New York Institute of Technology School of Architecture (2022)

- aka the dungeon (you should really try searching the archives on THIS site, not just a general search engine).

supposedly manhattan will have a laser cutter up and running some time soon, but there is a ventilation problem halting that now. They do have a reasonable (but small) wood shop with somewhat limited hours, but you have your staples in there - table saw, scroll saw, different band saws, radial arm saw, drill press, belt sander, some jigs and hand tools as well. there is stringent student policy against using power tools outside of the shop, violation of which will get your gear confiscated (liability issue). so you have to plan your time well if you want to use tools at the school. outside of that, don't slice up a desktop, don't make a model from a tabletop, don't spraypaint anything OR use plastic chemical adhesives (new rules) and you will be fine.

the studios are open m-f, 8 am-12 am (as long as the school is open) and on saturdays with limited access. lately, you have also been able to go there on sundays, too. the studio (save for the thesis room) is open access, so you don't get a designated desk and/or space for storage (except for a 1'x4'x1.5' locker). so there is no place to put you large model with any degree of security (I have had models and materials stolen and thrown away). if the current plan holds up, by thesis year you will get a desk in a locked room. however, this past semester, there was a miscommunication with the cleaning crew and 60% of the thesis projects were thrown out at the half-way point. *sigh*...just had to get that in there.

the library keeps reasonable hours, too. those are on the website. the biggest advantage is that you have NYPL access (inherent as a nyc student) and inter-library loan/passes to other libraries. you can actually get inter-library loans quicker from columbia, cooper, and (by going yourself) nypl than you can the old westbury architecture library at nyit. nyit manhattan library is limited, to say the least, whether you are looking for architectural materials or otherwise. all this adds up to access to best libraries in the world, all a subway ride away (because the nyit manhattan library isn't one of them).

the faculty is reasonable. you will end up, as with any other architecture school in the nyc area, with a travelling band of professors that teach/have taught at other schools. sure, we have tenured faculty that teach ONLY at either manhattan or old westbury (sometimes at both campuses), but we have a much greater adjunct faculty population in the studio classes (all but 2 of my 10 studio classes have been taught by adjuncts - and I had to request a full-time professor one of those 2 times).

a great many of these adjuncts step right in after earning their m.arch at columbia. I have had 5 of my 9 studio professors come from columbia (thesis is 2 semesters and I have the same professor). be it full-time or adjunct faculty, we have an advantage by going to school in new york city - you can find great jurors if you try. my suggestion is to invite your own, however, since professors may not always bring great jurors. they are easy to find in nyc. also, nyc is a great place for observing dense urbanism, great art and events, and a myriad of other things to your liking.

which is a good segue...contacts in nyc. you can make better contacts here than anywhere else, because there are so many in such close proximity. don't rely on the faculty to hook you up with a job, because they may or may not do it. that's almost a non-factor, since there is an abundance of offices in new york with work.

the computer culture is bizzare in nyit manhattan, especially for a "technology" school. we actually have some pretty good resources - 7-8 color plotters, two dedicated architecture computer labs (replete with 3d max, revit, acad, and cs3). the cirriculumn has moved towards a heavier computer-related focus, with more required visualization classes utilizing the computer. so you have the resources, and you will be taught some things about design related software, but be prepared to work on your own and learn these programs on your own -most of the faculty either doesn't know computers OR they don't know the software. this is ok, though, because these kinds of things become more familiar to a student while experimenting on their own, imo.

also, all of these resources will be PACKED with people come review time (mid-semester and finals), be they woodshop, computer, plotter, or studio space.

the architecture classes can be pretty good. however, your classes outside of the architecture department will largely suck. I count only three classes I had outside of the architecture department (9 out of the 60 credits I took in a 169 credit bachelors of architecture cirriculumn) that were worthwhile, one in fine arts (photography with prof. grundy) and two in the writing department (both with dr. stephens). otherwise, these other 51 credits have been an absolute waste of time, taught with neglect, apathy, and disregard for the students. but hey, an architectural education has to be rounded out, I suppose...

the school, being in nyc, is urban-studies oriented. in studio, you will rarely design on anything other than the urban scale. this is not to say that you will design a bunch of cities, but you won't make a house, either. our projects (outside of the fundamentals classes) have been infills, stand-alone 2 story projects, one landscape, mixed use building, housing, urban design, urban long span structure, and then thesis (which is "recommended" by the faculty to keep in a local setting).

the school itself is run from old westbury. there are no administrative vp or dean positions (save dean of students, manhattan) that have offices in manhattan. our architecture dean shows up occassionally, suprising considering she lives around the corner from the manhattan campus (she has a little office in manhattan occupied by the assistant dean), but in her defense, she has been travelling around the world lately. from what I can tell, all other amenities are similar (career services, bursar, registrar) between nyc and ow.

you can figure out cost for yourself, so I won't bother.

those are the facts, for the most part, mixed in with opinion. here is some strictly opinion-based info. you will have to fight for your education (don't know if that is universal, but allow me to explain). there's a high degree of student apathy, from my experience. I never thought this would matter, and I proceeded as such until it actually impacted me. some classes are cut short or dumbed down to cater to this student apathy. and it hurts, especially when you are trying so hard. however, with real hard work (some/most of which will be your own drive and perseverence) you can get a decent education. you will find some professors that care - in studio, imas, palazzolo, ke, fulk, and crespo are fantastic...non-studio arch classes, get vossoughian (history), urick (structures), nolan (computers), and especially dr. taylor (history).

again, you will fight for this education, and it will test your patience and resourcefulness, because you need to find your own space/tools/materials/information to make things. you will be at a disadvantage not only to the other nyc schools who have better resources in this regard (which I hear all do and I have seen cooper union definetly does), but to the old westbury campus as well (they have better resources in old westbury, from shop to studio to library). in fact, I have heard the nyit manhattan campus referred to as the ugly stepchild of the old westbury campus. you need to suck it up and deal...I practically have frequent flyer miles for how many times I took the NJ transit trains to my other studio (and I live in manhattan).

and, unfortunately, sometimes the lack of resources at the school brings down professor expectations, which can be a motivating factor for a student. it also drives some professors away prior to hiring OR after they have worked there as an adjunct. I've confirmed both of these things through conversation with former professors, and it makes me sad. there is a ridiculous drop-off in student work after the weed out years (first, second year, df1, df2, d1, d2), and professors have openly complained about that, too. so you just have to maintain that focus.

however, with all that said, I can't answer your true question...should you go here? I don't know enough about other schools to answer that. hope this helps, since this is my last semester at nyit manhattan (barch) and I guess I have seen it all. I assume that, since you want the gsd 1.5 march, you will attempt to attain a barch accredited 5 year degree first. just out of curiosity, what are your deciding factors?

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