work in. As far in my opinion, for pratical architecture knowledge sometimes working in a office with a good mentoring collegues and good design build firm you can pretty much get all the education you need without the school fees too.
Hope that helps. Again DO YOUR HOMEWORK! before settling for school.
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