Firstly, I just wanted to say that I am a huge fan of your blog. That said, I have a question about preparation for graduate school. I am currently a junior at UC Santa Barbara and I'm majoring in art history with an emphasis in architectural history. The program is not accredited so I will need to pursue a M.ARCH when I graduate. Besides maintaing a high GPA, what are some things that I can do in these next two years to help me prepare for admission to a graduate school? I want to go to a top architecture school so I would like to get a head start on whatever it is that you recommend.
Thanks for being a fan! Also, congratulations on your desire to pursue architecture.
First, the program you are attending is not an architecture program and could not be accredited. With that said, you will wish to pursue a MArch (3-4 years) for those with a degree in a discipline other than architecture like your art history degree.
In addition to stellar academic performance, take courses in art/freehand drawing to create work for your portfolio. Also, connect with some faculty who will write your letters of recommendation. Finally, begin to research programs via the following:
NAAB - www.naab.org
ARCHSchools - www.archschools.org
To the extent possible, visit an architecture program to learn more about the process of applying and the curriculum of a MArch. There is not one directly nearby to Santa Barbara, but perhaps visit LA to visit USC, UCLA, or SCI-ARC.