Idea: Curriculum is More Important than School Rank

When I was a senior in high school, I was so so so obsessed with the idea of school rank. I thought the rank of my choice of school was a testament to how smart I was, and how much potential I had in life. Upon further reflection, I realize how naive that assumption is. A school rank is merely just a number of how well certain jurors felt it ranked based on a list of criteria. It satisfies the needs of parents and students alike and gives them a sense of what they “should” desire.

More importantly, I think, is the idea that the curriculum of a school is more important than the prestige that is associated with a certain school name. The curriculum of a school will invariably shape the character, beliefs, and ideologies of the student.

I am seeing this now more than ever, especially in schools of architecture that have had influences from  very influential figure(s) during its history. The three most prominent examples that come to mind are Auburn University’s Rural Studio, Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia, and Mies van der Rohe’s Illinois Institute of Technology.

Therefore, this is a statement and a wish for myself, and for others, when deciding whether to attend or enroll in a certain school, be sure to check its syllabus and curriculum to decide if the mandatory and supplemental courses offered are in line with what you perceive is required or helpful to succeed in the 21st century.

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