Hi Aska,I see you’ve already mentioned you’re not an Architecture major like your predecessor (I assure you, I read all the messages with the architecture tag) but I was wondering if you knew what the primary factor is in getting in to the Architecture program. I see they require a portfolio and also have some minimum marks in certain courses, as well as a required GPA, but which of those matters most? Are they all equal? I believe I can at the least attain a GPA of 3.7 or so, but I am worried about the depth of my portfolio (or lack thereof). Any tips?
Also, perhaps the is going beyond the scope of things answered here, but I see the Masters program gives “preference” to applicants with a well-rounded set of credits from the three disciplines. Do you think it’s better to be well-rounded or have better marks? Sciences are definitely my weak point and if I take those courses they will hurt my average.
Thanks for any information you can give!
Yes, you?re right, I am not an Architecture major. I?m actually a (*dun dun dun*) Physics major. I bet you?re shocked. I know what you?re thinking: ?A Physics major who can actually write coherently instead of thinking in expressions like? 2x*exp(xyz)? LYK NO WAI!!? But then it dawns on you: aaahhh, so THAT?s the reason for all the silly alien jokes. Anyway, rest assured? I may be someone of a mad scientist… but I’m totally sane. *aska quickly sweeps up from the floor the harvested brain from last last post and throws it into a huge box containing a lot of other brains*
Anyway, how may I help you today? Well, I got you some inside information from my architecture ancestor (lucky you) so here goes.
First of all, you?re getting your entrance requirements mixed up. I?m going to assume that you?re an undergraduate student and that you?re talking about getting into the undergrad program, because you?ve talked about ?minimum marks in certain courses?. You don?t need a portfolio for the undergraduate program at UofT at all. So don?t be worried about the (lack of) depth of your portfolio. Your portfolio could be empty space for all they cared and it still wouldn?t matter. As for the other two requirements, GPA is definitely more important. A lot of people achieve 71% in ARC131 and ARC132, but an overall GPA that is high is rare, especially in first year.
You do need a portfolio to get into grad school, but 1) you have four more years to complete the portfolio, and 2) if you do get into the undergraduate architectural design program at UofT, you?re going to have a lot of studio courses that would provide you with many chances to add extra pieces to your portfolio. According to aska?s ancestor, you should come up with pieces using as many types of media as you can, as it shows your creativity. 😀 If you are unable to get into the architecture design program, then you’re going to have to work on your portfolio on your own time — but this is something that you want to do in the long run if you want to be an architect anyway, right?
As for well-roundedness giving you an advantage in graduate school, I don?t really think you have to worry too much about that either. Yes, it?s true that the architecture program at UofT does really like to take in people from every discipline (apparently, one of the master students in architecture had an undergraduate biochemistry degree). But in the end, architecture at UofT is only a major program (as opposed to a specialist), which means that you have to combine it with another major program or two minors in order to graduate anyway. As long as you don?t combine it with something like Art History, you?d probably end up with a pretty diverse mix of courses in the end. Hint: if you don?t have any other good ideas for the second major, you could try out something from the Centre of Environment. Green architecture is always in. As for the sciences being your weak point, you probably don?t have to worry about that. The admissions requirements for the Master?s program only require ?secondary calculus? and ?secondary physics?. So you only have to take calculus and physics at the high school level.
tl;dr version (that’s “too long; didn’t read” for all you non-geeks): undergrad architecture doesn’t require a portfolio. The grad program does but you have four years to make the portfolio. So my advice to you is: Relax, go out and have some fun, and stop freaking out.