Sunday, November 29, 2009

BA Interior Design

I stumbled upon your site and found it to be very informative and helpful. But I'm a little bit worried from when you mentioned that architects can do interior design but interior designers cannot do architecture.

I am currently at a community college completing my GE's and recently made the plan to pursue a BA in Interior Design. As much as I like Interior Design I also have an interest in Architecture. I have also and am planning on taking multiple drawing/art classes as well as calculus and physics for Architecture. After reading about the 4+2 plan on getting a M.Arch I decided that would be the road I would take. I also felt like it would be a better idea since I'm almost done with my GE's and have taken a few art courses already.

But, from what you said, is getting a BA in Interior Design a good start before going after a M.Arch in my situation?

As the website - - outlines, you can complete the education requirements of becoming an architect in more than one way.

Given that you are at a community college, you can do pursue the BA in Interior Design as you suggest. With the BA in Interior Design, you would continue with the Master of Architecture (3-4 years) to obtain the NAAB accredited degree.

Another route would be to transfer to an undergraduate degree in architecture (BS in Architecture); note that this is not a professional NAAB accredited degree. The institution you pursue will determine if you are able to complete the degree in two more years after your community college work. With the BS in Architecture degree, you would pursue the Master of Architecture (two years) for the NAAB accredited degree.

Given your question, the pursuit of an BA in Interior Degree is certainly a good choice as it will provide good preparation for the eventual Master of Architecture. The undergraduate degree will also prepare you will materials for your portfolio when applying to the graduate program.

Best! - Dr. Architecture

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Course in Preparation for MArch

I suppose I'm a fairly unfamiliar case of someone in his mid 20s who thinks he now wants to become an architect. I could go on at length on why this makes sense to me now, at this point in my life, but I'll keep it short.

I have little to no experience in architecture or design. I have a BA in Religion from a small liberal arts college in PA. I took a freshmen year "architecture and nature" course (earmarked for a general curriculum credit) and an intro to drawing class my senior year. In July next year, I will receive my MA in Global & International Studies from UC Santa Barbara, which is code for international non-profit management.

My goal is to work next year as a teacher somewhere and save up my money. If I were to go back to school for a MArch (3 years approx., correct?), then it wouldn't be before Fall 2011, and even then it might only be part-time.

So here's my question...

While I have the chance to take electives at a big university before getting the degree next July, what sort of courses should I take that would help me out later down the road in architecture school? Are there specific courses that I could take now that might free me up from taking them as a first-year architecture student? In college, I have taken math up to Calc II, and no physics.

It is doubtful that you would be able to take courses now that would be accepted as coursework typically taken during the first year of a Master of Architecture. To be sure, you should contact the programs to which you plan to apply.

However, aside from the mathematics and physics, many programs require prerequisites in freehand drawing and/or architectural history. Again, check with the programs for exact requirements. The best courses are those that will generate materials for your the portfolio that you will need to submit as part of your application. To that end, courses in drawing, sculpture, photography, art, etc. Any course that will connect your brain, eye and hand.

For ideas on portfolios, visit -- --

Dr. Architecture

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Summer Architecture Programs for High School Students

I came across your blog today. My son who is in his junior year at HS may be interested in doing a summer program in architecture this year. He has wanted to be an architect since he was 10 years old and has not come off of that dream. He is currently enrolled in a fine arts school structure to help him build his portfolio so I’m sure his portfolio will be up to snuff by the time he needs to enroll.

I’m wondering what you think the best summer program might be. I hoping to find one that has a large amount of hands on studio work and fun…lord knows I don’t what him to be overwhelmed for a summer program. I’m looking at Syracuse and a some other programs. Unfortunately his school in NY doesn’t end to the very end of June so he can’t enroll in programs that begin in May and early June.

Alternatively he does like to build – so getting him into a community service program that is focused on building might be a good solution too.


Lee Waldrep

to Gary
show details 9:59 AM (7 minutes ago)

I am pleased to hear of your son's interest in pursuing a summer program.

The best source os summer programs offered by architecture programs is the following:

Although it currently lists dates for summer 2009, it will be updated by the end of January 2010.

As far as the BEST summer program, I am afraid that I am no help as I do not know details on each and every program. Instead, I suggest you find the BEST program for your son by first determining the criteria for the decision - length, size, location, schedule, activities, credit vs. no-credit, cost.

As you have time to research before deadlines, I suggest you request information while also trying to speak with the actual faculty member teaching the program to learn the details.

Dr. Architecture

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Associates of Arts

I am a college student majoring in architecture and I wanted to know if you recommend getting an AA and if you can recommend any universities that have undergraduate.

First, congrats on your choice to pursue architecture.

Next, to become an architect, you must eventually obtain a professional accredited degree in architecture - Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture, or Doctor of Architecture. How you pursue the degree is completely up to you.

Some architecture programs do have articulated agreements with community colleges with associate's degree. It allows you to begin your studies at the community college first and transfer to an architecture program.

For a list of architecture programs, visit -- -- or -- --

Dr. Architecture

Monday, November 9, 2009

Career Change: HR to ARCH

I was reading a post on your blog site regarding the topic, "Career change. Too old?" Here's my situation. I'm 38, holds a bachelors degree in HR. I want to pursue a career in architecture. Nothing else makes more sense to me. Can I pursue an internship at a firm then return to school for a masters degree in architecture? My biggest regret is not pursuing a career in architecture, 15 years ago. I realize, now, that had I done a little research regarding architecture, I would be an architect by now. Please advise.
Thanks again,

C - You may certainly pursue an internship in a firm but it is probably unlikely that you would be hired because you have no experience yet in the field of architecture. A perhaps better route is to pursue your Master of Architecture. After your first year in the graduate program, you may count any experience towards IDP - Intern Development Program (

I appreciate that you wish you have pursued architecture sooner, but you are still not too old to pursue it. Research programs via the following:

Also, consider obtaining Becoming an Architect, available from

Dr. Architecture

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Becoming an Architect - 2nd Edition

On December 2, Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design - 2nd Edition will be published.

If you’re considering a career in architecture, start with this highly visual guide to preparing for and succeeding in the profession. Through fascinating interviews with working professionals in the field, Becoming An Architect, Second Edition gives you an inside view of what it takes to be an architect, including an overview of the profession, educational requirements, design specialties from which to choose, the job search, registration requirements, and the many directions in which a career in architecture can go.

• Written by a nationally known expert on architecture career development

• In-depth profiles with architects of varying backgrounds and specialties give students and new architects an inside view of the real-world, day-to- day experiences of a working architect.

• Second Edition features new and updated career profiles and interviews highlighting individuals who have taken varied career paths.

• Helpful appendices listing resources such as accredited schools of architecture, important architectural associations and organizations, and more.

Expanded and revised to include the most current issues that are impacting architects’ work, such as BIM and integrated practice, this essential guide will prepare you for successfully entering this competitive yet rewarding profession.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pursuing a Career in Architecture - Age Limit?

I am an undergraduate student who will be graduating in May 2010 with a Bachelor's of Business Administration Degree. I have always wanted to pursue a career in Architecture and am considering earning a MARCH degree. Is there an age limit on who old you must be to start a career in Architecture? I am 27 years old and would be in my early 30's by the time that I would earn my Masters in Architecture. I would like to start working in this industry sooner than later and also wanted to know if there was anything I could do to get my foot in the door with my current business experience.

Lastly, I live in Texas and have noticed that there are not a lot of schools that offer the MARCH degree. Would it be better for me to relocate in order to earn this degree and get by career started as well? Thank you for your time and assistance.

An Inquiring Student

There is certainly no age limit when you must start in architecture. While there are certainly a number of individuals that pursue an architectural education from high school, there are also a number that do not pursue architecture until later in there life. Philip Johnson, one of the most well-known architects in the 20th century, became an architect at age 39 and practiced until he passed away at age 93.

With your business degree, I would suggest you focus your efforts on pursuing the Master of Architecture for those that have an undergraduate degree in another discipline. You may certainly approach architecture firms about possibly employment, but your skill set may be limiting.

You must decide on which program is best for you be it in Texas or elsewhere. Consider -- -- and -- --.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

AA to BArch?

I'm a sophomore finishing my A.A. in a community college. I'm going to start my last A.A. semester after the holidays. I was going to major in International Business, but I really have a passion for architecture, urban planning and development. I'm doing research about universities and how to become an architect. I really thank you for your informative blog.

My question is, Could I transfer with an A.A. to a university's architecture program for BArch? do I need any special requirements? I just need one more course (3 credits) next semester to get an A.A. Would it be a good idea to take other classes relating to architecture?

I live in Florida, and I heard that University of Miami has a really good program, have you heard about it? Also, when it comes to graduate school, I've seen different fields such as urban planning, urban design, etc. University of Miami has a program called Masters in Real Estate Development and Urbanism, is that the same as Master in Urban Planning? Which one would you recommend to be the better: getting a bachelors in urban planning and a MArch
or a BArch and a Masters in Urban Planning/development?

First, congratulations on your interest in pursuing architecture.

You could certainly transfer to an institution with a BArch, but you would most likely to take the full five years to graduate because you will need to take the full design curriculum. You may wish to consider transferring to a 4+2 program as you may be able to transfer as a sophomore or junior with your AA. To determine if you need any special requirements, you would need to be in touch with each program to which you plan to apply. For spring, I would certainly take courses that are required or consider taking a freehand drawing course to develop your artistic skills.

UMiami is certainly a good program. Research programs via -- -- or -- --.

Once you complete an accredited architecture degree (BArch or MArch), you should pursue the graduate degree of your choice that will provide you the credentials that you desire. You should contact Miami to learn more about their graduate program. My guess is that RED and Urbanism is different than urban planning.

As to your last question, the answer lies in what you are trying to accomplish