Thursday, September 30, 2010

NAAB Accredited MArch or Not?

I just recently discovered your blog and was hoping that you would be able to help me out.

I have a BS in Architecture which in not an accredited degree ( something I did not know until close to graduation) and I have been working in the field for the last 5 years or so. My IDP is complete and I've started taking my licensure exams. I am testing for the state of California which does not currently require my education to be NAAB approved if I have enough work experience. Because of the economy and my own interests I am looking at going back to grad school however I am 28 and don't want to go back to school for another 3 years. There are one year programs that I am looking at that are also not accredited but are more specific to my interests. For example UCLA's M Arch II program.

I am wondering if it is unwise to consider going back for another unaccredited degree even though CA. doesn't specifically care about that and I can get licensed without it. I'm not totally sure how picky firms are when it comes to the details of a degree as well. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

First, congratuations on your undergraduate degree and work in the profession; I am sorry that you were not aware that your BS degree was not an accredited degree.

To directly address you question - I offer the following: whether you decide to pursue a post-professional degree (MS in Architecture) depends on whether you wish to ever become licensed in a state or jurisdiction that requires an accredited degree (most states). If you intend to stay and practice exclusively in California, pursuing such a degree may be a good choice.

With that said, I would still suggest you pursue the accredited Master of Architecture. I say this because not only does the degree provide you options in terms of licensure but also because you would benefit from such a degree. In addition, many institutions require a professional Master of Architecture to be able to pursue the post-professional degree.

Thus, decide based on your future career goals with regards to being licensed.

I hope this helps! Do contact me again if you have any further questions.

Dr. Architecture

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NCARB YouTube - Path to Licensure

NCARB has just launched a YouTube video outlining the Student Path to Licensure; check it out!

Dr. Architecture

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Advice for BArch

My son started his undergraduate studies for B-ARCH this fall in AUD ( American university in Dubai) UAE, which is a 5 year architecture program. Now we are concerned that this university is not accredited by NAAB and he can face difficulties after graduation.

Also he wants to study in some good accredited US or Canadian University.
He finished high school in June 2010 from American school of Doha ( a good and reputed high school in the region).

Please advise when he should apply for transfer and which universities can give him admission as his GPA in HIGH SCHOOL was around 2.0 and SAT SCORES were Maths-620, English 540 and 450.

First, your son's degree - BArch from AUD - would not be able to be accredited from NAAB as NAAB only accredits architecture degrees from the U.S. Other than that, I can address other difficulties he may face.

If he wishes to study in the U.S. or Canada, use the following resources --


As for when to apply for transfer, it may depend on which degree he pursues. My suggestion would be to consider applying sooner not later. If applying to a BArch, it is difficult to transfer beyond the first year of the curriculum unless you have design studios.

Another source is --

I hope this helps!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Historical Architecture

I am considering a degree in Historical Architecture or Historical preservation. I last studied in London on a study abroad program but due to some issues with the Community College I went through to study abroad I am currently not enrolled in college. I was working on a degree in history and am currently lacking three classes towards my associates. My GPA reflected on my official transcript does not reflect my London grades (although the grades themselves are shown on the transcript) and therefore my current GPA is low and inaccurate. Due to the low GPA I don't know if I can get in to a major university to continue my studies and therefore am trying to figure out what my options are at this time.

While I was studying abroad I took a class in English Palaces and Country homes and really enjoyed it. I am considering switching my major. Since I've been having such a difficult time with my grades and the school I have been attending, I was thinking about basically starting over on my schooling and going towards a bachelors degree in Art History then moving onto a Masters in Historical Preservation/Historical Architecture. I was just wondering if this is the right path for me to pursue or if there was a bachelor's degree you would suggest that would be better than art history to help me go on to my Masters in Preservation.

My long term goal is to go back to England and help their national trust with the preservation of the country homes and old churches.

Any suggestions you can provide will be greatly appreciated.


It is truly hard to determine if the path of historic preservation/historical architecture is the right path for you based on just your comments below, but I outline the steps to help you.

Separate from the difficulties with your issues with the community college, I would suggest you follow your heart. First, do some assessment to confirm your interest in historic preservation. Read up on the topic, talk with professionals in the field, etc. Continue to explore the discipline including research programs; visit the following -- -- to learn about degree programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Once you have do some assessment and explored, you can better make an informed decision on if this path is right for you. When the decision is made, you can make plans to meet your goal.

Although you are not in school now, see if you can still use their Career Center to research the field or meet with a career counselor. All of these steps can help you in your path.

Dr. Architecture

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Art History to Architecture

Firstly, I just wanted to say that I am a huge fan of your blog. That said, I have a question about preparation for graduate school. I am currently a junior at UC Santa Barbara and I'm majoring in art history with an emphasis in architectural history. The program is not accredited so I will need to pursue a M.ARCH when I graduate. Besides maintaing a high GPA, what are some things that I can do in these next two years to help me prepare for admission to a graduate school? I want to go to a top architecture school so I would like to get a head start on whatever it is that you recommend.


Thanks for being a fan! Also, congratulations on your desire to pursue architecture.

First, the program you are attending is not an architecture program and could not be accredited. With that said, you will wish to pursue a MArch (3-4 years) for those with a degree in a discipline other than architecture like your art history degree.

In addition to stellar academic performance, take courses in art/freehand drawing to create work for your portfolio. Also, connect with some faculty who will write your letters of recommendation. Finally, begin to research programs via the following:

ARCHSchools -

To the extent possible, visit an architecture program to learn more about the process of applying and the curriculum of a MArch. There is not one directly nearby to Santa Barbara, but perhaps visit LA to visit USC, UCLA, or SCI-ARC.

Dr. Architecture

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Architecture to Community Service

I graduated from North Carolina State University with my BEDA (4 year degree) in 2007. I worked at a small firm for a little over a year, but decided to step away from the profession because I saw that most of the work I did mostly served the wealthy, and not those individuals who, in my opinion, really needed good design because of poor housing and living conditions. So, needless to say, I walked away from the profession in 2008 only to discover in 2010 that there are Architects & Firms, specifically Design Corps located in Raleigh, that seek to "create positive change in communities by providing architecture and planning services." I was thrilled; and also a little disappointed that I did not learn about this earlier.

So here I am. After working in an unrelated field - Project Administration & Volunteer Coordination - I am wanting to jump back in the profession & start a non-profit design group that offers good design to those who otherwise could not afford it. My question for you is, what would be the best way to go about this? I do have my Bachelors in Environmental & Architectural Design from an accredited school, but was wondering if it would be necessary for me to go back to school to get my bachelors or master's when my goal is not to become a licensed architect (as of now). My goal is to focus more on residential and community revitalization.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


First, congrats on making the decision to use your architectural education towards good design.

Regardless of the venue - architectural firm, community design center, non-profit, I suspect you will have more success by obtaining your Master of Architecture and become licensed. It will create more options for you in the long run.

To start, I would contact organizations such as Design Corps, Peace Corps, Architecture for Humanity and others to inquire about becoming involved. Do you volunteer?

Is there a way to pursue a paid position with them.

Below a number of groups to pursue. Another is Assn. for Community Design -

Just get started and see where it leads you. Keep learning and asking questions until you get what you want and need.

1201 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20525
AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage more than 50,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.

Architects without Borders
295 Neva Street
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Architects without borders is a non-governmental, not-for-profit, volunteer humanitarian relief organization

Architecture for Humanity
848 Folsom, Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94107-1173
(415) 963-3511
Architecture for Humanity promotes architectural and design solutions to global, social and humanitarian crises. Through competitions, workshops, educational forums, partnerships with aid organizations and other activities, Architecture for Humanity creates opportunities for architects and designers from around the world to help communities in need.

Architects, Designers, and Planners for Social Responsibility
P.O. Box 18375
Washington, DC 20036-8375
(415) 974-1306
Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) works for peace, environmental protection, ecological building, social justice, and the development of healthy communities.

Association for Community Design (ACD)
P.O. Box 712308
Los Angeles, CA 90071-7308 USA
Established in 1977, the Association for Community Design (ACD) is a network of individuals, organizations, and institutions committed to increasing the capacity of planning and design professions to better serve communities. ACD serves and supports practitioners, educators, and organizations engaged in community-based design and planning.

Design Corps
302 Jefferson Street #250
Raleigh, NC 27605
(919) 828-0048
Founded in 1991, Design Corps is a private nonprofit that was created to coordinate design services that help create responsive affordable housing. Respect for those housed, the local communities and cultures involved are encouraged. Motto: Design for the 98% Without Architects.

Habitat For Humanity International
121 Habitat St.
Americus, GA 31709-3498
(229) 924-6935
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry that works to build or renovate homes for the inadequately sheltered in the United States and in twenty countries around the world.

The Mad Housers, Inc.
534 Permalume Place
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 806-6233
Mad Housers, Inc. is an Atlanta-based non-profit corporation engaged in charitable work, research, and education. Their primary endeavor is building temporary, emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families regardless of race, creed, national origin, gender, religion, age, family status, sexual orientation, etc.

Peace Corps
Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Headquarters
1111 20th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20526
Established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, the Peace Corps has shared with the world America's most precious resource—its people. Peace Corps Volunteers serve in 72 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Collaborating with local community members, volunteers work in areas like education, youth outreach and community development, the environment, and information technology.

Public Architecture
1126 Folsom St., #3
San Francisco, CA 94102-1397
(415) 861-8200
Established in 2002, Public Architecture is a nonprofit organization that identifies and solves practical problems of human interaction in the built environment. It acts as a catalyst for public discourse through education, advocacy, and the design of public spaces and amenities.

Dr. Architecture

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Advice, Please!

Thanks for running a blog of service to things related to Architecture.

I just finished my B.Arch. (5 Year course) from School of Arch & Planning, Anna University, Chennai, India. I would like to acquire a NAAB accredited M.Arch. from USA, for which most universities suggest M.Arch of two years duration for NAAB accredited M.Arch. It would be a great help from experienced people like you, if you can clear my queries below:

1- I am interested in an M.Arch. with concentration towards Architecture Design, but NOT Urban Design/Sustainable/Environmental/Renovation. But most US universities offer concentration in Urban Design only. Please suggest some University names for architecture design concentration.

2- After M.Arch. before the long process of licensing, do firms allow me to work with my M.Arch. so that I can earn back my spent on university.

3- Though difficult to say, which parts of US have more Architecture firms, I mean opportunities wise for juniors like me.

Thank you so much for your valuable time.
Thanks for your kind words --

1) To learn more about architecture programs in the U.S., I suggest you search via the following website that allows you to search based on keyword -- --

2) Yes, with the Master of Architecture, you would be able to work assuming you have the legal authority to work in the U.S. As an international student, you may participate in CPT and OPT, but it does limit how long you can work after graduation.

3) I have no way of knowing where most of the architects are, but there would certainly be most firms in urban areas like New York, Chicago, Los Angles, etc.

I wish you well!

Dr. Architecture

Friday, September 10, 2010

Starting IDP

I want to start my IDP process, but my degree is BA in Architecture, but not NAAB approved. I did my research and I know I can compensate that with experience in NY State, so there has to be a way of qualifying for IDP with that degree, but I cant figure out how. All of qualifications seem to involve NAAB approval. What would you recommend?
First, your degree, BA in Architecture is not eligible to be accredited by NAAB. What determines you eligibility in IDP is your current year and is your degree accepted for direct entry to a two-year NAAB Master of Architecture -- According to NCARB --

When can I start?
You can earn IDP experience once you have successfully completed:
next steps
1. Three years in an NAAB-accredited professional degree program;
2. The third year of a four year pre-professional degree program in architecture accepted for direct entry to a two-year NAAB- accredited professional master’s degree program;
3. One year in NAAB-accredited professional master’s degree program following receipt of a non- professional degree;
4. Ninety-six semester credit hours as evaluated in accordance with the NCARB Education Standard, of which no more than 60 hours can be in the general education category; or
5. A number of years equivalent to the periods set out in 1., 2., or 3. above, in a CACB-accredited professional degree program, or in a Canadian university professional degree program certified by CACB.

Where did you receive your BA in Architecture degree? If your degree is accepted to a NAAB Master of Architecture, you should be good; if not, you will need to wait until after you begin a graduate degree.

However, do know that NCARB is in the process of changing the eligibility dates. I would suggest contacting NCARB --

Dr. Architecture

Monday, September 6, 2010

Business to Architecture

I'm hoping you can help me.
I'm intersted in a career in architecture, but have my undergrad in Business Administration. What would be my career path now?
I'm 27 and have really just realized this is what I want to do.

I would first suggest you visit and consider obtaining Becoming an Architect, 2nd Ed.

With your degree, you are eligible to apply to the Master of Architecture (3-4 years) for those with a degree in another discipline such as business administration. To research programs, visit -- and --

Best in your path!

Dr. Architecture

Friday, September 3, 2010

Choosing a MArch Program

I've found your blog to be very insightful, and I would like to submit a question:

I'm looking at MArch programs to supplement my BArch. Is there any online resource that gives good descriptions of the leading programs?

I'm asking this question because I am attracted to the program at Columbia, but would like to know of others with a similar focus and a strong faculty connection to New York City.
Your best online resource is

ARCHSchools –
A companion website to the Guide to Architecture Schools compiled by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), ARCHSchools provides a valuable resource for individuals seeking to pursue an architectural education. It provides the opportunity to search architecture programs and review descriptions on the over 100 universities offering accredited degree programs in architecture.

Dr. Architecture