For those passionate about building design, architecture school is an excellent venue for learning everything from historical reference and preservation, sustainable design and community planning, to drawing and technical applications. If you are an aspiring architect, you will need to complete either a Bachelors Degree program in Architecture, or, if you already have an undergraduate degree, you might consider a Masters Degree in Architecture. Attending an architecture school and completing a degree is essential in gaining the credentials required to work in this field. In fact, it is only the first step in gaining licensure to practice as an architect. In addition to completing a degree program at an accredited institution, want-to-be architects must also complete internships and pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). Given that this occupation requires thorough and hands on training, the importance of your educational background cannot be more highly stressed.
Architecture School Prerequisites
A firm grasp of the basic principles of architecture is highly regarded for those seeking entrance into an architecture school. This preparation and skill set development should be made evident by coursework beginning in high school, with a proven aptitude for algebra, trigonometry, geometry, calculus and even physics. In addition, students are encouraged to have a portfolio that exhibits their creative capacity, drawing skills, and ability to use technology to convey an aesthetic. Generally, architecture schools offering Bachelors Degrees will require candidates to submit scores from the SAT or ACT standardized tests, and when selecting the schools, applicants should research the score requirements for the individual institution. For those seeking their Masters in Architecture, undergraduate coursework in mathematics, design and other key architectural concepts are often required. Additionally, many Masters programs will necessitate a design portfolio to show implementation of basic principles and creativity. Scores reported on the GRE and GMAT exams will likely play a role in admission to a Masters Degree program at an accredited architecture school.
Programs at Architecture Schools
Architecture schools offering a Bachelor of Architecture degree require completion of a five year program ranging in educational coursework from architectural theory and history, design, drafting and drawing, and new building technology and construction concepts. Applicants should be certain that they enroll in a degree program that is recognized by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). To verify a school's credentials simply visit their website at www.NAAB.org. Once the core coursework has been completed, students participate in a design studio. Design studios are implemented to serve as the culmination of preparatory coursework and are a venue for students to showcase their acquired skills through individual projects. Often times, students will choose an architectural specialization, whether it be in residential, commercial or even religious architecture, while other times they will find interest in practices like sustainable design and construction, or preservation and renovations.
These specializations often spark interests that lead to study at the graduate level. Many recipients of a Bachelors of Architecture go on to complete a one-year Masters program in an area of specialization. Other Masters programs are typically two to three years in duration, and are suited for applicants who have related undergraduate experience; however, not necessarily in architecture. In addition to Masters programs, a select few choose to pursue Doctorates of Architecture. Regardless of your academic ambitions, aspiring architects should be certain to prepare for undergraduate and graduate studies by finding ways to showcase their passion for combining their personal aesthetic with the precision and attention to function required to build a successful career in architecture.