Sunday, March 27, 2011

Employment Rates - Schools

I am curious if the schools themselves release employment rates within the profession of architecture for their recent grads? I would think this would be a fairly easy figure to come up with.

Anyone have any hard stats?

Many institutions collect this data but only at the institution level not necessarily the academic unit level.  The biggest difficult is that most graduates do not reply. 

With that said, check out the Salary Survey from Syracuse University.

More important than employment rates are what services that an architecture program has to help its students enter the profession.  Does it have a Career Fair, connections with alums, firms or workshops on job searching, etc.

Ask the program for the names of a few recent alums and ask them.

Why not contact a few employers and ask them what they think of the particular program you are considering.

Dr. Architecture

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Careers in Architecture Video --

Perhaps, a little long, this video introduces you to what architects do, what qualities you need to be an architect.

Architecture 1.1

Architecture 1.2

Architecture 1.3

Architecture 1.4

Monday, March 21, 2011

CAD, Revit, and Software

I am hoping that you will be able to help me. My son is in college studying architecture. Throughout high school he studied CAD - the only program related to architecture in our home town school system. However he has found that in college it is necessary to know many other programs to help him with his studies. Unfortunately though,  the school he attends is not teaching the students these programs but rather assuming they either know them or can teach themselves. With the amount of work to be done, my son does not have the time to learn these programs during the regular semesters. He is looking to learn the program Revit this summer either at a school that teaches it or whatever way available. Can you guide me into finding out where he would be able to learn this program? We live in North Jersey.

Architects use many different software; as well, architecture students use many different software.  Aside from CAD - computer aided drafting/design, many students use SketchUp (, Adobe Suite (, Rhino (, Maya (, FormZ (, and BIM (Building Information Modeling) -- the list could be endless.

While it may true that some architecture programs may require knowledge of these software including Revit, I cannot imagine that it would be expected upon arrival from high school.  For example, I work at an architecture program in the midwest; we expect our students to know Revit ( by their sophomore year, but we teach the software.  Others learn it via a course within a community college.

Thus, I would not be overly worried that he does not know Revit.  Have you talked with the architecture programs and solicited their advice?  Check local community colleges to determine if they teach the course.  Assuming he can get his hands on the actual software, there are tutorials on the web.

Aside from there, there are probably plenty of providers of training but at a cost.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

MArch - Decision-Making?

I can't really find any material that can show me which one of two schools are better for a master in architecture. How do I make a decision?  Please help! Thanks!

The question is not which Master of Architecture is better but rather which MArch is better for you. To answer that question, you must first determine what criteria you will use to make the decision.

Think along three factors -- You, Institution and Academic Unit. For many students pursuing the MArch, important factors are 1) faculty, 2) reputation, 3) philosophy/approach, 4) curriculum, 5) academic resource and 6) finances (scholarships/assistantships) as well as others.

Once you determine your criteria, compare each program against the criteria to decide which is the best for you. Comparing one program to another will get you nowhere.

Use these discussion boards to learn more about a program from those that have attended or visited; moreover, contact the program directly and ask for connections to students or recent alums.

Best in your decision-making.

Dr. Architecture 

Question about NAAB Accreditation

My son is a college junior and pursuing architecture.  He is particularly interested in a program that is "not accredited".  What exactly does this mean, and how could it affect his studies, examination, and eventually becoming an architect.

Having worked at NAAB (National Architectural Accrediting Board -, I will state that accreditation is absolutely necessary in the process of becoming an architect.  Through NAAB, the profession determines what knowledge is necessary to become an architect and dictates to architecture programs that these be taught.  NAAB informs architecture programs what to teach but not how to teach it.

Also, most jurisdictions (states and territories) require individuals to have an accredited professional degree in architecture to become a licensed architect.  In addition NCARB required an accredited degree for certification which facilities reciprocity to become licensed in more than one state.

In other words, pursuing an accredited degree is ESSENTIAL.  Although he could be licensed without the accredited degree, it would very much restrict his options during his professional career.

Now, are you sure that the program to which he is interested is a "candidate" program of NAAB?  Again, visit NAAB to see the list of accredited and candidate programs.  If it is a candidate program, the institution is in the process of gaining accreditation.  You can still consider a candidate program but ask lots of questions.

To learn more about this and the entire process of becoming an architect, consider obtaining
Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition from Amazon.

Feel free to contact me again with more questions.

Dr. Architecture

Friday, March 18, 2011

NAAB Accredited MArch or Not? - Process

I graduated Western Kentucky University with a B.S. in Architectural Sciences. I'm confused on the next step(s) to take to become a licensed architect. Is working for a number of years and completing the IDP an option instead of school? Or do I need to go to Graduate School at an accredited NAAB Architecture School?

First, congratulations on your recent degree from Western Kentucky. 

Aside from reviewing the ARCHCareers Blog (, I suggest you review the website as well as Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition.  From these, you will learn that to become an architect in most jurisdictions, you need a professional NAAB accredited degree, complete IDP and pass the ARE.

If you review the following on the NCARB website (, you can learn that it is possible to gain licensure with your degree and a number of years, but be aware that you would ONLY be able to be licensed in that particular state; this would be limiting to your career as an architect.

You can see below the states that do not require an accredited degree, but I know that IL will begin to require one in 2014.  You would need to check each state to see further possible requirements.

Is a professional degree from a NAAB-accredited program required to satisfy your board's education requirement?


NCARB Position:

My advice would be to purse the accredited Master of Architecture to allow options in the long term.  Best.

Dr. Architecture

Monday, March 14, 2011

Children Resources - 12 Year Old

I am a parent of a child (12) that has expressed an interest in architecture as a career path.  I have little knowledge of the field myself but wish to encourage him and help him to explore the profession while he is still young.  Ideally I’d like to introduce activities, knowledge and real life experiences that will prepare him for his future career.  Any information, useful links or recommendations you can make would be sincerely appreciated.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

First, congratulations on your child's interest in architecture.  I do hope this is all helpful; this is not a complete list but is a good start.  Do keep in touch for more help along the way.

There are numerous activities that your child could pursue now and in the future to foster an interest in architecture.  Do check the ARCHCareers Blog - - to research other questions posed to me with answers.  Another resource for the long term is Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition.

Beyond the programs listed below, encourage your child to learn to "see" their environment.  This can most easily done by drawing their environment -- draw, draw, and draw.  If possible, have them in a formal course, but just drawing what they see is helpful.  Architects use computers, but seeing and drawing are more helpful.  You could try SketchUp which is a free download from Google.

As much as possible, try to find your child a mentor, an architect with whom they can meet every six months or so to discuss and be encouraged.  Again, simply call an architect you may know or use the local AIA to identify a connection.

Attached is a list of summer programs -- most are targeted at high school students, but some are for younger children.  I am also highlighting the one with GA Tech as your area code suggests you are in the Atlanta area.
Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta, GA
June 13-June 24, 2011 (2 weeks)

Also, connect with the AIA Atlanta and their programs for K-12 -

National groups that may have helpful information.
CUBE: Center for Understanding the Built Environment
5328 W. 67th St.
Prairie Village, Kansas 66208-1408

National Building Museum
401 F St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20001

Architecture Books for Kids

Other books to consider (not written by me, but mother of fifth grader)
In Building a House, Byron Barton, an author-illustrator who specializes in simplicity, takes a young child through every phase of construction from bare hill to moving in. As with most of his books, the bright primary-colored art has background easily separated from foreground and clear details that make it easy for a young construction enthusiast to identify materials and tools. Ages 2-5. (Mulberry Books, $4.95) ISBN 0-688-09356-6

For a child who is still young, but wants a more complete picture of the process, non-fiction-pro Gail Gibbons creates How A House is Built. She begins with an architect's role and on a cheerful double-spread introduces all the people (male and female) that will be necessary to the completion of the project. Gibbons then details out all the work with words and illustrations that vary in perspectives, interior and exterior work, but all with an ebulence that will match the excitement of an interested. Ages 4-6. (Holiday House, $13.95) ISBN 0-8234-0841-8

I nearly flunked geometry and have a hard time imagining what pictured architecture feels like. Castles: A 3-Dimensional Exploration by Gillian Osband and Robert Andrew is the kind of book that can get you beyond words and images and into experiencing.  As giant structures pop-up from the pages, history, medieval life and architectural development all come to life. Ages 5-10. (Orchard, $15.95) ISBN 0-531-05949-9

Kids generally have self as focus and therefore two books that relate architecture to themselves are helpful for understanding concepts. ForrestWilson's What It Feels Like To Be A Building describes the functions of various constructions to analagous human conditions in both text and illustration.  He presents, for example, a compressed human figure to describe how it feels to be a column "squashed" between ground and building. Concepts grow increasingly more complex throughout the book.  This book is fun to act out which is what Mr. Wilson does in his workshops with kids. Ages 5-10. (Preservation Press, $10.95) ISBN 0-89133-147-6

Older children interested in architectural artistry will enjoy Round Buildings, Square Buildings, & Buildings That Wiggle Like a Fish by Philip M. Isaacson. The magnificent color photographs are taken from all perspectives and reveal not only well-known architectural monuments of the world, but lesser recognized structures as well.  With a humanistic approach, Isaacson captures the magic of the harmony of a building gives a sense of how buildings go together and effect people through light and the feelings they create. Ages 7-adult. (Knopf, $14.95) ISBN 0-394-89382-4

When children are older they begin to want more specifics. Architects Make Zigzags: Looking at Architecture from A to Z with drawings by Roxie Munro is an alphabetic look at many details that put the art in architecutre. The writing is as clear and direct as Munro's black and white drawings. The details are representative of a wide variety of styles (everything from brackets to quoins) and geographic locations of well-known buildings (everywhere from Michigan to Lousiana). Ages 6-11. (National Historic Trust for Historic Preservation, $9.95)

David Macaulay is an author-illustrator whose name has become synomomous with animated presentation of architecture for children that adults enjoy as well. His books are filled with detailed black and white drawings that bring alive architectural history of specific buildings, reveal tools, methods, and workmanship which led to achievements, and describe step-by-step the process and workings of buildings. His award-winning books include Cathedral Ages 7 to adult. (Houghton Mifflin, $7.95) ISBN 0-395-31668-5

McCauley's tongue and cheek Motel of the Mysteries was published about the time the King Tut exhibit was making its rounds. In this fictional piece, a modern day motel is unearthed in the next century with a mock seriousness that is truely Tut-mania inspired.

Dr. Architecture

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Question about NAAB Accreditation

One of the school's I'm interested in attending for architecture this coming Fall has a M. Architecture program that is NAAB accredited, however their pre-professional architecture degrees are not accredited. Is that okay? Or should I halt my consideration of that college?

You should certainly consider this program as pre-professional degrees are not eligible for accreditation; only the Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture and Doctor of Architecture can be accredited. 

For details, visit the NAAB - and the statement below.
In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a 6-year, 3-year, or 2-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may consist of a pre-professional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the pre-professional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Dr. Architecture

Post-Professional - UToronto

I came across your book few weeks ago and more recently your blog and they are extremely useful!

I am currently finishing my professional architecture degree. I am moving to Toronto next year and I was wondering if you could help me regarding a post-professional program I might apply to.

Do you know anything concerning the post-professional architecture graduate program (equivalent to MArch 2) of the University of Toronto?

How good is it? what it focuses on etc..

Perhaps compared to the US graduate programs?

I am not being able to find accurate and helpful assessments of the program online...

North American rankings are usually helpful but I cannot find any either.

I appreciate that you have found my book and blog helpful.  Also, congratulations on completing your professional architecture degree and desiring to pursue a post-professional degree.

As for the University of Toronto, I cannot share any insight other than what is listed on their website (see below).  Unfortunately, I am not able to comment on its reputation or its focus.

For post-professional degrees, candidates typically select programs based on their available expertise, not necessarily reputation.  For example, if you are interested in urban design, which programs offer urban design?

Plus, many candidates take time between their professional degree and post-professional degree; in other words, many post-professional degrees are targeted to individuals that have professional experience.

I suggest you research programs from – and by contacting the programs directly.


Dr. Architecture

Schools of Architecture in Florida

I am very interested in Architecture and i live in Miami,Florida, I wanted to know what are the best schools for architecture in Florida.

I can answer and all questions related to becoming an architect, but I try not to speculate on what are the best schools for you.  Below are the six institutions that have an architecture program in Florida. 

Using NAAB - and ARCHSchools -, you can research the programs to learn more about them.  To determine which is the "best" school, you must first determine what criteria are most important. 

Criteria to consider include aspects of you, the institution, and the academic unit.  I would suggest you consider strongly those criteria on the academic unit because you will spend a large amount of time in the unit.


Florida A & M University School of Architecture 
Florida Atlantic University School of Architecture 
Florida International University School of Architecture 
University of Florida School of Architecture 
University of Miami  School of Architecture 
University of South Florida  School of Architecture and Community Design 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Deaf Student to be Architect

I have questions relating to Architecture studies if you don't mind helping clear a bit.

I'm deaf and I'm an Art major student but up until recently, I've developed new-found interests and passions in Architecture. For quite some time, I've been thinking about switching over to it and I have been researching on it but there wasn't a lot of information or resources on how will Deaf person would succeed in Architecture field.

In your book, “Becoming an Architect”, you said Communication is one of utter most important skills in Architecture field and while I refuse to let communication barrier stop me from studying Architecture (Or any fields for that matters), I must admit that I have some concerns.  With me being deaf, would it affect my standing with the architecture firms? What I need to be preparing for in school or professional? I wonder if you have any advises or resources for someone with disabilities?

Any advises and comments would be greatly appreciative. Thank you for your time and have a great day!

Thanks for your email and I pleased to know that you have been reading my book.

As I am not deaf, I am not truly qualified to answer your questions, but the websites below might give you some insight including the email of a deaf architect in Maryland.  With that said, I do think you can pursue any field you desire.  There is more than enough technology to aid you.

As mentioned in the book, communication is critical, but I have no doubt that being deaf should not limit your ability to become an architect. As with any student, you will have challenges, but your determination and perseverance will overcome those challenges.

Below highlights an architect who appears to be the first deaf architect in the U.S.

Below is a transcript of an interview with a deaf architect in Baltimore, MD.  It provided an email address; I suggest you contact him with additional questions.!.aspx

Anyone  who wants to get more information, feel free to contact him at

Again, someone posting a question and individuals who respond.