Thursday, August 26, 2010

Becoming an architect with a non-architecture bachelor's degree

I am wondering what path I will have to take in order to become an architect when I'm graduating from a small liberal-arts school with a BA in art and art history. Can I move on to a master's program in architecture from here or do I need another bachelor's degree?

First, I suggest you check out the following blog that includes answers to questions I receive --

With your degree, you can easily apply to any number of Master of Architecture (3-4 years) for individuals like you that have an undergraduate degree in another discipline. There is no need to get another undergraduate degree. The true challenge is researching programs and developing your portfolios.

To research programs, visit the following:

Also, visit for ideas on how to develop your portfolio.

Dr. Architecture


Ananya Barua said...

Can an B.A comparative literature student later pursue for Masters in Architecture?? plz reply.

Dr. Architecture said...

Anaya - Yes - In the U.S., most graduate level Master of Architecture programs allow an individual with an undergraduate degree in an unrelated discipline to apply for admission.

Drop me an email with more questions.

Ananya Barua said...

Even without having maths in the high school level? As,I had humanities as my stream. And which universities allow such programs? It would be very kind of you if you let me know the names of some.

Senay Moke said...

i have a degree in civil engineering.can i have my masters in Architecture?

Dr. Architecture said...

Senay - Yes, you can pursue the Master of Architecture with your degree in civil engineering. Many graduate architecture programs in the U.S. allow candidates with a degree in another discipline. Of course, the MArch will be longer.

Karthikcv EleganceBlogger said...

I have done,Civil engineeringin india and i want do M.arch in USA and wanna become an licensed Architect.Is it possible that i can able to do M.arch in USA aftr completing (bachelors) in civilengineering

sunny said...

...what about outside of the us? do you know of any MArch programs in europe that accept students without a design/engineering background?

Elain Liu said...

Hi! I'm doing a B.A of chemistry right now. I'm really torn at this point. I don't know what's the possibilities of getting into those architecture programs and wan an know your opinions on whether it's worth it.

Unknown said...

Hi there, I don't have a Bachelor degree yet, and not ure what I should go for given my ultimate goal is to become an architect. What would you suggest a a bachelor degree to then pursue a master in architecture? Or do you suggest going for a B.Arch?

Dr. Architecture said...

It is hard to address your question not knowing where you are in your education; if you are early, consider transferring to an architecture program and complete the accredited degree;

If you are near graduation, pursue the accredited Master of Architecture for those with a degree in another discipline.

VDub said...

Hi there. I have a BA in Art HIstory and but have been interested in Architecture and Design since high school. However, I don't know how I would get a portfolio of jobs except for experience in the real estate/design/construction business. Trying to figure out if it's better to get a B.Arch (or if that is even possible) or MArch. Thanks for your response!

Dr. Architecture said...

VDub - As you have a BA in Art History, you would be best advised to pursue the Master of Architecture; many institutions have the MArch for those with an undergraduate degree in another discipline list you.

As for a portfolio of positions, focus on transferable skills that employers are seeking - communication, teamwork, research, etc. Focus on networking as the means to secure a position.

Best. Contact me via if you have more questions.

Student said...

I am currently a second year BSc student in the track International Business. I am questioning whether this is really the right thing for me. I have always been interested in architecture, which is why I might want to become an architect.

Is it possible for me to enter a Master in Architecture? (FYI - I could maybe do it in the US, but as I am living in Europe/The Netherlands I might want to stay here). If it is possible, do you have any advice on how to best enter, or things I could do to prepare for my application?

Do you have any advice on how I know for sure whether business, architecture or maybe even something else is really for me?

Thank you! :)

Champpy said...


I've done a Bachelor degree in Medicine and now working as a doctor in the hospital. However, I found myself to have more passion in the architecture and design field and I want to change my career path. Is there a way that I can take the Master degree in Architecture without having a Bachelor or any background in this field? If yes, It would be great if you can give the information on which course and/or university that would be possible for me to apply.

Thank you.

Champpy :)

Dr. Architecture said...

Champpy - In the U.S., there are many graduate program that allow individuals with a degree in another discipline (such as yours) to apply. For research on architecture programs, visit

Max Bredeweg said...


So after reading previous comments above I was wondering what is the advantage to getting a bachelors degree in architecture rather than a different unrelated bachelors degree if I plan to get a masters in architecture?

Dr. Architecture said...

Max - Which degree path you take may depend on where you are with regards to your education. If you are still in HS, pursuing the BArch my be the best approach.

If you have completed a degree in another discipline, pursuing a MArch degree following your degree may be the best approach.

Of course, the final approach is to pursue a preprofessional degree with a MArch degree afterwards.

I hope this is helpful.

Sam Arthurson said...


I graduated with a degree in marketing however feel have a great deal of enthusiasm for architecture and would love to retrain and do a post grad course in architecture, is this possible with a business focused degree?

Warm regards,


Dr. Architecture said...

Sam - Absolutely; many architecture programs ( have Master of Architecture degrees for individuals with a degree in another discipline. Search NAAB (National Architectural Accrediting Board) or

Be aware that you need to have a portfolio of creative work; for this reason, you may wish to take a drawing course or parallel.

Email if you wish to discuss more.

Narmada Prasad said...

Hello sir. As i have no basics in architecture will i get an admission in masters in architecture? I have done chemical engineering in India. Now iam interested in architecture and wanna make my career in that. What is portfolio designing?

hermela tesfay said...

i have a degree in fashion design. how many years do i have to learn my masters in architecture?

Dr. Architecture said...

Hermela - In the U.S., most graduate programs for individuals with a degree in another discipline are 3-4 years.