Saturday, May 25, 2013

Liberal Arts to Architecture and back agin!

I have a somewhat unusual question, which I'll set up first: I have two graduate degrees in architecture...neither of which are preprofessional, but supplementary/postprofessional. Can I get a) advanced standing in an M.Arch, b) any exemption from the US/Canada licensing boards, or do I have to start from scratch?

In sum: I started as a liberal arts major at a college I hated. I transferred - as an architecture major. Decided I hated architecture. Returned to liberal arts college I loathed with miserable GPA. Went to graduate school in urban design. Had a job in a related area, then one not, so I went back to school to do a degree in architectural research, also populated by licensed architects. Since then, my experience has been a bit hodgepodge and has only confirmed that I want to be an architect, or at least get the M. Arch.

What do you think? Will I have to have a beginner's mind? One of my main concerns with the M. Arch advanced standing is a lackluster portfolio. I'm wondering if I can get any credit (per this example from New York State):

"Category D:
A degree or postsecondary coursework in an architecturally-related profession
Maximum credit granted: 5 units
Category E:
Master's degree in an architecturally-related profession following the award of a degree from a non-NAAB-accredited program, depending on the category of the first degree
Maximum Credit Granted: 1 unit"

It will depend on the graduate program to which you apply, but I would think you should be able to gain some advanced standing.  I would suggest you talk with the program director prior to applying and outline your educational background.  What architecture courses have you already taken?  Are you able to waive any courses because of your background?

I do not know the licensure process in NY State, but again contact them directly with your questions and they should be able to address it.

I would suggest you review your transcripts closely and be sure to collect your course syllabi to demonstrate what you have done.

As for your portfolio, you may need to again review your work to determine what you may include.  In fact, you may wish to take an additional course.


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