Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Accounting to Architecture

I am currently an undergrad accounting major at Temple University and will be graduating this spring. I stumbled upon your ARCHCareers blog after searching "master of architecture for non architects." 

While I've been on winter break, I've been thinking about my plans after graduation and what career or further education I want to pursue. While I enjoy accountancy, I have this nagging thought about not opening up and challenging myself to a discipline that I find more interesting and fulfilling. I originally planned to major in civil engineering and definitely thought about architecture as well, but I never gave myself a chance and went with accounting.

I saw on this post of yours that MArch programs accept applications from people who have an undergrad degree in another discipline. I have never taken any undergrad or high school architecture class and I don't have a portfolio. Ultimately, I have a few questions about all of this:

  • If I am seriously interesting in an MArch degree, where should I start?
  • Am I in over my head? Have you heard/seen similar stories of non-architects pursuing architecture this late?
  • How did you know architecture was the right career for you?
  • Is coming from an undergrad business background beneficial in pursuing an MArch degree?
Thank you so much for reading this email. I truly appreciate the time you've given me to read and respond to my inquiries and curiosity during my period of uncertainty. I hope to hear from you soon and have a safe and happy new year! Take care.


Congrats on finding my blog on becoming an architect.  Below are some thoughts to get you started should you decide to pursue it further.

Where to start - As you are attending Temple, start by visiting the architecture program on your own campus.  Formally meet with faculty and students -- shadow some classes and consider taking a drawing course to start.  You also live in Philly, a great city for architecture -- get outside (when warmer) and look at the architecture.  Consider attending a summer program to jumpstart your interest.

Head - You are now over your head.  In fact, more and more students are like you - starting college in another major and discovering architecture.  You are not late.  Philip Johnson, one of the most famous 20th c. architects did not become one until the age of 39.

Right Career - You may never know for sure, but it is more than a job - it is a career and lifestyle.  That is why you should talk with current students at Temple -- visit Penn.

Business Background - It can be, but ultimately, the portfolio and your academics are probably most beneficial.

Consider obtaining the book, Becoming an Architect, 2nd Ed.

Best.  Do contact me with further questions.

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