Leah Altman headshot

Bachelor of Science in Architecture


/ Recent Taubman Graduate

Leah Altman

Being at Taubman is kind of the best of both worlds. You get the experience of being a part of a small college like Taubman, but you’re still part of a Big 10 school and have access to all the resources of a major university.

Evanston, IL, United States

Degree Program(s)
B.S. Architecture

Graduation Date
May 2023

Academic Areas of Interest
Architecture, urban design, art history, museum studies, gender studies

Hobbies or interests outside of academia
Painting, graphic design, music, photography

Why did you choose Taubman College as the right program for you?
I knew that I wanted to pursue architecture in an environment that would allow me to gain knowledge in a wide variety of interests and subjects. Taubman has the feeling of a tight small community but the resources of a large university- such as the fabrication lab!

What is special or excites you about the Taubman community?
There’s really something for everyone in the Taubman community. You have the opportunity to focus on topics that you’re interested in and do further research on them or implement them into your studio projects.

If applicable, tell us about studio culture – what is inspiring or innovative or unique?
There is always something happening in studio! Small studios allow you to get to know your peers. Everyone is encouraging and open to talking – whether about a design opinion, a technical question, or weekend plans. My studios always plan movie nights or weekend outings together, which really furthers our bonds!

Describe your experience with faculty and professional staff during your time at Taubman?
The faculty I have worked with have pushed me outside of my comfort zone in the best way. I came into the program having limited knowledge of the digital tools needed in studio. My instructors always helped me when I needed it and also pushed me to explore tools for myself. I’ve made architectural drawings all in the color magenta and a model of stacked acrylic filled with sand because my professors pushed me to think outside the box. I really value all the conversations that I have had with Taubman faculty.

How has Taubman’s career and professional development support prepared you for a successful career in your chosen field?
Taubman is devoted to helping every student achieve their professional goals. I’ve had 1:1 meetings to review my resume and portfolio and participated in larger events like portfolio reviews and career chats. There are always events about how to prepare for an interview or write a cover letter, and twice a year; you can meet with potential employers at the career fair. I’ve also participated in the Spring Externship program, where I was able to get experience working at a firm in Chicago for a week during my Spring Break. There are plenty of professional development opportunities to participate in.

What benefits have you experienced being part of the University of Michigan?
Being at Taubman is kind of the best of both worlds. You get the experience of being a part of a small college like Taubman, but you’re still part of a Big 10 school and have access to all the resources of a major university. You’ll know everyone in your studio, and then on the weekends you’ll be at the Big House with 100,000 other people.

What do you like most about being part of the Ann Arbor community?
Ann Arbor has so many opportunities to explore your interests. I am part of several student organizations outside of architecture, allowing me to pursue graphic design, art, and music. The city, in general, is great to explore; there’s always something to do, no matter who you are or what you’re interested in.

What advice would you give prospective students as they consider Taubman College?
Consider what you want to get out of your architectural education. Taubman does a great job of combining both the theory and practice of architecture and offers a wide range of courses to fit all of your interests. Being a part of a large university also allows you to access organizations, resources, and research opportunities that smaller universities don’t offer.

What are your plans after graduation?
I just finished applying to graduate schools to continue my architectural education! I am interested in the theory and art side of architecture, so I’d like to find a position that would allow me to express myself creatively and think critically. I also plan on researching gender in architecture and urban design in the future!

Additional advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective students?
The University of Michigan has a ton of opportunities to explore. Take advantage of them and the opportunities in the Ann Arbor community. It’s easy to devote all of your time to architecture and Taubman, but a work/life balance is important to maintain!