Saturday, September 20, 2008

Community Service

I recently graduated with a B.S. in Architecture degree and wanted to explore organizations that would provide me the opportunity to volunteer through community services in architecture and / or construction. Do you know of any?

I applaud your desire to "give back" through service. These may not be exactly what you are looking for, but it should lead you in the right direction.

Look up the following books to give you some ideas and get you started:

Architecture for Humanity, (2006). Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises. New York, NY: Metroplis Books. ISBN – 1-933-04525-6

Bell, Bryan (2003). Good Deeds, Good Design: Community Service Through Architecture. Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN: 1-5689-8391-3

Design Corps

Public Architecture

Architecture For Humanity

Architects, Designers, And Planners For Social Responsibility

Habitat For Humanity International


Architects Without Borders

Mad Housers Inc.

Association For Community Design

Peace Corps

Dr. Architecture

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fall 2008 Graduate Open Houses

For those of you seeking to apply to Graduate Programs in Architecture, consider attending the following Open Houses

Fall 2008 Graduate Open Houses (Partial List)

Friday, October 10
Illinois at Chicago, University of

Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of

Friday, October 17
Maryland, University of

Cincinnati, University of

Friday, October 24, 2008
North Carolina at Charlotte, University of

Michigan, University of

Monday, October 27
California At Los Angeles, University of

Pennsylvania, University Of

Washington University

Friday, October 31
Minnesota, University of

Monday, November 3
Cornell University

Princeton University

Wednesday, November 5
Columbia University

Thursday, November 6
Yale University

Friday, November 7
Harvard University

Monday, November 10
Virginia, University Of

Tulane University

Friday, November 14, 2008
North Carolina At Charlotte, University Of

Thursday, December 4, 2008
Lawrence Technological University

Dr. Architecture

Monday, September 15, 2008

I am currently a senior and will graduate next spring with a B.S. in Architecture from a public institution. I am in the midst of researching graduate programs in architecture.

Can you explain to me the difference between a Masters of Science in Architecture and a Masters of Architecture?

Also, most schools require 3 letters of reference; I have asked a history of architecture professor to be one and my boss from work to be another. Who do you think I should ask to serve as the third? Thanks!

B.S. in Architecture Senior

First, as a soon-to-be graduate of a preprofessional program, you will want to research architecture programs that offer the NAAB Master of Architecture, sometimes referred to as a professional degree.

The Master of Science is not a professional degree and would not allow you to pursue licensure; they are often referred to as post-professional degrees. If interested in a specific topic, you may wish to pursue this degree after receiving your Master of Architecture. Caution: approximately one-third of the architecture programs title their post-professional degree - Master of Architecture; this is NOT the NAAB accredited degree. Be sure to ask questions of the program if not clear.

Second, I would suggest you obtain your third letter of reference from a design faculty. While faculty who teach lecture or elective courses are fine, it is essential to have one, preferably two from design faculty. Graduate programs want to know you as a designer. I would even suggest a design faculty over a former employer.

Dr. Architecture

Thursday, September 11, 2008

High School Summer Architecture Programs

My daughter is interested in architecture and is entering high school next year. At what age do most of the students in your summer architecture program normally enroll (e.g. between freshman an sophomore year or sophomore and junior year, etc.)?

Thanks for letting me know.

Mother of high school student

You would need to check the age requirements with the programs, but most summer architecture programs are geared towards students entering their junior or senior year in high school. Some may allow students entering their sophomore year, but it will vary from school to school. I was involved with two summer programs and our requirement was always a minimum age of 16 because of liability issues.

Below is a website that lists all of the summer programs from summer 2008; we plan to update by late January for summer 2009. You may also visit the main website -- -- for a list of career days throughout the country in the fall.

If this coming summer is too early, check with other institutions in your area -- museums, AIA Chapters, schools, etc. For example, the National Building Museum hosts a summer "camp" targeted at children in grades 3-5 and programs for children age 12-18. Also, check your area for the ACE Mentor Program -- -- this program is a mentor program that starts with students in high school.

For possible other ideas in your area, contact your local chapter of the American Institute of Architects or area architecture program.

Dr. Architecture

Monday, September 8, 2008

5 Year Master of Architecture - Confusing Degree

I am trying to wade thru all the wonderful information on architectural programs to help my daughter narrow down her search.

Frankly I am a bit confused by the degree programs. I see that many schools offer a 5 year B Arch professional degree for students entering college. However a few such as Tulane offer a 5 year M Arch degree for students in the same situation.

Father of high school student.

Would Tulane's program be a more accelerated one, with a higher level of competence, than say a B Arch program at Cornell?

No -- You would need to carefully compare the two curricula and not just look at the degree title.

If you visit - -- you can search a list of all accredited programs by the type of degree. Many schools offer the BArch, but just as many offer the MArch.

A few years ago, NAAB, the accredited agency determined that they should not dictate the degree nomenclature, but rather leave that to the school. For this reason, many schools changed from a 5 year BArch to a 5 or 5+ year MArch. On the surface, they may be the same, but some schools now offer a degree (preprofessional) prior to the accredited degree. For example a 4 year BS in Architecture. This provides an opportunity for the student to leave after four years and also for the school not to admit the student for the graduate program.

And one more question if I may: Do architecture firms regard students graduating with a B Arch 5 year degree similarly to another graduate with a 4 year undergrad degree and M Arch grad degree?

Ultimately, firms want to know what the graduate can do regardless of the degree however, the firm may have a preference based on the degree of the firm's principal. If I have a BArch, I may prefer a graduate with a BArch or vice versa.

Needless to say, it is confusing to understand it all.

Dr. Architecture

Friday, September 5, 2008

Career and College Expo - Fall 2008

Aside from actually visiting each architecture program, the most efficient way to learn about programs is to visit one of the annual events designed for prospective architecture students. Below are the names, dates, and locations; select the link for more details. For each, you will be able to visit between 25-35 programs and attend workshops as well.

As Dr. Architecture, I will be presenting on the topic of "Selecting an Architecture Program" at the Boston, MA and Washington, DC events.

If you have questions, feel free to contact Dr. Architecture.

Architecture College and Career Expo
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Campus of Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL

2008 BSA College and Career Fair in Architecture and Design
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Campus of Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA

2008 Careers in Construction EXPO
November 21, 2008 - 9:00am-7:00pm
National Building Museum, Washington, DC

Forum 2008 College and Career Expo
December 30, 2008
AIAS Forum 2008 - Denver, CO

Dr. Architecture