Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BArch to MS Arch Post-Professional

I have a 5-year accredited B.Arch from Pratt, I worked in offices during school and for 3 years after school, then I did construction work for the past year and a half. I am looking at getting back into architecture jobs am I am noticing a lot of preference for people with an M.Arch. Do you think it is necessary to get a M.Arch when I already have an accredited B.Arch program? I would not mind going back to school if it will be helpful for my career, but I don't want to go back to school just because finding a job is hard!


Given that you have received the BArch, you have met the education standard for licensure with each jurisdiction (state).  However, if you wish to continue your education in architecture, you may certainly choose to pursue a post-professional Master of Science in Architecture (typically one-year).  Please recognize that some programs offer the degree as a Master of Architecture degree but just be sure if is for those that have the professional degree - BArch.

The reason for a MS Arch degree may be the have additional credentials and pursue an aspect a topic of architecture for which you have a strong interest.  You could also pursue a graduate degree in another discipline to broaden your credentials - landscape architecture, urban planning, etc.

Visit for architecture programs.

I agree with your last statement -- do not return to school because you cannot find a job.

Dr. Architecture

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Architecture Programs at Smaller Colleges

I've been looking at colleges recently and more specifically at the architecture programs they have to offer. For the most part I've been looking at smaller colleges, such as Connecticut College, Hampshire College and Pitzer College. Many of these do not really explain in clear terms their architecture programs, but provide many details that I'm not so sure I understand the implications of.  

What should I look for in an architecture program at a smaller college?

At one level, I would begin with the institutions that have accredited architecture programs; the best sources for those programs are and  In addition, you may consider architecture programs as you suggest, but you pursuing the Master of Architecture after your undergraduate studies will probably take longer.  However to be sure, contact the program directly and ask where their graduates have gone for graduate studies; even attempt to obtain names of graduates to contact directly.

Also, contact a few random graduate programs in architecture and inquire how long the program would be if you were to graduate from Connecticut College, Hampshire, etc.

The reason for this disconnect is that more of the programs you list do not teach sufficient number of courses in design and technology.  Thus, a Master of Architecture may take 3-4 years instead of two.

Dr. Architecture 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

CAD Course

I have just found your blog and I have noticed that you seem to answer some questions from the public. I have a question about the necessity of CAD classes. I am in a community college in California applying this Fall for university. At my community college, they offer a class on Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD). I am currently enrolled in this class but  I feel like it might seem unnecessary.

The main reason I took this class is because I planned on adding my projects from that class in the portfolio needed to transfer. My main hope is to transfer to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. There is also the notion that if I take this class, I will be more competitive towards being accepted into the major.

Could you please give me any help if possible? 

If you desire is to transfer to Cal Poly SLO, I would suggest you pose your question to the Architecture Department at Cal Poly SLO.  They will be able to help you best determine if taking the CAD course will be beneficial or not.

I will suggest that you take a freehand drawing/art course instead of CAD.  Most architecture programs that require a portfolio for transfer admission typically do not want to see work from CAD courses.  Instead, they wish to see creative work.

Review the following for prospective transfers applying to Cal Poly SLO.


Please do not misunderstand me; you will want to learn CAD, BIM, and other softwares that architects use, but you need not do it now in the community college.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Best Schools?

I just wonder what are difference between these outstanding schools such as Harvard, MIT, Yale and other middle range schools? Are these outstanding school have better education than others? I emailed different schools, and most of them said the school now emphasize on design to develop practical skill. Therefore if good reputation schools and middle range schools have same philosophy,do they have big difference?

 My professor told me when she studied Architecture, the school focused on architectural history, but now the school emphasize on design. She said the school reputation depends on the Dean, is it?

I am truly not in a position to answer your question; instead, I suggest you research the architecture programs at a variety of institutions and compare them against what you are seeking in a program.

Resources to use include --
- National Architectural Accrediting Board - Guide to Architecture Schools

I do think that the BEST program for you is not necessarily the "outstanding" programs you list.  Determine your criteria and check those criteria against all programs.  Remember, there are about 125 accredited programs in the U.S. and Canada.


Dr. Architecture 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Preservation Education

I am in the process of applying to doctoral programs in historic preservation and I am wondering if you have any advice. I have a B.A. in Environmental Design and had my own practice as a building designer for ten years. There are many historic buildings in the area and so I have done a lot of work with historic structures. I have also taken some preservation classes at the local Junior College. I have a masters in technical theater (long story) and now would like to pursue a PhD in preservation. I have found likely programs at the University of Colorado in Denver, University of Maryland, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Cornell. I would prefer a program which emphasizes design/technique over policy/theory. I also enjoy teaching and have some teaching experience.

1. Would you recommend any of those programs in particular and are there any others I missed?

2. Do you have any tips for getting accepted into these programs? Is there anything I should emphasize about my experience and interests?

First, my true expertise is on becoming an architect and your question is about preservation.

I do not provide recommendations or endorsements on particular programs, but one resource you may wish to consider is the National Council for Preservation Education

As for tips on gaining admission, the best advice is to contact each of the programs and ask directly what it takes to gain admission.  How do they make decisions on admissions?  What materials do they emphasize?  How can you put your best foot forward?  If possible request connections to current students or recent alums and ask them the same questions.

I hope this helps!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Architectural Engineering - More Questions

Is it possible to do a masters in architectural engineering (Masters in science in AE I believe) after I get a B.arch? Is that a good idea? That way I can do my internship while I do my Masters in AE? And how many years does it take for the masters in AE?
Or I can take the 4+2 years route, with 4 years in architectural engg and 2 years in masters in arch if i feel capapble of doing the engg part right?  Although this isn't very significant to my choice of choosing the major, but I'd like to know if the pay is higher with the AE graduate degree.
And I am also interested in architectural jounalism so another option I was considering was a minor in journalism. Could you suggest if that's a good idea? 

Once you receive a BArch, you can pursue any further education you desire include a Master of Science in Architectural Engineering.  Whether or not that is a good idea depends on your longer-term career goals.  As for length, you would need to be in touch with a particular program.

The 4+2 route is for those that have completed a pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture.  a four year architectural engineering degree is NOT a pre-professional degree.  If you pursued a four year architectural engineering degree, you could pursue a Master of Architecture, but it would take you between 3-4 years.

As for pursuing a minor in journalism, you should pursue it if you have an interest in it.

I suggest you obtain Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition as it will answer many of these type of questions.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Path of Education?

So am quite confused and I hope with your experience you can help me out.
Am a high school senior considering my majors and I am really interested in architecture. So I have been advised to do something like architectural engineering or civil engineering and then do a masters in architecture. Am not a big fan of engineering but they say that I'll have more options if I graduate with something engineering related since its not flexible to change into another major if I do B.arch.
And another question is that, if I do a B.arch then how essential is a master's to one's success?
Thanks, really appreciate your help.

First, congratulations on your interest in becoming an architect.

It is true that you would have more options by first pursuing an engineering degree and afterwards pursue a Master of Architecture.  However, I would only suggest that particular path if you have an interest in engineering.  If you do not, it is likely that you will not do well academically well in engineering which could jeopardize the pursuit of the MArch.

Instead, I would suggest you pursue an education in architecture based on your interests.  First, you must decide to pursue the BArch or the MArch.  Both degrees grant you the professional accredited degree which is necessary for licensure.  For the BArch, you would NOT need to continue your education unless desired, i.e., if you wanted to teach, obtain a graduate degree may be necessary.

With the above stated, you should consider developing an interest in a related discipline - i.e., interiors, urban design, history of architecture and obtaining academic credentials (minor, a joint degree) to make you more marketable to prospective employers.  But only if you desire.

Review the following websites as resources:

ARCHSchools -

Best!  Feel free to contact me again if you have additional questions.
Dr. Architecture

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Fastest Growing Occupations Of Summer 2011

As posted on Forbes earlier this summer.

By the numbers of the employment index*, these occupations boasted increasing numbers of job openings and hiring more applicants in the month of June—as well as experiencing significant year-over-year growth:

Architecture and Engineering Jobs
June Employment Index: 109
Year-over-year Growth: 22%

Friday, August 5, 2011


I am a soon to be junior in high school and am so stressed out on going to college and becoming an architect.  I don't even know where to start.
I want to live in a dorm and my choices are Philadelphia university, Cornell, Boston University, Columbia university. I don't know which are NAAB, i dont know what courses i need to take or how i pick them, i don't what a BArch, MArch, BS Arch is.
I love math and the idea of doing math and designing together because i love to choose what goes best, what goes with what and i love just staring at the beauty of buildings both modern and old. I was fascinated by both Italy and New York.  I cannot draw though, i am an A student but dont have many extra curricular activities. I am sooo stressed with SAT's and college applications and picking a college.  I love interior desginig as well as exterior but i dont even know what landscaping is 
I don't know what an SAT subject test is or how to apply to a university or what the requirements are. I want to go to a university not a college and get a degree and then a master but I'm so confused too with all the options of 5 years and four years and two and internships.
I would love to do a course in italy or maybe do a masters there after i have my degree here.  I am confused what an architect really is but i know i love it.
I want to earn money and secure my future. I dont really have money to pay for a university and I don't want to go to a community college i know there are loans, scholarships, and financial aid but i am so confused on that to.  I dont even know who can help me or what to do.  so please help me even if it is one step at a time

First, relax.  Many high school students are becoming to feel stressed about college and the next phase of their life.  The easiest way to become less stressful is to relax and becoming informed of the process.

To start with learning more about becoming an architect, review the entire website -- and obtain a copy of Becoming an Architect; both resources outline the process of becoming an architect and highlight additional resources for you.

To discover which institutions have architecture programs, visit NAAB - and  Both will provide a list of NAAB accredited programs.  To learn more about the degree programs, review the previous entries on the blog -- --.

To learn more about the profession, review the following from the Bureau of Labor Statistics - --.

To address many of your other concerns, I would suggest you schedule an appt. with the guidance counselor in your high school or contact a local university in your region.

Feel free to contact me with more questions.
Dr. Architecture