Saturday, December 26, 2009

Coming to the U.S.

I appreciate your efforts to guide those who want to become an architect. I am have a M.Architecture, a registered architect and a faculty member here in Iran. It's my pleasure if can get your help determing the best way to continue my practice and academic career in US.

I had worked as a design assistant and architectural programmer in our own firm for 5 years before joining to a larger well-known firm 5 years ago. My spouse is majoring Interior Design in Chicago and we are planning to live and work in US; so that I am considering various options and provisions such as getting professional license, continuing my education in NAAB accredited programs, PhD, etc… .

So considering these facts:

1. I already hold M.Arch and I am interested and talented in both practical and academic areas

2. As far as I heard, it would be difficult for a new-comer architect to adapt profession without getting a professional degree within the US.

3. For teaching in a university, you need to have a PhD in Architecture or a reliable practical record in architectural profession.

As far as I experienced these two are not in separate directions: academy and profession,

But If I apply for a PhD program would it be difficult to find a job in an architecture firm? Will I be considered overqualified for architecture job positions? I am between sixes and sevens in choosing between M.Arch and PhD. Can you help me to choose?


If you desire is to be a licensed architect in the U. S., I suggest you contact NCARB - As you have a professional degree, there is no need to obtain a NAAB accredited degree in the U.S. Instead, you can have your education evaluated by EESA ( against the NCARB Education Standard to meet the education requirement.

In terms of teaching within an accredited program in the U.S., it is not necessary to have a Ph.D. unless you are seeking an Architectural History teaching position. Most programs allow candidates with a Master of Architecture to be considered. Visit the following for possible positions -- --.

As far as having a Ph.D. and applying to a firm, I do not have any great insight, but most firms hire based on skill sets not necessarily on education. I do not think you would be overqualified just because of your degree. However, you would be best to discuss with those in firms who do hiring.

I hope this is helpful! You may certainly email again if you have any additional questions.

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