Fall has just begun, but you have already started researching your college choice; but how do you best learn about an institution and its architecture program? Yes, you can visit websites, but they are impersonal and sometimes difficult to find what you want to know. You can request information from the program directly, but the materials you receive may be more “sales” oriented. And, while a website like http://studyarchitecture.com is extremely helpful, it still lacks the personal connection. Often overlooked, the best method may be to visit one of the career day/college fairs in architecture held throughout the country.
CAREER DAYS IN ARCHITECTURE
While many high schools host annual college fairs, these events do not focus specifically on the discipline of architecture; even if an attending institution has a program in architecture, the representative may not have any direct knowledge on the program. However, there are a few annual events (see list below) that are the answer.
Typically held in the fall, the Career Days/College Fairs focused on architecture is a great opportunity for you to learn more about pursuing a degree in architecture. You can interact with representatives of the program and ask specific questions (see examples below); you will connect with faculty, program administrators, and possibly alumni and students of the program. You can obtain a much better insight to a program through this connection by having a personal conversation.
During these architecture specific events, you can visit with between 35-50 programs in architecture allowing you to connect with more schools in a single day. Granted, these events may not be near where you live, but the investment in time and travel may be worth the cost.
Aside from connecting with the programs, these events will often provide workshops on selecting a school, career options, and financing your education. Some may have a keynote speaker who is an architect that provides you some insight on the discipline of architecture.
Thus, while there are many different ways to learn about architecture programs, one of the best ways is attending one of the Career Days in Architecture this fall. If you wish to become an architect, start you research by attending Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, or Dallas.
Questions to Ask School Representatives
About the School
What is the setting? Rural, Urban, Suburban?
What financial aid/scholarships are available?
What support services are available for students with special needs?
What degree(s)/major(s) do you offer?
How does your school assist students with post-graduation plans?
About the Academic Unit
What is special or unique about your program?
Does the program offer hands-on and/or workplace experience as part of the curriculum?
Do you have a graduate program?
What kind of professional experience does your faculty have?
Are there opportunities for foreign study?
CAREER DAYS IN ARCHITECTURE – FALL 2016
Boston Career Day – Boston Society of Architects
Boston, MA - Saturday, September 24, 2016 – 10:00am – 2:00pm
BSA Space, 290 Congress St., Suite 200, Boston, MA
Chicago Architecture + Design College Day – Harold Washington College
Chicago, IL - Saturday, October 15, 2016 – 10:00am – 1:00pm
New York Architecture & Design College Fair – Center for Architecture
New York, NY – Friday, November 4, 2016 – 4:00 – 7:00pm
Philadelphia Design College Day – Temple University
Philadelphia, PA - Saturday, November 12, 2016 – 11:00am – 2:00pm
AIA Dallas – 2B an Architect 2017 – Latino Cultural Center
Dallas, TX – Saturday, February 18, 2017 – 1:00 – 4:00pm