Saturday, June 4, 2011

Community College

I'm a student just graduated from high school and I just found my passion on Architecture recently. I plan for a community college and transfer after 2 years, to a university.
I sent an e-mail to Carnegie Mellon University for inquire. I was told that students there start as a freshman to accomplish the NAAB-accredited 5-year program, so as transfer students. But as you know, there's no NAAB B.A. program in community college. If so, does it mean I have to spend seven years to earn my NAAB bachelor degree???
The only one i heard is Cuesta Community College which has "perfect articulation" with NAAB progrm of CalPoly university. But I don't want to go there. Is it really matter to get NAAB degree during undergraduated years? On the other hand, the architecture  class in UCLA only requires two years to finish, without NAAB however. 

Transferring from a community college to university like UCLA, and earn the NAAB master degree aferwards, compared with spending five or seven years on NAAB Bachelor Degree, which is better?

Rather than directly addressing your question, allow me to outline the education of an architect.  It is necessary to pursue the NAAB accredited degree.
Paths to an Accredited Degree
Before selecting a particular architecture program, you need to understand the different paths to obtaining a National Architectural Accredited Board (NAAB – accredited degree.  Because there is more than one path, this can be confusing.  Each path is designed to offer a particular level of expertise and enable you to make a variety of career and educational choices.  To become an architect, your educational goal will be to obtain a professional degree accredited by the National Architectural Accredited Board.

NAAB accredits three different professional degrees: the five-year bachelor of architecture (B.Arch.); the master of architecture (M.Arch) which can accomplished by first pursuing the four-year pre-professional undergraduate architecture degree or the four-year undergraduate degree in a field other than architecture; and the doctor of architecture (D.Arch.) available solely at the University of Hawaii.

While your eventual goal will be to obtain a NAAB accredited professional degree, you may wish to consider starting the path at a community college or an institution offering only a four-degree in architecture.  Further still, you can pursue an undergraduate degree in any discipline related or not to architecture.

With that as background, consider the following given your desire to begin your studies at a community college.  The best approach is to pursue coursework at a community college that allows you to transfer to a four year pre-professional degree.  Contact possible architecture programs ( that you wish to attend to determine what courses you should take.  As you have discovered, most Bachelor of Architecture programs require a transfer student to still complete the program in five years; this is because of the studio sequence which begins year one.

At many four year programs, studio may not begin until sophomore or junior years.  Thus, you can satisfy most of the general education courses at the community college.

Again, start with the institution (degree) that you wish to pursue and work backwards to the community college (courses) that you might attend.

If you have more questions, just contact me.  Best

Dr. Architecture


Daniel Tan said...

For those students who get a NAAB B.Arch, they don't need the M.Arch do they? Are most of them seek for a job directly or continue their education?

Dr. Architecture said...

For the purposes of licensure, you do NOT need to pursue the MArch, however you may wish to later pursue a post-professional MS in Architecture or another graduate degree to gain more knowledge.

Email me with more questions -