Thursday, August 30, 2012

Transfer to Architecture

I'd really appreciate any information you can provide me with. The story goes: I just finished my first year in architectural engineering at Penn State this past May and am currently taking a year off after my family ran into financial issues over the summer. I'm looking to transfer to a Florida school (being a Florida resident it would be much cheaper), but I want to go into architecture. I just started researching all this information a few weeks ago, so I'm not really clear as to what it is that I'm looking for as far as architecture programs.

I found that there are only three schools offering a NAAB accredited B.Arch, one of which is an expensive private school, one of which is in a fairly bad area, and the other a school that I'd never heard of until starting my research. There are other larger name schools that offer Bachelors of Arts or Science in Architecture, but I'm wondering what the difference is. Will one allow me to begin my career out of undergraduate school and the other require more years? Should I be applying to these non-accredited programs or is that not a bright idea? I'm just very worried that I'm already missing out on a year of school and I don't want to waste any more time. I apologize for taking up you any of your time.

First, thanks for reaching out to me to gain some insight on "becoming an architect."  I would very much suggest you obtain a copy of my book, Becoming an Architect, 2nd ed., as it will answer many of the questions you have but I will address what you ask below.

Next, to meet the educational requirements of becoming an architect, you need a NAAB accredited professional degree; this can be accomplished by the traditional 5-year Bachelor of Architecture or the 4+2 years Bachelor of Arts/Science in Architecture + Master of Architecture.  In other words, it is OK to pursue the four-year undergraduate degree as long as you recognize that you will need to pursue the two-year Master of Architecture.

Given your year at PSU, it is unlikely that you will be able to transfer into the 2nd year of the Bachelor of Architecture because of courses you will have missed; it will probably take a full five years to complete.  For this reason, the 4+2 route may be better for you.  You would still have five more years of school - three years to complete the four-year undergraduate degree and two years for the Master of Architecture.

To view all of the accredited programs in Florida, visit -- see below.

Florida A & M University School of Architecture View
Florida Atlantic University School of Architecture View
Florida International University School of Architecture View
University of Florida School of Architecture View
University of Miami School of Architecture View
University of South Florida School of Architecture and Community Design View

Now, one program to consider is the University of Central Florida - -- They have a new four-year degree that is public which would feed to a Master of Architecture
-- below is from the website.
In collaboration with Valencia Community College and the University of Florida (UF), UCF offers the Bachelor of Design in Architecture. Through the 2+2+2 program, you can complete your associate’s degree at Valencia, your bachelor’s degree at UCF and your master’s degree at UF. It’s convenient, affordable and flexible.

So, you might be able to attend Valencia next year, proceed to UCF and move to UF for the Master of Architecture.

Also, do not eliminate the other programs just because they are private or you do not know anything about them.  Sometimes, private institutions provide more financial aid.

During your year off, look to take a few preparatory courses based on conversations with these potential programs.  Draw, sketch, draw what you see.  Visit architectures - look at your surroundings.

Have fun and feel free to contact me again if you have more questions.


money said...

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Victoria said...

Hi, Thank you for all the information.

I was wondering if you could help me, I am graduating from a Architectural Technology program with a Diploma and I would like to go to the next step in getting my Bachelors in Architecture. How do I got about finding schools that will transfer credits, where Ican get the most out of what I have already completed? Any information would be extremely helpful! (I am located in Canada and would prefer to study there, but I am open minded about the U.S and Internationally). Thank you!