Friday, October 7, 2011

Mechanical Engineer to Architect

Dr. Architecture,
I am a licensed P.E. in the state of Alabama in Mechanical Engineering and have almost 20 years of experience (from machine design to more physics based applications). I have a Masters and Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University, but am now considering the idea of transitioning to Architecture. I am looking to  a supporting role in an architecture firm. What might the best path be? Are there any options for distance learning (even a subset of the coursework), that have accreditation? I am a military dependent living in Ohio, but we will settle in the state of Colorado within the next year. I realize that the education and licensure can be state dependent. I appreciate any help you might be.

First, congrats on your idea to pursue architecture.

Given your previous education, you may pursue the accredited Master of Architecture (3-4 years) at over 60 institutions around the country.  For the full list, visit -- NAAB - and ARCHSchools -

Unfortunately, there are no exclusively online degree programs in architecture for an individual that has a degree in another discipline.  With your moving to Colorado the only program in the states is University of Colorado - Denver.

Now, given your discipline is mechanical engineering, you may be able to pursue a position within a AE / EA firm which would allow you to contribute (not as an architect).

I would begin the process of networking through the professional association - AIA - American Institute of Architects and contact a few firms for possible positions.


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