Monday, July 1, 2013

MArch - Accredited or Not?

Currently I'm approaching my senior year of college and am looking at schools to pursue my MArch. One of the schools that I am most interested in is Penn State because then I would only have to pay in-state tuition. What worries me is that Penn State's MArch isn't accredited yet, but they have applied to become accredited. I understand you may not be qualified to answer this, but do you know of the odds of whether or not they will become accredited? I don't want to spend 3 years working towards a degree that won't mean anything.

Also, when sites list average salaries for architects are they talking about accredited architects after they've passed the ARE? Or are they talking about architect interns that are doing their IDP?

First, congrats on your pursuit of architecture at the graduate level.  As stated on the PSU website --

The program is a companion to our 102-year-old accredited Bachelor of Architecture program and enjoys the curricular explorations and experiences that have gone into designing and maintaining a cutting-edge professional architectural education. We will enroll the inaugural cohort of students in Fall 2013, and expect to have the program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

I would encourage you to contact the head of the program to further gain insight on their plans to apply for candidacy with NAAB.  

As the former associate executive director of NAAB, I can share that programs that gain candidacy from NAAB typically gain full accreditation once they graduate the first cohort.  A program cannot become accredited until the first class graduates.

With that said, it is likely that PSU would gain accreditation status for this degree because they already have an accredited degree - BArch.  Of course, nothing is for certain, but I would suggest that attending their program is a safe bet.  Of course, you may wish to wait to be the 2nd cohort so they can work out some of the issues that come with starting a new program.  Again, be in touch with PSU and feel free to contact NAAB - if needed.

As to your question on salary, most listings that I have seen distinguish between intern and architect.  They would list intern 1, intern 2, and intern 3 to signify the number of years experience and do the same for architect level.  If you cannot determine the level, I would suggest you contact the author of the salary listing.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best.

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