Sunday, October 23, 2011

Aspiring Architect

I am in the midst of pursuing a career in architecture, for it has been a professional interest of mine for a long time. I have already obtained a degree in Art History from Pennsylvania State University and am currently pursuing a degree in Architectural Technology from Norfolk State University. After completing my two years at Norfolk, I am going to apply for a  M.Arch program. 
What I am concerned about is the competition I will face with students who have obtained their bachelor's degree in architecture. Are they reviewed on an equal field as students who have an undergrad in an alternative major? Also, how important is obtaining an internship before applying for a master's program? And, how much work experience would I need before an architecture firm considers hiring me (post graduate school) to do work beyond and internship level?

I am not sure where you are in completing your degree in architectural technology, but do know that you would be eligible to apply to a Master of Architecture (3-4 years) with your art history degree from PSU.  From my view, the degree that you are receiving is more technical and drafting.  It may be helpful but will it provide you with materials for your portfolio?  Perhaps not.  I would encourage you to take drawing, art or life drawing courses.

You should NOT be concerned about the competition when applying to a Master of Architecture as you would be not be compared with those that apply with a pre-professional degree.  To be sure, contact the programs to which you plan to apply and learn how they make admission decisions.

Typically, it is not necessary to have an internship prior to applying to a MArch.  I would certainly encourage you to secure an internship either prior or during your MArch to bake you more competitive when pursuing employment after graduation, but many MArch graduates may not have internship experience at graduation.

Best.  Feel free to contact me with more questions.

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